Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PFD Review: The Astral YTV

Katie takes a look at the lightweight life jacket, the YTV by Astral 

“Simple by design” the YTV by Astral is a PFD made for life on the water. With a comfortable, lightweight construction, it’s great for dinghy sailors or buoy racers who like to wear a PFD.

Made with just what you need and nothing you don’t, it has two easy to use side straps, two small shoulder straps for an easy over the head design and two small pockets on either side.

One thing that sets it apart from other life jackets is the integrated waist belt. Typically found underneath the foam, on the YTV is integrated into the floatation with a mesh/fleecy material covering it. This doesn’t add any additional length to the vest and makes it more comfortable.

After trying on just about every Coast Guard Approved vest we have in the store, I found it was noticeably lighter than all other options. If you are looking for a lot of storage the YTV might not be for you.

The two side pockets aren’t going to fit much more than a whistle, chapstick and a small granola bar. If you’re not into putting everything you possibly can into a life jacket pocket this shouldn’t be an issue.

Overall it’s a great PFD for anyone looking for Coast Guard Approved floatation without the bulk.

 Editor Note: Although Coast Guard approved, it is approved as a Type V because of its pullover design.


  1. You point out that it sits very low. How would it do when wearing a trap harness? Specifically the Ronstan Racing Trapeze Harness RFCL11. Does it interfere with the hook?

  2. Hi Dustin,
    Great question! I tried on the two together and found that it actually works really well. I was surprised that the integrated waistband actually makes a pretty significant difference. There was a good inch of space between the end of the vest and the hook (compared to ones without this feature where the two were touching).