NRS Vista Type III Personal Flotation Device
NRSVista Type III Personal Flotation Device

Stay safe without breaking the bank.

The NRS Vista Personal Flotation Device includes large pockets and excellent flotation for a safe river trip and comes at a low cost that leaves you money for the shuttle. Plus this PFD is PVC-free. The type III flotation keeps your head above water if you take an unexpected swim and have to run a rapid sans boat (watch out for the rocks). NRS included two large cargo pockets to hold your flip line, snacks, and sunscreen. Seven adjustment points ensure a comfortable, secure fit.

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Great Jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I purchased this item for use on kayaks in the Utah area. We have had the chance to take this out on a number of occasions and it has been a great purchase. Light weight, adjustable for a range of sizes, doesn't cause chafing when paddling, and isn't bulky. We are fond of the pockets this style offers as well although they have not been used for anything more than a car key so far. Should be a great addition to our water sport collection for years to come.

Solid PFD

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

well made PFD, could use an additional pocket. Bright color easy to spot whilst floating down the river.


  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Excellent price, and vest feels very comfortable.
Love the pockets!


  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

The NRS vista is simple, very comfortable, and really buoyant. The pockets have been very useful for storing my valables (obviously not waterproof, but works well with a small wet sac).

i wear a size xl shirt comfortably what is a good size for this pfd

Hey Caleb,

I would probably go for a XXL. If you have a chest measurement that would be more accurate to gauge on. Shoot me an email directly. If we get you the wrong size on the first try we can swap you out for a different size.

Eric Watford

Expert Gearhead


NRS Vista Rundown

Colorado River Fun

If your short a PFD, get one! You don't get much better for the price so if you just scored that 2 day raft trip put your order in now. These do work for Kayaking but if thats your primary use put down the extra dough for a PFD with more range of motion.

Colorado River Fun

Howard's Plunge, Payette River, ID

Family paddle boat trip- three Vista Life jackets and one old high float.

Howard's Plunge, Payette River, ID

Hi, I'm trying to decide between the NRS...


I'm trying to decide between the NRS Vista and Clearwater. I am a recreational kayaker/canoer and tired of the conventional PFDs that restrict movement and feel uncomfortable when in my kayak. What are the main differences I should consider between these two PFDs? I see there's a slight difference in adjustment points and cost and a significant difference in warranty.



Best Answer


The Clearwater is likely going to be a more comfortable PFD due to the mesh back and higher rear flotation. As a result, you'll find the Clearwater allows for more freedom of movement and doesn't add bulk behind you on a high rise seat of the kayak. Also the front flotation is not as high/bulky to prevent restrictive movement as well. The Vista is also a great PFD, that has a more durable fabric (Vista is 450 denier and Clearwater is 200 denier PU coated).

Teen User

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My 16 year old, 180 lb, son uses this and really likes it. Has more than enough lift and fits properly with no inconvenient rise when landing in water. We kayak regularly (1 -2 times per week) and he reports no rubbing on arms, chest, or back. Says he really likes it and would recommend to others. Priced right for quality, normal wear and tear occurs as expected.

NRS Vista

Comfy and cheap

NRS Vista

Big bang for your buck

    I used this LJ for my first and most of my second years of commercial guiding and recreational kayaking on the colorado before upgrading to a more expensive but heavier duty Astral PFD. This jacket will not last as long as some of the more expensive ones I have owned and used but is very comfortable and versatile. The large, easy-to-access pockets were very nice and the placement of the knife holder kept it out of the way better than some other jackets. The zippered front entrance was is very convenient if your find yourself taking the jacket on and off but though I never had a problem with it unzipping when I didn't want it to, I have come to prefer the security of a side-clip or bottom entrance type PFD (which would be a pain if you are constantly removing and putting it on). The material gets more and more comfy as you use it but it does rub a tiny bit on your inner biceps but never enough to irritate the skin. You typically get the durability you pay for but after almost 2 hard seasons of abuse I still use it to occasionally "sponsor" friends that don't have their own gear. Again great jacket for the money.

    NRS Vista Personal Flotation Device

    Great vest

      Took it out for the first time down a class 3, got knocked in the water a few times and it worked great to keep me above the water. Solid construction and highly adjustable so any shape can get a good tight and safe fit.

      Pretty Good

        Pretty nice for the price. We got a bunch for our instruction program and they seem to be working well. Easy to adjust, dourable ect.

        If I was going to get a personal PFD I would go with something that was a bit more comfy. Like the Astral Willis..if you have the cash.

        Great Life Jacket!

          I do whitewater kayaking on Class 2-4 and this jacket has suited me well so far. :) Very Please with NRS.

          Which one should I get or are they similar....

          Which one should I get or are they similar. The Vista Life ofrthe Clearwater. I want to fish in the kayak and need the one more comfortable. Judy

          The Clearwater's back flotation is up high and the lower back is just mesh while the Vista has the flotation up the whole back. The Clearwater is designed specifically for kayaking. If you don't kayak, there's really no need to get the Clearwater.

          They are both for kayaking. The clearwater has a mesh lower back for use in touring boats with a high seat. So the flotation is moved up to your shoulders. If you are fishing I would think the clearwater would be more comfy if your seat back comes up high. But both should work.

          Is this vest light weight and good for the...

          Is this vest light weight and good for the beginner. also is this good for men or women or both?

          Best Answer

          It depends on what activity you're doing with it. This jacket is relatively lightweight and is a simple, no frills jacket. It would work well for rafting, whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, sailing, or just about any other boating you might be interested. This jacket is a unisex jacket so it will fit both men and women well, however women may be more comfortable in a jacket with a little more sculpting like the Kokatat MsFit.

          Technically it is unisex but a few larger-breasted friends of mine say it is a little restrictive and prefer the woman specific PFDs. The jacket is light weight (actually lighter wet than the one I use now when wet) and is a great beginner jacket.