Inflatable Onyx PDF for canoeing?

Just curious if anyone has ever used a PDF of this type. I wonder if the auto-inflate actually works quickly and properly. Also, what about a heavy rain?

I only canoe on small lakes and slow bayous and it sure does look comfortable…


– Last Updated: Aug-03-12 10:07 AM EST –

I have a Mustang inflatable PFD and they are very comfortable - you barely know it is there.

I don't know about the Onyx but it seems most of the inflatables are either manual (you have to pull the cord to inflate) or automatic (when you are underwater or pull the cord it will inflate). The Mustangs will not inflate from rain or splashing. The CO2 canister and water activation tab are in splash resistant pouch that can handle rain or splash. Now if you dip the bottom of the PFD in water it will probably inflate.

I have seen videos of the Mustang where someone ties their hands and legs and jumps in the water. Very quickly the PFD brings them back to the surface.

For kayaking, I went with a manual only version as you do get wet without wanting the PFD to blow up on you. Most of my kayaking is in mellow water so I figure if I go in and need some extra flotation I can just use the blow tube to inflate. If the situation is bad I have the rip cord and hopefully a friend nearby.

The downsides of the inflatables are cost (the automatic rearm kits are pricey and they are only good for a few years before needing to be replaced), you should use the inflate tube before each trip to make sure it holds air, and they supposedly don't fully inflate in the cold (plus you lose some insulation from a standard PFD).

For me the upside is the comfort and that now I wear a PFD all the time.

…for the reply. I currently wear an Extrasport Osprey Kayak Fishing III and while I’m sure it would serve it’s purpose, is does get a little uncomfortable and hot here in Louisiana on SLOW bayous with hardly any current or breeze. Maybe an inflatable could be an option for my type of canoeing and make it more enjoyable.

Actually wearing a less than ideal PFD is definately better than a perfect one sitting on the bottom of the canoe.