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Inflatable Life Vest ?

1/9/16 @ 8:40 AM
MEMBER since 3/17/02
Anybody wear an inflatable life vest while fishing? Like most people that I see on the water, I haven't put a life jacket on in over 50 years. They are too bulky and hot, but now that I have a titanium shoulder, I am pretty sure my swimming ability will not be what it once was.

I hear "Auto Inflate" life jackets inflate by themselves in hot weather or while in a hot storage compartment. "Manual Inflate" units solve that problem but if I am going to spend the bucks and I am wearing it for "Safety" I feel I should get one with all available "Safety" features.

Anybody using either of these ? Can anyone recommend a good one?


9/19/20 @ 10:25 AM
MEMBER since 6/15/01

things to know... WI law on lifejackets:

  • All vessels (including canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards) must have at least one USCG-approved Wearable life jacket for each person on board.   
  • All vessels 16 feet or more in length must have one USCG-approved Throwable personal flotation device on board that is immediately accessible.   
  • Every person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG-approved life jacket
  • Sailboards and windsurfers are exempt from life jacket requirement, but are highly encouraged to wear one.   
  • Federal law requires children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved life jacket while underway in an open vessel on federally controlled waters.

9/19/20 @ 9:19 AM
MEMBER since 2/16/04

I purchased some boat junk from West Marine, so one day I get a mailer ad for 2 inflatables for 99 dollars. They were pull cord models and I bought them. Like Fish Hound said, they need to be worn to be legal if you get checked. Interesting story about the guy who almost suffocated because he had it on under a rain jacket when it went off. I checked mine by inflating it manually (yes, I read the directions), and I duct taped the floppy little pull handle out of the way to prevent a 25 dollar accidental inflation so I'm good to go. My fishing bud promptly bought the other one.

9/19/20 @ 9:17 AM
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BâssÂddîçt ©¸
MEMBER since

One thing you must do when you buy an inflatable life jacket

Go try them on you're going to be wearing them all day

The most expensive one might be the most uncomfortable one to wear

I don't look at the price tag 

 will I wear this all the time 

And not hanging on the back of my boat seat

9/18/20 @ 8:40 AM
User since 3/27/06

I purchased two from Bass Pro about five years ago. They were on sale for 80 bucks. I shopped all the brands including Mustang. I could not justify buying Mustang. I have been happy with my purchase. No problem wearing them even in hot weather. You hardly know you have them on. Fortunately, I have not experienced in inflation caused by being in the water. However, my son-in-law was wearing one and accidentally caused inflation. One of the choices you have to make is the pull cord. On mine, it hangs out the bottom. I'm sure it would be very available if you were in the water. On the other hand, it is easy to accidentally get hooked on something causing an inflation. I chose to add a piece of Velcro which keeps it inside. Yes I would have to struggle a little bit more to reach it if an accident occurred, but I think I could deliberately inflate when necessary. Remember to buy an adjustable one. The size you need while wearing a T-shirt on a summer day is very different than the size you need while wearing a lot of clothing.

9/17/20 @ 5:43 PM
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BâssÂddîçt ©¸
MEMBER since

Eyson Slim PFD Life Jacket

I wear this fishing all the time it's very comfortable

It gives me plenty of room around your arms to cast 

9/17/20 @ 4:05 PM
MEMBER since 7/7/04

It’s your life, spend the $250 and get a Mustang H.I.T model. There is a reason all the Game Wardens wear them.

9/16/20 @ 8:11 PM
User since 5/12/16

FLM i just got the same one.I looked at them for several years.I finally got two of them a coupla weeks ago.I must say they are more comfortable than i thought they would be.

9/15/20 @ 8:36 PM
MEMBER since 6/22/01

I just realized tonight that I had a good amount of Cabelas points to use up so I ordered one.  It's a bass pro shop one and it looks pretty comfy.  It's self-inflating and manual, so I'll probably start wearing it all the time while on the water.  I have kids and make them wear theirs all of the time.  I should be setting a better example and be wearing one, especially when they're on the water with me! But being that I've never really worn one my entire life, I've found it difficult to start wearing one now.  I really hope getting one of these will change that train of thought.

AM24 Auto/Manual Inflatable Life Vest

9/15/20 @ 8:15 PM
User since 8/6/19

I have been using a Cabela's 2500 manual inflating, (rip cord) style of inflating life jacket for over 10 years.  I went to one of these because I suffered a stroke, and have a bad right leg as a result of the stroke.  I figure I cannot swim well enough without a vest, and I wanted one that felt comfortable enough to wear all the time while fishing or on the water while boating.  I can fish for hours, casting, flipping, and pitching without any interference from the vest.   If I had a high speed bass boat, I would probably go for an auto-inflating one; if you were flown from the boat, you might not be conscious when hitting the water.  I figure that I would pay up to $500.00, (paid less than half of that price for one!) for such safety, as I think my life is worth that kind of value, and many times over.  This isn't an area you skimp on spending money, at least as far as I am concerned!  Stay safe and tight lines!

9/15/20 @ 7:22 PM
MEMBER since 6/22/01

Bringing this back up for discussion.  I somehow lost my life vest, I think one a fishing trip about five or six weeks ago when it was pouring rain and I left the vest in the boat and it must have flown out.  I still have extras in my boat, but nothing fits great.  Are the self-inflating ones really worth the extra money or do the pull-cord ones work just fine?  I have a big fear of it going off by accident if I get the self-inflating one.  Also, I'm a few pounds over 300, so how well do these fit on big guys like myself?

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