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NRS Big Water Guide PFD

$124.95

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Item: 40014.01  |  Product Details »

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Type III: Whether you're running the big stuff or just want to keep your head higher above the water, the NRS Big Water Guide PFD is the life jacket for you. 22 lbs. of flotation and built for all day comfort.
  • The PVC-Free foam panels are shaped and skived to wrap the body, without hindering mobility.
  • Eight adjustment points allow you to fit the jacket to your individual shape.
  • Two huge zippered pockets hold anything you choose to carry with you.
  • Fleece lined handwarmer pouches behind the pockets are oh, so welcome on cold days!
  • The well placed lash tab securely holds your rescue knife.
  • The 500-denier Cordura® shell wears like iron.
  • The webbing tab for your whistle puts this important safety device right where it's needed.
  • Webbing loops for leg straps add extra security in big water. (leg straps sold separately)
  • This jacket carries the US Coast Guard Certification, through testing by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Design flotation: 22 lbs.

Product Reviews

  (49)

Related Videos

  • video: NRS Big Water Guide PFD
    NRS Big Water Guide PFD
    Length:1:02
  • video: How To: Choose the Right Life Jacket
    How To: Choose the Right Life Jacket
    Length:4:31
  • video: How To: Fit a Life Jacket
    How To: Fit a Life Jacket
    Length:2:21
US Coast Guard Type: III
Profile: High
Design Flotation: 22 lbs.
Outer Fabric: 500-denier Cordura®
Entry System: Front zip
Pockets:
  • 2 - Front
Lash Tabs:
  • 1 - Front
Adjustment System:
  • 4 - Side
  • 2 - Shoulder
  • 1 - Waist
Features:
  • Fleece lined handwarmer pouches
  • Whistle attachment tab
  • Webbing loops for adding leg straps
  • US Coast Guard Certification
Size Chest
XS 28"-32"
XS/M 30"-42"
S/M 33"-40"
L/XL 38"-46"
L/XXL 40"-58"
XXL 42"-50"
XL/XXL 42"-58"
Universal 30"-58"

video: NRS Big Water Guide PFD

NRS Big Water Guide PFD (1:02)

Whether you're running the big stuff or just want to keep your head higher above the water, the NRS Big Water Guide PFD is the life jacket for you. 22 lbs. of flotation and built for all day comfort.

video: How To: Choose the Right Life Jacket

How To: Choose the Right Life Jacket (4:31)

Choosing a good-fitting life jacket that's designed for the type of boating you do is important for your safety. Whether you are kayaking, rafting, canoeing, fishing or stand up paddling, there's a US Coast Guard-approved PFD that's just right for you. In this video, we go over the types of life jackets most commonly worn by boaters and offer tips for choosing one you'll be comfortable wearing all the time you're on the water.

video: How To: Fit a Life Jacket

How To: Fit a Life Jacket (2:21)

Choosing a life jacket, or personal flotation device (PFD), that fits well for all-day wearing comfort is one of the most important water safety decisions you make. In this video we show you how to tighten the straps to ensure the jacket won't ride up when you're in the water. When deciding on a life jacket, wear it around the shop for a while to be sure it's all-day comfortable. Then, be sure to always wear it when you're on the water!

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NRS Big Water Guide PFD
 
4.6

(based on 49 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Comfortable (42)
  • Adjustable (35)
  • Durable (28)
  • Lightweight (18)
  • Good ventilation (15)

Cons

  • Heavy (4)
  • Rides up in water (3)
  • Too hot (3)

Best Uses

  • Boating / sailing (26)
  • Paddling (26)
  • Kayak / canoe / rafting (19)
  • Personal watercraft (4)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      100% 

      (44 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Advanced (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (44), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Floats you in a flip

Okay, so I flipped my raft in Horn Creek... yes, I did. I was underwater for a long time, but I did not get recirculated like my crew. Thankfully, I...Read complete review

Okay, so I flipped my raft in Horn Creek... yes, I did. I was underwater for a long time, but I did not get recirculated like my crew. Thankfully, I had on this high-float jacket. It is a little hot for the Grand, but doesn't feel bulky other than being a breast-smasher.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Big Float

Good for intended use.

Good for intended use.

Reviewed by 49 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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5.0

It was a worthwhile purchase

By John one of the OK River guides

from Springdale, Wa

About Me Advanced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Liked the pockets

Cons

  • Rides Up in Water

Best Uses

  • Rafting

Comments about NRS Big Water Guide PFD:

We just did 108 miles on the salmon river and it worked well. It rides up some in the water, but that is a trade off for mobility and ventilation. I selected it because of the pockets.

Service and delivery comments:

I ordered it one day and it was on my doorstep the next day.

  • Chest Size:
  • Feels true to size
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I'll bet it is a really great PFD

By MIke The Gifter

from Toledo, OH

Verified Buyer

Comments about NRS Big Water Guide PFD:

My son-in-law is an NHL hockey player from Canada. Having started playing hockey when he was age five, there wasn't much time to learn to swim (that's what people do in bodies of UN-frozen water). He enjoys boating and "floating" (especially with a cold beer on a hot day). I purchased this particular PFD with his "sport" in mind. His busy travel schedule and recent birthday haven't allowed time for a gift presentation but I'm sure that he will like, what appears to be a much more comfortable design than other PFD's I've studied.

Service and delivery comments:

Prompt, efficient and without (annoying) excessive "handling & shipping charges".

  • Was this a gift?:
  • Yes

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Better photos

By Rob

from Seattle

About Me Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Rides Up in Water

Best Uses

  • Boating

Comments about NRS Big Water Guide PFD:

Better photos of the side would have been nice to see before buying on line

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I would buy this jacket again

By One With River

from Livermore, CA

About Me Intermediate

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Comfortable
  • Good Ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Canoeing
    • White water rafting

    Comments about NRS Big Water Guide PFD:

    Very happy with jacket. Just got back from 7 days on the Main Salmon. Wore it everyday and I found it very comfortable. Love the high flotation. A few of the guys I rafted with on this trip who run rivers a lot had the exact same jacket. I bought the small size and it was plenty big enough.

    Service and delivery comments:

    The delivery was quick and easy.

    • Chest Size:
    • Feels true to size
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Life Saving

    By Lake Powell John

    from Key West, FL

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Adjustable
    • Comfortable
    • Durable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Paddling

      Comments about NRS Big Water Guide PFD:

      I just returned from a rafting trip down Cataract Canion on the Colorado River with flows above 40,000 cfs. Our rig flipped in a huge wave in the first big rapid after Brown Betty. I was unable to swim out of the current and ended up swimming down rapids 1 thru 27 including the Big Drops, arguably the most difficult white water in North America. I believe that I would not have made it out alive if I had a PFD with less flotation and head support than the NRS Big Water Guide. That jacket saved my life. I suffered a broken ankle bone and a number of bruses and strains but I am here to talk about it. Thank you, NRS for making such a good product.

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels true to size
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Displaying reviews 1-5

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      Previous | Next »

      Do you have questions about this product?

      Get answers from real customers and in-house experts with AnswerBox.

      7 Questions | 26 Answers
      Displaying questions 1-7
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        What, exactly, is stated as the "Intended use" for this PFD? I'm worried about very specific permit regulations on the yampa river that have narrow guidelines on what is the indicated indented use.
        Asked on 5/2/2016 by Jeremy from Canada

        2 answers

      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        Does this vest have the high back flotation (for high back kayak seats) or does it have full length pads?
        Asked on 4/3/2016 by James from United States

        5 answers

        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Yes. It does have full length pads. I am a canoeist, not a kayaker, but I usually use a seat back support when canoeing, and the vest is very comfortable in that configuration.
          Gary P. Hunt, Esq.
          1500 One PPG Place | Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          vCard<http://tuckerlaw.com/vcard/gary-hunt/> | Bio<http://tuckerlaw.com/attorneys/gary-hunt/> | Website<http://www.tuckerlaw.com/>
          THIS TRANSMISSION IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE ADDRESSEE AND MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS PRIVILEGED, CONFIDENTIAL, AND EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER APPLICABLE LAW. IF YOU ARE NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, OR THE EMPLOYEE OR AGENT RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THE MESSAGE TO THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISSEMINATION, DISTRIBUTION, OR COPYING OF THIS COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY.

          Answered on 4/4/2016 by jaeger from pittsburgh
        • Staff Reviewer

          A:

          James, the back is full length. The back is shown in alternate photos on the product page. All the mesh-back jackets are here - http://www.nrs.com/category/2675/life-jackets/mesh-back-life-jackets

          Answered on 4/3/2016 by Clyde from NRS
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Full length

          Answered on 4/3/2016 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          No, it's full back
          James G. Vangsness

          Answered on 4/3/2016 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Dear James, I am not really sure. I purchased strictly for the buoyancy rating because i was headed to big water.
          Sent from my iPhone

          Answered on 4/3/2016 by Anonymous
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        What is the length for the l/XL size?
        Asked on 3/9/2016 by R2 from CO

        1 answer

        • Staff Reviewer

          A:

          All sizes of this life jacket have the same foam panels; the only difference is the length of the adjustment straps - http://www.nrs.com/learn/life-jacket-fiction-fact.asp -From the bottom of the lower adjustment strap to the top of the zipper is 15", in the back, 18" from bottom of the strap to center top.

          Answered on 3/10/2016 by Clyde from NRS
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        How female friendly is this Life Jacket? She will be wearing it about 6 or so hours on the weekend.

        Thanks,

        Matt
        Asked on 3/22/2015 by Matt

        4 answers

        • Staff Reviewer

          A:

          Matt, I wear the BW Guide and it's front panels will definitely cover the area of a woman's breasts. For some women that would be okay and for others a problem. You can certainly buy it and try it. Returns/exchanges are easy and free. Check out this page for women specific life jackets - http://www.nrs.com/category/2684/life-jackets/womens-life-jackets

          Answered on 3/23/2015 by Clyde from NRS
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Not sure how female friendly it is.  My husband wears it and likes it alot.  He is the guide for our raft.  When we go rafting we raft all day and all weekend long.  Hope that helps.  Mine is an Astral class 3 and I love it.  It's so comfy.  I just wish it had more boyency we like to get out and float some of the white water and I eat some of the waves.  We have class 5 NRS jackets for all our friends they are stiffer but I believe safer.

          Answered on 3/23/2015 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Not very- the most female friendly pfd I found for my wife was the Astral Abba.  The Abba is not a hi-float, however.  Be sure it meets your safety requirements on the water you will be running.
          Jeff
          Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

          Answered on 3/23/2015 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Several of us bought these for a Grand Canyon trip. They were very
          comfortable for both male and female passengers. We did not have any
          swimmers to give feedback as to how it does for swimming rapids. It may be
          a bit long as a kayak vest, but is great for rafting. A great deal for the
          money.

          Answered on 3/23/2015 by Anonymous
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        Hi. Can you give me the strength rating of the shoulder straps? I want to know whether a carabiner can be attached to this point in a rescue situation. Thanks!
        Asked on 7/21/2013 by Ray

        7 answers

        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          YES....

          Answered on 7/23/2013 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          No official rating on the straps but they are fairly beefy. I would not
          hesitate to attach a carabiner to them in a rescue situation.

          Answered on 7/21/2013 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          The strap itself is pretty strong and has good stitches but the body's nylon
          material where the strap is attached to is the weak link.

          Answered on 7/21/2013 by Anonymous
        • Staff Reviewer

          A:

          Ray, this is not a rescue life jacket. Look at our rescue jackets for this type of application - http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1045

          Answered on 7/21/2013 by Clyde from NRS
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Hi,
          Ref the NRS Big Water Guide
          I can't tell you the strength of the shoulder straps but I know they are 1.5 inch wide nylon with a 2 inch pad. The stitching connecting the straps to the body is the most important part and it is substantial, double and triple stitched on mine.
          A larger model karabiner could be attached, but getting pulled from that high up, right by your head might get a little spooky. I really like my Big Water Guide PFD and I had the exact same thoughts your having before I bought it. I'm paddling mild water (I-III) and I'm old and fat so I decided to stay with the Big Water PFD on the mild water where the necessity for rescue operations is slim to none.
          If I were going to be paddling in rougher water (being rescued/doing the rescuing) I'd probably go with a professional rescue vest with a rescue ring permanently attached. It was the 22 lbs of bouncy that finally sold me on the Big Water Guide but it is a little bulky.
          In the end its all about confidence in your PFD and getting the PFD you need is money well spent. Sounds like you're looking for a high performance piece of equipment. If it were me I'd buy the professional rig and avoid making the Big Water PFD into something its not.
          Happy paddling my friend.
          Respectfully,
          Mike

          Answered on 7/21/2013 by Long Floater from Central Arkansas
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Hello,
          The shoulder straps seem very sturdy. I have been using 15 of these vests for 2 years in a commercial application & they are as good as any out there. If you are the rescuer or guide you might consider a rescue type vest with more webbing. Good luck!
          Sent from Chris Trapnell's iPhone

          Answered on 7/21/2013 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          I used this PFD while rafting in the Grand Canyon and it's TOUGH! I would trust it to a carbiner in a rescue
          situation. More so than a lot of other PFD's for sure.

          Answered on 7/22/2013 by kokopelli from Hood River, OR
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        Would like to get NRS Big Water Guide PFD in L/XL size in slate grey. When will you have this item back in stock?
        Asked on 5/5/2013 by Clayton from Olympia, WA

        1 answer

        • Staff Reviewer

          A:

          Clayton, the Big Water Guide is available in two sizes, X/SM (30"-42") and L/XXL (40"-58"). Both sizes in Slate Grey are currently in stock.

          Answered on 5/5/2013 by Clyde from NRS
      • NRS Big Water Guide PFD

        Q:

        I have a question about the Big Water Guide PFD. What is the size difference between a L/Xl and a L/XXL? I have a 42 inch chest. I think the L/XL will fit the best. I am worried that the L/XXL will be too big, but I can't find anyplace that sells the L/XL. Are the jackets the same size, just different straps?
        Asked on 10/23/2012 by weaver

        6 answers

        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          I also have a 42 inch chest. I can actually get the SM/Med to fit, so I think the L/XL would be the best fit. I would be concerned that the L/XXL would be too big.
          Jeff

          Answered on 10/30/2012 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          I bought the XXL for my bf who has a 48inch chest, fits great, very
          comfortable to wear too.
          Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

          Answered on 10/23/2012 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          Hi,
          I have an XX large and with a thin athletic shirt of poly pro I can just get it
          on ... it is tight ... but I have also seen people who 'slip out' of them
          because they are comfortable .... BTW, did I mention that I have a 46-48" chest,
          42" waist and 18" neck ?
          I hope this helps ....
          TTFN,
          George W 'Skip' Baker
          3995 H Street
          Sacramento CA 95819-2751

          Answered on 10/23/2012 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          yes im pretty sure the straps are the only difference

          Answered on 10/23/2012 by Heffy from Southern BC
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          I have a 43 inch chest and the L/XI fits me just fine.

          Answered on 10/24/2012 by Anonymous
        • VERIFIED BUYER

          A:

          I have the big water guide in L/XXL, it's extremely adjustable. I have
          about the same size chest also. I think either size would suit you.

          Answered on 10/24/2012 by Anonymous
      Displaying questions 1-7

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