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flechero

inflatable PFD's - Mustang, Sospenders, etc.

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I'm looking for input from guys that have and use the inflatable pfd's of any make/model.

I plan to buy auto or auto/manual.

I have considered them for several years and just never bought... this time I am going to buy. I'm looking for any and all advice, pro's con's etc. What makes some more or less comfortable, etc. And in cold weather, do they adjust to fit over coats and heavy clothing?

Thanks!

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I have the SOSpenders manual model. It will adjust to fit over bulky clothing. I have friends who have owned the automatic version. The only downside to the automatic was that it may inflate on it's own if it gets wet (at least the versions they owned, not sure about the latest models).

Overall, I really like mine and remember, the best PFD is the one that is WORN ;)

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My wife bought me the Mustang Sup because they are suppose to be the best and she said I was worth keeping. They are very comfortable

and they will adjust for winter. I don't know how good they work because I haven't needed it yet. The rearm kit is kind of pricey at about $70 bucks. The mustang will not inflate prematurely. I also have a set of the manual type but We got to thinking what if I get Knocked unconscious when I fall out. :-[ I have always wondered why we pay $400 + for a rod and reel and then buy the cheapest life vest we can find, it just don't make no sense. Also with the Mustang I find myself wearing it all the time. I love my Mustang

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Keep a regular life jacket in the boat if you are not going to wear it all the time. Some Type 5 jackets will get you a ticket if it is not on your body every minute you are on the water.

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As fishfordollars said, even though you have the SOSpends or something, you still need a regular life jacket for everyone on board. And I believe the rule is 16 and under cannot wear them in most states.

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I have the auto SOSpenders.  I wear them in cold weather when I have a lot of bulky clothes on.  That way I can put them on and keep them on without the bother of taking a vest off and on.

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I have the top of the line Cabela's one.  So far no complaints after 2 years.  I did jump in with it on last summer just to see how it works and if it worked.  I was pleased.

As others have said some don't classify as a PFD unless it is worn.  Don't quote me on this but I think it matters whether it is a Type IV or Type V.

And as far as having the auto inflating while wet ... I don't think that is a problem anymore.  With mine it has to be submerged for a second or two before it will inflate.  I fished with it on this spring in a descent rain shower and had no problems.

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I have the Mustang.  It easily adjusts to fit over winter clothing.  Very comfortable.

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I have the SOSpends Autos. I think they were like $180 at BPS a couple of years ago but I got the larger/longer models which was a little more than the others.  I got them for me and my dad because we both have a bad habit of "just going a short distance" and not putting vest on, plus he was nearly 80 and the only way I could get him to wear an inflatable was to wear one myself and insist he wore his.

I also got the auto's because who's to say when you hit the water, your going to be able to pull the cord.

As for going off from getting wet, I don't think it will do that.  Mine says it won't, that it takes that micro amount of negative pressure created when submerged several inches under water.

Like others have stated, it is not a legal flotation device and you must still have a legal vest in the boat.

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Sounds like I should get one.  I fish alone most of the time, and don't put my jacket on for the "short runs." :-[

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If you get an automatic one, DO NOT store it on your boat.  The release pill will slowly deteriorate with humidity and eventually release if you don't replace it.  If stored it a drawer it will break the wood and you can't get the drawer open until it is deflated.

Don't ask me how I know that!!!

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If you get an automatic one, DO NOT store it on your boat. The release pill will slowly deteriorate with humidity and eventually release if you don't replace it. If stored it a drawer it will break the wood and you can't get the drawer open until it is deflated.

Don't ask me how I know that!!!

That is sound advise, but at your expense...very funny.

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I have the SOSpends Autos and when I need to count on them they worked great.  I flipped a canoe with my son and I in it and the PFDs inflated fast and possibly saved our lives.  We were in heavy clothing with boots on when the canoe flipped quite a way from shore.  I can not stress enough how important it is that everyone wear a PFD.

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I purchased the SOSpenders Auto model after developing some health issues. My wife demanded I wear a PFD at all times. I bought the SOSpenders last year, and wear them constantly--even in the hottest summer weather. They are very comfortable. Fortunately, I can't report on how well they deploy.

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I always wear mine now. This summer on table rock lake I had my right foot on the trolling motor looking back at my fishfinder on the cockpit and spinning the boat to the left. I hit an underwater cedar tree that stopped the boat in a hurry. Next thing I know I'm in the water. I crashed through the tree when I fell in and it cut me all up.

It cut my face a little but it got my shouder and leg real bad. It was real hard to pull myself back in the boat. I didnt have a lifejacket on and was actualy a little worried for a minute. I finally remembered seeing somewhere you could use the trim tilt and hydrofoil to get out of the water and thats what i did.

When I went to get my sospenders after that I made sure to get auto inflate because it could have very easily knocked me out.

On the funny side I swam to the back of the boat and when I tried to pul myself up out of the water . It turned on my autobilge which shot me right in the face. >;)

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I wear a Mustang Tournament 100% of the time when fishing alone...hot or cold, it just makes sense. Mine is not the hydrostatic type but I haven't had a problem as of yet after two years of use but I will rearm it soon here to be safe....goin to Cabelas today actually.

Another thing to look at is how much buoyancy the vest has. It is said that 25lbs will right some people face up and 35lbs will right most people.

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Mines hydro static and needs water pressure. Have been in driving rain it didn't inflate. Very easy to fish with.

Garnet

2X Mine are Bass Pro Shops about $200.00 I believe they are made by Mustang same rearming kit. Thank God never needed to us them. Just remember will not help you if you don,t have it on.

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I bought two auto inflate pfd vests at Walmart a year or so ago. Make a long story short, they saved my and my sons' life.  I will never go anywhere near the water with out one, or let him.   The sound of that cartridge going off is something I will never forget, and seeing his face next to me when we surfaced was something I will never forget.

Don't even flinch at the price of them. It is the best money you could ever spend.

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price is not the issue... nearest bps or cabela's to try some on is over 2 hours...  and being a bigger guy, I'm told that fit may be an issue from brand to brand.

Anyone know why the cabela's brand is so much less for same auto/man features?  I read all 82 reviews on the auto and about 78 were positive.  price isn't an issue but I'm not going to pay 2-3 times price just for a brand name. ?

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I have sospenders and my Dad just bought me a Jacket called float tech that is waterproof, windproof, and has an integrated autoinflated vest just like sospenders. You can zip off the sleeves, you can take the vest out, or can wear it as a whole jacket. It's 100% rainproof, I tested it today in a tournament with 4 hours of straight pouring rain ;D  They're pretty expensive but he found a closeout on them and got one for $40!!! http://www.go2marine.com/product.do?no=191979F&WT.mc_id=gb1

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I have sospenders and my Dad just bought me a Jacket called float tech that is waterproof, windproof, and has an integrated autoinflated vest just like sospenders. You can zip off the sleeves, you can take the vest out, or can wear it as a whole jacket. It's 100% rainproof, I tested it today in a tournament with 4 hours of straight pouring rain ;D They're pretty expensive but he found a closeout on them and got one for $40!!! http://www.go2marine.com/product.do?no=191979F&WT.mc_id=gb1

Where?!?!?!?

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He is ADDICTED to www.slickdeals.net and found it on there. Some online store had them and they were closing out so they were selling them for 40 bucks. They only had size medium, in the green color. Believe me, he gets some AMAZING deals. Just the other day he got $400 dollar binoculars for $30 plus $10 dollar shipping.  

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They are worth every penny, think about it, how much is your life worth. I own one and wear it all the time, I dont even notice it.

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