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Kokatat Maximus Centurion Review

- Friday May 22, 2015
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One thing as a paddler I am sure you have experienced, is a lack of pockets on the river.  No one wants to pop a skirt and dig around in their boat to find something.  Not only is this inconvenient, but also slows down your paddle.


Kokatat listened to to the needs of paddlers and decided to add another PFD To the Maximus line up.  The Maximus Centurion is built on the same foundation as the Maximus Prime.  So if you have paddled with the Prime and liked the fit, the Maximus Centurion will fit very similar.  The difference you will notice will be the placement of the pockets and that the new pocket is actually a duplex pocket design.  The pocket is now located on the left side of the jacket with a diagonal zipper.  The larger pocket has enough room for a small med kit.  The smaller pocket has enough room for an energy bar and any other small items you need easy access to.


What really sets this jacket aside from the Maximus Prime is the addition of the detachable belly pouch.  It has 2 separate external zippers with the larger one going across the top of the pouch, and a smaller one that is accessible when you remove the pouch.  The larger pouch also has a smaller internal zippered pouch for smaller items that you want to keep togeather. The belly pouch is a great place to store your pin kit.  It has room for your webbing, pulleys and carabiners, so you wont have to worry about digging around in your boat trying to find your kit.


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The PFD’s fit and framework is almost exactly the same as the Maximus Prime.   The external shell is mostly composed of Cordura 500.  The jacket has a mesh pocket inside of the chest panel for storing your river tether for quick access. Three buckles are located on the left side of the jacket so that you can choose to the use jacket as a side entry instead of over the head.  The jacket is adjustable by three straps on both sides of the jacket, and two on the chest.


The Centurion's low profile design combined with Kokatat’s DSS (“Dynamic Suspension System”), allows for a wide range torso moment.  This is achievable because of how the system allows for the front flotation panel to move with your torso.  This also makes the jacket very comfortable to wear for hours  as you paddle down your favorite river.  I was concerned that the belly pouch might get in the way while playboating, but surprisingly I didn't notice it until I got the thruster out.  Even then, removing the belly pouch is easy for extended playboat sessions.  My chest size is around 48 inches with gear on, and I felt comfortable in the Large PFD.  I could wear the XL but i liked the snugger fit i could get with the large.  This might just be personal preference so if your chest size is between 46 to 49, you may want to try one on first.


I spent some time comparing the quality of the Centurion to the Prime and was pleased to see this new entry has the same great quality.  I had my Prime since the release of the jacket in April of 2013, and I will say other than needing some cleaning, it still looks great and feels just as comfortable as when i purchased it.  That's saying a lot since I'm not easy on any of my gear.



-Great 3 in one solution for boating

- Side Entry

- Rescue knife sheath cover

- DSS allows for unrestricted movement

- Belly pouch allows for more storage



- Quick release pull location (“Could be hard to pull with the left hand”)

- During Playboat sessions with a “thruster” one might need to remove the belly pouch



- Same great quality as the Maximus Prime, but now with MOAR POCKETS!!! 

Categories: Review
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