Auto Inflate PFD's - SailNet Community
View Poll Results: Which inflatable PFD would you select?
Revere ComfortMax (automatic with harness) 1 4.76%
SOSpenders Model 1230 (auto with harness) 5 23.81%
SOSpenders Model 1231 (auto with suspenders, plus a lined collar) 2 9.52%
Mustang Model MD3084 (auto with harness) 13 61.90%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 22 Old 12-27-2007 Thread Starter
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Auto Inflate PFD's

Quick poll to see if there is any clear preference or strong opinions as to inflatable PFD models.
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-27-2007
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Personally, I would go with the Spinlock Deckware Pro Harness w/ integrated PFD or the Mustang MD3184 instead.

The Spinlock has a few features most of the others don't and is SOLAS approved, rather than USCG approved. It comes with a water-activated strobe as well as a splash hood and thigh straps. It is also one of the easiest to adjust and most comfortable to wear.

The Mustang 3184 I pointed out is one with a Hydrostatic release, rather than a salt-pill based automatic trigger....so it is far less prone to accidental inflation.

IMHO, thigh straps or a crotch strap are key to keeping you in the vest in really bad conditions.

Another good Mustang is the MD0450, which is one with the hydrostatic release, but features their LIFT design, which gives you a bit more flotation. Spinlock also has a new PFD called the Deckvest, which is pretty nice, but I haven't used it.

BTW, the one I use on my boat is the Spinlock, and my crew is normally in the salt-pill version of the Mustang LIFT PFD.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 12-27-2007 at 08:29 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-27-2007
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I currently have two 3084's for spouse and myself, but just bought 3 3184's for my eldest kids as xmas gifts, which I would buy for us if I did not already have the 3084's. I have not voted, as my answer is not available, ie the 3184 over the 3084 on your list! i did not look at the others to my knowledge.

i also have a WM 4000 series, but it is not as comfortable per the kids as the mustang models. I have not personally worn it. I got it after the mustangs for guests, and eldest daughter usually wore it. Now youngest will wear it now that elder 3 have there own. She does not come with us much, so why she did not get a PFD for xmas.

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post #4 of 22 Old 12-27-2007
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One thing to note—some of the inflatable vests with integrated harnesses have minimum safe height requirements, due to the harness design.

The WM4000 series says it isn't safe to use if you're shorter than 5' 6" or 5' 8" IIRC. This isn't well indicated on the harnesses or generally known by the store staff... but if someone shorter uses it, the harness has a good chance of breaking their floating ribs—which can end with serious injuries.

The harness should fasten above the bottom of the sternum as a general rule—where the ribs are solid, not floating.

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post #5 of 22 Old 12-27-2007
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SD,

Did not know about the height part on a WM4000. That would only effect my wife, who is 5'4", possibly one daughter at 5'7", other is 5'9", boyz are 5'16", and I am 6'. Will have to look that info up!

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post #6 of 22 Old 12-27-2007
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A friend of mine, who worked at WM, told me about the height restriction... finding the documentation on it was a pain. Originally, I wanted to get the WM4000's, but since, I'm only 5' 4", she told me to get something else.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #7 of 22 Old 12-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Good info -- please keep it coming!

Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback, as we are likely to purchase a set of two for the mate & myself later this spring.

SD -- I had not heard of the Spinlock, but will certainly seek out more data.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-28-2007
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I also have 2 Mustang 3184s - and would reccomend this inflatable vest, with integrated harness to anyone. If you choose this vest it is available in Red, Black, Pink (new - why?), and there is a West Marine version, IIRC in Yellow. When I was looking, there were a number of on-line merchants that offered them at great prices, but couldn't deliver within a reasonable time frame. Also, IIRC, the black/grey version could be found at a slightly lower price than the red/black version.

I wrote about my experience in another thread. I purchased mine through Marine.Com (the sponsor of this forum), and am very happy that I did. Great service at a fair price.

Ed
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I also have 2 Mustang 3184s - and would reccomend this inflatable vest, with integrated harness to anyone. If you choose this vest it is available in Red, Black, Pink (new - why?), and there is a West Marine version, IIRC in Yellow.
Ed
I chose the red for visibility, but realized once I got it that the color makes little difference: once inflated, all you can see is bright yellow. Plenty visible!

Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-31-2007
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I also chose red for the MD3184... But why did they come out with pink?
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