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I'm refreshing my gear this season and need a new offshore PFD. Self-inflating with built in harness. I think the standard one most have is the Mustang HIT™ Inflatable PFD with Sailing Harness. https://www.mustangsurvival.com/en_US/products/flotation/inflatable-pfds/hit-inflatable-pfd-with-sailing-harness-auto-hydrostatic-MD318402.html

Any other suggestions? I'd prefer a dingy style one with is offshore certified (neck support) but can't seem to find those...

 

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I have worn both the Spinlock and Mustang not the one above.  I wore this and it was extremely comfortable the only issue is getting it off and on with a full offshore foul weather jacket.  It is comfortable when on but getting the collar (with hood inside) in and out took a bit of effort but comfy once on. This is the model I mean https://www.mustangsurvival.com/en_US/products/flotation/inflatable-pfds/ep-38-ocean-racing-inflatable-vest-auto-hydrostatic-62533130036.html

I have done thousands of miles with my Spinlock .  It is a great harness easy on and off.  The downside is two fold.  First comfort it tends to hang on your neck. I have found even when I tighten the rear adjustment it rotates forward onto my neck.  There has also been some discussion at least about earlier versions that the inflatable lifejacket is not well attached to the harness and can end up incorrectly placed on the wrong side of your head.  See the USCG and US Sailing report from the boat that went onto San Clemente Island during a race. This is it here https://www.spinlock.co.uk/en-us/categories/lifejackets/product_groups/deckvest-5d

 

Hope this helps

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Got to say I am liking my teamo back two jacket. I bought it early this year as my old spinlock was getting a bit worn and am throughly impressed. It sits on your shoulders not around you neck and I have actually forgotten in wearing it a couple of times as u don’t feel the weight of it.

I have also tested the harness release to tow from behind as after doing some drills a couple of years ago before a Hobart and almost drowning our crew member when testing going over the side hooked on from the foredeck at low speeds. I was interested to see how it works and it takes the low speed situation from a threat to just unpleasant.

The build quality seems to be good yet as a newer product still need to see how it holds up long term.

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I have worn the Team O and the SPinlock Vito recently.

I found the Team O to be heavy and difficult to adjust. I guess if it is your own you could cut the overlength adjusting straps so that they don't flap around, but it is still seriously heavy, and I personally found it uncomfortable. Obviously I am a different build to the guy above...

The Vito is incredibly comfortable after a week of offshore. They have managed to redesign the previous Spinlock kit so that the bulk of the lifejacket is actually packed at your back. Simple to get into from the side, space enough to fit an AIS unit in with ease, and hydrostatic release to reduce chance inflation when wet. 

 

 

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Most of the racers around where I am seem to have the Spinlock 5D. I have one as well and it's pretty nice and comfy - other than the aforementioned thing where it can ride up on the back of your neck a bit.

My friend who sails a bit more casually got the spinlock LITE+, as it was cheaper and still came with a built in harness.

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3 hours ago, Sneaky Sanchez said:

Is the Vito suitable for a larger human? Say over 220lbs? I also need to upgrade before Mac race and am leaning towards this. It's so new, there are not many people to get opinions from yet. 

You are about the same size as me (100kg in European...)  and it will keep me afloat easily fully clothed in full offshore kit. It was testedand improved by the VOR crew, and some of those boys are big units! 

I have seen it used in anger, and work 100%.

 

 

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Vito, all the way.  I was using the Spinlock 5D but made the switch for a new one I needed last fall when they first came out and could not be happier.  I have a 5 D on board and the Vito, and only end up wearing the Vito.  For all the reasons described by others.

I do not find it difficult to get on over full kit.  I did try out the Mustang version which I found very similar, but the opening (e.g. shoulder width) of the kit is a bit tighter than that of the Vito and thus was more of an issue.

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8 minutes ago, Rail Meat said:

Vito, all the way.  I was using the Spinlock 5D but made the switch for a new one I needed last fall when they first came out and could not be happier.  I have a 5 D on board and the Vito, and only end up wearing the Vito.  For all the reasons described by others.

I do not find it difficult to get on over full kit.  I did try out the Mustang version which I found very similar, but the opening (e.g. shoulder width) of the kit is a bit tighter than that of the Vito and thus was more of an issue.

Hey RM, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Enjoy the Dingy Club, I've fond memories.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/13/2019 at 5:49 AM, Potter said:

This is why I like the Vito. Happily kept Dee afloat in full gear. 

Man Overboard on a dark night in 20+ kts

Potter Vito gets another vote...Spinlock just love taking my money trading up.

https://www.yachtingworld.com/gear-reviews/tried-tested-spinlock-deckvest-vito-lifejacket-121852

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  • 1 year later...
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I have a Vito and a lite+.  The mustang 28 does not have a harness.  The EP38 does.  Some of my crew has the 38 and like them. Depends on what you are doing/need.  If you are doing any offshore racing then you need the Vito or EP38.  They both have lights and hoods and crotch straps - all requirements for Offshore races.  The Lite+ is nice if you don’t need the offshore specs.  It is nice and liight which adds to the comfort.  

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Funny the boy racers here save for one have all missed the point.

Most of the ones discussed here are complete shit when inflated and if the water is rough.

 

 

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Spinlock Vito 100%, it’s really the best for so many reasons.  Make sure you get the version with the HRS, an great extra safety feature.

For the tether though, recommend Kong, not Spinlock. Just did A2N and everyone hated the Spinlock tether clips, they are just impossible to open easily. I’m returning mine.

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Maybe Mustang has re-designed their offshore inflatable, I sure hope so.   But the ones I bought 2 years ago were the single most uncomfortable thing I've ever owned.  I'd prefer to ride a unicycle without a seat.  I bought 12 of them for my crew and relied on a show-room floor test fit wearing street clothes.  Huge mistake.

1.  The neck hole was too small to get your foul weather gear collar through without third party assistance. One crew with a largish head could not get the thing past his ears.

2.  The inflatable pack on the back sat exactly mid-spine so it was a extremely annoying/unstable/uncomfortable when leaning up against anything like the cockpit or cabin top.  

3.  The crotch strap refused to stay cinched up due to cheap hardware (as did most of the waist straps), but reliably dangled down by my knees.  

4.  Two of the damn things auto-inflated on crew while hiking on a rainy, wet beat.

I have four or five of them in once-used condition sitting in my storage locker, from crew who handed them back to me and went and bought their own.  To be fair, two crew thought they were "alright".

 

 

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Vito w/ HRS is the way to go. I’m comparing to my old Spin Deckvest. The Vito is 1/3 the weight and less overall bulk. Weight distribution is across a broader area. Single crotch strap is nice vs the two straps on deck vest. One thing with the Vito is mark the side strap for warm days, less clothes, vs cold days, full kit on. This way you can quickly adjust the Velcro prior to putting it on as the actual adjustment while on is minimal. Personally I wish someone made a kayak style foam PFD with a front harness loop and crotch strap. 

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If I were replacing one of the 5Ds we have in the house (Myself and my partner have them, plus the spare the Mini rules require) I would go Vito, they're comfy enough on the rail and I have faith in them offshore if I fell over.

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