Belt-style Self-inflating PFD

Has anyone ever used one of these things?

Open boats only - nothing requiring a skirt.

I use an inflatable, just not a belt
type. It must be worn to be considered a PFD…under the bungees doesn’t count. Inflatables are not a good idea for whitewater paddlers or where there’s a need for immediate flotation. The belts are good for hot weather, great if you are a wading flyfisherman…extra insurance. Inflatables are useless if you are unconcious, except for the auto inflating kind. Best in that regard are the Mustang Hydrostaic iflatables, but they aren’t cheap.

I…ah…never mind

– Last Updated: Nov-08-07 12:50 AM EST – that you asked. They don't really back up some of the PFD arguments.

Trying to use this PFD in an emergency situation just doesn't seem to "Hold water".

Looks more like a toy to skirt the law and it has a USCG Type V rating.

I was thinking mostly about casual flatwater paddling in hot weather. Definitely not for WW. For something that has such a limited use for me, I’m going to have to find a pretty good deal - even the Stearns model is on the pricey side.

Maybe I’m missing something…
But to me it looks like you would have a much greater chance of your head being under water with a belt PFD. If you’re unconscious and that thing deploys your flotation would be around your waist?

I’ve got one
Never had to use it though.

When you deploy it, the PFD comes out of the belt pack and you put your head through the loop on it so it becomes very “similar” to a regular PFD.

I really like it, most of the water around here is very flat, during a big storm, waves might get to 1’. Except on a big lake like Guntersville, where they can get significantly larger. Most of my paddling is on slow moving rivers and small lakes.

How about Mustangs line?
Of inflatable PFDs? Anyone know anything of those pfd’s?

Inflatables! Bah! Humbug!
Sometimes a little discomfort is worth it, especially when your life is at stake. Any waist inflatable or other flotation devise around the waist is for individuals water skiing where an immediate pick up is nearby. Dumping a canoe or kayak even in a smooth lake is another situation deserving a better, more dependable solution than an inflatable around your waist. Get a Type III PFD there are plenty of models which are cut to allow arm movement and air flow which will float you face up and back.

Try one of these manufacturers for a great product: Extrasport, Astral, NRS, Kohatat, Inc., and Lotus. Get a model with straps over shoulders and side cut for paddling. They allow the best ventilation and are universal sizing.

Happy Paddling!

The best of the best. Mustang
is the choice of the Coast Guard and, in Texas, game wardens. Its popular on the pro fishing circuits too, but that’s probably a question of sponsorship as much as safety. Mustang makes three types, manual, automatic,and hydrostatic automatic. For kayaks and canoes, the best choices are the manual and hydrostatic. The regular automatic can go off in very little water.

The manual is fine if you paddle water without lots of boat traffic and aren’t concerned that you will be knocked out and unable to pull the cord. The hydrostatic takes immersion for it to inflate, at least 4 inches of water…need to read the literature, but I’ll assume that means the major part of the vest is underwater.

Even the hydrostatic are not good in white or fast moving water like the surf or sea channels. With an hydrostatic, you don’t want to roll a kayak. Also, be aware that an inflated jacket means that you have floatation the full circumference of your neck, pushing your chest and head up…in the case of the chest, actually pulling it to the top of the water.

The big knock on the hydrostatic Mustang is cost. Its pricey…usually around $250. The advantage is that the CO2 cartridge doesn’t have to be replaced as often.

I, myself use
the kokatat orbit tour when paddling and also have an astral tempo.

But I had the rep from Mustang in the shop last week and he was very ezxcited about the new inflatable pfd and their CCG certs

so i was curious abuot their performance for kayakers, I have seen them many a time and used many of mustangs products while piloting zodiacs in NL but not alot out here so far.

You’ve the additional hazard of

– Last Updated: Nov-09-07 1:16 AM EST –

hypothermic water. I'd want immediate positive inflation without a wait...might keep your head from going under. May be best to stick with conventional PFD's. I'm a fan of inflatable PFD's, but live in a hot, humid climate. In colder climes, I'd want full time protection.

Yes you are missing something
The belt pack PFD has to be put on after you inflate it. You must be conscious.

Also the suspender type inflatable is a Mae West type and will keep your head above water and Turns most unconscious wearers face-up in water. A regular canoe or kayak vest will not.

Thanks for the info
But, I think I’ll stick with my traditional PFD, even on hut summer days.

Yep I agree
right nwo i am in warm climates on the interior of British Columbia, but I am returning to NL very soon, where the vast majority of my expierencve is from, and there I wear my pfd for thermal protection as much as floatation. i am a small guy at five foot six inches and 135 pounds…every bit counts.

quite a few
people use them for racing…I use one for when I’m doing rolling at symposiums so that I can wear my tuilik, but not be hampered with a PFD.

For paddling , I always wear a regular PFD

I only use the belt so that ACA rules at symposiums can be fully observed.

Best Wishes


however if you are choosing between wearing a belt or stowing a weariable PFD. a worn safety floation device is much beter than something you need to go looking for when its time has come to be of use.

a PS when rolling , tuck the rip cord inside, it’s embarising to come up from a nice slow roll to find things around you are inflating :slight_smile: