The Hydro Adventure is a tough, well featured buoyancy aid from the clever folk over at Palm.  We’ve had this PFD for a while and it’s high buoyancy rating, large pocket and sheer practicality have made it one of the most frequently used pieces of kit in our arsenal.

It makes sense to start with the safety features.  In M-L sizes and up the Hydro Adventure has 70N of buoyancy, a welcome boost over the more usual 50N those of us a little broader or beam. A nice safety touch is reflective tape trip on shoulders, front and rear which is surprisingly effective at night  or in low light.

The Hydro Adventure is a waistcoat style PFD with chunky front zip. That extra buoyancy does mean that the Hydro Adventure feels a little more bulky than some, but certainly not heacy and it is still very comfortable to wear. Lots of room around the arms make for easy paddling and the various straps and buckles give generous room for adjustment. A waist buckle stops it riding up, which is good as the hard wearing finish can chaffe a little if you do allow it to rub. That finish isn’t a drawback though – water pretty much rolls off this buoyancy aid and it dries at an almost freakish speed, even after a proper dunking.

The ‘hydro’ in the name refers to the fact that a large rear pocket allows for palms 1.5l hydropack to be used with the PFD. This is not included though. In addition to the large rear pocket, there are generous front pockets with buckle-clip fastenings and tie loops to keep your valuables safe.

This bouyancy aid is also tough. Once a piece of kit makes it on to our “regular use” list, it gets thoroughly abused here at Sitons. Lunchtime and post-work talt-water paddles means that kit doesn’t get cleaned down and cherished like it should and often suffers. Despite a couple of seasons of fairy heavy abuse, our Hydro Adventure is holding up amazingly well, with only a slightly furred up popper to show what it has been through.

Comfort, safety, practicality and big ol’ pockets are bound to make the Palm Hydro Adventure a popular choice with fishermen, those who enjoy day touring and anyone who likes to keep a camera and a couple of chocolate bars to hand whilst paddling.