Pros: We like its look, feel, and the proven reliability of its trigger system. At 22.5 pounds of flotation, that's almost 50 percent more buoyancy than a standard Type III life jacket.
Cons: The dissolving bobbin trigger takes three to five seconds to inflate the vest — hence, they are only recommended for swimmers.
Buoyancy: 22.5 pounds
Trigger: Dissolving bobbin
Chest Size: Fits 30 to 52 inches
Closure: Hook-and-loop tape (not speaking of the buckle)
Rearm: Annually or after use
Test Results: In most of our tests, the crash-test dummy went straight down to the bottom, but in this trial, he fell sideways into the water, floundering at the surface. The inflatable bobbin trigger activated just as rapidly as it did in competitors and stabilized the victim.
Rearming: The Velcro collar closures are easier to manage than zippers and were reliable in our testing. Choosing between them is a matter of preference.
Conclusions: Marketed for inland boaters, it still boasts over 20 pounds of buoyancy, more than standard offshore life jackets.
Best For: Because of its smaller bladder size, it is recommended for inland and inshore boating, where rescue is apt to be faster and seas calmer.