Cabela’s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Review

My Cabela’s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Product Review

The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Product Overview

The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD is a real contender.

Let’s quickly get past the fact that legally and from simple common sense, you must wear a PFD. For many of us who started boating and fishing in the old days, we called them lifejackets. Today they are called PFD’s or Personal Flotation Devices.

The main reason that we all refused to wear PFD’s whenever we could get away with not wearing one was their constant discomfort coupled with the fact that you had to move around like a penguin. Can’t move and can’t relax, so just throw it under the seat or under the bow. Done and done.

Thank God, those days are finally gone. If you are going to be wearing a PFD a lot then you must seriously consider getting an auto-inflating model. There is just no comparison when it comes to personal comfort and freedom of movement.

Name: The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD


Price: $179.99  Was $229.99, You Save $50.00, that’s a 21% savings

Owners: Cabela’s Retail Canada Inc.

Overall Rank: 97 out of 100

The Cabela‘s Guidewear® 3500 Auto PFD is built specifically for all-day fishing adventures and takes freedom of movement and comfort to the next level.

Its ergonomic, neoprene collar allows air circulation so that any moisture around your neck and back dries quickly. The memory foam at the shoulders and back conforms to your body shape.

The engineered flex points permit you the freedom of movement required to cast comfortably for that trophy fish. The large, easy-access zippered pocket keeps your essential gear at hand. Perfect for your sunglasses and fishing license.

There are accessory attachment points placed right where you need them. The belts are 2 inches wide belts and E-Z adjust sliders ensure a secure, comfortable fit every time.

Cabela’s PFDs are Coast Guard approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for use in Canada.

Integrated visual inspection window allows you to check that your vest is armed and ready to inflate.

Guidewear PFDs are built to last of 300-denier polyester with heavy-duty 1,200-denier nylon borders.

Internal spare CO2-cylinder pocket.

Adjusts to fit chest sizes up to 56″.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

  • Cabela’s PFDs are Coast Guard approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for use in Canada.
  • Integrated visual inspection window allows you to check that your vest is armed and ready to inflate.
  • Guidewear PFDs are built to last of 300-denier polyester with heavy-duty 1,200-denier nylon borders
  • Internal spare CO2-cylinder pocket.
  • Adjusts to fit chest sizes up to 56″.
  • Memory foam through the shoulders and back
  • Ergonomic, neoprene collar promotes air circulation
  • Engineered flex points allow you to cast comfortably
  • Large, easy-access front zippered pocket

The Bad and the UGLY

  • Shipping Restriction – this item is a dangerous good and must be shipped via ground transportation only.
  • An additional shipping charge may apply.
  • more expensive than “old-style” padded life-preservers


Who is The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD For?

All serious boaters, canoeists, kayakers, river and lakeshore fishermen, and women need this extremely comfortable PFD. If you spend a lot of time on or near the water this PFD is a must for you. The comfort and safety it provides is a very small price to pay for what it offers.

The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Tools & Training

The only “tool” required is a re-arming cylinder once your unit has been deployed. These units come with easy to follow instructions and the vest has an Internal spare CO2-cylinder pocket.

The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Support

To make sure we meet your expectations, we back your purchase with our Cabela‘s Legendary Guarantee.

The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Price

This model is on sale now, so if you need a Personal Flotation Device, I suggest that you have a look at this one to benefit from the 21% savings available now.

My Final Thoughts on The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD

I wear my Auto-Inflating PFD mostly while River Fishing. I also wear it while fishing lakes and of course in boats, canoes, and kayaks. It is so comfortable that I forget I’m wearing it. Sometimes, I have to double check to see if I have brought it with me. Its slim fit and great design make it a real winner.


What some of my “fishing buddies” say about Auto-Inflating Personal Flotation Devices. PFD’s

  • every boat and fisherman should have one
  • everyone needs a PFD and these ones are not bulky and hot like the older models
  • lightweight and durable
  • great fit
  • don’t even know you’re wearing it
  • I’m always wearing my PFD now that I have an auto-inflating one
  • I’ve had my PFD on more these last 2 summers than in my entire life … he’s 64 years old!

In Conclusion

I have been hanging around boats and fishing ever since I was a kid. I have fished commercially and for fun. These days I spend a lot of my time fishing the big rivers. These I find the most challenging. A swift-flowing river is a very powerful force of Nature and one that commands a lot of respect, not to mention their great skill at hiding fish.

Every year there are always 1 or 2 drownings along these rivers. This is often the result of bad judgment and lack of the proper safety equipment. It’s very easy to fall out of a boat, overturn a canoe, or fall in the river and bang yourself on a rock.

This Cabela’s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD will automatically inflate and prevent you from drowning.  A very small price to pay so that you can arrive home safely to your family and loved ones. Do everyone a favor and make sure you wear a Personal Flotation Device whenever you are near or on the water.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, about The Cabela‘s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD, do not hesitate to leave them in the space below. I will be happy to answer them all in a timely manner.

8 thoughts on “Cabela’s Guidewear 3500 Auto PFD Review”

    • Hi Mike,
      Take the Model Number of your PFD to Cabela’s and they will know which cartridge belongs to your device. It’s the only way that I feel safe and secure when dealing with issues such as yours.
      Model numbers change with country and time in a New York minute. This question got lost must have fell into the lake. Hope this helps solve your dilemma.

  1. Sorry if this is a dumb question but I am not familiar with this type of PDF. Once it gets wet and inflates, do you need to replace an internal CO2 cartridge or something like that? Does it simply inflate, you deflate it somehow, and then it is good to go again? Would like to know how this works. Thank you.

    • Hi again, Robert.
      Please check your email for my reply.

      Good Day, Robert.

      Thanks for asking.

      No, this is not a dumb question.

      Yes, once you fall in the water, you have to “re-arm” this PFD.

      I would also recommend that you carry an extra re-arming kit with you.

      This is an extra CO2 cartridge that will be used to re-arm your PFD in the event that you do fall in the water.

      This is not a “jump in the water and go for a swim” personal flotation device.

      This is a compact, comfortable to wear, PFD, best used when comfort in wearing your PFD is of the utmost importance.

      All “dips in the water” require a new cartridge.

      This PFD is like an insurance policy and best left “out of the water”.

      Hope this helps.

      If you need further clarification, do not hesitate to return for further explanations.

    • Hi Cliff,
      These Auto PFD’s will not inflate in heavy rains. If they do, and I doubt this would happen, simply return it to your place of purchase. One good note, this item has been reduced to 139.00.
      Happy New Year and Safe Times on the Water!

  2. I really liked this review. I guess I am from the old school, remembering the old style life jackets you describe.

    This new type of PFD sounds very good and functional. I have several friends that have boats and others that do a lot of fishing and I am going to refer them to your site.

    One quick question, you said that the device was certified for use in Canada, but I don’t remember anything that said that it was also certified for use in the US. Is there a certification for US use?

    Your article is informative and educational and I am sure many will be very interested in this device.

    • Cabela’s Tournament 3500 Auto PFD

      Ergonomic Airmesh collar allows moisture to dry quicklyEngineered flex points allow a full range of motionE-Z Fold bladders inflate to 35-lb. buoyancyAutomatically inflates upon water immersionUSCG-approved Type-II PFD2.5x higher minimum buoyancy rating for Type III foam vestsCO2 cylinder included

      Good Day Frank, and thanks for the visiting my website and offering your comments. They are greatly appreciated. 

      I have included the USA version of this product. As you can see it is also approved by the USCG. 

      Growing up with the old-fashioned life jackets, it’s easy to see why so few of us would want to wear them. They were clumsy, hot, and uncomfortable to wear. 

      These modern PFD’s are the cat’s meow and once you wear one of these you will never want to wear the old style again. Hope you’re enjoying your summer and if you are near or on the water don’t forget to wear your PFD.

      Happy Boating and Fishing. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the outdoors and the technology, do not hesitate to bring them here. Thanks.


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