Originally Posted by hellosailor
...I used my BC before I got my then-still-illegal PFD. A Crewfit that still rates tops for keeping the wearer face-up and out of the water. I figured since the marine guards on the presidential helo used BCs, they probably would work well enough for me. And, my BC has almost twice the lift of most PFDs on the market. (More lift means my face and nose are higher out of the water, or I can help keep someone else up.)
But today? Uhuh, wouldn't use the BC. Too Much Stuff and if I'm going overboard...the only time I'm really concerned will be if I'm unconcious, when that autoinflate needs to kick in and count.
This might interest you. Take a look at the lastest Mustang high performance PFD at the link below. Notice how as the product evolves it looks more and more like a vest-style scuba diving BC. In fact, this version is almost identical to a scubapro BC - the photo of which I posted above. The only thing missing is build quality and a blow-in valve for manual inflation.
Also, any jacket-style scuba BC that accepts a Co2 cartridge can be set-up to auto inflate.
The product in the image below is just a cheap rip-off of the Scubapro classic BC, which was first introduced in the 1950s. Does that thing look like it's worth $379? Notice how this version is called the Mustang "survival vest" which seems to indicate that their other models offer something less than survival.
Mustang LIFT Inflatable PFD