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Thread: Looking for a cooler BA (heat not looks)

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a cooler BA (heat not looks)

    Hi Folks at present I have a Helly Hanson BA but finding it a little warm to wear, and bulky. I paddle an open canoe still water and gently rivers. Would like something with a pocket to pop the camera (waterproof camera) in any, recommendations?

  2. #2

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    No pockets, but the coolest type of pfd anywhere - I have been using a Mustang Inflatable for years- can't beat them, imo.



  3. #3
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    Hi Thanks for the suggestion, I did a search and came up with another unit that looks very similar a Crewfit 164N Sport. I was wondering if yours is an auto inflate or if you have to pull a tag to inflate. I was thinking if the auto inflate style would accidentally go off if splashed or in heavy rain.
    Cheers

  4. #4

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    Yeah, skip the auto inflate. They don't trigger with spray or rain, but they will if you dump your boat or even if you slip on some rocks etc at a take-out and then you're out $35.00 to re-arm the thing. Go with the manual.

  5. #5
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    I was thinking that, thanks. We are you based?

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

  6. #6

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    I live in Ontario, Canada.

  7. #7
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    I have something similar to sk8r and they are great. You then have access to any pockets on your shirt etc. Or wear a bum bag, (fanny pack on sk8r's side of the pond). Definitely go for self inflate.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  8. #8
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    Thanks, I have emailed the company that make the crewsaver, as from there website they seem to offer both auto and manual inflate. Just need to find a company that have the manual ones in stock.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    Pull toggle inflatables are fine unless you take a bash to the head on your way over the gun`les

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcs View Post
    Pull toggle inflatables are fine unless you take a bash to the head on your way over the gun`les

    Or you get struck by lightning......

  11. #11

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    It did happen to a member of our fishing club, fell into the River Tay and hit his head, sadly no longer with us.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcs View Post
    It did happen to a member of our fishing club, fell into the River Tay and hit his head, sadly no longer with us.
    Sad, but not because of an inflatable pfd, I'm thinking?

  13. #13
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    If you knock yourself unconscious falling in, any device labelled 'Buoyancy Aid' in the UK (Class II - V PFD in US?) is not guaranteed to turn you onto your back and keep you mouth and nose above water, which includes all canoe/kayak BAs sold here which work on the assumption that the wearer is capable of swimming whilst in the water. It is extremely rare to see a canoeist wearing a type of 'Lifejacket' (not terminology chages) that is guaranteed to keep their mouth and nose above water if unconscious because they are generally not suited to the kind of activity.
    Of course in white water most of us use a helmet to control the risk of head injury so we don't need our floatation device to work when unconscious...

    I realise of course that fishing is entirely different and would be very surprised to meet an angler in the Tay who was wearing a helmet, you would expect to fall over slipping and landing on your backside more often than your head.

    How hard can it be?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Hi Thanks for the suggestion, I did a search and came up with another unit that looks very similar a Crewfit 164N Sport. I was wondering if yours is an auto inflate or if you have to pull a tag to inflate. I was thinking if the auto inflate style would accidentally go off if splashed or in heavy rain.
    Cheers
    Few auto inflate lifejackets will be set off by spray or rain - there are a variety of systems in use explained here https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en-us/dec...tems-explained

    Much more importantly - swimming in an inflated lifejacket is very very different to swimming in a conventional B.A. - if anyone intends going down this route - try a test swim.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post

    Much more importantly - swimming in an inflated lifejacket is very very different to swimming in a conventional B.A. - if anyone intends going down this route - try a test swim.
    +1. It is very difficult to do anything but float on your back wearing any sort of lifejacket. You might be able to scull but that's about it. Your forward visibility is almost nil as well because of the bulk of the lifejacket once inflated.

  16. #16
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    paddling on a hot day. soak my hat in the river and put it back on..

  17. #17
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    I'm one of those rare people that uses a proper lifejacket most of the time. I paddle in a hot climate and find a life-jacket far cooler to wear than a buoyancy aid - and a lot safer, in my opinion.

    Regards,
    Nick

    http://nickayaker.blogspot.com

    Neris Valkure - 1. Folding kayak.
    Gumotex Twist N1. Inflatable kayak.
    Gumotex Halibut. Inflatable kayak (but not for angling).

  18. #18

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    Everyone can go back-and-forth about why they don't use inflatables etc etc, but I'm guessing there's a good reason they are used by both the US Coast Guard and the UK's R.N.L.I., don't ya think??





  19. #19
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    there not wearing helmets and they operate in the sea?

  20. #20
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    apologies i thought it was spot the difference quiz.. i'll stop digging.

  21. #21
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    Back to the op question.... What about a palm glide?

  22. #22

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    I know people get hot but I spend several days this summer out at sea during the hot weather and I wore my drysuit and a thick foam PFD, yes I was a bit warm but not too bad, I have to put safety first when I am a mile or so out at sea, comfort comes further down the list

  23. #23

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    hmmmm... well, to each their own I guess. It's not salt water, but it's 50 miles across and even makes its own weather... and when it's 30'C. I can frequently be way more than a mile offshore wearing shorts, crop-top & my inflatable..... ol' pensioner lady ain't dead yet.... . Chacun a son gout.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8r View Post
    Everyone can go back-and-forth about why they don't use inflatables etc etc, but I'm guessing there's a good reason they are used by both the US Coast Guard and the UK's R.N.L.I., don't ya think??




    Sure there's a good reason - if one of them falls into the water there is a handy, experienced and well equipped rescue team available - different story for a solo remote paddler.

    Whichever type anybody chooses - a practice swim in controlled circumstances is always a good plan.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  25. #25
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    A lot of food for thought. I do not do white water, or sea, mainly slow rivers, canals and lakes with the family on board. I am a strong swimmer, I know that can not be of much use sometimes. So if I stick with a BA, are any cooler then others? As I said at the start I have a Helly Hansen, it seems bulky and I get extremely hot.

  26. #26
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    I have a palm glide which I wear for what I would think of as low risk paddles in hot weather. So it would be for open water and generally calm weather where, in fairness, a bouyancy aid can even impede re-entry folowing a capsize by hooking up on the gunwale.

    I'm concious that if I have to deploy it, I'm effectively putting myself in a position of waiting to be rescued but equally, would only be deploying it having already exhausted my re-entry attempts. At that point, an actual life jacket is probably a better bet anyway.

    Oddly, as well as gong for the super minimalist appraoch, I've just upped the security of my moving water BA. After landing up with it riding up under my ribs and quite badly impeding my breathing as a result (having just been helped up onto the keel of a capsized laser 16 by the rescue harness), I have now fitted crotch straps. Cost a tenner. Keeps it low on my body, which keeps me high in the water.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    A lot of food for thought. I do not do white water, or sea, mainly slow rivers, canals and lakes with the family on board. I am a strong swimmer, I know that can not be of much use sometimes. So if I stick with a BA, are any cooler then others? As I said at the start I have a Helly Hansen, it seems bulky and I get extremely hot.
    I have never noticed a difference in warmth between different BAs, but a good start would be to consider the actual amount of buoyancy in different designs. The ISO standard requires a minimum of 50N (for most of the weight range) many BAs actually have somewhere between 70 and 110N for varioous reasons. On the basis that buoyancy foam makes a pretty good insulator, it is likely that more actual buoyancy = warmer, and less buoyancy = cooler. My top tip would therefore be that a racing BA generally has pretty close to the minimum required buoyancy - my Peak Racer Pro has 55N, my Sandiline Racer has 60N. I suspect my river running BA has 110N, most seem to these days - thats roughly twice the amount of foam (different manufacturers may use different density foam) as my race BAs.

    Also consider what you are wearing under your BA, in hot weather I tend to wear at most a short sleeve cag and short sleeve light thermal, but sometimes just the thermal, or just the cag or neither depending on temperature, wind and how wet I expect to get. When I am training on the canal I usually don't wear a buoyancy aid at all (allows better rotation, although some say I should train in the same gear I race in).

    How hard can it be?

  28. #28
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    Thanks for all the replies, I am going to visit a company not far from me that has a wide range of bouncy aids, and other inflatable vests in stock. So will make a decision after having a good look and try on.

    Stinkwheel I like the look of the palm glide.

    JimW I do not feel the cold, I am the type of person that wears a t-shirt most of the time even in January, sometimes I wish I did feel the cold a little more so I could wear some of the cold weather gear I have purchased in the pass and never used!

  29. #29
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    Well I think I have found a compromise between a BA and a manually inflatable live jacket. It is the Helly Hansen 50N Comfort Compact Buoyancy. It just a matter of finding a shop with stock in the right size.

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