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  Caution on the CO2
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Apr-09-13 1:48 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Apr-09-13 1:53 PM EST --

For those new to the world of PFD's ,
please do the homework and educate yourself.

If you paddle, you're going to go in eventually.
Having a 1 shot device at $100 a pop
doesn't make a lot of sense for many.

1) As opposed to conventional, inherently buoyant PFDs, these are high-tech devices. They will not provide buoyancy until they’re inflated. This imposes a higher level of responsibility on the user. They MUST be carefully inspected before each use to see that the inflator mechanism is armed and in good condition. The bladder must not leak, and the user must be familiar with its use and operation. This is a big difference from using a conventional PFD. That's also why they’re not approved for use with persons less than 16 years old.

2) They are not recommended for swift water sports (white water) or any activity where the user will probably get soaked (personal watercraft, sailboards).

3) Cold weather adversely affects the operation of these PFDs. While the CO2 cartridge will fully inflate the vest most of the year, in extremely cold temperatures the same amount of gas will not expand to the same volume, reducing the vest’s buoyancy.

4) While they are designed to auto-inflate only when immersed in water and not by rain or high humidity, the ‘pill/bobbin’ material can break down under these conditions and activate the inflator.

5) Inflatable PFDs provide no protection from hypothermia.

6) Since there is a slight delay from immersion to inflation, they are not recommended for non-swimmers.

7) An inflatable MUST be worn as the outermost layer. Never wear a coat or rain gear over these vests.

As seen on

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