Originally Posted by mitiempo
One of the best is here from Mustang:
It is hydrostatic which is the best choice for someone sailing. The non-hydrostatic inflatables can inflate if splashed - a hydrostatic has to be underwater for it to inflate.
In Canada they are only approved if worn so it cannot be on the seat next to you as a conventional lifejacket can. Not sure about the US
That looks like the commercial PFD that is the ONLY inflatable ok for commercial usage here in the states. And YES, one has to have them on your body to be counted as a PFD on the boat.
At the end of the day, one has to have and buy a PFD that will hopefully work in the environment they will be in. 90% of us will never see offshore useage. BUT we may want to be tethered in where we sail, so the D-rings is nice to have, as are other parts one might have for an offshore use PFD. So if the pfd is not as strong, but will hold up in the conditions you may find yourself.......It worked!
Kinda like buying sails for you boat! do you want a really heavy dacron with leather and all the other bells and whistles? or will a light cloth laminate work just as well or better offshore or inshore? Or a folding vs fixed prop? diesel vs gas motor? outboard vs inboard?............. shall we go on as to which is better where when why and how come?