Inflatable PFD

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16 years 3 months ago #1906 by billy bobba
Inflatable PFD was created by billy bobba
Does anyone use inflatable (CO2/ manual) PFDs for hot weather paddling situations?
It would seem that they would be much cooler to wear than the standard jacket.
What would be the possible drawbacks?

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16 years 3 months ago #1907 by postal256
Replied by postal256 on topic Re: Inflatable PFD
That's all I use. I use a 'fanny pack' style manual inflatable. On nice, easy days I keep it on my boat and will only put it round my waist on terrible days. Never have had to inflate it..so I guess a drawback would be if I ever needed to and it didn't inflate (but they still have mouth inflate ability)?

Another drawback was at one race they said I had to be 'donning' my PFD. I had it around my waist properly and secured. The race director insisted I actually had to inflate it! haha Even though the Coast Guard guys were right there in the safety boats wearing shoulder inflatables that weren't inflated.. of course I did what any of you would've done, I borrowed a big orange PFD from a 12 year old girl who had an extra.

But that's only one race where I had a problem.

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  • nell
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16 years 3 months ago #1908 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: Inflatable PFD
I use an inflatable for training and sometimes in races. The only annoyance is that if you have the waist strap loose then some models tend to rotate around you and become a bit annoying. If you cinch it tightly, then you get a belly ache.

I inflated mine for practice while on land to make sure that it worked. It did, and you really don't need the CO2 cartridge as I believe all models have a mouth inflatable valve. 3 or 4 big blows, and it's full.

USCG rules require these manual ones to be worn and to have the CO2 cartridge intact. This makes it inconvenient to travel with because you'll need to buy another CO2 cartridge at each race site (you can't fly with the cartridge).

I guess that in really rough waters or on really cold water, I would prefer the security of a light wearable pfd like the Mocke vest that is always bouyant. Plus, you could still swim well while wearing the Mocke vest or one of that type. An inflatable one that's inflated is not as easy to swim with and inflating/deflating while in the water might be somewhat of a hassle.


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