Gear Review: Mustang Minimalist Belt Pack PFD
No one likes to wear a big bulky chest PDF when they’re paddling flatwater. Mustang Survival has created the Minimalist Belt Pack PFD which is the perfect solution. It fits snugly around the waist, without the bulkiness of some other waist belts while offering the layer of protection you need when paddling because even when paddling flatwater, you should wear a PDF.
The Minimalist Belt Pack fits comfortably around the waist with Molle webbing, and it clips easily with a plastic belt buckle. The belt pack is inflated manually with an assist from a CO2 cartridge.To inflate the PFD, simply pull the yellow ripcord. The user can top off the air with the manual tube. The PFD offers 18.9 lbs of buoyancy when properly deployed, which exceeds the minimum requirement of buoyancy required by the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada. We like how easy it is to repack the belt pack with the velcro stripe to keep it secure. The pack material has a certain amount of give which makes packing easy.
We took the belt pack out on Chatfield Reservoir in the Denver Metro area; it’s a popular spot during the warm weather months to get on the water for paddlers, fisherman, or general water enthusiasts. The belt pack fits comfortably around the waist. We like the compact design so the belt pack does not feel like an innertube around your waist like some other waist belts. To inflate the PFD, pull the yellow ripcord to inflate the PFD. This is a simple process with the CO2 cartridge. When the ripcord is pulled, there is a loud whoosh sound as the PDF inflates, so be prepared. We particularly like how easy it is to repack the belt pack with the velcro stripe to keep it secure. The pack material has a certain amount of give which makes packing easy.
Overall, the Mustang Minimalist Belt Pack provides the safety you need while paddling flatwater, while fitting comfortably. It retails for $109.99, and comes in Admiral Gray or Azure (Blue).