are the pockets secure? zippered, etc? where are they suggesting a PFD be housed on the pack?
Somewhat. They are Velcro style with flap and bungee with plastic cinch device. One of my bungee cord pockets failed as the bungee pulled free from its attachment point. Never seen an inflatable PFD device so I'm not sure where its designed to go. Pack is comfortable and I like it pretty well. Not a lot of choices out there at the time I bought this one.
The pockets are pretty secure. No zippers on the pack at all. All pockets are Velcro. The mesh pocket on the back is secured with a pull/bungee and clip. This is marketed as a paddle boarding pack however I don't use it as such. I use it for running and other cardio workouts. The Velcro is about an inch to two inches long and is in the middle of the pockets. So the sides are covered, but open (I wouldn't go swimming with this pack, but for a quick fall in water and back up on your board it should work great). As far as a PFD, I don't know how small they get, but the only place to put something bigger than your phone would be the mesh pocket on the back. I love this pack though. It functions perfectly for what I use it for. Hope this helped!
Hi. The pockets use Velcro, no zippers. I wondered about the PFD but bought anyways. Now that I have been using this pack, I know that the PFD goes across the lower back under the Camelbak logo via a clip. I have had no problems with keeping it here. Keep on paddling.