Sorry for not mentioning, I made a few other posts today. I'm in Romania, my trip will be in the Aegean, Cyclades. The temperature is supposed to be quite high (close to 100F at shore), so a rigid vest will be unpleasant for the kid. I don't want to make any compromise on safety either.
Lalizas (Welcome to LALIZAS S.A., Immersion suit manufacturer
) have mentioned inflatable are possible for kids above 20kg in weight. Considering it's a Greek company, I suppose standards are different but still, this should be EU compliant.
Cormeum, aren't the inflatables supposed to self-inflate at water contact? I realize you can't rely solely on these, but then the parent should be near.
I will take a look at the Mustangs, but am really concerned about the discomfort in such heat. If you visited Greece you know what I'm talking about.
I have sailed a bit in Greece -- along the mainland, the Peloponnese, through the Dodecanes, Cyclades, the Ionian coast, etc. That was a particularly hot summer, when it hit 49 C in Athens. Out in the islands, the Meltemi was blowing and it was fairly chilly on the boat while underway - we wore layers.
If you are going during the time of year when the Meltemi will be blowing, your kids will appreciate the warmth of the standard PFDs.
As others mentioned, in North America inflatables are not approved for use for children under 16 years of age. So we don't have any on the market here. I took a look at the one you mentioned ( Child's Inflatable PFD
), and indeed it seems that europeans have more choices on these than North Americans do.
I still prefer the fail-safe foam jackets for kids, but if it's a choice between no pfd and these inflatables -- definitely go with the inflatables. And if you do go with the inflatables for your kids -- it would be great if you could report back and let us know how it worked out. Hopefully, you'll have no cause to inflate them, but it would be nice to hear about comfort/practicality, etc.