The Coast Guard has finally approved the use of some inflatable PFD's. Me think that Sospenders products are ones on their approval list. We have both kinds, the manual and the hydrostatic release. One of the reasons they were dragging their feet on approval was the reliability of the mechanism to inflate the vest and how over time it would work. Plan on blowing it up each year to check for leaks and cracks.
We wear them when we make crossing to the islands under any conditions, especially in the dark. Always clip the motor kill switch too if I'm by myself.
Your right John! They are very comfortable to wear will no restrictions. We also use them when trout season opens when we paddle the canoe in colder water.
Been thinking of wearing one to school in September. The kids might think it's a flac jacket and leave me alone. They are costly but it's a small price to pay in an emergency.