Inflatable life jackets

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by catfishbill33, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. catfishbill33

    catfishbill33 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clarksville, TN
    Does anyone have an idea what an average price for the inflatable life jacket?
    And a good place to buy them.

    my weight is about 225lbs and wonder if theres a weight limit to these jackets.
     
  2. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    I have looked at alot of them over the last month they seem to start around 70 bucks and go up into the 300 range. Wal-mart has one here in maryland for $95 I did see one at BPS for $89.
     

  3. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    I've a Stearns that cost $125. But its got pockets like a fishing vest and was bought at a canoe dealer, so was higher. The best inflatables are probably the Mustangs with the hydrostatic sensor. Supposedly, they won't inflate duirng the rain like some automatic inflatables. Mine is a manual. The Mustang hydrostatics are what I see the game wardens wearing these days. They start at about $250.
     
  4. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    I never thought about them going off in the rain! Manuel sounds like the way to go. Does any one know how much weight they can float? I was wondering for when I cold weather fish with lots of layers of clothes on.
    Bill
     
  5. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I have a Stearns that is auto/manual. I don't use it when it's raining, and it did go off once when I left it lying in the bottom of the boat and it got damp. I almost jumped overboard when it went off behind me later where I had it drying in the sun. I wanted the auto feature just because it is possible to fall overboard and be unconscious, thereby the manual feature would be useless. I normally wear mine at all times on my boat, especially when I'm alone. In cold weather I wear a standard vest-type pfd and wear a coat over that instead of the inflatable.
    I think mine was ~ $100 at BP.
     
  6. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I've always had life vests on the boat but never wore one. I'm going to start as part of my New Year's resolutions.

    After all, "There's a fine line between bravery & stupidity":tounge_out:
     
  7. waterwalker

    waterwalker New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    Louisville Ohio
    I have Stearns manual...sometimes I wonder when they are activated if
    they will work LOL Guess you have to have faith in them. Mine were around 150.00 each, thinking about buying the automatic type, but after
    reading some of the other posts about them, maybe I'll reconsider. I don't
    like regular PFDs because the are bulky and hot, but I wear this type all
    the time. Be safe thats the first thing you learn in boating...
     
  8. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I bought this Sospenders auto couple years ago. I wear it anytime I'm in the boat. I been well pleased with it. I fish alone and wife was concerned.
     
  9. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I think I would much rather get wet in one of those plain ol'vests with an extra 50 to 150 dollars in my pocket. You are gonna be just as wet as I am but I won't be broke, LOL!!
     
  10. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I would never wear one of the plain ones, they are hot and uncomfortable so they would do me no good if if I fell out of the boat. Wife thinks if I had a heart attack and fell overboard at least they could find my ugly old body. :big_smile:
     
  11. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I have one . It cost me around $100.00 from Wal-Mart. They are very nice in the summer. Not to hot!
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Make sure you try on the inflatable jacket you're thinking of buying -- different brands are cut differently and can be very uncomfortable to wear depending on how your built.

    I had an auto-inflating jacket from Cabelas, their "house brand" and it cut into my neck when I wore it.

    Found one made by Mustang at the local Boater's World which fits much better. I wear it all the time now, especially in the cold water.
     
  13. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    I have the same and have fished in floods and never in 5+ years have I had one to go off in rain.
    The way there made water has to run up hill.


    Pete
     
  14. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks, Pete. You made a point that I wish I had done in my earlier post. The time mine went off it had gotten wet lying in the bottom of the boat, not during a rain. It shouldn't have been lying there anyway. I had laid it down while we went ashore for lunch or something, and it fell into some water in the back of the boat.
    I agree that it would be hard for it to get wet in a rain shower. I have read somewhere that the automatics need to be stored in a dry environment to prevent the water-soluble arming wafer, or whatever it's called, from deteriorating from moisture. I wore mine in light rain the other day and it did just fine. They do recommend inspecting the arming system on a regular basis, of course.
     
  15. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    When I covered the BASS series they gave me one of the Mustang brand auto inflatable vests. I love it. Luckily I have never had to use it. I wear it a lot. The bad part is that they can inflate in the rain or if they get wet...so be prepared to get the crap scared out of yourself!!!! :big_smile:

    They are kind like a parachute. You hope they work when you pull the cord!!!!
     
  16. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    There are three kinds of inflatables. The manual requires pulling the cord to inflate. The regular automatic inflates on contact with water and doesn't take much to inflate. Hydrostatic inflatables require immersion to inflate. None are legal flotation devices unless worn. That means if you don't have any other flotation devices in you boat that met Coast Guard regulations you must have th inflatable on, not that it will do you any good if you don't wear it.

    Price wise, they go up in order of the type of inflation procedure with the hydrostatic being the most expensive. They are cooler. I've noticed the game wardens in Texas appear mostly wear the Mustang inflatable, probably the hydrostatic type. Lots of pro bass fishermen also are wearning them, not the best of recommendations, but they do spend a lot of time on the water.

    Whichever type you pick, whether the $69 basic model or the $350 Mustang, you should test the system at least once a year. To just test to make sure the vest still holds air, you can blow it up by mouth. But, if you want to test the CO2 cartridge, you have to pull the cord. Get a spare cartridge to test it out if you buy one, you'll be pleased with the way it works.

    Will they keep you afloat, yep. I've used mine once (a manual) in 12 foot water and it more than did the job.
     
  17. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've got the Sospenders; they're so comfortable I put them on when launching, and forget about them till I pull the boat out. The automatic feature is really nice, but I opted for the manual model because of price. I wanted a wearable floatation device that I could wear all the time in the boat, not just when running the motor. I've learned the hard way that accidents that put you overboard don't just happen when that outboard is running, and if you happen to be in any kind of current, you can be in serious trouble.
     
  18. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I have had SOSpenders for 4-5 years now. No problem in the rain. 2 years ago, I opted for the SOSpender in the fanypack style. It is worn around the waist and is far better in my opinion. Why? Because no vest is of use unless you wear it. With the fanny pack style, I promise you will forget you have them on. More than once I have made it home and unloaded the boat before realizing I still had them on. Anyone who has fished with me in my boat knows my one rule that has no exceptions is everyone onboard MUST wear a vest. Sorry, if that bothers anyone, but if it does, your welcome to fish in someone elses boat.
     
  19. SassyManxLady

    SassyManxLady New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    MO
    My husband had to have surgery on his neck and had rods inserted that were attached with screws. They sent him home after 3 days in the hospital with a follow up to see the surgeon in 7 days. When we went back for the follow up, we found out that 2 of the screws had sheared off and had one of the rods poking into his spine. Immediate surgery left him with more rods and more screws and a x-ray with something looking like a ladder that a bunch of 5 years old kids would try to nail together.
    So for his first trip to the lake to go fishing, I couldn’t go, for I had to work, and I was having a hissy for I knew he wouldn’t wear his life jacket for it rubbed where the scar was from his neck surgery and there was no way he would wear it. So, we went to Bass Pro and bought him a inflatable life jacket. It has what I call 3 ‘rip cords’ on the front of the jacket so that if he falls in, he can reach up and pull any one of the three rip cords and the jacket will inflate. I can’t remember what the brand name of the jacket is but I do know that it cost right at $100.00. It was well worth it to me, to know that at least he will wear it. It is comfortable for him to wear and if he does fall in, there is a good chance he can pull the ‘rip cord’ for I know with all that hardware in his neck that there is no way that he can swim far enough to help himself.
    Sassy