Astral Rides the Award Waves with ‘Made The Grade’ Designation

March 16, 2023

YTV Life Jacket proves itself in tough testing scenarios

TUCSON, ARIZONA USA /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Proven in paddling scenarios including frigid, windswept waters in Chile, the YTV Life Jacket has been awarded ‘Made the Grade’ status from INVESTMENT GRADE GEAR. The mantra of Know It, Trust It, Keep It.TM finds form in this model from North Carolina-based Astral Designs.

Fit that equals mobility. Always without compromising on-demand buoyancy: That’s the YTV Life Jacket from Astral Designs,’ according to INVESTMENT’s founder and lead evaluator Peter Reese. Available in a trio of sizes suitable for a full range of paddlers, sailors and passengers, this model includes secure zip pockets.

PVC-free Gaia foam is enveloped in a ripstop shell built around a pullover-design. And testers continue to push past seven years of performance in an all-around model supported by a robust warranty program.

Reflects Astral’s Daniel Windham/Product Line Manager: “We are honored to have our YTV life jacket selected to receive Investment Grade Gear’s “Made the Grade” status as we have worked hard for over 20 years to design performance products that elevate your experience in nature, while consciously made to protect soil and water.”

INVESTMENT GRADE GEAR, rooted in 50 years of adventure experience and outdoor journalism, selects individual pieces of gear for video reviews: Nothing chosen is part of a traditional gear round-up, but merits special consideration for performance, lasting value, and embracing a ‘less and better beats more’ approach to a more sustainable future.

Many of the products selected for ‘Made the Grade’ have been in evaluation for three years or more, with some receiving updates since first taken outside or on the road for extended travel. In addition, none have been sponsored by the brands, nor does INVESTMENT receive compensation for their use in the ‘Made the Grade’ initiative.

The video review, including a unique one-word summary of the Astral YTV Life Jacket , is available HERE.. A companion documentary about the power of values to change our life — on the water and beyond — entitled ‘The Paddle’ — is available HERE on Vimeo.


INVESTMENT GRADE GEAR is a response to ‘Best of’ gear category lists that frequently confuse or don’t provide concise, credible findings. Focused on video reviews, each Made the GradeTM selection fits the powerful mantra of Know It, Trust It, Keep It.TM, one applauded by manufacturers and industry influencers alike. Consideration of individual products is not limited to new releases, and can be suggested by reaching out to editor@investmentgradegear.com.