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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:mad:

The Mustang Lil' Legends lifejacket is by all accounts the best thing going for kids. Rarely do you see such a consensus of reviews online, and among boating friends. I bought one recently for my 2 year old and I am very disappointed.

First, some background that may be the problem AND the solution. Mustang just changed the style of the jacket, and the changes are more than cosmetic. I bought the newer one (assuming that they were improving on success) but in reality the experience and rave reviews are all based on the old design.

OLD:


NEW:


Basically I had 3 problems with the jacket. First, it has absolutely ZERO growth room for my kid. My kiddo is 2 years old (as of a couple days ago) and is 28lbs and is 50th percentile for height and weight. He's not fat, and this is a child jacket (30-50lbs) and I can barely get 2 fingers in around his chest and abdomen with the jacket fully extended. It looks like he'll outgrow it before he even reaches 30lbs let alone 50!

Second issue, and this is a big one. The crotch strap buckle slides freely to its full extension. Tug slightly on it and it loosens. So, it's basically useless. Dangerously useless as it can ride up to it's hearts content and doesn't provide any resistance until it meets the buckle.

Third issue. The chest flotation is too big and when seated it rides up around his neck and ears. Granted he's on the small end for this size range, but see problem #1 for why waiting and growing won't help!

As for fitting, I could have found out that this wouldn't work, but my local west marine only had the infant size and the youth size. The other sizes were CLEARLY not right, so child must be right, right? I needed it quickly for boating so I ordered it with quick shipping from Amazon. Now, I have to figure out if Amazon will take it back and go through the hassle of shipping it back.

I still have faith that the old style legend jacket is good, so I'm going to see if I can pick up one (or two?) of the old ones before they're all gone.

MedSailor
 

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thanks for this...my baby is almost a 1 year old and am looking at jackets to ship down here...

so can the problem of "age" size be fixed by going up a size for your babies age, or is that not safe to do?

do they still sell the old versions?

thanks med

christian
 

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Closet Powerboater
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3,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The sizes are standard in the USA:

Infant = up to 30lbs

Child = 30-50lbs

Youth = 50-90lbs.

In my 28 pounder's case I tried on the infant, and it wasn't going to work, and tried the youth and it was huge. I think the old ones can be found still as some people may have old stocks but I'd be sure the stock in the size you're ordering really is the orange/yellow type and not just an old picture on the website.

MedSailor
 

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did you try the child? seems that would be the one to use...

I too find sizing awkward for many things for my boy

anyways thanks
 

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Closet Powerboater
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3,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
did you try the child? seems that would be the one to use...

I too find sizing awkward for many things for my boy

anyways thanks
Yes, the child one is the one that we're having the issue with. I already know the infant and youth won't fit because we tried those two models in the store.

Again, growing won't help him either. It might relieve the neck squishing as he gets taller, but if he gets ANY wider, he won't be able to expand his chest to breathe.

MedSailor
 

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that sucks

mand if id have the dough Id have you snatch one of the old versions for me! jajajaja

good luck getting the right jacket, very important

Ill be searching for one down here soon even if its just a non fancy one...

peace
 

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first sailed january 2008
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The west marine branded one is awesome. I gave one that came with my boat to my friend and we took her daughter swimming yesterday and she loved it. Not too tight, not too loose, room to grow. Get that instead. If this newer better mustang one sucks, don't go getting the older model. I think product reviews are often overly positive.

In the meantime if you need to go sailing, just go grab one of the freebies on front of the harbor office. There's like ten, ones got to fit.
 

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Med
We have two of the now earlier Mustang Lil Legend jackets for our 4 and 2 year olds.

We experienced a similar fit issue with both out kids between ages 1 and 2. Now that the older one is four the vest fits great. I think the issue is that the chubby two year olds eventually elongate without putting on many pounds. We've floated the kids in the vests and the buoyancy up near the chin is needed to keep their head above water. The four year old and two year old are roughly 30lbs and 27 lbs respectively.

We don't have any issues with the crotch straps but they rarely need adjusting anyway. Could probably just tie them off at the right point.

Josh
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In the meantime if you need to go sailing, just go grab one of the freebies on front of the harbor office. There's like ten, ones got to fit.
Otherwise known as the trial fitting center for the older mustang jackets. Brillian idea!

Engineer_sailor, thanks for sharing. Maybe that's the issue.

MedSailor
 

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Knowing how to swim and not fear water is great, but around here, kids under 13 are required to wear pfds when above deck and underway.

Too bad about the mustang, they have had a good rep and I see the older version all the time. One random thought I couldn't help but consider is whether the one you have might have been counterfeit. Seems nearly everything is being copied these days.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Med
We have two of the now earlier Mustang Lil Legend jackets for our 4 and 2 year olds.

We experienced a similar fit issue with both out kids between ages 1 and 2. Now that the older one is four the vest fits great. I think the issue is that the chubby two year olds eventually elongate without putting on many pounds. We've floated the kids in the vests and the buoyancy up near the chin is needed to keep their head above water. The four year old and two year old are roughly 30lbs and 27 lbs respectively.

We don't have any issues with the crotch straps but they rarely need adjusting anyway. Could probably just tie them off at the right point.

Josh
While the above issue MAY go away as kiddo grows, the buckle is ABSOLUTE C%AP!! I just tried using it backwards, reverse threaded, reverse backwards and it slips freely like a zip-line. The climbers among you will like this, it even slips, with just a gentle jiggle WHEN IT IS THREADED BACK ON ITSELF as you would do with a climbing harness. Absolutely unacceptable. It's going back.

I could source a new buckle that hopefully will mate with the sewn-in female end, but I still have the fit issue that only *might* go away. It's going back. Hopefully I can get him to fit tested for an older mustang with a loaner jacket
and get 2 of those. Other models haven't impressed me so far as the child ones don't have the head collar and are only type III vests. My kiddo can't swim yet (working on it) so I need a type II that will float him face up.



Any suggestions for other kid vests that work for 2 year olds or is yellow/orange mustang still the way to go if you can find it? Salus makes an awesome baby vest, how's their child vest??

MedSailor
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Med-
Amazon's return policy depends on who is the seller (Amazon? Or a third party) and if you're a Prime member. It can range from "you pay the return, eat the postage both ways, and get a refund" from a lot of third party sellers (who have to OK the return and can set their own terms) to free return and full refund, if you're a Prime customer, bought it via Prime, and you select the right return reason (i.e. "does not match description" or "defective").
Amazon and their sellers often will make an extra accommodation if you email or call them and explain "This isn't right".

I think some of the USPowerSquadron groups also have or had programs for free loaners on infant/child life jackets, you might pick their brains to see about other options.
 

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Hmmmm. Not surprised honestly on the quality of the vests. We talked about this in another thread but I can't believe the lack of quality in most power/sailing vests that are sold. They seem to be designed to check a box on a requirement rather than be the best quality swimming vest possible.

Can you find an older one? Sadly this may be an issue with children's vests as I looked recently at an Extrasport childs vest (generally a decent WW vest in years past-definitely not one of the best) and the quality could have been better for sure. Maybe they just don't make them as well as the adult vests from Astral, Lotus (Patagonia now I think), or even NRS.

Now on finding one that doesn't end up being grown out of too fast is tricky. My daughter who is 6 has already has grown out of 2 and needs another and she is a TINY little thing. Each one you buy will last more years than the last but they do grow out of a properly sized jacket incredibly fast and the weight ranges published seem too big to me for fit or floatation.

EDIT: Short term memory man forgot that we celebrated a birthday this past week. 6 not 5 now.
 
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