Hey everyone! I’m here to write my review of the the Astral YTV lifejacket! This PFD brings a whole new meaning to lightweight and range of motion in a PFD. It is the king of freestyle and high performance with its minimalist design. It weighs under two pounds, so it’s like you’re not wearing anything at all, yet you get all the necessary buoyancy (16.4 lbs) of a lifejacket. When you tighten down the six straps, it conforms to your body and feels like it’s a part of your torso.
Another reason why the YTV is my go-to freestyle PFD is because it is a great fit for women, and it easily adjusts at the sides and shoulders to get the perfect fit for any size. It comes in three sizes so it can fit virtually any paddler. I have been a fan of Astral mainly because their lifejackets are always made to be unisex, and the YTV is no exception. I have had other brands of lifejackets, but they just don’t fit on me as well as Astral does. They keep women in mind when designing their products which is always neat to see. With that said, the YTV is also a perfect choice for all the male boaters out there!
Plus, the YTV doesn’t break the bank. You get a lot for the price. It is super durable, and you get the high quality material that you would expect from an Astral product. They have never disappointed and their products have always been excellent, and the YTV is a reflection of this.
The YTV is a great choice for newer paddlers, for flatwater, for the pool this winter, or for the high level freestyle paddlers who are trying to shed some weight when throwing down. However, I don’t bring this PFD on more difficult. It’s hard to beat it when it comes to the areas I just mentioned, but it lacks the features to be able to rely on it in rescue situations. I would recommend the Greenjacket for those harder runs.
My favorite part of the YTV is the big pockets on either side. They are out of the way, so you don’t have to worry about rubbing your arms against bulging pockets. But they are roomy enough to stash all the essentials; snacks (most importantly), noseplugs, ear plugs, whistle etc. The pockets also have a loop inside of them to clip a biner into if you needed to.
My only complaint I have for the YTV is the color options, which I know has been shared by many other reviewers. It comes it black, blue, and yellow, which isn’t horrible, but those paddlers, like myself, who are all about the color coordinating, might have trouble deciding which one to go with.
It’s hard to pass up all the other great parts of the lifejacket over the colors though. I highly recommend the YTV to anyone looking for a lifetime freestyle companion.