The Best Whitewater Life Jackets: Astral Willis USD

I’m looking to step up to a better personal flotation device (PFD) for whitewater. What are the big differences between models?

Aug 1, 2012
Outside Magazine

Made right in Asheville, North Carolina, the $159 Willis is the ultimate open-cut design. It moves like a second skin thanks to panels that conform to your torso. The jacket uses recyclable Gaia-brand foam (not PVC) so the jacket is more earth-friendly. Because of its compact design, it does have a pound or two less of float (15.5 pounds versus the 17 of some other models mentioned here). Bigger paddlers might chose another product. The Willis model is for male paddlers; Astral’s Bella is the female counterpart.

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