An automatic inflate will cost about $139.00. You can buy a hand pull for about $100.00 at Bass Pro. The auto inflate is my choice. You never know when you might get knocked unconscious and not be able to pull the cord.
The vest it self is reusable or ours are, you just have to replace the charge , wich is something that should be done every 2 years atleast. they sell refill kits at most sporting good stores, I don't know if ALL of them are reusable though, you would have to check that before purchasing. And the cheapest I found was $100 on sale........ Also remember that cheapest isn't always a good deal, on something thats made to save your life :wink:
You buy a kit to rearm them. Just did both of mine last week.
If I found one for $50 don't think i would trust them. Rearm kit for a auto is almost $20.
Also if it were me. I would not have one that was not a auto. Say you fall in and get knocked out. How will you open it? Autos deploy there selfs.
I bought 2 the other day at bass pro during there spring sale they were 175 regular and got them for 135 they are very nice and I agree. If your going to get one get the auto because you never no. Thats why they call it an accident.
I saw some yesterday and found some that work both ways (auto/manual), even better(basspro), just can't afford them now. I guess I'll have to settle for the ones I got @ the thrift store and the Flea market and only spent $11.00 in total.(they're the full vest flat ones, $30 & ^)
Once you try the inflatable, you'll never want to use anything else. I put mine on when I get in the boat, and sometimes forget to take it off when I get out, because it's so comfortable. Don't know if they all have it, but mine has a feature that lets me blow it up by mouth if I don't want to expend the cartridge. That will let you know how well it supports you, but if you want to know how well the cartridge works, you'll have to pony up the cost of a replacement cartridge. And ShilohRed told me that he had his go off by accident during a rainstorm while it was laying in the bottom of the boat while it was pulled up to shore. Seems like it will shed rain ok if it's in the position you wear it in, but if it's upside down, the rain will run in and set it off.
I have one I bought from Cabela's. It cost me $90.00 on sale. It is a manual inflation "Guardian Series" model. I chose the manual inflation model because I get splashed a lot in the canoe and I didn't want it inflating when I didn't need it. to. It is much more comfortable to paddle in than a regular PFD. According to S.C. laws it is only approved if worn. You can and should test it before you use it to become familiar with it before you actually need it. Mine has a tube you can blow into to inflate it also. I carry an extra rearming kit with me also. It has 35-lb. bouyancy which is more than a regular PFD also. I am a big guy so I went with the 35-lb. model. It unfolds to create a bright yellow air bladder so you can be seen more easily in the water. It folds back up into the shell and is held by velcro tabs to keep it compact. I wear it all the time I am in the boat. I am very happy with it.