so i personally use something similar to this - http://www.basspro.com/XPS-DualSized-Neoprene-Life-Jacket/product/14082706414117/
I love the looks of the NRS - but general water sport utility outweighs the pockets for me(translation - i'm cheap and prefer to spend my money elsewhere). I avoid inflatables because i kayak... i want something where i can turtle and it still works/is comfortable the rest of the day.
yes they get hot mid summer.. but that's when you just get a bit wet to cool off
- and mid winter when i'm hitting crappie it's an extra layer of insulation under my wind-breaker.
I look for a decent "active" wear sport life jacket w/ neoprene or similar exterior - watch out for the knock-offs that use canvas or rough stitching as it will rub you raw - especially mid summer when that might be the only upper you wear right against your skin.