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Inflatable PFD's


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I really wasn't sure where to put this so I put it here. I'm considering buying an inflatable PFD. Does anyone own any and if so what brand? Are they worth it? Any help is appreciated. 

Edited by troutman10
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I picked up a couple of these for about $100 each last year. They seem comfortable enough and I am a big dude. 6'1  275lbs.
 
Onyx A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable PFD Life Jacket - Blue - 132000-500-004-15 | Anchor Express

bought the same thing nice and comfortable and I’m 6’3” 270. That model has great ratings to.


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Yep, got 3 of those for customers who want to wear one. Still have to have the coast guard approved units onboard but bought the inflatables to be accommodating 

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14 hours ago, chowder said:

Yep, got 3 of those for customers who want to wear one. Still have to have the coast guard approved units onboard but bought the inflatables to be accommodating 

The Onyx inflatables are Coast Guard approved...perhaps I misunderstood your post?

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Consider the manual inflate as auto inflate may go off if they get wet just riding in the boat. Don't ask why I know.

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I have 2 of the cheaper Cabelas and 2 Mustangs. Needless to say, the Mustangs feel better so that's what I wear. The Cabelas have also both auto-inflated on their own. One in a boat compartment and the other in the backseat of my truck. It's good to have extra re-charge kits on-hand just in case.

 

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Much more comfortable than traditional type. It is now an automatic for me to wear it, even beyond May 1.

 

Keep in mind that in NY they only count toward your 1 PFD per person IF THEY'RE ON. I still carry traditionals.

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15 minutes ago, troutman10 said:

Can you just switch them back and forth from auto to manual? Also, how do they know to inflate if they get wet? Is there some sort of sensor?

 

On the auto models I have, there's a sensor that makes them auto inflate and a manual pull cord. They don't switch back and forth. If they're auto, they're always auto, with a back-up manual pull cord.

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26 minutes ago, troutman10 said:

Can you just switch them back and forth from auto to manual? Also, how do they know to inflate if they get wet? Is there some sort of sensor?

Yes. I have the West Marine version made by Sterns. They came with a solid plastic bobbin to replace the auto inflate bobbin that dissolves when it gets wet.  The bobbins just screw in. I switch them out at home before heading out in the rain.  I also had one deploy in storage on the boat... almost peed myself when it blew..

 

Here's a pic of the auto inflate bobbin. You can see the green disc through the clear plastic indicating the the unit is in auto deploy. The green disc dissolves instantly when it gets wet releasing a spring loaded pin that punctures the Co2 cartridge inflating the PFD.  Remove that assembly and replace with the manual yellow bobbin and you can swim in it, pulling the cord for manual deployment.

Hope this helps.

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1 hour ago, Frogger said:

The mustang inflates off water psi not adsorption. One of the reasons as to why I went with it. Read some reviews of some getting theirs wet and prematurely inflating.

Mustangs work on hydro-static pressure. If you fish in nasty weather, they are well worth the expense.

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Mustang DLX 38 for me.

Look at the how many pounds of lift the different makes/models have. Cheaper ones have 24lbs of lift. The Mustang I bought had 38lbs. Mine has also never gone off accidentally even when fishing in heavy rain all day. I've owned it for about 5 years. Buy a re-arm kit and test/replace every few years

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7 hours ago, Bad_Influence said:

The Onyx inflatables are Coast Guard approved...perhaps I misunderstood your post?

For Charter boats, the Coast Guard requires that you have the traditional orange lifejackets that keeps an unconcious person's head above water and it has to have the reflective material strips and an automatically activated flashing beacon.

 

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8 hours ago, troutman10 said:

Can you just switch them back and forth from auto to manual? Also, how do they know to inflate if they get wet? Is there some sort of sensor?

Here is a video from Onyx showing how they inflate automatically. I think these have to be submerged for the plastic canister that holds the "bobbin" to fill with water. They can be switched to a pure manual mode as well.    Onyx A/M-24 Automatic / Manual Inflatable Life Jacket (PFD) - YouTube

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