Inflatable wading belt?


Interested in getting an inflatable wading belt. Never known anyone to use one or handled one in the shop. I perused the web, saw two manufacturers- Sterns and SOS. They're pretty equal in price, are they're any other pros/cons to either? Thanks!
Don, Yep, I mean the inflateable belt. Do a web search and see some examples. I like the idea, versus suspenders and low profile kayaking vests because I have a feeling I wouldn't wear those. So it seems like while they aren't perfect, but they would be better than nothing. Thanks.

Jeremy Husby

Is there a Vahalla for fishermen?
If you are a great swimmer go ahead get the belt, it stay out of the way for the most part. . . if you want to invest a little more in your life I would suggest buy the suspenders :thumb: . and a wading belt!!! With the amount of deaths that we all see every year, I would think more would be wearing these. I feel like the only one that has one when I go out, I keep it in my pack when I don't feel like I'm in any danger, but when crossing a few swift parts I put it on. . . they are pretty stiff at first but wear in quite nice, I wear mine with a chest pack, and I make sure it can inflate before leave home. The suspender will put your head above water, wear the belt only give you extra support. They are great for sailing and canoing, they give you great amount of freedom. I named mine Blow Up Betty. . . :) Hope that helped

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Very Impractical. Not a good option. I have a good friend who is throwing his belt PFD away bbecause it inflated inadvertantly in whitewater. Problem is that he then figured out it was virtually impossible to put the thing on properly in that type of situation. What you need is a proper PFD life Vest. If you are in whitewater then you need a vest rated for that by the correct whitewater" class" designation. Do a search on this site under Life vests, PFD's, Life Jackets, S.o.S.penders,suspenders etc. Much to be gleaned from this subject. Play it safe- buy the best PFD you can possibly afford and wear it!


Active Member
In the 60's and 70's I think it was, "float belts" or "ski belts" , were popular with waterskiers because of the freedom of movement.
Somewhere in there they were outlawed due to fact that they do not hold your head above water--infact they could hold it underwater. ( this would only be good in the case of your fishin buddy that has caught all the fish during the day).

I have seen these SOS belts,they are a little less expensive than the SOSpenders, but wouldn't they tend to perform as above?

Perhaps something is better than nothing, but I think the discount is only 30 bucks or something.The suspenders offer pretty full movement and could definently save you.
I have the SOS inflatable wading belt. I use it on my neoprenes and my goretex waders as my wading belt. It stays out of the way 99.9% of the time. It looks a little dorky but, I don't care. I fish 12 months a year and often fish alone. I've never had the need to deploy the inflatable, wouldn't use it as a replacement for a PFD but, at least I have the option if I get in over-my-head (no pun intended...really).
Chad, My entire family has the belt type, including my parents. We all wear them on-deck AT ALL TIMES! and the feature that we liked was I didn't have to keep purchasing a new PFDs as my daughters grew larger (and they acually wear them) because of they're ease of use. We have had our daughters test them (I threw my brats off the boat at while we were at anchor WHAT FUN!) and they had no difficlties deploying, or pulling them over thier heads. I am the only member of our family who has had the need to use one in an emergancy and it was very effective in giving me the floation I needed after being dumped in my wood row boat at Point o Point. I wear mine on the river, lake, and the salt in my pontoon boat and with my newly aquired float tube. My buddy uses the suspender type and he likes the fact that he doesn't have to put it over his head when it is deployed. For wading, I think the suspender type would be better because it is a one handed operation of deploying the CO2 canister for inflation but it could be a bit of a pain with reduced mobility. Which brings us back to a point with most PFDs, if they aren't comfortable people aren't as likley to wear them.
From the cheap seats,
From my too many experiences wearing waders, neopremes or breathables with a wading belt is that when you do go in the feet come up and in turn push the upper body down. It would seem that a waist type flotation device would make the problem worse.