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Muad Dib

Favorite Lifevest

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looking at getting a automatic inflating life vest. family member has some health concerns of passing out! so I want to make sure they are always safe. need some advice to comfort and chance of it getting rained on without inflating. thanks for any advice.

t

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Mustangs are the top of the line. However, BPS and Cabelas make some very good ones that are a little cheaper. Around 150.00 will get you a reliable vest. These inflatables like the mustangs are very comfortable and you almost forget you are wearing them. I have never heard of them discharging in the rain unless maybe you were in a hurricane type situation. You shouldn't be on the water in thoese conditions anywya. Good luck

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I had an automatic inflatable life vest deploy by itself once. I had worn it all day under extremely humid conditions,and it was still extremely humid when I stored it in my fishing truck. Then I drove home 50 or so miles with the AC on high all the way. Several days later, I was searching for something inside the truck and I realized that the inflatable life vest had deployed and then deflated inside the truck. Recharge kits are around $50 (I'd have to check BPS catalog for the exact price.)

I just filed that away in my mind and that was that. A year or so later I came across a very good deal on the HIT inflation system. It is like the ones the coast guard wears. It is unaffected by water spray or humidity, it is activated by water pressure, i.e. a given number of seconds under water are required for it to inflate.

So, as far as I'm concerned, under normal conditions, a regular automatic inflating model would be fine, but if you deal with extreme humidity from time to time, spend the extra money and get the HIT model.

I'm pretty certain that the brand I got was a Mustang brand.

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F.I.T, I have a Mustang vest and have fished in a driving rain with no problems. I made the mistake of stowing the very wet vest in a locker and then forgot about it. The result? Mildew stains all over the vest. I would consider that a very high humidity environment. The vest didn't deploy, but it's a lot uglier than it used to be. :D

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To eliminate the possibility of getting wet triggering the inflation mechanism, the latest versions have hydrostatic triggering devices. They work on water pressure, not wetness. It activates when submerged to a depth of four inches.

Are they dependable? Absolutely. Hydrostatic devices have been used for years in life rafts which are mounted on vessels. Should the boat sink, the raft automatically inflates, and breaks away from its mount. They are also used on EPIRBs (emergency position indicating radio beacons) which need to be automatically triggered when a boat sinks. It must not go off when a boat takes heavy spray or in storms simply because it got wet.

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

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You want the HIT version of the Mustang vest. It's a little more, but as Tom states, is more reliable.

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