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Auto-Inflatable PFDs

Testing the speed of deployment and ownership obligations of auto-inflatable life jackets.
Boating Safety

Test Process and Dissolving Trigger Test Analysis
Test Notes: A dissolving pill triggers a spring-loaded injector, puncturing the carbon dioxide  inflation cylinder. Our victim stepped into an eight-foot-deep pool from two steps above the water. Vertical ropes simulated the presence of lines for the snag test

Plus: They cost less than hydrostatic devices.

Minus: Trigger times were much slower than Hydro models.

Plus: These were easier to replace and redeploy than hydrostatic triggers.

Summary: Less expensive than Type V PFDs with hydrostatic triggers. Slower deployment time may be a consideration for some boaters.

Mustang Auto

Mustang Survival
Auto Deluxe MD 3087

Design: It’s styled like Mustang’s manually deploying model, and we could find no obvious markings to warn of the need for victim response. Velcro closures ease rearming time.

Snag Test: Less apt to snag lines or stays than Spinlock models; more apt to than Stearns or SOSpenders.

Top Line: Nearly tied with Spinlock in dunk tests and was more convenient and offered balance between professional service and user convenience.

Mustang Auto

Spinlock Deckvest

Deckvest 150N Pro-Sensor

Design: It’s identical to the Hammar armed device, but with the slower-activating dissolving trigger on the left lapel. Like the Hammar, a line cutter zips through lines and webbing.

Snag Test: Like the Hammar device, the harness ring and buckles catch on whatever passes it by.

Top Line: Deployment times were comparable to one hydrostatic device. The Pro-Sensor was fastest of all dissolving trigger devices.

Spinlock Deckvest

Revere Comfort

Comfort Max Auto

Design: Velcroed horse-collar pouch encloses the bladder and rescue whistle attached. The silver D-ring sailing harness bridges the polymer waist buckle, ensuring that harness line pressure does not part the buckle.

Snag Test: Less apt to snag than Spinlock, but more likely to than remaining units.

Top Line: Easier access to the trigger mechanism speeded the arming process and confidence in the procedure, but it’s deployment time was long.

Revere Comfort

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