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Inflatable PFD's

M4RealM4Real Posts: 131 Deckhand
Auto-inflatable or just manual? Best brands for fit and comfort yet supreme reliability? I'm definitely going to go with one. There are so many choices though. Help me out. Thanks!

Replies

  • torquetorque Posts: 124 Officer
    M4Real wrote: »
    Auto-inflatable or just manual? Best brands for fit and comfort yet supreme reliability? I'm definitely going to go with one. There are so many choices though. Help me out. Thanks!

    I bought 2 mustang vests, one for my wife and one for me, several years ago for kayaking and when Im in the boat alone. Both are auto inflating and relatively comfortable. After wearing them for several years and never being put in a situation where I needed one, I decided to jump in the pool to see what happened. Wow, as soon as the vest was submersed it inflated and yanked me to the surface, keeping my head out of the water. My point is, buy one and wear it. I just may save your life.
    Torque
  • habenulahabenula Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    Note - I change the CO2 tube and seal every year on my auto-inflatable (per the manuf). Good chance to see how they work. Had my little boy pull the string the first time and he almost wet his pants when that canister went off and popped open the vest (ha).
    I got the West marine offshore version. It feels a little funny (like it's pulling me over) but I suspect that's the nature of the location of the straps. I'm used to it now so it's no big deal. Also, it has a nice felt collar and does not rub my neck at all.

    Alex V
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 244 Deckhand
    Read the reviews on them. Some sold under the Bass Pro name, I remember, self-inflated hanging in the garage. Folks weren't happy. Mustangs are costy, but well reviewed.
    Be sure to test them after buying, as witnessed above. All it costs is a CO2 cartridge. Most are shipped USPS or UPS Ground or similar, and may not ship with the CO2 installed. I wore one faithfully for 3 years before I finally tried it out and found the cartridge was uninstalled, loose in the vest. A little embarrassing. Nothing like a true conditions test before you really need it to discover any bugs.
    :)
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