I'm wondering what the opinion is on inflatable pfd's? Has anyone used some of the newer versions of inflatable jackets? If yes would you give me your opinion.
I'm interested in them because they are less weight, less bulk and also they don't make you so hot. But I'm also leery as to how reliable they are when I'd really need it.
"But I'm also leery as to how reliable they are when I'd really need it." -- That's why I don't use one.
I think it makes a difference whether you're talking about paddling in a lake, ocean or river. For river use, I would not do it. If the auto inflate doesn't work, and you temporarily get stunned from either water temps, or hitting your head on a rock, you might not have enough time to get it inflated. Especially if you have to resort to blowing it up with your mouth. In a lake it would be a different matter entirely.
NO to the Inflatable PFD for Kayaking
Having the question of inflatable personal flotation devices pop-up in the 'Alaska Kayaking' section of the forum might indicate that you are seeking opinion based on kayaking Alaska's rivers, lakes, and seas..??.
Originally Posted by akfaller
Inflatable personal flotation devices are neither in truth intended as primary safety flotation nor designed specifically for use on various types of small vessels or watercraft. In short... they come up way short of a superior pfd for kayaking. Not nearly as life saving an alternative when evaluated side by side with more long-established forms of US Coast Guard approved pfd proofed and indicated for paddle sports.
Features and comforts are one fixation... suitable application, protection consideration, and well being becomes the better assessment.
It's significant to this post to note that just about all this stuff (even American brand names) is made in China nowadays.... be certain it has the USCG approval for the given use (Type #, personal, commercial, paddle sports, personal watercraft, rescue, etc.). I'd rather place my expectations and buoyancy trust to pieces of stationary Chinese foam than any quick inflation device having the potential for a number of possible malfunctions (caused by user, product defect, or failure).
Hope this lends a hand and enjoy this start-up to great summer -