inflatable life vest

Does anyone wear the inflatable life vest this time of year? The regular PFDs are very hot when it is above 90 outside. Any type catch your eye?

… I have the Bass Pro model ( by Mustang) …yes it’s cooler to wear but they can be stiff and not the greatest comfort since the bladder is pretty inflexible when it is tightly packed in the vest. I haven’t had mine go off yet so I cannot vouch for it’s effectiveness. The re-arm kits are expensive too,especially for the auto-inflate models, and you always should carry a re-arm kit( or 2 !). The re-arm kit for my auto-inflate is around $70. also the collar tends to ride high on the nape of my neck which i don’t like.

No personal experience, but
heard good things about Helly Hansen vests

(probably the one called Worksafe at the right).

Go for manual inflation (i.e. you pull the line and CO2 cartridge fills it up). You might take a deeper dive first, but in a second you will float like a buoy.

My preference in hot weather is not an inflatable west, but a mesh-back. There are different kinds, I have one by Stohlquist Getaway High back Mine has more foam in upper back and less mesh in lower back (roughly 70/30 ratio). Some other models have more mesh, but in my area it can get windy even in summer, so don’t want too much mesh.

PAY for a good vest
Generally speaking, any flim flam company can sew foam.

Well known manufacturers of kayaking gear make

decent gear you can wear all day without an issue.

Sitting in a powerboat ain’t paddling.

Paddlers need paddling gear designed by folks that know paddling.

Alternative …

It is probably just as light and cool as some inflatables I’ve seen and it works with no air -;). The waist-worn inflatables would probably have the lowest area of your torso covered…

This is mech-back, but
a kind of odd design, with mesh in upper back and foam in lower back. Most mesh-backs have mesh in the lower back and foam above.

Mine is from Mustang Survival.

I use the inflatable
that comes on a belt for flatwater. Works very well. For whitewater (even easy stuff), I’ll wear a regular PFD. I have an Astral that fits well for that.

Have you actually seen it?

– Last Updated: Jun-29-11 9:26 AM EST –

This is the jacket in my link: Astral V8.

I have it and there is mesh in about 1/3 of the lower back and foam on the upper back. Mesh on the sides. Mesh *under* all of it (so that it does not stick to your torso), and what they call AirEscape (holes) in several places in the foam panels so you get a lot of air circulation.

It is also extremely light-weight, so once on I barely notice it.

Many inflatables are lower profile (stay flat) but are constructed like a traditional PFD in shape: instead of foam they have air, e.g., they do not offer additional cooling compared to if they had foam in them instead.

and there is a belt pouch
for that belt on inflatable (because there are no pockets).

Mustang Utility Pouch for Inflatable PFD: