- Sports and Recreation
Buying A Comfortable Life Jacket
Buying A Light Weight Life Jacket
If you participate in recreational sports like boating and fishing on your area’s lakes, you will most likely receive a citation if you don’t have a life jacket. When you ride in a boat, do you sit on your life jacket or do you wear it?
I have overheard conversations by some people that they don’t wear their life jacket because they are bulky; they say that they cannot move easily while wearing the jacket so the jacket is placed next to them. Since I am not a swimmer, this gives me chills.
I do not swim in water that is higher than my shoulders when I stand up. I do not have strength in my legs to tread water. MY fear of deep water is powerful so it would be very rare if I did not put on a life jacket!
My husband can swim and feels safe when he takes his jacket off to fish because he thinks his boat is deep enough that he wouldn’t fall out. I have to wonder how many people had that thought who died in a boating accident.
A few years ago, we went shopping to find comfortable life jackets that we could wear while cruising down the lake or while fishing. We wanted the jackets to be thin and light weight.
We wanted to touch and feel the life jackets, instead ordering online, so we found several brick and mortar stores that we could shop. After much searching, the life jacket that stood out for both of us was the Marine” Sospenders“ that were also labeled world class high performance inflatable’s. We thought it would be perfect for our needs because it was thin and light weight. My husband bought two of them.
The idea with the “Sospenders” life jacket is that they have canisters in each side front of the jacket that will automatically inflate the jacket if you were to fall into the water. If they did not automatically inflate, you have a manual pull on one side and an inflating tube to blow into on the other side. There is also an emergency whistle attached under the inflating tube.
Several weeks after buying the life jacket, I am reading the features listed on the front of the jacket and I discover that this is not a good life jacket for me. One of the warnings ( I guess I overlooked this before we bought) listed on the jacket stated that weak or non-swimmers should not use this PDF or Personal Floating Device. There is also a warning statement: Warning- Drowning Hazard- You must Inflate This PDF To Float.
In other words, if the life jacket failed to automatically open you have to inflate it manually. If you have ever jumped out of a boat to swim, you know the shock of hitting the water might slow a person down in inflating the jacket. If you are like me, you may be too stunned to react properly in order to save your life.
The “Sospenders” life jacket is recommended for people who weigh over 80 lbs. with a chest size: 30-52 inches (76-132).This life jacket will work for my husband so we kept the life jackets but I need to go back to wearing the one I purchased the year before.
In reading the instructions that come with this life jacket, once a year you have to replace the two canisters that automatically inflate the jacket. You also have to store the life jackets away from several conditions that might make it inflate prematurely like, high humidity, heavy fog, the rain, and splashing water.
This style life jacket may be ideal for some people but the regular style jacket will work for almost anyone if you get one according to your weight and chest size. I hope our experience will help you when you are shopping for a new life jacket.