PFDs ...... Auto inflate or Manual tab???

 Hi guys 


Would love your advice on PFDs 


I'm in the process of wanting to order couple PFDs for our boat, 


What is better..... PFDs that are a manual pull tab or auto inflate once hit water,??






Posts: 345

Date Joined: 06/02/14


Tue, 2020-04-14 18:40

 Amateurs and kids, auto inflate, if confident in the water them manual, cheaper to self service and less likely to accidently inflate.

Posts: 448

Date Joined: 28/10/08

Auto inflate for skipper at least

Tue, 2020-04-14 19:10

 I recommend auto inflate for the skipper at the very least, if not for all.  If you go over the side unconscious, you'll want it to auto inflate.  

Posts: 575

Date Joined: 18/04/08

Permanent flotation

Tue, 2020-04-14 20:11

Saltwater activation can fail, I go permanent flotation with inbuilt bouancy when the shit might hit the fan. Get knocked out and go overboard you have a chance of surviving even when salt activation fails. Last time I wore one was in a major storm delivering a boat from gold coast QLD to Port Moresby Paupa New Guinea

Posts: 2924

Date Joined: 27/12/06


Tue, 2020-04-14 20:32

When I go out solo I wear an auto inflate PFD and have a small PLB attached to it

also have an led glow stick/torch tucked in there too 

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 7138

Date Joined: 07/05/12

Same and have a handheld VHF

Tue, 2020-04-14 22:39

Same and have a handheld VHF tucked clipped to me as well


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

Posts: 887

Date Joined: 19/06/14

A word of caution

Wed, 2020-04-15 05:54

A mate of mine is a big fan of auto inflators.
His wife ( a lovely lady ) thought it might be a good idea to give his smelly life jacket a bit of a quick tub in the washing machine. It took em a long, long time to get the fully inflated jacket out of the machine !!! . Needless to say smelly jackets are now the norm on his boat.

 Pretty sure Frosty would have a glow stick or two stashed on his boat too.... :) 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 4367

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Yep. I used to recommend the

Wed, 2020-04-15 06:50

 Yep. I used to recommend the self inflating ones too. Was on a body search in a pilbara river and hopped out of the dinghy into water deeper than I expected. Was quite a suprise. I use manual inflating now. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 7138

Date Joined: 07/05/12

... and a can of medic for

Wed, 2020-04-15 09:44

... and a can of medic for those cold mornings to get the nasal cavity running fresh


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

Alan James's picture

Posts: 2101

Date Joined: 30/06/09

Crotch straps

Wed, 2020-04-15 08:59

Not everyone is aware of the need for crotch straps. Have a look at the vid in this post.



quest's picture

Posts: 248

Date Joined: 03/08/15

If you are willing to put

Wed, 2020-04-15 10:18

If you are willing to put your hand in your pocket get the Crew Saver Ergo fit 290's. Quite expensive but super comfy and they come with crotch straps and there's enough room in the pockets to fit a PLB should you chose.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3079

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 I personally have a pair of

Thu, 2020-04-16 07:07

 I personally have a pair of Hutchwilco manual inflates. As i have a centre console, i was concerned about the auto inflates getting excited.

The kids have foamies as i doubt they would pull the cord if they ever ended up outside the boat. They have been wearing them since they were 1 (now 3 and 6) so it is a natural thing for them without arguments. Infact, there is more argument about wearing a long sleeve shirt and putting zinc on rather than the lifejacket which is just part of the kit. 

Rule on my boat is that once the sun sets the PFD's go on. 

Simon5.7's picture

Posts: 45

Date Joined: 26/12/17

 I have both but give the

Thu, 2020-04-16 07:53

 I have both but give the auto inflate for my kids when they come out even though they're 18 and 20

if solo fishing use the auto myself in case I crack my head on the way over and of course can't pull a manual ripcord

good piece of mind and you don't even know you're wearing them

rob90's picture

Posts: 1179

Date Joined: 06/02/13

 I wear an auto inflate all

Thu, 2020-04-16 08:02

 I wear an auto inflate all the time from the yak, just never know. For the sake of $30 reset kit if it accidentally goes off once or twice but saves your life when you need it im down for it. Cant pull a cord if your out cold.


 Hi my name is rob............. and I'm a........... fishaholic