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Old 02-09-2016, 16:42   #1
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Life jackets. For a woman

I really thought this was going to be a no brainer when I stated my research but not so.......I have recently been joined by my partner aboard my sailing yacht. We plan to do some coastal and Island cruising. For obvious reasons the horse shoe life jackets I have aboard either lift and separate ( uncomfortably) or constrict and force into the centre.
I cannot believe I am the first or only to encounter this issue. So what's you do and what have you found. As we are cruising in the tropics minimalism seems to be an imperative. Any thoughts...
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Old 02-09-2016, 17:18   #2
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Hmmm, are you looking to survive getting dunked or do you just want to look good when they fish you out?

I have a good friend who lives in the Great White North... it gets COLD there. He says "staying warm is not a fashion statement"; he will wear the damnedest things in order to ward off the frosty devil. The moral of the story is..... survival has no eye for fashion.
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Old 02-09-2016, 17:30   #3
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudge601 View Post
I really thought this was going to be a no brainer when I stated my research but not so.......I have recently been joined by my partner aboard my sailing yacht. We plan to do some coastal and Island cruising. For obvious reasons the horse shoe life jackets I have aboard either lift and separate ( uncomfortably) or constrict and force into the centre.
I cannot believe I am the first or only to encounter this issue. So what's you do and what have you found. As we are cruising in the tropics minimalism seems to be an imperative. Any thoughts...
Imo, no comfortable lifejackets come with beavertail crotch straps, or will right you nose up. So, you have to make a choice about how safe you want to be. If you're content that where you get overboard will have warm water, and that you will be conscious when you hit the water, you'll have more choices, but less "safety". Do some googling, see whats available in Northern Europe and Britain. Let your good lady choose. There are a number of inflatable PFD's, which are not too uncomfortable, but they tend ti float you nose down.

Disregard fashion, this is a utilitarian object.

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Old 02-09-2016, 18:10   #4
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Don't think Smudge is talking a fashion statement but fit for a life jacket with a couple of protruding attributes that ladies have. No experience with that issue but the inflatable PFDs seem to be the least restrictive. Pretty much lived in my SpinLock PFD 24/7 for 15 days and found it quite comfortable once I bit the bullet and kept the crotch straps fastened. Felt weird when I got to Hilo and stopped wearing the dam thing. Might want to check out all the various inflatable PFDs and see if one works for you. IMHO, none of them are worth a dam in saving your life unless you use the crotch straps.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:54   #5
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

https://mustangsurvival.com//recreat...ion=recreation
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:21   #6
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

There are several life jackets made for the wake board industry, for larger breasted women. The Jet Pilot Baller being just one of many: Jetpilot :: Baller Side Entry Neo Vest
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:43   #7
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

This brand (CREWSAVER) and model (Crewfit 40) has some good features to consider:

Automatic inflation.
40 pounds of inflation (more is better)
Soft harness loop in front, for attaching a safety tether when needed.
Numerous optional accessories designed for safety, such as straps, spray hoods, etc.
Reputable brand.
Street price = $169 at Defender

Crewfit 40 Pro USCG | Crewsaver

They have a more expensive (+$50) model called "Ergofit" and some less expensive models too (about $90)
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:34   #8
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

I have tried many brands, sizes, and types of PFDs, as well as have 3 or 4 different ones for different activities. My Spinlock (with crotch straps) is one of the most comfortable inflatables I tried. I don't like to be "smooshed", and in addition to being comfortable, I love all of the intense safety items.

I recommend that she try on as many PFDs as you can to find the one that fits.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:38   #9
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

I'm also in the market for a new PFD. Although I like the self-inflating varieties like Spinlock, I know they need periodic maintenance checks and also know that wouldn't happen often enough on our boat. So I'm looking for the jacket type, one which allows for a comfortable fit across the chest, has crotch straps, and hopefully a spray hood. I don't think they're easy to find, but will be following this thread closely.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:52   #10
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudge601 View Post
I really thought this was going to be a no brainer when I stated my research but not so.......I have recently been joined by my partner aboard my sailing yacht. We plan to do some coastal and Island cruising. For obvious reasons the horse shoe life jackets I have aboard either lift and separate ( uncomfortably) or constrict and force into the centre.
I cannot believe I am the first or only to encounter this issue. So what's you do and what have you found. As we are cruising in the tropics minimalism seems to be an imperative. Any thoughts...
Horseshoe or keyhole life lackeys aren't really meant for regular wear, for emergencies only. Just walk into any marine store and you'll find a better fitting life jacket for your first mate. They've been areound for ages. My wife's lifejacket (inflatable type) is many years old with regular service and inspections and is very comfortable for her.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:13   #11
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkroar View Post
I have tried many brands, sizes, and types of PFDs, as well as have 3 or 4 different ones for different activities. My Spinlock (with crotch straps) is one of the most comfortable inflatables I tried. I don't like to be "smooshed", and in addition to being comfortable, I love all of the intense safety items.

I recommend that she try on as many PFDs as you can to find the one that fits.
Donna
Yes, you have to try them. My wife is a shave over five feet tall and worked at a chandlery. The crotch strap Spinlocks were the only ones, when adjusted for her torso, that she thought she would stay inside if thrown off a boat. The intrinsic harness and spray hood were bonuses. Nobody I know outside of weekend cottage canoeists seriously uses the old "keyhole" type anymore, save as pillows and bum cushions, even though we all have them for meeting legal requirements.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:40   #12
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

I went river rafting last week. We all hopped out of the raft in the easy slow part of the river. One thing that really struck me is how high you float with a River rafting life jacket. I mean really high. On a woman your boobs are half dry. That high. Something to think about vs your typical sailing life jacket.
Sorry for the drift, has nothing to do with comfort!
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:02   #13
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

My wife found the Mustang inflatable with harness PFD reasonably comfortable. If you prefer a foam-floatation PFD, look on whitewater kayaking supply sites such as austinkayak.com - Product Search - pfd for women for PFDs specifically designed for women.
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:03   #14
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

Another vote for a self inflating pfd with crotch strap.
The crotch strap may seem counter intuitive for comfort, but it really the opposite. A crotch strap increases comfort by ensuring the pfd stays where it should be. On a woman the breasts make everything twist and shift. A crotch strap helps to prevent the that and ensure it stays down low instead od floating up in the event of getting pitched off the boat.

If your lady is smaller than average be sure to get her out to try the pfd on before you buy. They are all very adjustable but they b each have quirks that can make a difference in fit.
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:48   #15
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Re: Life jackets. For a woman

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