We just got back from an incredible trip out west. We went to a few National Parks, visited with family and friends, and paddled on some great rivers. I was able to break in a lot of my new NRS gear on the trip. I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the new NRS Zen Rescue PFD.
Jeff and I at Yosemite National Park in California. Photo:Michelle Ingram Caranto
The Zen Rescue PFD is one of my favorite pieces of gear to wear. I’ve been wearing it mostly for river running, creek boating and whitewater stand up paddling. I was wearing the previous Zen which I liked but to be honest with you I didn’t love. The new and improved Zen I can honestly say that I love it. It’s a step up from the old design. The new Zen is a lower profile rescue PFD with 17.5 pounds of flotation and is less bulky than the previous model. It has a front floating panel that moves freely with your body. It’s a great feature to have especially when you are swimming. I swim a lot stand up paddling in whitewater and I swim like a champ wearing the Zen. It also doesn’t get in the way while I’m climbing back on my board. The Zen also has padded arm holes and on the sides to provide protection from any hard hits you might take while swimming or in your boat.
Swimming during the Kern River Festival in California on the slalom course. Photo:Michelle Ingram Caranto
The Zen dries quick and is light weight thanks to the 400 denier ripstop nylon with Cordura. It has hand warmers, a large front pocket and 2 side pockets so it has lot’s of room for snacks and for rescue gear. I'm 5'5", 140 pounds and I wear the small/medium and it’s a perfect fit. It has 6 adjustment points on it so it’s easy to get it as snug or loose as I want. The only bad thing I can say about it is the shoulder straps are long for me but I just tuck them back in through the shoulder strap tab and it’s totally fine.
Jeff and I putting on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park. Photo:Michelle Ingram Caranto
It’s a sweet Rescue PFD that can be used for all types of paddling because it’s so darn comfortable! Go to Zoar Outdoor and check it out. It will be a great addition to your paddling kit!
Paddling down the Kern River before the downriver race during the Kern River Fest.
The Lower Gorge section on the White Salmon River in Washington.
Till next time,