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If not THE first to make inflatables they are certainly one of the first. My family has been using them for 20 yrs (the same ones) and we test the auto-inflate every three years. I like SOSpenders more than most others because they have a built in harness.
 

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I have used the Sospenders basic harness for years any time the boat is moving. No auto-inflate etc just the harness. Very comfortable. I have had no issues even when I wear it for long periods of time. You do have to take into consideration any layers on top of the harness due to the location of the attachment point. Dan S/V Marian Claire
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmmm ,on hunting around here, there seems to be much discussion of the SOS pill-type automatic inflate not being as good.


Three boys, 200 sq ft of fiberglass, tropical beaches
www.sailingwithkids.net
 

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Very good experience with SOSpenders auto-inflate with harness. My own vest is probably 15 years old and been inflated twice (all on board working foredeck with green water over the bow). I have three brands aboard and still like my SOSpenders the best for comfort and reliability.
 

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When the kids were small, we tested the SOSpenders every year by jumping in a pool or in the water. In about 15 auto inflations, mine failed once but worked when I pulled the lanyard.
In the Florida heat, the SOSpenders were worn by the kids and me when normal lifejackets were just too hot.
I always wear mine when aboard
 

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Do some web searching, there are reviews by Practical Sailor and others that can be found. Some vests will not rotate you face up, others will. Some chafe the back of your neck, others' don't. Some have pockets, for a whistle or signal, etc. Others' don't. Some have extra buoyancy, which is a very nice thing when you want to keep your nose and mouth a few inches higher above spray in the water.

They are not all the same. Anything beats nothing, but why not go for the best you can? And you'll see mention of crotch straps. They're optional, but they make a huge difference in performance, and keeping you IN the vest.
 
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