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Old 09-07-2012   #1
scout1's Avatar
roseburg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 40
pfd lifespan

How long should a 75 day a year pfd last. Its holding up great on the outside.

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Old 09-07-2012   #2
piobeyr's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
My understanding is that if it's got the newer, biodegradable Gaia foam, it breaks down quicker. Around 3 years? The older style foam will last longer.

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Old 09-07-2012   #3
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
Are you serious? One of those $200 PFD's only lasts 3 years? That's crazy.
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Old 09-07-2012   #4
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
I asked this question of Astral a couple years back. Here is their response:

This is a great question! We recommend approximately 300 days on the water, or 5 years; whichever comes first. At this time it might be good to examine your jacket to see what kind of shape it is in. If you feel that it could use some new foam, please contact us and we will re-stuff the jacket for only a $12 return shipping charge. At this point you may be able to get another season out of it.

You will want to make sure to check the outer shell of the jacket, for any spots that have been/are beginning to wear out. To maximize the life of your PFD, try out some of the care tips below that we recommend:

-Do your best to thoroughly dry your jacket after use
-Do not keep you jacket in direct sun for long periods of time
-Avoid unnecessary compression of your PFD…like cramming it into a small storage container when you are not using it.
-Do not store the jacket in extremely cold or hot spaces
-You can scrub some of the dirt out of the shell by using a small nylon bristle brush and some gentle detergent. Rinse the jacket and hang to dry.
I hope this information is helpful! But if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Thank you,
-Margie Matthai
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Old 09-07-2012   #5
2tomcat2's Avatar
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 219
Another thought: if a pre-launch check is required, BLM requires:

"Labels must be attached and legible. Approved jackets will have some or all of the following wording:
U.S. Coastguard approved
Approved for paddling, whitewater, kayaking, canoeing
For all Recreational Use
a proper-size Type I, III or V PFD (approved on the label for paddling, whitewater,
kayaking) for each member of the party.
Approved for all inland water uses"

Have seen numerous groups refused launch due to worn/inadequate/wrong size pfds
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Old 09-07-2012   #6
scout1's Avatar
roseburg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 40
Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-08-2012   #7
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
Well, if they'll re-pack it with new foam, that's not such a bad deal then.
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Old 09-08-2012   #8
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
My rule is if its faded it's done
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Old 09-08-2012   #9
BCJ's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
You can extend the life of the LABEL by putting Tear Aid Type A or B or similar clear PVC tent-repair type material over it. This will keep the lettering from wearing off and the label itself from tearing prematurely.
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Old 09-09-2012   #10
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Hmmm- I may need a new pfd before next season then...

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