The Astral Designs YTV is my new PFD which is replacing my good old Secumar Vivo 50 which I used for packrafting and here comes a short review. While the Astral YTV with its 798 grams is almost twice as heavy as my Secumar with its 280 grams, it has some nice additional features and is also the lightest whitewater PFD on the market.
In the attached booklet the Astral YTF is classified as a Type V PDF which is should give you a stable face-up position in calm water for a conscious wearer and is approved for use only as a substitute for a type III PFD by the U.S. Coast Guard carriage requirements. The attached booklet gives also some tips on how to survive in cold water.
The Astral YTV contains a quick access knife tab for emergency situations and there are 2 front pockets where you can store e.g. keys or snacks. Astral logo on the back site of the YTV lifejacket.
I was wearing the Astral YTV on our packrafting trip in the Swedish mountains. It was nice to paddle with it and the pockets were quite useful to store small snacks or my iPhone. Also you get a little bit more body protection than with the e.g. Secumar Vivio 50. If you are looking for a light white water PFD then the Astral Designs YTV is probably one of the best life jackets you can buy. If you are more into touring or easy river packrafting then you could also have a look at the Astral Designs V-Eight which I bought as well and would prefer over the Astral Designs YTV if I won’t paddle white water.