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SOS suspenders

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Does anyone use them? I was thinking about getting a set since I've been in a few hairy situations this year. I mainly fly fish and toss plugs from my boat, are there any problems restricting your casting? Thanks.
post #2 of 13
I wear the waisteband variety to surf fish with and it does not get in my way at all
post #3 of 13
Me too. The belt can be swung around to the back if necessary.
I bought two, one for me and the other for whomever I am fishing with.
post #4 of 13
I use the sterns inflatables in the boat and find they do not restrict me at all fly or plugging. If you wear them a few minutes I tend to forget they are on.
post #5 of 13
I use Sospenders Sports version with ripcord. Ditto on forgeting they are there. That's the advantage for me. Never could stand the bulk and discomfort of regular PFD's. Great for the confines of kayaking. In many situations people, (my past), opt to use PFD cushions that do you no good if the user is seperated from them. At least I'll keep this on. I would like to get an automatic waistbelt type for a back up in the event I can't pull the ripcord on the main. Worth the investment.
post #6 of 13
I have four sets for my skiff. I wouldn't be without them. I use World Class shorty versions from SOS with virtually no restriction to my (limited) fly casting ability. I now require that guests on the boat wear them as well.

I believe that the Coast Guard or NJ Marine Police will soon require full time wearing of PFD's; the SOS's are the least restrictive wearable I have found.

One caveat: my open skiff has coolers for storage. Recently, an SOS fired in the cooler because of high humidity. The paper disk that dissolves to set off the CO2 cartridge must have got too wet. The instructions that accompany the automatic types caution against high humidity and even excessive splashing.

These devices are very well thought out. They even have a whistle tied inside that drops down when they deploy.

Of all the boat drownings in New Jersey recently, most seem to have disappeared instantly as they hit the water, and were never seen again alive- no flailing about or cries for help before they disappeared beneath the waves. And no time to don a PFD. Full time, wearable, automatically deployable protection makes excellent sense to me.

Best regards,

post #7 of 13
I bought the suspender type early this year when they were on sale for when I head out in the dark.

They are very light - after a few minutes you will forget you have it on

I have a buddy of mine that comes fishing with me alot, he can't swim and refuses to use a vest PFD. I made him wear it on one of those less than ideal days (bumpy) and he loves it. Now he uses it all the time.

If they were a little less $, I would buy few more and get rid of the bulky vests.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
When you say excessive splashing or moisture, will the auto go off if I take a wave over the bow and get drenched? What about in the rain? I was leaning towards the auto since if I smack my head on the gunnel and go over, I don't think I'll be able to pull lanyards, let alone start blowing into a tube. Then again if I'm on a jetty, it's inevitable I get wet, so the manual would make sense. Tough choice. Thanks for the help!
post #9 of 13
Mine have been out in fairly heavy spray (my skiff is a flat-bottomed Bristol 17), without firing, so I think that anything short of a constant heavy rain or a really severe wave dunking wouldn't trigger it. Still, as you point out, one may not be conscious as he hits the water, so I'd rather have an occasional misfire, than a manual that is undeployed because its wearer is unconscious- and dead.

The recharge kits run about $14 or $15. The manufacturer recommends testing and rearming the SOSpenders every other year, I think. It's a simple matter of changing the CO2 bottle and replacing the trigger, then repacking the inflatable. The manuals, of course, have no trigger, but you still have to change the bottle, and repack. One is packed inside each vest when you get it. Incidentally, both models have an air tube for emergency manual blow-up.

Best regards,

post #10 of 13
In the summer I rarely wear my sospenders.......but when the heavy sweatshirts and jackets go on so does my sospenders. I feel in the summer I have a better chance of swimming without heavy clothes and the chance of hypothermia........if I am fishing the jetty, cold water or in generaly rough conditions it's good to know I have it bulkiness and lightweight buy one and thank your self later bob
post #11 of 13
Type 5 inflatible PFD's come in both the automatic with manual backup or just manual pull cord only. I have the automatic with pull cord back up and due to high humidity in the boat locker due to a leak in the window I replaced all 4 of the co2 canisters and automatic actuators, because 3 inflated and I did not trust the 4th.

35lbs of flotation will have your head out of the water like a top. Last year my boat took on water (22ft GW) to the gunnels and when the pfd's got wet they inflated. If you have a cuddy or inside to your boat the Coast Guard warns wearers of the inflatible PFD's could make it hard to get out of the boat if it capsizes because of the 35lbs of buoyancy the PFD's have. Another word of caution, if the PFD inflats and you are not wearing it, they are a snug fit trying to put on after they inflat, more importantly, strong wind or current the PFD will act like an inflated balloon if you do not have them on.

I bought them for my boat because I would not want to wear the orange PFD's that came with the boat, they are not comfortable, and if I would not wear them it is hard to require guests to wear them, however, no one objects to wearing the Inflatible type 5 PFD's.
post #12 of 13
Bought the Auto Inflate Sospenders and would not leave the dock without it. I have a GW 171/2ft. center console that is a "wet" boat in snotty weather and have had no trouble with the auto inflate.

There was a problem with certain models of the Sospenders LAST year and they were recalled.My original one was in that group and while it didn't malfunction the factory replaced it. The recall was not well advertised so if you have any question about yours you should call the factory. The number is 800-858-5876.

[ 09-23-2003, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: mml4 ]
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help, I ended up getting the auto inflatable.
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