Depends how much you enjoy being alive I suppose. Mileage may vary.
THIS is true. Now, I am a poor swimmer and need no additional weight when diving to become negative so when I noticed that Mustang had 22# of buoyancy vs. 12-15# for foam, I said GREAT. And then I decided that I would pull the tab to see what it was like so I would not discover this for the first time during an emergency situation. As I noted above, 22# is LOT of buoyancy, especially when it is around your neck and not your chest. I could not turn. I could not swim or do more than flail around like a beetle on it's back. I was not going to get back into any boat or even make it to shore. SO. It will keep you afloat but you aren't going very far once deployed. If you have access to a nice, safe spot and you use inflatable PFDs, consider trying it out.I actually have some experience with this. I was going to run my friends boat through the narrows but had left my vest with my boat down stream. He loaned me his pull type inflatable, but being a cheap sob he blew the thing up so I wouldn't have to burn through a cartridge if anything happened. He blew it up and I shoved off. It was only then that I realized I couldn't turn my head to see the oars or anything else for that matter. My silent prayer was answered because nothing happened. But imagine being in the water, in a neck brace and not being able to turn your head side to side or up and down.
Give me the foam for moving water every time!
None of them are much good in cold water for more than aiding body recovery. Aquatic hypothermia is fast.
Note that I didn't say wearing a pfd was worthless...it's critical, but don't think it alone will save you in spring run-off temps. You'll rapidly lose your ability to navigate to safety without a drysuit or heavy neoprene.This is just not correct, and dangerous advice. Two things happen when you go in cold water. First is the gasp reflex, where you gasp and pant for a minute or so. If you inhale some water due to the gasp reflex, the life jacket will keep your head above water while you are coughing, choking, and trying to clear your airway. Without it, it's easy to quickly drown. Second, your swimming muscles become too weak to keep your head above water long before core hypothermia sets in, so you're awake and alive while you slip beneath the surface.
If you check out the linked video, they talk about 1-10-1. One minute to get your breathing under control, 10 minutes of meaningful movement, and one hour before you become unconscious due to hypothermia.
I saw this thread and have two questions:
1. Can you wear under fishing vest comfortably
2. Are they hot (don't breath, like wearing pvc jactket, etc.)
Good call. I found this thread late or I would have mentioned earlier that I know someone who wouldn't be here today if he wasn't wearing a self inflating vest.Thank you all for sharing your experience and insights! It was exactly what I needed to feel comfortable about going forward with getting one.