Inflatable life jacket
Posted by: music321 on Apr-19-14 12:02 AM (EST) Category: unassigned
I bought a Mustang Survival MD 3085 Manual Inflatable Life vest. I got a really good deal on it. I'm wondering if it was a good buy. My philosophy on life vests is: if it's worth wearing one, it's worth wearing one that will function properly.
I wonder how reliable the inflatables are. I've heard them referred to as "glorified balloons". Any thoughts? thanks.
Touring Kayak Paddles
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|Messages in this Topic|
Swimming for your life ….|
Posted by: seadart on Apr-19-14 1:33 AM (EST)
My experience is you want to know that a PFD fits and supports you in a position that you can swim and control your breathing in heavy waves and aerated water. You might want to test your inflatable and see how it holds you up, does it ride up, above your head etc in waves.
I have one|
Posted by: rpg51 on Apr-19-14 8:03 AM (EST)
that I wear in calm protected waters only. Personally I would not use it in white water or unprotected waters.
I have one|
Posted by: shiraz627 on Apr-19-14 9:25 AM (EST)
You can manually inflate them to see how you like it. Very nice in hot weather and it's not bulky.
Posted by: thebob.com on Apr-19-14 11:47 AM (EST)
"Glorified balloon" seems a fitting description.
Posted by: shiraz627 on Apr-20-14 8:35 AM (EST)
"Glorified balloon" seems a fitting description.
Check regularly for leaks|
Posted by: QCHiker on Apr-20-14 8:53 AM (EST)
We have some for our Fire Department. The big thing is to check them regularly for leaks. Personally I don't car much for them.
I have a Hobie vest...|
Posted by: kfbrady on Apr-20-14 10:58 AM (EST)
...that is very similar to the Mustang.
What ifs aside these things are great|
Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Apr-23-14 10:29 AM (EST)
Just for fun..............|
Posted by: thebob.com on Apr-23-14 2:21 PM (EST)
Compare boats used by Coast Guard/Police/Tow Rescue boats to canoe or kayak.
They're great for the right purpose|
Posted by: NateHanson on Apr-23-14 2:43 PM (EST)
I think harness-style inflatables are great for yachties and power boaters, and I've used them a lot on larger boats. They've been around a long time, and they've proven reliable and popular. Uninflated they're easy to wear and out of the way, and inflated they perform way better than anything you'd be willing to wear all the time. They'll turn you over, hold your face above waves, etc. Much better performance than a type 3 if you're stuck bobbing offshore, waiting for rescue.
Choice is important|
Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Apr-23-14 3:54 PM (EST)
Perhaps Bob and I can agree that having choices and making informed decisions is highly desirable. It sounds, though, like at least a few opinions on inflatable PFDs have been formed from armchairs here. Am I the only participant in this thread who has been upside down in the water when wearing an inflatable PFD? Every year when it is time for maintenance, I use mine in the water since the inflation device is replaced anyway. I use my Extrasport in the water too. It is called practicing self and assisted rescues. My paddling companions are all experienced, trained, and work together on the water. Frankly I do not go out on the water alone any more, always with others. Salt water, fresh water, open water, lakes, rivers, you name it, we use the buddy system. Safety is the guiding principle. With that said, I have done a self rescue with my inflatable in the surf off Palm Beach, FL. I found that the extra floatation provided by the inflatable was very helpful. I had no trouble getting back in my kayak and no trouble deflating it and paddling again. Admittedly I had friends right there to assist if necessary, but at least that time no help was necessary. My first choice is an inflatable, based on use, experience and training. Your results may vary.
I hate my inflatable|
Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-23-14 4:06 PM (EST)
And yes I have worn it other than in the armchair.
Scuba divers wear inflatable vests|
Posted by: JayBabina on Apr-23-14 4:16 PM (EST)
Every scuba diver in the world wears an inflatable vest.
Scuba divers do wear inflatables... |
Posted by: kfbrady on Apr-24-14 10:00 AM (EST)
...but they operate, in a very controlled manner, from the scuba tank and not from CO2 cartridges, which could be very dangerous if one inflated at depth and caused an uncontrolled ascent. Divers call their jackets BCDs (buoyancy compensation devices) and not PFDs, because they use them to fine tune buoyancy. They also have these jackets professionally maintained at least annually.
Deep trouble book|
Posted by: dc9mm on Apr-24-14 11:45 PM (EST)
If I remember correctly one of the stories in the book had a someone who had an inflatable and it worked ok BUT he had trouble swimming with it and he had to swim to catch his kayak. So maybe there harder to swim with once inflated?
Posted by: JayBabina on Apr-25-14 8:59 AM (EST)
I had a Scubapro vest with CO2 inflation, inflation from the tank and oral.
Posted by: Celia on Apr-25-14 7:33 AM (EST)
Looking thru the stuff above it appears that no one has raised just this question.
Not "on immersion"|
Posted by: kfbrady on Apr-25-14 8:49 AM (EST)
Posted by: Celia on Apr-25-14 8:58 AM (EST)
You capsize and have to grab something - OK for someone well practiced in being upside down. Not so hot for someone who is not wet a lot.
Several good points |
Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Apr-25-14 10:52 AM (EST)
An inflatable PFD for small craft like kayaks and canoes and Sunfish and the like, should definitely be the type that activates manually, not the automatic ones. Yes that is a compromise and if you are unconscious when you go under they won't work. The probability for that to happen depends on the type of paddling you are doing. When paddling shallow water such as rivers, I use a conventional PFD for this reason. These things do require routine inspection and servicing, which must be done annually at the very least. It is something the owner can do. The replacement inflation cartridges cost $15 or $20 apiece. Practice is a good idea. I use mine once a year at cartridge replacement time and that gives me the confidence of knowing how my inflatable PFD works and what to expect. Most importantly, these things are comfortable and unobtrusive, therefore, they are much more likely to get worn. To each his own and thank God we have choices.
Noticing Bill is from the South|
Posted by: kayamedic on Apr-25-14 11:07 AM (EST)
One reason I think that we rarely see inflatables here is that the water is cold. Whitewater runs are often with water temps in the 40's and that insulation from a traditional PFD is very useful.
I agree 100%|
Posted by: kfbrady on Apr-25-14 11:16 AM (EST)
I think that's why they are best suited to SOTs and maybe rec boats with large open cockpits, where the chances of you being caught upside down in the water are extremely small.