MTI Riptide PFD, anyone have one?

Seems like a really stupid design around the zipper. Can’t zip the thing up while it’s on. You have to hyper extend it backwards in oder to get the zipper to close enough to mate the two sides together. There is no way to do that while you are wearing it. I somehow doubt that the two I just received are both defects.

MTI Riptide
I have one as well and I kinda remember having that same issue at first. I loosen all the straps, zip it up, then pull the straps taut. I have a long torso so the length adjustments are at maximum for my fit. I also have the MTI Orleans for slow paddles…

And it does work well in the water! :wink:


The ones we have can not be zipped

… unless two people work together on it. I can’t even force the two sides together and zip it up by myself with my son wearing it. The foam is just too thick and close to the zipper. It needs to be cut at a slight slant at the opening or something. These cuts are EXACTLY 90 degrees. You can not make it work by yourself.

that video reminded me
of my favorite genre of commercial–the infomercial where they show people having all kinds of problems struggling to do things the old fashioned way, only to be saved by the new product! I can hear the text now: “Those darn MTIs! You try zippling and zipping, but they JUST WON’T FIT!”

We’ll see …
Thanks for the replies. It actually did help to fasten the bottom buckle first. But my son still couldn’t do it. I’ve got them zipped and scrunched up to see if that helps. We really do like the PFDs.

Thanks for the replies and ideas everyone.

New Slipstream…
The Riptide has been discontinued and replaced with the new Slipstream (Spring 2011) - which takes these issues into consideration. You should see these in stores soon.

did you buy too small?
I’ve been using one for 2+ years with no such issue. Never really thought about it but I think I snap the buckle first then zip up.

Definately not too small
My boys weigh less than 100 pounds and I got the adult Small/Med.

I’m sure there is something different about the ones that we got. If they were all like ours the people using them would be complaining left and right and I’m not reading that anywhere.

I’m holding out hope that my zipping them up and the bending them will result in a bit of a break in making them usable. I do otherwise like them.

Do you work for MTI?

Buckle first?
I have an MTI pfd that has a similar setup. I find it easier to get the zipper started with the clasp below the bottom of the zipper (think I see one in your video) buckled first.

Update and happy ending
I stored them zipped up and pulled together from the sides so as to compress the foam around the zipper. Now they work great. No problems at all. Nice PFDs.

Lotta help we were.
Makes sense. I’ll have to remember to store mine that way.