Best Inflatable Belt Life Vests

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Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best inflatable belt life vests helpful.


Inflatable life jacket belts are a great choice for experienced swimmers who want a coast guard approved personal flotation device that is not bulky and cumbersome like a vest. They are a great option on CALM waters and when you plan to stay close to shore. They are NOT meant for high-impact activities like water skiing, tubing, operating a PWC, white-water paddling or any high-speed impact water activities. They are also not ideal for cold water or if you are boating by yourself, without other people nearby.

In addition, inflatable life jackets are not authorized for use by those under 16 years of age or for people who weigh less than 80lbs, for those who cannot swim and for those new to boating.

Inflatable life vest belts do not interfere with paddling, offer a wider range of motion and are not confining, hot or uncomfortable the way a typical life vest can be. They are ideal for distance and race trainers where stroke technique requires maximum flexibility of movement.


How Do Inflatable PFDs Work?

Inside the belt pouch is a deflated PFD. The belt has a small tab or cord coming out of the pouch that is attached to a CO2 cartridge inside. When the handle is yanked, the CO2 canister is punctured and the vest rapidly inflates.

You do need to remember to rearm your PFD every two years with a new CO2 cartridge and to check your CO2 levels before each use. However, if for any reason the CO2 canister does not deploy, inflatable life vests have a manual tube for inflation as a back up.

Lastly, inflatable belts can be worn on your back so the bulkier part of the belt is out of the way while you paddle or fish but it MUST be turned around to the front to inflate, always inflate the life vest from the front.


These Type V personal flotation devices are compact with a low profile, providing a minimalstic feel and are more comfortable in hot and humid conditions but still offer great insurance when you need it. So, if you are:

  • an experienced swimmer,
  • over 16 years old,
  • paddling in warm, calm water

looking for a lightweight, non restructive, cooler alternative to a life vest, than this might be the perfect solution for you!


A PFD is only coast guard approved and can only keep you safe when it is WORN.  Wear a personal flotation device at all times when around water.

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Best Inflatable Belt Life Vests


NRS Zephyr Self-Inflating Personal Flotation Device

NRS (Northwest River Supplies) is no stranger to the water. They have been making high-quality popular rafting and guiding equipment since 1972. This SUP self inflating pfd belt encompasses the same innovation and craftsmanship that we have come to expect from a leader of the boating industry.

  • Adjustable waist belt with side-release buckle
  • This lightweight self-inflating PFD
  • Provides 15.5 lbs. of flotation
  • Meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements when worn.
  • Made of durable, ripstop nylon
  • Compact design
  • Small, zippered pocket for essentioals
  • A simple tug on the cord instantly inflates the PFD with pressurized C02 gas
  • Belt fits waist 27″-50″ (69-127 cm) in circumference
  • Type III PFD.
  • Mouth valve allows the PFD to be inflated manually.
  • Whistle included

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STEARNS Manually Inflatable Belt-Pack

Stearns has been dedicated to creating water safety products for rescue and recreation for more than 60 years. Many of their innovative products are designed, made, and assembled in the US. Stearns, is a subsidiary of The Coleman Company, Inc.

  • Lightweight and comfortable personal flotation device
  • Allows for freedom of movement and complete range of motion while providing maximum buoyancy.
  • Ideal for sailing, fishing, paddling, boating, or hunting,
  • Compact inflatable life vest belt pack
  • Manually inflates within seconds to be a complete, adult-sized (30″-52″ chest) life jacket
  • Providing 15.5 lbs. of buoyancy.
  • Jacket inflates via a 16-gram CO2 cylinder by pulling the attached lanyard, or by blowing into the inflation tube.
  • Coast Guard approved.

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CWB Connelly Inflatable Sup Belt Pack

Conolly Skis are renowned for amazing water skis and ensuring summer for more than 55 years. Their life vests are focused on functionality, comfort and safety. The latest inflatable belt PDF is the latest design that promises lots of comfort and stays out of the way while on your SUP.

  • U.S. Coast Guard Approved Type V PFD, with Type III performance
  • Pull the tab to inflate by manual activation or oral inflation
  • 1 1/2″ adjustable webbing belt with side release buckle
  • Air mesh comfort pad on back of body belt
  • Zippered pocket for keys, suntan lotion, etc.
  • Convenient and compact belt
  • Included CO₂ cartridge inflates the bladder
  • Provides 17 lbs of buoyancy and additional buoyancy up to 26.5 lbs when fully inflated
  • Requires user to place vest over head after inflation

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Stohlquist Contour Inflatable SUP Life Jacket

Since 2004, Stolquist has been focused on making the best possible product for comfort and safety on the water. They are a Colorado-based company that made a name for itself with high quality kayaking gear and boats.Stolquist is synonymous with paddle sports adventures.

  • Made of 40D mini-ripstop shell and 210D Oxford liner
  • Easy to use manual CO2 inflation with back-up oral inflation tube
  • Zippered pocket to accommodate phone/ID/car key and other essentials
  • Compact, ultra low profile design
  • For person 16+ years or at least 80 lbs.
  • Ideal for SUP paddlers, recreational boaters, and anglers looking for minimal coverage.
  • You won’t hassle with a big inflated collar, simply pull the inflation cord and then place the neck strap over your head.
  • Unique bladder design makes repacking and rearming the PFD a breeze.
  • Over 22.5 lbs of buoyancy
  • US Coast Guard approved
  • Fit waist ranges up to 45″

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MTI Fluid Inflatable PFD Belt Pack

MTI Adventurewear specializes in life vests and personal flotation devices for paddle sports – kayak, canoe, stand up paddleboard and sailing. All of their life jackets are all USCG certified and extremely comfortable and durable.

  • Inflatable belt pack Type III PFD
  • Inflates in seconds after a firm tug on the ripcord ta
  • Vest style PFD which once inflated needs to be pulled over head
  • Premium Halkey Robert inflation mechanism with indicator; built-in window allows visual confirmation of CO2 cylinder connection and readiness
  • Padded 3D mesh back panel and buckle flap are soft, cool and quick drying.
  • Tapered body-hugging shape
  • Zippered flap pocket for essentials or back-up CO2 cylinder storage
  • Convenient printed fold lines oninner bladder aid with refolding
  • Top loading design with Velcro closure is easy to open and repack.
  • Adjustable webbing strap between the bladder and the belt for better fit when inflated and worn.
  • D-ring on the side for attaching a phone case, waterproof watch, or other items.
  • Includes a signal whistle that rides nicely in a whistle holster on the waist belt.
  • Accommodate approximately a 50 in. waist size.
  • 26 lb. 2 oz. buoyancy

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West Marine Ultra-Slim Manual Inflatable Life Jacket Belt Pack

Since 1978, West Marine has been providing innovative solutions to boating problems. Their mission has always been to outfit, educate, and inspire boaters, and they do so beautifully. Enjoy this fantastic, easy to wear PFD on your next SUP adventure.

  • Low profile, slim design for ultimate comfort and maneuverability
  • Fits comfortably around your waist for unhindered paddling fun
  • Up to 26.5lbs. of buoyancy with the oral inflation tube
  • Type V PFD with Type III performance
  • Easy manual, pull-cord inflation and an oral inflation backup tube.
  • Easily repacked and maintained thanks to its compact and lightweight design.
  • Vest must be manually placed around the head after inflation
  • Halkey Roberts 840 manual inflator
  • Madeof nylon with plastic, adjustable buckles
  • Available colors: Black, Blue & Tie Dye

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Onyx Inflatable Belt Pack

Onyx outdoor recreation products provide reliable, dependable and trustworthy gear to keep you outdoors longer. These slim, compact inflatable life jacket belts are so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing it.

  • Extremely low profile inflatable belt PFD
  • 1″ buckle and body belt
  • D-ring attachment for small accessories
  • 200 denier nylon oxford protective cover
  • Type V PFD with Type III performance.
  • CO2 charge provides 17 lbs. of buoyancy – the oral inflation tube can be used to provide additional buoyancy up to 26.5 lbs. when fully inflated
  • 200 durable denier nylon oxford protective cover
  • U.S. Coast Guard Approved
  • Fits up to 52” waist

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Hobie Inflatable Lifejacket Belt Pack

Since 1950, the Hobie Cat Company has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water, and quality products. From their world renowned sailboats to stand-up-paddle boards, kayaks, and fishing boats to specific accessories for each discipline, Hobie has got you covered.

  • Buoyancy: 26 Pounds.
  • Type III PFD.
  • Adjustable waist.
  • Durable ripstop nylon pack.
  • 2″ wide, adjustable, nylon waist belt with plastic buckle.
  • Includes (1) CO2 Cylinder and instructions.
  • To use, remove vest from pouch, fit on body, and manually inflate.
  • Small front zippered pocket to hold essentials
  • Clear plastic window to check CO2 canister level
  • Cooler and more comfortable than typical PFD’s.
  • US Coast Guard Approved.

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Astral Inflatable PFD Belt

Like everything else Astral, the durability and style in this inflatable PFD belt are top-notch. Keep this close by for additional peace of mind when you are out on the water.

  • Inflate manually or with CO2 container (included);
  • Buoyancy rating of 22 lbs.
  • US Coast Guard Type V approved
  • Front adjustable buckle for easy on and off
  • 200 x 400 Denier ripstop nylon shell and 200 Denier high tenacity liner.
  • PolyPro webbing and heavy-duty hardware
  • Non-corrosive coil zipper
  • Zippered hip pocket holds sunglasses, sunscreen and other small essentials.
  • Reflective logo provides extra visibility in low light
  • Completely free of toxic PVC

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Pulse Hippie Neoprene Inflatable Waist Belt

From the makers of the well known, Pulse stand up paddle boards (SUPs), it is just natural that they would make the perfect solution for your SUP adventure.

  • Comfortable, low profile, compact design allows for maximum maneuverability
  • US Coast Guard approved Type V PFD
  • Pulling cord activates the CO2 canister for inflation
  • Rated for 80 lbs +
  • Unisex,universal sizing, adjustable belt from 30″ to 52″ waist
  • Ideal for stand up paddle boarding, flat water paddling, fishing, sailing, hunting or recreational boating
  • Marine whistle included for added safety

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See Also: Year’s Best Stand Up Paddle Boards


Comments

We hope you found this article about the best inflatable belt life vests helpful. Have you used an inflatable pfd belt in the past? Did you like it? Do you prefer the taditional vest over the beltdesign? Did you have any problems, issues or is this what you would choose when out on the water?  We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories.  Thanks for reading!

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