Astral Indus PFD | Review by Andrew Holcombe

What a PFD!  The Indus is Astral’s latest and greatest rescue vest.  The brainchild of the Astral Design crew along with Team athletes to deliver a high float life jacket that doesn’t compromise on comfort or mobility…. And did they ever deliver! 

The Indus has just over 22 pounds of flotation which is a full third more than the Greenjacket.  This provides you the peace of mind and an extra layer of safety for any in water experience.  By concentrating the foam around the midsection and applying Astral’s tectonic torso adjustment system this PFD delivers an exceptionally comfortable and mobile ride.  I’ve been using the Indus for all my paddling (freestyle, creeking, big water, etc.…) and have found it to be amazing in all those areas.  It’s a touch heavy for a true playboating vest, however the ease of paddling and ability to move while wearing it is second to none. 

An added bonus of all that foam around the midsection is extra rib protection from those side hits, if definitely has saved me from cracked ribs several times already;). Some folks might be reluctant about the absence of the clam shell pocket that has become famous with the Greenjacket.  I can tell you that I have a full pin kit (pulleys, carabiners, and prusiks) along with a skull cap, river knife and whistle in my pocket.  I’ve encountered no issues finding space for all that or feeling like my pocket was over-stuffed. 

This PFD is an ideal fit for any class V paddler, Swift-water rescue crew, or anyone that simply would like to float a little higher.  Regardless of your use be sure to understand how to use the rescue features, such as the quick-release rescue belt, if you plan to use them. At the end of the day, I feel like the Indus represents the path to the future.  It has shown that there’s no reason why we can’t have a high float package that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or mobility.  I plan to continue to wear mine as my only PFD and can’t wait to see what else this inspires from Astral.

Find the Astral Indus only at specialty paddlesports retailers.

Written by Andrew Holcombe
(Photos | Effort, Inc.)

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