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  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD (alternate image)
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD (alternate image)
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD (alternate image)
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD (alternate image)

NRS Zen Rescue PFD

Item: 40030.01 | Product Description »

$189.95

  (19) | Write a Review | Ask a Question | 22 Questions

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Type V PFD. The NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket is a great choice for paddlers and guides who want a great fitting, comfortable PFD with swiftwater rescue features like a quick-release belt.
  • This jacket, based on the popular NRS Ninja Life Jacket, has 17.5 pounds of PVC-free flotation.
  • It is so low profile and comfortable you'll forget you have it on, until you need it.
  • The 1 1/2" quick-release rescue belt, with stainless steel attachment ring, gives you the safety you need for detaching easily from a rope or other anchor point.
  • Reinforced shoulders take the strain of rescue maneuvers.
  • Front floating panel gives a better fit and a quick-drying VaporLoft™-lined place to warm your hands when it's cold.
  • Padded protection along the arm holes and sides of the jacket provide crucial impact protection.
  • Convenient side entry for easy donning of the jacket.
  • Large front pocket for rescue gear you want close at hand.
  • Large pouch, with hook-and-loop closures, behind hand warmers holds additional rescue gear.
  • Carabiner attachment loop for end of a tow tether has a convenient release tab.
  • Strobe attachment loop on the back of the jacket for use in low-light situations.
  • Lash tab for your rescue knife.
  • Four side and two shoulder adjustments for a custom fit.
  • This jacket carries the US Coast Guard Certification, through testing by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • 500-denier Cordura® shell wears like iron.
The NRS Zen Rescue PFD is not available to ship to Mexico.

Product Reviews

  (19)

Related Videos

  • video: Find Your Zen: NRS Zen Rescue PFD
    Find Your Zen: NRS Zen Rescue PFD
    Length:1:01
  • video: NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket
    NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket
    Length:1:55
  • 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: V
Profile: Low
Design Flotation: 17.5 lbs.
Outer Fabric: 500-denier Cordura®
Entry System: Side buckle
Pockets:
  • 1 - Front
Lash Tabs:
  • 1 - Front
Adjustment System:
  • 4 - Side
  • 2 - Shoulder
Features:
  • 1 1/2" quick-release rescue belt
  • Reinforced shoulder straps
  • Padded impact protection on arm holes and sides
  • Back strobe attachment point
  • Tow tether carabiner attachment loop
  • VaporLoft™ hand warmer pouch
  • US Coast Guard Certification
Size Chest
S/M 31"-37"
L/XL 38"-44"
XXL 45"-51"

video: Find Your Zen: NRS Zen Rescue PFD

Find Your Zen: NRS Zen Rescue PFD (1:01)

Mind. Body. River. We designed the NRS Zen Rescue PFD with the philosophy that a Type V rescue life jacket shouldnt feel like a Type V rescue life jacket. That comfort and usability can coexist with toughness and safety. With an ergonomic fit for freedom of movement and refined features for flawless utility, the low-profile Zen becomes one with you so you can be one with the river.

video: NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket

NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket (1:55)

The NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket is a great choice for paddlers and guides who want a great fitting, comfortable PFD with swiftwater rescue features like a quick-release belt.

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 Zen Rescue PFD
 
4.3

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Comfortable (6)
  • Adjustable (3)
  • Durable (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Paddling (6)
  • Kayak / canoe / rafting (3)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      60% 

      (3 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Intermediate (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

pro vest

I use this as a whitewater vest. I am a big guy XXL. I have been kayaking and raft-guiding a long time, since the late 70's. Lately I mostly paddle class...Read complete review

I use this as a whitewater vest. I am a big guy XXL. I have been kayaking and raft-guiding a long time, since the late 70's. Lately I mostly paddle class 2-3-4 in an IK. I have been through many PFD's and over the years and I have been on and off about the rescue vests. I have usually had current swiftwater rescue 1 but anymore I dont keep it current as a semi retired private boater. The rescue vests are usually heavier and hotter, but seem to be a bit more durable overall.

This vest is extremely comfortable, and not overly heavy for a rescue vest. It has super adjustment features and I particularily like the adjustable shoulder straps. It has so many features I cant list it all but some ones I have noticed are whistle attachment and knife attachement are both right on placement wise.

The side-buckles seemed a little weird at first but after 1 day I was used to them and they work fine.

Took a little dip down on Pilar Racecourse last Saturday goofing around on sleeping beauty, and The vest stayed in place well during this class 2 swim. It seems kind of bulky when you look at it in the store, but its not that way at all when worn.

Overall imho, this is the best vest of this type you can get right now. I tried on Astral, kokotat, Stohlquist, and another NRS PFD, the bigwater guide, and several other non-rescue vests and decided this vest was definately worth the extra bit of money.

If the red looks pink to you on the NRS website you are not alone. I hoped when it said red it meant red and it is red, not pink at all.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Worst PFD ever

It is impossible to adjust. It rides up so hard plastic parts dig into my armpits making it very painful to wear. The vest pinches places it just shouldn't. Too much bulk in...Read complete review

It is impossible to adjust. It rides up so hard plastic parts dig into my armpits making it very painful to wear. The vest pinches places it just shouldn't. Too much bulk in the front making it impossible to buckle so must be used as a pull over vest.

Reviewed by 19 customers

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3.0

goof fit. easy movement. handy pockets

By will

from oregon

Verified Buyer

Comments about NRS Zen Rescue PFD:

good fit. easy movement. side buckles a little hard to reach. should come with cow tail.

 
5.0

What I expected

By Justin

from CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about NRS Zen Rescue PFD:

Fits well and has plenty of adjustments to make it very snug as you need it to be. Has a nice little stretchy lanyard in the chest pocket that a whistle connects to which is very convenient. Good PFD I am happy after it's first trip of 7 days on the Salmon River.

 
5.0

well worth the money!!

By ekrostik

from Grants Pass Oregon

Verified Buyer

Comments about NRS Zen Rescue PFD:

just ran the river this weekend and got to use my new Zen pfd. very cumfy fit nice and snug. was behind the pattles all day and was well pleased with the jacket. felt safe almost forgot I was wearing it. would recomend this to any serious paddler.

 
1.0

Worst PFD ever

By Eddyflower

from spokane, wa

Verified Reviewer

Comments about NRS Zen Rescue PFD:

It is impossible to adjust. It rides up so hard plastic parts dig into my armpits making it very painful to wear. The vest pinches places it just shouldn't. Too much bulk in the front making it impossible to buckle so must be used as a pull over vest.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent vest

By mbh

from MA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about NRS Zen Rescue PFD:

Very comfortable, fits well and stays in place.
Replaced my astral green vest.
A great replacement

I like that the quick release is in front and not on the side were it bumps your hand.
I wish it had as many pockets as the green vest.
I bought the L/XL and feel like I could have gone down in size but will like the extra room in the winter when I have a dry suit and multiple layers.
Used it for multiple WW rescues - worked well

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Do you have questions about this product?

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

22 Questions | 58 Answers
Displaying questions 1-10Previous | Next »
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Hi. I seem to be kind of in between on sizing. I am a male who is 5'4 1/2, 139 pounds and about 37" chest. I usually wear a dry too or a dry suit underneath. Would you suggest the small/medium of large/extra large.
    Thanks
    Chris
    Asked on 6/19/2015 by Chris from United States

    4 answers

    • CUSTOMER CARE

      A:

      I'd recommend the S/M. The L/XL will leave you with a lot of extra strap length that can get in the way.

      Answered on 6/22/2015 by Kyle from NRS
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I'm 5'10 170lbs & the L/XL fits me pretty good with a drysuit or wetsuit. My guess is that the S/M would fit you, but that's just a guess.
      Cheers
      Sent from my iPad

      Answered on 6/19/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Small/medium at 5'11th and 225 I still have plenty of adjustment on my
      large/extra large, even with a dry top and under garments on

      Answered on 6/19/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I was in between sizes also, I went to the bigger size. Has worked out
      fine. You can always cinch down, you can't make straps longer though if
      it's too small.

      Answered on 6/19/2015 by Anonymous
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    I'm having second thoughts between this life jackets and Astral GJ. I work as a Raft guide and Trip leader on rivers up to class III and class IV/V.
    What would you recommend?
    Asked on 3/29/2015 by Karabaja

    8 answers

    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Purchased mine last fall. Stays out of the way very well and is
      comfortable. Beefy chest flotation helped lift me out of the bottom of the
      river once already. Enjoy.

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I have used the NRS Zen pfd on class II and III also working as a raft guide. I also got into a bit of WW kayaking as well. The Zen has performed well in both styles of running the river. I chose the Zen over the GJ mainly by the price point and the floatation. I wanted to pack as much floatation as I could into a low profile vest. This was pretty much exactly what I had in mind, in addition to the benefit of having swift water rescue features built in. I have had no huge issues with the vest so far. Main complaints include knife lashtab location. If you're chucking a lot of rubber with the vest on and you run with an NRS pilot knife, there's a chance the knife sheath or handle could catch and either break the sheath or rip the tab. Alternatives could include attaching the knife somehow on the shoulder straps. If you use a cowtail/tow leash, make sure you're aware of the entanglement hazard you could present yourself with. Make sure you know what you're doing before adding those features to your vest. Otherwise, I love the vest and would highly recommend it.

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Perhaps my experience with the NRS Zen can help you with your decision
      making process one way or another. I have had this pfd for over a year now
      and have used it to paddle my recreation kayak, paddle ohiopyle in an
      inflatable, and I am part of a swift water rescue team. I too, considered
      both of the vests you currently are and here was my rationale, all things
      considered, besides actual fit/comfort which is basically impossible to
      judge by looking at a picture, the GJ has two different features: the
      throwback pouch and the dynema loop. In my opinion neither of these
      features are going to be of spectacular benefit since the throwbag that
      fits in there is tiny. You being a raft guide probably know it is difficult
      to effectively throw one of those and get your target, especially a tiny
      one with little mass to carry it. Ultimately what made my decision for me
      is that with the zen, you are paying 60 dollars less and getting more
      flotation, which is obviously very important especially in whitewater where
      there is aeration reducing the buoyancy of your vest. I can also attest
      that the type V rescue harness releases clean and quick and I have never
      had mine hang up yet. The release for the zen is in the front of the vest
      which is readily accessible where as the GJ is on the side. If the harness
      doesn't release, typically plan b is to get your thumbs under that belt and
      press out helping that harness off you, looking at the GJ, I see that being
      very difficult and it also looks difficult to even cut the belt if it came
      down to it. I was just in a pool doing defensive rescue tactics with other
      rescuers as victims, our vest assortment was the NRS Rapid Rescuer, the
      Stearns VRS and I had on the Zen. I felt completely comfortable in this
      vest even when aggressively swimming after or trying to be pushed under by
      a victim. I hope my experience helps you make a decision and if you have
      any more questions feel free to post another comment and I'll try and
      respond.
      "I'm having second thoughts between this life jackets and Astral GJ. I work
      as a Raft guide and Trip leader on rivers up to class III and class IV/V.
      What would you recommend?"

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by Dean from Pittsburgh, Pa
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Don't have any experience with the Astral, and my time with this vest is
      limited to Kayaking. So far I love it...... lots of adjustments to get
      that perfect fit and feel. Pockets are nice, and the vest is comfortable
      as far as PFD's go. It's not the "I forgot I was wearing it" life vest,
      but it is pretty comfortable, and seems to have just enough pockets and
      extras to be worth the price to me.

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by WB from Farimount, GA
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Both the NRS Zen and Astral GJ are great PFD'S. In the end it comes down to personal preference. I know a lot of people who paddle with the GJ and love them. The only complaint I have heard is that the front pocket zipper has broken on a few. From my experience Astral is a more popular brand so you will see more Green Jackets on the river than Zens. I personally paddle with a NRS Zen it it has done great for me. It has plenty of storage for a full pin kit and I also like having the pockets you can warm your hands in when I am raft guiding. The only problem I have with the Zen is the placement of the knife lash tab. If you put a knife on it it will get caught on everything. After losing two knifes due to it getting caught while raft guiding I ended up mounting it on the shoulder strap of the PFD and haven't had any problems since. Another thing I like about the Zen is having the side entry on it. The best advice I can give you is to just get one and try it because you won't know if you like one or the other until you try them on the river. As far as flotation they both do great if you end up in water. I do like that the Zen has a little bulkier flotation on the front though.
      Sent from my iPhone

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by Ben from Oregon
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I don't know anything about the Astral GJ, but I do own the NRS Zen Rescue and I do really like it. It offers a good range of motion for swimming or in your case paddling. I put a NRS knife on it. And it has pockets which I am sure would be good for your positions. It's made well and comfortable, with a decent amount of adjustments. The only thing about it I would like to change, is that it is quite bulky in the front, which I am sure it required for the flotation requirement. But for small/skinny people, it isn't an issue, but if you are a larger individuals or barrel chested, it could hinder you. Oh and the pockets for your hands are kind of a cool benefit (I use them quite often). I use this as a Swift Water Rescue Vest. Hope this helps.

      Answered on 3/30/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Hi, I´m from Mexico and I bought my NRS Zen 3 months ago and I feel really
      safe with it.
      I run the rivers on a wavesport project 52 and I feel absolutely free of
      maneuver and it is so comfortable that sometimes I forget I´m wearing it.
      Nice day,
      Fernando

      Answered on 3/31/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      A lot of quides and professionals have stopped using astral for different
      reasons the quick release can buckle is on the side and doesn't make it
      ambidextrous I purchased a zen over 2 years ago and am completely happy it
      is extremely comfortable and have never had issues on the water.

      Answered on 4/1/2015 by Anonymous
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Being taller than most kayakers (6'6"), I wonder about the adjustability of this PFD for torso length. Are there any tall folks who have personal experience adjusting and wearing this PFD?
    Asked on 3/27/2015 by Pee Wee from United States

    4 answers

    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I'm 6'5" and this PFD has been awesome for me as a whitewater guide for two
      seasons now. The shoulder straps come with plenty of extra length so it
      doesn't ride up on my chest.

      Answered on 3/27/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Hey! I am 6'1" and there's a ton of room left in the straps. No issues with the torso length here.

      Answered on 3/27/2015 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I'm not 6'6" but I'm pretty sure it would fit. The shoulder straps
      adjust quite a bit to allow it to fit your waist. Kind of depends on
      torso length. I'm 6' and have the shoulder straps as short as possible.
      Good luck

      Answered on 3/27/2015 by Healthy Hardy from Bend, Oregon
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I still have 9 inches left on the strap to drop the vest down on my torso further if that helps. I am almost 5'10" tall and made sure the jacket was centered on upper torso section where it is supposed to be.

      Answered on 3/29/2015 by Tom-Salmon River, Pulaski from Syracuse,NY
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Hey, I am a 5"3 115lbs female with a DD bra size. I really want a pfd of this style, with not super wide straps because it makes me feel super bulky by my face which is hard to find because my shorter tourso. I currently have the astral abba and it works great; just feels bulky near my face. My only concern is that I have read reviews on the Zen that for girls taller and heavier the S/M is still too big. What do you think ? Or do you have any recommendations ?
    Asked on 3/18/2015 by Mary

    3 answers

    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Unfortunately no. 6' 1" 240 lb male. Can't help with your question but I
      love this jacket.

      Answered on 3/18/2015 by Veritas from Payette River
    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      Mary, the Zen has the same torso length as your Abba and similar width shoulder straps. The Astral Greenjacket is a couple of inches taller in the back, again with similar width shoulder straps. All three jackets list a 31"-37" chest size for the S/M. You can give the Zen a try, returns/exchanges are easy and free. You can also check to see if a dealer in your area has one to try on - https://www.nrs.com/services/dealerlocator.asp

      Answered on 3/18/2015 by Clyde from NRS
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I am sorry but I can't help you much with that, I bought this item for my sister in law, she is petite size and small breast and kind of long neck, never heard any complaints about it. Looking at the design in the picture, it makes me think that it won't be on your face, I know what you are talking about.I wish I could help you better. Good luck.
      Rosa ♪

      Answered on 3/19/2015 by Anonymous
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Hi - where in Seattle can I go to try on an NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket? Alternatively, what is your return policy?

    Thanks
    Asked on 6/29/2014 by Mandy from Seattle

    1 answer

    • CUSTOMER CARE

      A:

      Mandy, Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Townsend is the closest carrier of PFDs. Retail customers can use our Hassle-Free returns, found under the Customer Service tab on our website.

      Answered on 6/30/2014 by Anonymous
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Ive read the sizing guide, im 45-45 1/2 at the chest. can I sneak by with a L/XL or do I really have to go with the xxl? im afraid it would be too big..its for canoeing.
    Asked on 5/2/2014 by John from Chicago

    5 answers

    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      John, the foam platforms for the different sizes of the jacket are the same. The difference is in the lengths of the adjustment strap. I suggest you go with the XXL so you'll have plenty of room for adding bulkier layers and any after-the-holidays expansions!

      Answered on 5/2/2014 by Clyde from NRS
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Go with the XL, the shoulder straps are fairly long so it will sit a little
      high on your chest. It depends what you like

      Answered on 5/2/2014 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Its hard to say for sure. My chest is 43-44 inches. It seems to me that there is enough room for your chest brand new while it is still stiff. Once it is broke in I think there should be even more room. Plus NRS has a great return policy. If it were me I would try the L/XL first. If you think it is too snug simply return it and order the larger one.  

      Answered on 5/2/2014 by Craigster from Pueblo,Co
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I have a 43 inch chest and have plenty of extra length left in the straps. I'd go with the large/extra large model. It's a good size jacket and actually pretty big on me.

      Answered on 5/4/2014 by Tom-Salmon River, Pulaski from Syracuse,NY
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      My chest is about 43 inches and I have the L/XL. There is plenty of length left in the straps so I would go with the L/XL.
      Sent from my iPhone

      Answered on 5/8/2014 by Ben from Oregon
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    If I am right on the upper edge of a s/m including bust, should I bump up to the next size to allow for clothing?
    Asked on 4/27/2014 by hrglyde from Leadville, CO

    5 answers

    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      Depending on what you're doing. SRT tech and drysuit purpose I would
      move up. Adjustability is great so if it is a little big you can shrink
      it down. If Rafting and warm weather just wearing a bathing suit i would
      stay with the size you are used to. I love mine for Search and Rescue
      swiftwater using a drysuit and no shirt with Flyboard !!

      Answered on 4/27/2014 by Healthy Hardy from Bend, Oregon
    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      The real difference in sizes is the length of the adjustment straps. If you're planning on bulky clothes, go up a size.

      Answered on 4/27/2014 by Clyde from NRS
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I would certainly recommend bumping up a size. The Zen belting system allows to size down. I am a Large on the cusp and opted for the XL. I have been very pleased with my decision. Also it allows me to size up for after the holiday season!

      Answered on 4/27/2014 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      yes.

      Answered on 4/27/2014 by Anonymous
    • VERIFIED BUYER

      A:

      I like the larger size approach, my experience is this type of pfd adjusts
      down easily.

      Answered on 4/27/2014 by DougM from pdx
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Where is this product made?
    Asked on 3/21/2014 by Matthew from Fitchburg,MA

    1 answer

    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      It's made in Asia, Matthew.

      Answered on 3/21/2014 by Clyde from NRS
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    When will the 2014 model be available for purchase?
    Asked on 3/5/2014 by Nathan from Canada

    1 answer

    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      Nathan, there are no changes in the Zen for the US/Canadian market for 2014. Presently, an effort is underway to merge the US and Canadian life jacket certification systems into one standard. The latest information we have is that jackets carrying that dual approval will be available in the fall of 2015, or spring of 2016 at the latest. Until then the jacket will carry the US Coast Guard certification.

      Answered on 3/6/2014 by Clyde from NRS
  • NRS Zen Rescue PFD

    Q:

    Is this pfd Canadian Coast Guard approved?
    Asked on 1/5/2014 by Lori from Canada

    1 answer

    • Staff Reviewer

      A:

      No, Lori, at this time it just has the US Coast Guard certification.

      Answered on 1/6/2014 by Clyde from NRS
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