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Old 08-07-2012, 09:56   #1
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Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

We've been trying to find my wife an offshore sailing vest with the integrated harness, but everyone we've found so far as said it is for someone over 5'5". She is 5'4" and has a small torso. She did try on an Sospenders vest today without the harness and it fit fine and was comfortable for her, but we want the harness and unfortunately the booklet attached to this vest listed the 5'5" requirement for the best with harness.

Are there any ladies out there under 5'5" that have found a vest that works well for them with the integrated harness?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:03   #2
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

if it fit and was comfortable, didja test it for practicality?? could be a good choice.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:08   #3
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

The one that fit did not have the harness built in - assuming the one with the harness wasn't any different, it fit just fine. We'd have to special order the one with integrated harness though and if it is different in fit then it probably wouldn't work.

Good idea though - we're going to try a few more places and will keep that in mind and test it out (manually anyway..)
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:51   #4
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Historically, vests have not been kind to women in general although some have gotten better over the years.

Have You tried Spinlock?
https://www.spinlock.co.uk/

They have more than a few models/flavors which takes a little time to sort thru (the website has a section that helps with selection) but they have all the bells & whistles .......and various adjustments to fit properly including crotch/thigh straps which are critical.......in addition to the harness
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:04   #5
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Will the one inch difference in height make that muck of a difference? As far as her small torso is concerned there is a surgical solution to that, nudge nudge wink wink say no more.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:09   #6
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Connies 5ft 1 she uses a harness with the Sospenders over. She and I wear harness anytime we go on deck, with Sospenders when we are on watch after dark or in even semi bad weather. Sounds like we are silly to some but it works for us !! we are all we have LOL so we dont take chances !
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:45   #7
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

we got one from west marine - she only wears it at night when in the cockpit or when on watch by herself during the day - she is about 5-5 and 100 lbs - she does complain it gets a bit heavy after a while but will wear it all night if we do a night passage together

just our thoughts and opinion
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in trinidad for hurricane season
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Old 08-07-2012, 14:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
we got one from west marine - she only wears it at night when in the cockpit or when on watch by herself during the day - she is about 5-5 and 100 lbs - she does complain it gets a bit heavy after a while but will wear it all night if we do a night passage together
I've worn a Sospenders auto inflate for 11+ yrs with built in harness. I like it but it is heavy that you do get used it. But for some women it is uncomfortable and does not fit too well - which can be an excuse for some to not wear as much as they should.

planning to replace with Spinlock Deckvest after following their evolution over the years & trying it on at boat shows - much lighter, harness, adjustable, crotch straps, built-in light, whistle, cutter, spray hood (some models), etc, etc. Yes it is pricey but when you wear one all the time it's well worth the cost spread over time.
No connection to firm - just looking to have comfortable, best fitting/functioning safety gear
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Old 08-07-2012, 14:30   #9
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

She should be able to test-hang from the harness in the store to see if she can slide out or if it will be a rib breaker. That is the ONLY real test.
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Old 08-07-2012, 18:48   #10
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Thanks for all the input. We'll do some more looking. The west marine one I got actually fit her fine, but rubber her arms a little - she didn't like my suggestion of wearing a shirt when she wears it, but that might be the best option.

Finding places to try them has been the more difficult challenge, but we'll keep looking and I'll print this out for her to read.

thanks!
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:17   #11
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
Thanks for all the input. We'll do some more looking. The west marine one I got actually fit her fine, but rubber her arms a little - she didn't like my suggestion of wearing a shirt when she wears it, but that might be the best option.

Finding places to try them has been the more difficult challenge, but we'll keep looking and I'll print this out for her to read.

thanks!
the admiral usually wears a tee shirt when the harness is on - we wear them at night which is generally cooler and harsh conditions on deck which is generally cooler and rainy - the only time she wears it without a tee shirt is when i go below and nap during the day and it is a nice sunny day

just our opinion
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in trinidad for hurricane season
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:46   #12
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Im thinking that the vests are designed for full use under worst case scenarios, i.e. unconscous in the water being pulled aboard with no assistance from the wearer..

the 'reccomendations' are based upon the testing and research the company and testing agencies if applicable, have used...

if you are off by one inch, I dont think that would be a problem, unless you are in that worst case scenario and want the easiest /best working vest...

but the odds, are that you will never be in that situation, and even if you are, there are probably worst case then the worst case testing that was performed... ie a current blowing/pushing, winds, equipment failures, etc...

if I were to lift someone, I would want a safety tether along with the main lifting point in case the vest or line were to slip or break or come undone...

what I am saying is that one inch wont be a problem for me...more then then the situation I am already in, and if there were a failure or something, I doubt I would be going after the vest mfg or supplier for their fialure to make it easier, as the problem wasnt their fault but the fault of why the person went overboard in the first place...

get the vest that fits the best, and that does not mean the one that is the most comfortable, but the one that is more secure in that hang test...let her hang like a sack o potatos... if she doesnt slip, thats the one..
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:21   #13
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Any love for the Spinlock Deckvest? They look extremely adjustable and they have the crotch strap to keep the inflatable part close to the shoulders.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:06   #14
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

Thanks sailinman, I agree. I think as long as it fits well, we should be fine.

I'm thinking now maybe we will wait until we got to the boat show">Annapolis boat show in October - I imagine there will be a number of options to try there?

We're in no rush since our boat is in charter right nowand our next trip isn't until after Annapolis, but with our trips often being just the two of us we feel it will be good to have and use the vests.
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Old 09-07-2012, 18:14   #15
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Re: Offshore sailing vest with harness for woman under 5'5"??

+4 on the Spinlock deck vest. Wife is 5' 3 1/2 she says and has a number 2 deck vest. Son has the # 1 but he is 10. Very comfortable to wear and does not ride up on your neck.

#1. Chest size. 69 -90 cm
#2. 74-124 cm
#3. 100-150 cm

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