Auto Inflatable PFD's: Belt-Pack vs Vests

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by JPritch, May 9, 2007.

  1. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    I just ordered 1 belt-pack auto/manual inflatable PFD and 1 vest auto/manual inflatable PFD from Cabela's. Gotta say, love the belt pack! It stays out of the way.

    I got the belt-pack for myself, and the vest for my fishing buddy and any other passengers. However, we're both big guys and the vest is really small and uncomfortable. I'm tempted to return the vest for a belt-pack, but my fishing buddy cannot swim. And I know the belt pack's when inflated require a person to lift the tube over their head. Is the belt-pack still a safe bet for a non-swimmer? I don't want to put him in danger if he does fall overboard fumbling trying to put the tube over his head and drown while doing it.
  2. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Arnold, MO
    Aaah, don't worry about it. Good belt packs are hard to find, you can get a friend anywhere, if ya got a boat. LOL

    There are advantages to both, as you mentioned. I own both, but the vests are mainly backups, like when your belt pack gets "stolen" when riding in someone else's boat. :big_smile: (sorry, personal dig at Cuz) LOL

    The reason I prefer the belt pack is simple. Folks will wear it! The vests get taken off an forgot to get put back on. Those belt ones are forgotten they are on, so they are always being used.
    I would prefer kids and adults who can't swim, to wear the vest style, but I wouldn't push it too hard as long as they are wearing one or the other.

  3. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    West Tn
    I have never had that problem with my SOS Auto vest. Its the 35 lb one.
    But I am not that big. Only 240 6ft.
    But a buddy of mine has had mine on a few times. And he is 6'7" 325 and not a problem on him?
  4. rich-online

    rich-online New Member

    I think the vest style PFDs are a safer bet for anyone. The ones that I have seen are designed to make you float face-up in the water. I'm not convinced that the belt pack would be much help in a panic situation.

    -- Rich
  5. Mark R.

    Mark R. New Member

    Rush Springs, OK
    I was going to buy a PFD on-line based on price, glad I didn't. I tried on quite a few before finding one that fit me and I do forget I have it on.
    Most of them just are too small for guys like me.

  6. olefin

    olefin New Member

    I would think the vest auto/manual inflatable PFD is the safest, especially say a person blacked out and fell in the water.