Product Test: Coastal automatic inflatable

Published online: Mar 29, 2012 PDB Tested Steve Sargent
Viewed 192 time(s)

When it comes to testing products, my name doesn't usually get called when the editors are reviewing something fun or exciting. But when they need someone to jump into the water with an inflatable life jacket on to see what happens, yep you guessed it. They call me. But there are worse things in the world than jumping into the water, so I happily "volunteered" to help them out.

West Marine is the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories and has more than 330 company-owned stores located in 38 states. So obviously they know a thing or two about life jackets. But we didn't want to test just any jacket; we wanted to test the best so we went with the Coastal Automatic Inflatable Type III Life Vest.

The best part about these one-size-fits-all vests (for 30- to 52-inch chests) is that they're easy to use and comfortable to wear. The CO2 cylinder allows the US Coast Guard approved vests to automatically activate when immersed or they could be manually inflated by pulling a rip cord. This is where I come in.

I was standing at the dock trying to decide where a good place to jump in would be when my co-worker helped me out with a gentle shove. And just like that I was in the lake. Sure enough it inflated instantly and I quickly floated to the top.

What can I say? It worked like it said it would and had this been a real accident it would have kept me afloat, even if I were knocked unconscious. At $139.99 you could probably find other jackets that might be cheaper, but for my safety I feel the investment is worth having a high-quality product like this vest from West Marine. It's something I plan to have a long time and it only has to be serviced every two years.

You May Also Be Interested In...

April 15, 2015

Optrix PhotoProX Case/Photography System: PDB TESTED No. 166

What makes the Optrix PhotoProX different—and arguably better than anything you’ve come across—is its ability to improve the way you take photos.
April 08, 2015

MotoPOCKET Removable Onboard Storage: PDB TESTED No. 165

You may not have heard of adventurePOCKETS, but this company makes onboard storage accessories for stand-up paddle boards, motorcycles and now boats.
April 01, 2015

Shurhold Industries GoPro Adapter: PDB TESTED No. 164

When I heard Shurhold Industries was releasing an adapter for its “One-Handle-Does-It-All” system, I just had to get my hands on one.
March 25, 2015

Pelican ProGear: PDB TESTED No. 163

The Sport Wallet from Pelican allows you to keep just the essentials with you when boating.
March 18, 2015

ZUP Board All-Around Towable: PDB TESTED No. 162

The ZUP is designed to allow just about anyone, using just about any boat, to enjoy knee boarding and wakeboarding.
March 11, 2015

Fishing Camp Board Game: PDB TESTED No. 161

We came across this trivia board game that we feel can help bring the whole family together regardless of whether the fish are biting.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!