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Thread: Survival vest

  1. #1
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    Default Survival vest

    Hi Guys,
    I am looking for a new survival vest. I was wondering what everybody else is using and where can you buy one?
    I will be in Anchorage next month for the outdoor show. I hear there is a place called eagle enterprise that has safety
    stuff. I looked on there website and can not find any vest.
    I noticed the troopers have an orange vest on. Is there any where to buy this?
    Thanks
    Jeff

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    I'm pretty sure Eagle Enterprises has a variety of survival vests. Maybe they're not shown on their website. Call them on the phone.

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    An oldie but a goodie: I used a WW II USAF survival vest. Plenty of pockets, and a built-in holster that accommodates a Colt .45. It also was a good fit for my Ruger SA .41 Mag. My Hardballer fit well in it, too. May be hard to find these days though . . . A good military surplus store might still have some lying around.

  4. #4

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    Watch the video.........this is my choice. http://www.511tactical.com/All-Produ...ical-Vest.html

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    For years I have been using one of the Stearns Nomex inflatable vest. It is looking a little tired these days, but it serves the purpose.
    I have a two man tube tent in the back section of the vest.
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    My dad uses a Stormy Seas vest when he is on floats. It inflates using a co2 charge and pull chord, is nicely insulated, and has a couple large pockets. Last time I checked though Stormy Seas jackets where kind of spendy. I think he got it at B&Js, not sure though.
    -Out-of-State for school, remembering why I love Alaska so much

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    I like the stearns, it looks like they have two different models. How hot is it in the summer?
    Jeff

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    Eagle Enterprises sells vests. I've bought self inflating Stearns nylon vests from them a few times. They have nomex versions but I never saw the need. I'm pretty sure they sell a vest with their survival modules included. Heat, nutrition, shelter, signaling, etc. They moved to a new location next to Alaska Rubber on Old Seward just north of Dowling. Great store, always fun to visit.

    When flying floats i always wear a self inflating vest. They do get a little warm. I don't wear a vest for wheel ops but if you want a cooler vest and flotation isn't required you can find lots of warm weather mesh fishing vests that would work well.

  9. #9
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    Around Kachemak Bay it never gets hot enough to worry about it.
    I got lucky with the Nomex Stearns vest when I found a few that a Maine fishing shop had on their inventory. They were an accidental delivery and the guy wanted them out of his boating store. So I got a couple for $50 each.
    After they arrived via mail, I figured out what they were really worth and called the guy for more... But he said they had all sold out within 48 hours...
    It is a manual inflation (pull cord) or blow-it up yourself. I do not wear automatic inflating vest since they could go off and pin you, while you still need to swim out of the wreckage.
    I have a couple of the green nylon Stearns vest around here as well. They are much less expensive, but just as hot,,, maybe even hotter since they do not breath at all.

    They have a new version of the Nomex inflatable that has more floatation.

    Good Price .............. http://www.twinsrecreation.com/cat-fs1745.html

    http://www.goodboatgear.com/detail/1...Nomex%20Fabric

    http://www.eaglesafety.net/Flotation...inflatable.htm

    http://www.bargainboatparts.com/p-10...74-fabric.aspx
    http://www.westernsafety.com/stearnsnew/stearnspg2.html
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stearns-Nome...p=mtr&hash=ite
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    I've always figured a nomex vest in a fire is about as useful as a down vest over street clothes for an arctic trek.

    By automatic inflating I meant the type with "Jerk to Inflate" on the ripcord.

  11. #11
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    A nomex vest in a fire is about as useful as a down vest over street clothes for an arctic trek.
    Yes, unless you are like some of us who also wear fire-resistant clothing as well.
    So whilst we my not be totally unscathed, at least we would not have a flaming and melting piece of nylon sticking to our outer clothing like napalm.
    "Although I have never tried to burn or melt a Nylon Stearns Vest....... And they may well be treated with something that does not burn well. But my inclination towards pyromania only goes so far."

    The same reason I no longer wear fleece after I burst into flames when standing too close to a camp fire one night.
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    Have you started drinking more hot coffee and stepping back one pace from the fire? Heh-heh.

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    I know guys who wear Nomex garments but none wears enough of it to be adequately protected in a fire. Watch an F1 race driver get dressed and you'll see them protected from tip to toe including using respirators. That isn't practical for most private pilots. Fire prevention is our best opportunity for fire safety.

    Fleece has saved my bacon several times through the years. Synthetic clothing has improved winter protection and comfort beyond what anyone thought possible just 15-20 years ago. The odds that I'll benefit from using synthetic winter apparel are far better than the the odds I'll suffer for it. And that's proven true for a few AOG experiences I've had.

  14. #14

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    I'm with Alex on this one. I have found that moving away from fleece, to the point where all my winter gear is wool, silk, and cotton, has not reduced my gear quality but rather has significantly raised it. Fleece is cheap, but it can't match wool in my experience.

    I may not be covered head to toe in nomex, but I don't wear anything synthetic when I'm flying. I agree that the best prevention is to prevent the fire. I also believe that we can be too careful to the point of paralyzing ourselves in inactivity if we raise unneeded or unrealistic levels of expectation on ourselves. In this case, wearing clothing that is not synthetic has proven to be easy enough as a goal that I feel it is well worth the extra touch of risk mitigation.

    YMMV.

  15. #15
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    If I become engulfed in flames, I am out of luck. But I try to avoid wearing something that is known to burn (burst into flames) and melt in case of a small fire, burning wires, or short term flame exposure occurs.

    So the 1970s double-knit leisure suit is right out.

    But then again I always wear tough gloves during take-offs and approaches so I can smash my way through lexan and plexiglass, should things not go as planned. Badly cut hands would be a hindrance out in the sticks.

    While Carhart makes fire resistant jackets and coveralls. Their regular stuff can be exposed to flame for more than a few seconds without burning, or it will stop burning when removed from direct flame contact.
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    Fleece is nice around the house but when out and about I'll take wool anytime. Yes, it is heavier but will always keep you warm, wet or dry and it doesn't stink after the first day.

    I have something similar to AGL4now which allows you to add or remove pouches to carry whatever you want. I'm also putting together a load bearing belt/shoulder strap rig for snowmachine and 4 wheeling that will also serve in the plane. I set them up to provide 2 days of food, shelter, fire and first aid, 22 Mag pistol and ammo or the G20, fishing stuff and so on. It is way too heavy to wear in the plane all the time and is behind the rear seat and easy to get to if I bend the plane somewhere along the way.

    In the water in AK and most northern areas even in the summer, hypothermia is always the biggest threat to survival. When I flew SAR with CAP out of Homer we always encourged everyone to wear a PFD because it made it a lot easier to find the bodies. I'm not saying PFD's aren't a good idea for a water crash and especially on floats, but they are such a pain in the butt to wear all the time you are over or near water. I guess it is just a choice you gotta make.

    Hey Float,

    That looks like my Sear garage door opener in the upper left of the picture of your vest?
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  17. #17
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    Hey Float,

    That looks like my Sear garage door opener in the upper left of the picture of your vest
    ?

    Actually that is my old Navy Issue signal mirror. For some reason it does not look like a mirror in the photo.
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