Russell Gartner joined Outdoor Prolink as a Wildland Firefighter about 5 years ago. He also seeks thrills in sports such as rafting, biking, and semi-professional whitewater kayaking. Remote adventures in Class V+ whitewater catapulted him into freelance writing to document adventures all over the world. Kayaking, particularly Class V whitewater is his passion and he feels very strongly about its challenges and how they relate into the real word. Other important things in his life are his wife Lindsay, his two sons, and his new lumber company that he built from scratch. He says, “I’ve seen a bumper sticker that reads ‘My weekends are better than your vacations,’ mine should read, ‘My life is better than your vacation!'”
The Astral Norge life jacket belongs in the gorge! With the comfy fit and easy-on, easy-off front zipper feature you’re sure to be wearing it when it counts because it’s so easy to use. I did not have a swim in the Norge but I can tell you the flotation is made from a comfy and conforming Kapok sure to deliver when it counts.
Though this jacket is well-suited for novice kayaking, it does fall short in advanced applications. If you are seeking a vest for advanced kayaking this is not the vest for you. Geared toward rafting, boating, SUP-ing, fishing, intermediate kayaking, and water play, this vest is sure to be a good bang for the buck. Honestly though, the best part of the vest is it is not made from nasty chemicals but rather organic Kapok fiber.
- The handwarmers are surrounded by fleecy goodness and bring back memories of being warm!
- I really liked the knife protection pocket, it is easy to access your river knife and the blade secures in its sheath behind the outer layer of the vest so it doesn’t get caught on stuff, break off, and get lost.
- For as puffy as it is (think flotation) it conforms quite well and you don’t notice the flotation that will help you in the event of a swim.
- The cordura fabric, based on years of good use out of previous Astral vests, is like a durable familiar old friend that will last for years to come! I have an Astral 300 Rescue vest from about 2010 that is still in service!
Grab yourself a paddle, zip up and snip snap the Norge because it’s summer and it’s time to rock!