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 Post subject: PFD - Most Comfortable
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 3:52 am 
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What do you guys find most useful. I have used the inflatable for years, but notice most of the pics I see if people in kayaks indicate that most were the traditional type. Why??
The traditional types are very uncomfortable and hot.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 4:23 am 
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I look at it this way. I'm low to the water and at times can seem to be invisible to boaters. Given that thought if I was hit by a boat and knocked out I'd still be on the surface of the water by wearing that full size PFD.

As far as hot goes, there has only been a couple times that I felt it got to hot. In those times I've left the lower buckle closed and unzipped the zipper to air out. When I did cool back down I did re-zip it back up.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:27 am 
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Location: Kissimmee, FL
I have a self inflating S-O-Spenders that I disabled the automatic self inflating feature (now manual only) and that is what I use. I am never hot, it is always there if I need it, and it is never in the way when I am fishing. It also has a distress whistle in it to use and is a bright color when inflated.

I also always wear a bright colored shirt and have a tall PVC pole in the back left rod holder with a large orange flag so others can see me better. I carry a small air horn within easy reach of my seat.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:31 am 
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So..... when you get knocked out and are laying face down in the water, can you say that the manual mode is going to save your life?

I fully rec that you go with the self-inflatable. While they are expensive, they are well worth it when it comes to saving your life. PLUS, they are the greatest for wearing in hot weather.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:42 am 
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Location: Kissimmee, FL
Yes

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:26 am 
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Both my lovely wife and I wear self inflating sold in Bass Pro shops. I have had access to Mustang, SOS, Stearns and others while working on the water. The AM24 from Bass Pro is the most comfortable I have ever worn. Not a peep out of my lovely wife so I know it is extremely comfortable.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:35 am 
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I've ordered the Deluxe Onyx A/M 24 over the Internet only going on how comfortable the reg AM 24 felt to me compared to the others I tried. Hoping this works out OK! I went to 4-5 different places trying on regular jackets and *could not* find one that was comfortable standing let alone sitting and trying them on on the store was hot. I think it matters a lot if you "run hot" - it doesn't bother some people but bugs me enough I'm going to take a chance I'm not hit by a boat and knocked out. If its uncomfortable I prob wouldn't wear it anyway so might as well have a manual.

The AM like mentioned above converts from auto to manual. I think I'll leave it in auto while I get used to the boat and for any non-warm water scenarios and switch to manual when comfortable. The few auto inflate test videos I've seen, most testers are popping out of the water before it goes off anyway. If a boat shmucks me unconscious and has the nerve to not stop to fish me out, I'll have died kayaking :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:06 pm 
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I have two that I wear depending on the weather. My winter months PFD is
Image
And my spring/summer months pfd is
Image
Just like anything not one tools does all so I like having options. I looked around for a long time for on inflatable and the MIT100 was the best for me. Keep in mind I am a big boy so most fit too snug around my neck but this mustang MIT100 feels real nice.

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:01 am 
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Location: Gales Ferry Connecticut
Years ago I rolled my Outback( It happens), and was grateful to have an old style PFD that gave me positive buoyancy. I was in the water 45 min (swimming to an island) didn't have to worry about deflation. Sitting in a kayak that close to water, you should know how to cool off.

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:27 am 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
Buying a PFD is like buying a pair of shoes. Go to the shoe/pfd store and try them on. What is comfortable for one person isn't for another.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
saltfisherman wrote:
Given that thought if I was hit by a boat and knocked out I'd still be on the surface of the water by wearing that full size PFD.


islandspeed2001 wrote:
So..... when you get knocked out and are laying face down in the water, can you say that the manual mode is going to save your life?


Are you really going to sit on your PA and wait for a boat to knock you into the water?

If a boat is heading towards me, I’ll make every effort to get out of the way, simultaneously trying to alert the driver of my presence.

The second last resort for me is to stand up and wave my arms or shine a torch (flashlight). The last resort is to jump off my yak and get under the water. There’s only one place out there that a boat can’t hit you, and that’s under the surface.

At least with a manually inflating PFD, I can choose to duck under the water to avoid getting hit. With a self-inflator or a conventional jacket, you’re a sitting duck once you’re in the water.

Manually inflating PFD for me every time.

Cheers,
Graeme


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 5:32 am 
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Location: KY Lake
I like the auto-inflatable. Mustang. I've had 'em all.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:00 am 
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Location: Kissimmee, FL
Graeme, amen to your reply brother!

If I was in my bass boat doing 70 mph and got thrown from the boat I would worry about being unable to activate the manual vest and convert it back to automatic. I do not know about you, but the most I can get my PA up to is around 10-15 mph and that is only for seconds. I fish in Central Florida and if I fall out of my boat and am going down for the last time and cannot hang on and am seeing my life pass before me, I will put my feet down and stand up! I rarely fish in water deeper than five feet here.

If I lived some place else I may reconsider my decision to stay in manual mode but for me this is the best decision.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:59 am
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Location: Virginia
Thanks for all the advice. I settled on the Cabela's Guardian Series 3500 Auto/Manual.
It is very comfortable and can be worn all day. I'll give it a try and if it does not work out I'll move on the something else.

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