The Stohlquist Rocker PFD Review

Gear, Life Jackets/PFD's
bobby@coloradokayak.com

 

The Stohlquist Rocker PFD Review

 

Stohlquist has been building PFD’s for as long as there’s been whitewater kayaking it seems. Models like the BRIK, Wedge-E and X-tract were, and still are staples in many a whitewater kayakers gear bag. Recently, Stohlquist launched a few “new era” life jackets that have increased mobility, more bells and whistles, and an updated appearance. The Stohlquist Rocker was designed to be used for  whitewater kayaking,  as well as sailing, stand up paddling, and just about any occasion that you may want a high mobility, high flotation type III PFD. Here are some details on the Rocker:

Specs:

Stohlquist_Rocker_PFD_Review_Specs

Pros:

  • VALUE: This is one of the top selling points of the Rocker PFD. The price : feature (and build quality) ratio is very high. Comparable jackets out there cost up to 1/3 more. You will be hard pressed to find a better PFD for $139.95.
  • FEATURES: Again, the amount of quality features found on this life jacket, in proportion to the cost is outstanding. Even taking value out of the equation, the Rocker is still an awesome PFD; it’s packed to the brim with useful features. The shoulder straps are built with padded ballistic nylon, and make portaging (or shoulder carrying) a boat more comfortable. There are spacious front pockets – one of them is made of mesh and can hold a 12 oz. can, and the other is a zipper pocket with a lanyard for keys, etc…The adjustment tabs are abundant and functional. The Gripp-Loc interior keeps the Rocker on tight, and does not let it ride up. The Wrapture (TM) shaped torso is ergonomically articulated to move with your body. The Stohlquist Rocker is the type of PFD that makes you forget that you are wearing one (similar to the NRS Ninja).
  • MOBILITY: The rocker is a new era PFD, designed with mobility in mind. The Wrapture shaped torso combined with the full mobility shoulders work well. Stand up paddlers, and freestyle kayakers will like being able to move their arms and upper torso with ease.
  • QUALITY: The Rocker is built with 500 denier Cordura® shell & 200 denier oxford liner. The YKK zipper is top of the line, and the 3M reflective piping is a nice touch. Even compared to other PFD’s on the market that cost a bit more, the Rocker gives some stout competition…
  • APPEARANCE: The Rocker is a good looking PFD that comes in cool colors (red, mango, black). It has sleek lines, and looks like it costs a lot more than it does. Do you see a running theme here? The Rocker compares against life jackets that cost more…It is a heck of a value.
Stohlquist_Rocker_Portage_Shoulders
Balistic Nylon portage straps and 3M reflective piping are nice touches on the shoulder straps.
Stohlquist_Rocker_PFD_Review_Cinch_Harness
YKK zipper with a fastex buckle for redundancy.
Stohlquist_Rocker_PFD_Review_Side_Adjustments.jpg
3 adjustment straps, and the Gripp Loc interior for a tight fit. The Descent will not ride up when you are swimming in the water.
Stohlquist_Rocker_PFD_Review_back.jpg
The Wrapture shaped torso creates an ergonomic fit.

Cons:

  • NOT A RESCUE PFD: The Rocker is not compatible with any rescue system. It would be nice if it had loops on it for a 2″ rescue belt and tether…then you would have the best of both worlds. The Descent is the rescue version of the Rocker – so check that one out if you want a good value for a rescue PFD.

The Verdict:

Value, features, comfort and style define the Stohlquist Rocker PFD. This is a great multi use vest for the consumer that spends time doing a variety of river based activities (SUP, kayaking, tubing, river surfing, etc) – and does not want to break the bank. It’s available in some good looking colors, and will last for quite a while. With the new Wrapture ergonomic design, the Stohlquist Rocker is one of the best life jackets in it’s class.

2 thoughts on “The Stohlquist Rocker PFD Review

  1. Rian Culligan

    Haven’t seen the Rocker in blue. Is that a new color for 2013?

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      Actually it is available in Black.Sorry, that was a typo.

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