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Old 12-10-2008, 02:36 AM
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Default CO2 Life Preserver??

Can anyone tell me their experiences with them?

They certainly look much more comfortable, and that means my wife and I are much more likely to wear them 'all the time', rather than 'sometimes', as we do with the bulky vest we have now.

Anyway, going to Cabellas Friday Morning for a little Christmas shopping, and thought I would pick a couple up for us.

Thanks for any input folks, I appreciate it.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Anybody?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Hi Fysh,

I use one all the time. They are much more comfortable that a standard vest. For it to be legal as a personal flotation devise you have to have it on in the boat. I don't know if you ever get checked on the water but if you are and it is laying in the boat, they won't count it as a life vest. At least that is how it works in Florida.

In the Summer it can be hot underneath the vest as it does not breath. You may not have as much problem as I do in Florida. Even with that I rather wear one instead of the standard vest.

There is one type that you wear around your waist. The vest is in a pouch. When you need it the vest pops out of the pouch and you have to put it over your head. The waist style won't be quite as warm in the sun. The belt pack may be the most comfortable when wading. The problem is if you are unconscious or being swept away by a fast currant you may not be able to put it over your head.

There are manual and automatic units. If you are getting sprayed by angry water you don't want the automatic. The old ones use to activate with a light rain. I think they solved that problem but I don't know about your use in a drift boat. It is according how dry you stay.

Frank


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Old 12-11-2008, 03:59 PM
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Thumbs up Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Hi Fyshstykr,

I have the exact SOSpenders model Frank showed the image of; it's made by Stearns. Since I'm generally wade-fishing rivers by myself, I never go without it. Its "low profile" footprint means that you're not even aware you're wearing it. Frank does note that if you're knocked unconscious you won't be able to pull the inflated vest over your head, but then, if you're knocked unconscious by the fall, you wouldn't be able to pull the activation tab either. However, if you've inflated it, even with not yet having put it over your head, it should still keep you front side up.

As in everything, there's trade-offs. For me, I'm willing to trade off the bulk and heat of a non-inflatable or automatically-inflating vest for this model which is so easy to wear you don't even hesitate to wear it. While I do incur the risk of slipping and knocking myself unconscious in the water, I try to avoid those high-risk situations anyway so it's a risk I'm willing to assume (I'm a former Paratrooper, so I know something about assuming risk ). I should add that the belt pack negates the need for the wading belt you'd normally be wearing anyway, plus allowing attachment of other tools like wading staff holster, etc. As for automatic inflatables, I get wet enough from rain, splashing, etc. that I wouldn't want a PFD inflating automatically on me in those situations.

One last thought for those reading this who - like myself - often have to fly to fly-fishing destinations; even though the TSA and FAA regulations have clearly for some time specifically allowed the transport upon commercial airlines in either carry-on or checked baggage of CO2-inflatable life-vests along with a spare CO2 cartridge, more often than not the TSA security personnel at airport security checkpoints won't be aware of this. Therefore, I always carry it in my carry-on baggage along with a print-out of the current TSA regulation expressly permitting its transport on airlines. FWIW, on two of my last three trips I've had to produce that copied regulation before they'd allow me to carry it on (alternative would have been to throw away the $17 CO2 cartridges, making the vest useless on that trip). If anyone wants a copy of the current Federal Regulation allowing CO2-inflatable life vests to be carried on commercial airlines, just let me know and I'll e-mail you a scanned copy.

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Old 08-09-2011, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Brought this forward out of the archives to see if there is any new information on self-inflatable life jackets. Any opinions on comfort or risk of inflating due to rain or splashing?

Dave
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Hey!!

I have a Sterns fishing vest that has the PFD CO2 rip cord on it. I wear it when I'm in the boat or Wading the Kenai. With nothing in the pockets it's not bulky and I like that part. It also has an air tube for manual inflation, every spring I inflate it and let it sit overnight to be sure it's good to go.

Never used it, don't want to
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Hi Dave,
CO2 life preserver technology has not changed since this post started.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Hey!!

I have a Sterns fishing vest that has the PFD CO2 rip cord on it. I wear it when I'm in the boat or Wading the Kenai. With nothing in the pockets it's not bulky and I like that part. It also has an air tube for manual inflation, every spring I inflate it and let it sit overnight to be sure it's good to go.

Never used it, don't want to
Ard

I appreciate the practicality of your answer. It is important for each of us to realize our limitations or properly asses the risks and take appropriate safety precautions.

Dave
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

I'd check out the functions once a year, auto inflation, rip cord, or oral tube. Make sure they work. It's cheap insurance even at $150 and you replace it every few years.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: CO2 Life Preserver??

Hi Dave,

This thread started in 2008 and there as been improvements in how they are made, some materials are better and the fit is better for most. We also have vest that require them to be submerged before they will inflate. This solves the problem of being in the rain and having them inflate. The technology is called HIT for Hydrostatic Inflation Technology. I am not sure this was available in 2008 but it may have been. In any case it is a good design to consider.

Frank
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