August 2008 Issue
Inflatable Life Jacket-Safety Harnesses Performance Test
Revere offers good value, and Mustang keeps its top spot among combination inflatable life vest and safety harnesses for sailors.
Two years after last testing inflatable life jackets with integral safety harnesses (December 2006), Practical Sailor takes a look at those products that have since hit store shelves. This go-around, testers evaluated eight personal floatation devices (PFDs) to find the best inflatable life jacket-harness of the bunch and compare it to the 2006 top performer, the Mustang 3184 hydrostatic inflatable life vest and harness. Each life vest was tested for design and function, construction and materials, fit, comfort, and adjustability. Practical Sailor tested three PFD-harness combos from Bluestorm: the Pro Sail 33, X-treme Sail 33, and Sport Sail 33; two Revere ComfortMax series PFDs, one manual and one automatic/manual; the Helly Hansen HI250; and Protexion's Nautilus Deluxe. Testers favored the two vests from Revere Survival--both have a good fit on land and in the water, are readily available, and have moderate pricing and decent warranties. But neither topped the reigning Practical Sailor Best Choice: the Mustang automatic/manual inflatable PFD, which remains the favorite.
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