It’s been another super-busy week at the shop but I had a chance to sneak away for a few hours to visit some of our local paddlesport manufacturers this past Tuesday. We’re lucky to have the headquarters of our friends at MTI Adventurewear just up the street. Owners Lili and Gordon Colby have been strong supporters of KayakDave.com and our Duct Tape Kayak Project over the years and it was high time that I paid them a visit to see what they have cooking for 2015!
Remember, we’re still a good 10 days out from the annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City. This typically marks the unofficial “launch point” of next years’ product lines for many outdoor gear companies and most keep their skunk-works projects under lock and key until the market opens. However, Lili and I agreed that it might be fun to bend the “rules” a little bit so she granted KayakDave.com full access to their secret showroom and permission to post this exclusive sneak peak of the MTI Adventurewear 2015 PFDs!!!
MTI has been busy making a number of great changes to their wonderful line of life jackets. One of their major focuses for 2015 is to pay more attention to the ladies who love watersports. They obtained exclusive approval from the USCG to manufacture some of their life jackets in four new colors including: coral, berry, periwinkle and sky. They also introduced their new, tropical-inspired “Cabrie Print” on the Moxie life jacket. The way that the panels are cut makes every vest unique! I also liked the look of the coral fabric on the simple and affordable (yet surprisingly comfortable) Reflex PFD. We use the youth model for our rental jackets at the shop and I’m sure the kids in our latest SUP camp (ten, 8-to-14-year-old girls) would have loved the option of coral/berry-colored vests over the “boy-blue” variety that we made them wear!
The designers at MTI also added a few new features to improve functionality. The most inventive is their “Daisy Chain Attachment System” now found on a number of models including the Moxie, PFDiva, and Slipstream. These climber-inspired webbing loops offer a great place to secure various accessories such as lights, whistles and other do-dads to your PFD. I’m especially impressed with the technical changes made to the Slipstream PFD. We had a chance to review this great life jacket last year and now it’s even better thanks to the addition of a radio loop to accept a larger VHS radio on the outside of the front pocket (thanks for listening to our feedback, MTI)!
Stay tuned for more KayakDave.com gear reviews as we wrap up our summer product testing and look forward to all of the new gear coming out this Fall!