CO2 Cartridge Inflatables [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: CO2 Cartridge Inflatables

07-18-2000, 08:27 AM
Anyone got a good experience with a particular inflatable pfd device? (preferably the kind that self inflates when it contacts water). I did a search and only found a discussion on Salt Water corrosion of the cartridges.

Admin: Sorry to not post this in "Gear Talk" but with people spread out during the high season I wanted to make sure it got seen. Maybe once this thread develops a little you can move it over there.


07-18-2000, 11:45 AM
If you think you'll use it while wading, you might want to consider one of the manual trigger ones instead. I've been happy with my Cabela's version, which (thankfully) has only been inflated during my periodic checks of its integrity- and doesn't have any cartridge corrosion problems.

I'd just as soon have the choice as to whether or not to use the flotation if I have to tiptoe off a flat.....

07-18-2000, 11:58 AM
Thanks Marvin, but I'm looking to increase my safety net for all possible (evan if very unlikely) incidents. I am generally conservative wader. So far SOSpenders are the only ones found.


07-18-2000, 08:45 PM
I bought 2 of the belt mounted very compact PFD w/ CO2 trigger (with manual override... a little blow-up hose). It's true that the trigger device can corrode if exposed to water, which I thought was kind of lame. These gas devices are actually designed for use on boats and out of water conditions as the instruction manuals explain.

They are very compact and come with an adjustable nylon web belt w/ quick release buckle. The cost was approximately $45 each.

The best way to use them is to don the belt before pulling the waders up over the waist. Once over the belt, the wader suspenders are worn to conceal the belt and keep it from exposure to salt water. In unlikely event of an over-water emergency, please assist young children before assisting yourself. The bag may not inflate but oxygen... wrong tag line. If you need to, you can simply turn the inflatable portion to the front and pull the ripcord. The belt is already in place and you stick your head thru the hole. An additional buckle is snapped on the front and you're covered.

At first I thought I had made a poor choice vs. the suspenders - but after I figured out that the belt PFD can go INSIDE the wader uppers I am very satisfied with the setup and would therefore recommend the belt style. For those who would like to try them out, just let me know and I'll be glad to let you try them out for yourself.

Hope this helps,

07-19-2000, 07:11 AM
Other sources for inflatable PFDs are West Marine (Dedham, Woburn, Braintree) and Boat U.S.(Waltham & Danvers). Boat U.S carries both the "Sospenders" as well as the "Mustang" brands.

"Mustang" is the manufacturer of all the PFD devices that are worn by the Coast Guard and virtually everyone else involved in any commercial marine industry. They are generally considered to be of the best quality.

I agree with Marvin. Go with the model that you inflate yourself. Remember, the automatic devices are meant to inflate as soon as you become submerged. Consequently, any time you trip and fall while wading, your vest will inflate! Rearming kits will run approximately $15. In my view, the only time the automatic inflation model is warranted is when you are unconscious before entering the water. It might also be useful if one is a non-swimmer.

I would strongly RECOMMEND AGAINST wearing any inflatable device beneath clothing or waders. Visualize if you will a belt device that is inflated beneath waders. The first problem is getting to the device to inflate it. Then if and when it is inflated, where will the inflated bladder be? All of these devices are meant to be worn outside all other garments.

Mustang's website is:

07-19-2000, 08:09 AM
Brendan -

Good to hear from you.

I think you may have misunderstood the spirit of my suggestion... there is a difference between "having" and "engaging" a pfd.

I just wanted to clarify that (a) I wear the belt pfd at the top edge of my goretex chest waders above the belt with the 4" x 7" x 1" (est) 'package' to the rear while wading and fishing (b) it is easily shifted to the front and the front edge of the waders pulls down to reveal the device with minimal effort (c) the device is not automatic but activated once in front and clear and (d) it inflates completely clear of the wader material and suspenders without any interference or restriction of motion and (e) the design of this device is such that it inflates before you put your head thru the hole (mae west style).

So to be clear, the process is to swivel front, clear, engage. Where clear is the easiest part. It doesn't need to be under the top edge of the wader at all except that this prevents exposure to salt water.

In my mind it is analogous to wearing sos-penders under a poncho, or storing a pfd under the seat on a boat. I agree, in any and all cases it is unwise to engage a device unless ready. I would contend that it is also unwise to expose a device to corrosive elements that would render it ineffective (sans the override hose). My point is that it's much better where it is now than in the dry bag or in the truck.



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