Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#144214 - 08/15/08 01:53 AM Life Vests/Jackets
colbyhouse Offline

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 25
I'm looking for recommendations for a good life vest/jacket for lake fishing - can anyone give me their opinion on the best jacket/vest out there?


#144220 - 08/15/08 02:41 AM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: colbyhouse]
raven397 Offline

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 16
Stearns is a good brand. do you live anywhere near a shop like Bass Pro, Cabela, or Dicks Sporting Goods? Even Walmart has some decent basic ones for sale. you pretty much need to try it on for fit.
Also, the key thing is to WEAR IT at all times on the water. Very few people drown who are wearing life jackets.

#144250 - 08/15/08 12:58 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: colbyhouse]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I don't get out on the water much anymore, but if I did, and I wanted to wear a PFD all the time, I would really look into one of those suspender type inflatables. Kindasorta like the ones military pilots wear. Seems to me that they would be much easier to wear all the time, and fish with it on...

#144253 - 08/15/08 01:22 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: OldBaldGuy]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Is the desire to float if fallen because you can't swim or float if fallen and you can get to shore?

Reason why is that there is a well proven though unconventional floatation device you wear as a belt around your waist. This Beginner Triathletevideo shows what a Swimsafe device looks like. Swimsafe does not replace a PFD for boat safety but for personal use for out of the way carry its pretty good. To inflate you just pull the tab and it can be used multiple times by replacing the CO2 cartridge.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#144259 - 08/15/08 01:45 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: colbyhouse]
colbyhouse Offline

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 25
I guess I am looking for a vest that I would wear during fishing on a lake and/or white water rafting on a river. I'm not a very good swimmer at all.

Can anyone provide any specific model numbers that they would recommend?


#144263 - 08/15/08 03:35 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: colbyhouse]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Staying not drowned is a good survival topic. A Coast Guard rescue diver wrote, "It's water. It's pretty. All you have to remember is that every second it is trying to kill you."

The key is will a personal floatation device float you face up when you are unconcious. The good stuff is expensive. Good pfd habits will give you the reputation for being a dork. I recommend you be broke, considered a dork, and alive when the stuff hits the fan.

Really good inflatables like those made by Mustang are quite expensive. Still pricey but a bit more affordable are those top-of-the-line pfd's like Extrasport made for strenuous water sports like kayaking. My opinion is everything else is a distant, its-better-than-nothing-but-just-an-illusion-of-safety, third place.

Get to a good retailer who can fit any jacket-candidate to your physiology; this is not a one-size-fits-all purchase.

Learn to swim. Consider swiming as part of an exercise routine. Consider studying freediving or SCUBA diving with the best professional instruction you can find to motivate you to swim.

Get CPR and First Aid certified; pay attention to how to deal with drowning victims.

Get in the habit of always wearing your personal floation device when you are around or on water. Be the dork who puts on his pfd in the parking lot.

It is not just a PFD. You are going to want to learn carry in and on your pfd a number of self-rescue items. A whistle; a rescue hook to cut you free from entangling line, rope, and even wire; a PFAK; etc. This is a topic I have seen discussed at greatest length on sea kayak web forums - consider lurking on a couple and searching their archives. Be the dork with stuff tucked everywhere on their pfd.

Fishing? My favorite hobby. A combo pfd-fishing vest? They make them but I have never been confortable with the compromises. Get an incredibly good PFD; pair it with a good tackle box, or equivalent.

Edited by dweste (08/15/08 04:32 PM)

#144271 - 08/15/08 04:00 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: dweste]
Matt_Miller Offline
low speed/high drag

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Two Harbors, MN
This is my first post...I did not find an "introductions" thread, and if I'm breaking protocol please feel free to school me and point me in the right direction to make an intro.

I live in northern Minnesota, near Lake Superior, and spend a lot of time on water both for recreation and work. My job involves some amount of paddling a canoe in & around the BWCA east of Ely, and I also do a lot of flatwater fishing, including Lk Superior.

I look for different things in a PFD meant for paddling and for flatwater boating. If you're paddling a lot of whitewater I'd suggest going to the nearest canoe/kayak dealer with a good reputation and asking for advice on paddling PFDs. You might be best served by buying different PFDs for the two activities, which is what I do.

I am not a fan of the "suspender" type inflatable PFDs for coldwater boating. They are very comfortable to wear but if you go in the drink in cold water (which I've done in Lk Superior on two separate occasions) I prefer to have the insulation and support of a full sized PFD around me.

As dweste said better than I'd be able to, these are part of your toolbox for preparedness too. In my boat passengers get a short talk about what to do if someone goes overboard, where and how to use the gear, etc. Another thing people don't think of a lot is that PFDs like any other gear need to be maintained. Inflatable suspender types can wear with movement, CO2 cartridges need to be checked/swapped after time, buckles get smashed and laces get unraveled, etc. etc. If you need it, you're going to need it in working order.

That was a longwinded first post...sorry.
"A vote is like a rifle; it's usefulness depends on the character of the user." -- TR

#144274 - 08/15/08 04:17 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: Matt_Miller]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Matt_Miller
This is my first post...

Welcome, Matt! Thanks for your thoughts on the topic.

#144278 - 08/15/08 04:39 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: Arney]
Rodion Offline

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 285
Loc: Israel
Just pick up one of these. wink

Whenever you rest, someone, somewhere is training to kick your ass.


#144279 - 08/15/08 04:51 PM Re: Life Vests/Jackets [Re: Rodion]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Get two with all the options, my size is XXL.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle), 241 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
martinw, Birdman1776, tskinner, Abe, Flyingbforge
5255 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Stuff to pick up at your local thrift store
by hikermor
27 minutes 35 seconds ago
Most Recommended Must Have Survival Gear under $30
by bacpacjac
Today at 12:13 PM
Favorite Related Forum
by CJK
Yesterday at 10:34 PM
Cool Helicopter Rescue -- Mt. Hood
by hikermor
07/21/18 11:31 PM
Relative Costs for Gear
by hikermor
07/21/18 11:08 PM
Eight bight button knot
by TonyE
07/20/18 08:43 PM
Essentials in First aid
by chaosmagnet
07/20/18 12:44 AM
Ridiculous carry - what have you seen?
by chaosmagnet
07/20/18 12:38 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.