A lot of folks will pick up a new piece of gear, use it once or twice and then write a review. These are helpful, but I wonder how some of these products hold up over time. About a year ago, a Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD arrived in the mail and I immediately put it to good use, so now let me tell you about this quality product, including how it has survived a year on the water.
The first thing I noticed with the Bahia Tour is that it had a lot of storage with three pockets. Each pocket has a D-ring for tethering your stuff and there is a nice anchor point on the front left. Reflecting material on the front and on the back shoulders is a nice safety feature. I chose the Mango color; in general I like bright colors for all of my safety gear. If I get in trouble I want to be easy to see and easy to find.
When I first tried the jacket on it took a few minutes to get it adjusted to the right fit, with 8 adjustment points, it is easy to get just the right fit. The front zipper is heavy duty and easy to use and the jacket is very comfortable. The high back fits perfect with the seat in my Jackson kayaks.
Tricking the Bahia Tour Out
The Bahia Tour is ready to go right off the rack, but I always add a few pieces of safety gear to my jackets.
Additional safety gear
I always have a radio and smart phone with me on the water. My Cobra HH350 VHF fits in the long pocket on the right side and I use a small Velcro strap to attach it to the D-ring.
My iphone lives in a life proof case in the left pocket.
I do a lot of night fishing for striped bass and speckled trout, so I like to add an emergency light to my PFD’s. In this case I used an ACR light I picked up at a local boating store. The light runs on two AA batteries and was easy to attach with two Velcro straps. (If you add a light to your PFD, make sure you can reach it when you are wearing the jacket.)
An emergency cutter in the left pocket and a whistle on the zipper with an s-clip and I am ready to hit the water.
A Year Later
Well after a year of hard use in fresh and salt water, I can report that the Bahia Tour has held up great. Every zipper is still as smooth as the day it arrived and all the straps and buckles are still as good as new. It is a little dirtier and it smells like fish, which is a good thing for a kayak fisherman. I have made a few changes over the last few months. First, I changed phones and an iphone 5 in a life proof case doesn’t fit well in the front pocket. I’ve moved my phone to an X mount from RAM mounts on my kayak. I have also added a Gerber River Shorty Knife to the front anchor.
One Year Old
I am super pleased with my Bahia Tour PFD, if you are looking for a quality kayak fishing PFD that will give you years of good service, give the Kokatat Bahia Tour a try.