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.
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.
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.
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.