MTI Adventurewear Fluid 2.0 PFD
The MTI Adventurewear Fluid 2.0 is a modern beltpack style PFD packed full of features to accommodate a wide range of paddlers. Rated by the USCG to be a Type III life vest, the MTI Fluid 2.0 has a body hugging design accentuated by a soft 3D mesh padding. The quick drying fabric offers users a more refined experience, particularly when wearing against bare skin. The Fluid 2.0 also is equipped with a zippered pocket, multiple attachment points for securing your essentials and a whistle.
The 1.5 lbs Fluid 2.0 is my favorite beltpack PFD for standup paddling. I’ve been using mine regularly for the past year and it’s well thought out design and construction is superior to any other beltpack PFD I’ve have tested. The first thing I noticed was that it fits securely, thanks in large part to the wide belt and soft, pliable construction of the Fluid 2.0’s external fabric. Unlike some beltpacks which are scratchy and difficult to conform to your waist, the MTI Fluid 2.0 fits like your favorite pair of jeans.
MTI uses a bayonet style CO2 cartridge in the Fluid 2.0, which is longer lasting than the threaded screw in CO2 cartridges. The MTI Adventurewear Fluid 2.0 also has an indicator window so you can confirm your PFD is armed prior to heading out for your paddle. When inflated, the Fluid 2.0 provides users with a full sized, over the head inflatable PFD. By comparison, some beltpack PFDs only provide a small inflatable pillow which must be securely held to remain afloat.
In addition to using the MTI Adventurewear Fluid 2.0 for SUP, I’ve worn mine for outrigger paddling in calm conditions when out with a group. The Fluid 2.0 requires minimal maintenance; I paddle almost exclusively in saltwater and always unpack it and rinse with fresh water after each use. As a result, I’ve managed to keep mine looking as good as new over the course of a year. I recommend getting into the habit of unpacking your beltpack PFD and hanging it up to dry after each use. This process will help familiarize you with how to pack the PFD and ensure it is fully dry. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is put on a damp, smelly, moldy PFD. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.
If you’re looking for something a bit more compact, I recommend trying the MTI SUP Safety Belt. It has the same bladder as the Fluid 2.0, but in a more compact package.