Summer Paddling with Mustang Survival

We recently tried out two summer paddling essentials from Mustang Survival: the Khimera Dual Flotation PFD and the Callan Waterproof Shorts. We found both to be best-in-class, especially for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. Here’s why:

 Khimera Dual Flotation PFD

For near-shore summer paddling we recommend the Khimera, a hybrid PFD that offers the security of foam in a slim profile.

Mustang Survival PFD reviewed by Mountain Life Media
The Khimera: slim profile. Photo: Ned Morgan/Mountain Life

The Khimera also offers the option to boost your buoyancy with the pull of a cord if you need it. Mustang first designed this PFD with paddlers in mind but it suits sailors as well. The Khimera’s tailored-to-the-body design helps you stay sleek to do the work you need to do (paddling or sailing) while staying protected in case of a capsize.

Especially while paddleboarding, you may occasionally take a swim with your PFD on (if you’re knocked off your board). In these situations, foam offers you unbeatable peace-of-mind flotation. 

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True Versatility

And you don’t have to engage the CO2 buoyancy unless you really need it. This is true versatility. Wide arm slots and a minimal silhouette allow you to keep your mobility at a high so your centre of gravity stays low. (This means you can climb back in your boat or on your board with ease.) Soft and durable material stands up to your adventures, yet won’t chafe or rub.

Mustang Survival PFD reviewed by Mountain Life Media
The Khimera in Admiral Gray. Photo: Mustang Survival


Simple deflation system makes transitioning between buoyancies a breeze. That means no repacking required—just squeeze air out of the inflation cell and rearm the CO2 cylinder. Adjustable shoulder and waist straps mean a speedy custom fit. Attachment points and front pocket allow you to bring everything you need for a successful expedition like an extra CO2 cylinder, whistle, energy gels or GPS device.


-Approval: Harmonized Level 70 – USA and Canada (Meets minimum buoyancy of 15.7 LBS)

-20.5 LBS total dual buoyancy (7.5 LBS foam buoyancy, 13 LBS additional buoyancy when cells inflated)

-Dual flotation system blends the security of foam flotation with the slim profile of inflation technology

-Easy re-arm – just squeeze air out of the inflation cell, add new CO2 cylinder and you’re done

-Lightweight and low profile design offers greater comfort and range of motion, and eases re-entry into your boat from the water

-Adjustable shoulder and waist straps create a close-to-body fit

-Bright reflective shoulder patches for visibility

-Front storage pocket and slot to hold extra CO2 cylinder (not included)

-Front shoulder attachment point.


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Callan Waterproof Shorts: Summer Paddling Ready

These lightweight stretch three-layer shorts boast waterproof/windproof protection with the flexibility you need while paddling or running around on deck. We found the Callan Shorts offered yeoman’s service on a sit-on-top fishing kayak, since with any kind of chop, the deck is awash and your seat wet. But the Callan Shorts keep the water off your torso.

Mustang Survival Callan Shorts reviewed by Mountain Life Media
Summer paddling in the Callan Shorts in Myanmar. Photo: Mustang Survival/Jimmy Martinello


Mustang Survival Callan Shorts reviewed by Mountain Life Media
The Callan Shorts see more action in Myanmar. Photo: Mustang Survival/Jimmy Martinello


Alternatively, for trips where you’ll swim a lot, you can wear the shorts as a swimsuit; the MarineSpec MP material sheds water like nobody’s business. You can immerse the shorts and they drip-dry instantly.

Clearly, the Callan is the ultimate summer paddling short. There’s nothing else in this league for durability, active fit, adjustability and general on-water service. And they’re so well-tailored you’ll want to wear them off-water, too.



-MarineSpec™ MP, Mustang’s lightest waterproof, windproof protection with maximum flexibility

-Durable, reinforced seat with external seam tape

-Adjustable waist and belt option

-Cinch cords on legs to keep water out

-Single thigh pocket

-Fully seamed sealed.

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