When to replace a PFD? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-05-2016   #1
The Cancer Kayaker
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
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When to replace a PFD?

Is there a recommended time to replace a PFD, after taking a gnarly swim over the weekend I'm
not feeling like the PFD I had is as good as it use to be..


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Old 10-05-2016   #2
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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randaddy

Five years or 300 uses, whichever comes first, unless you're a poor guide that never swims, in which case it's whichever comes second.
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Old 10-05-2016   #3
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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I heard of this rule of thumb a couple years back. I took a couple pfds that were 20 years and younger and gave them a bouancy test. They worked great.

Is their any science or study behind this rule?


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Old 10-05-2016   #4
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New Castle, Colorado
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I just replaced mine. It was probably 4 years old, sun-faded, and the label was becoming difficult to read. I put off buying a new one because I liked the Extrasport Hi-float model I had but it had been discontinued. I'm going on the Grand next year and made that the timeline to find something I liked. However, the Ranger at Westwater told me last month that he would pass my PFD but it would be the last time because it was becoming "heavy". I attributed that to it being wet when I handed it over but he said it means the fill is breaking down. The next morning I was rinsing it in the river and realized sand had worked its way inside the fabric. Essentially, I was wearing a sandbag as a PFD! I retired it that morning and wore my spare to run the rapids.

I picked up a NRS Big Water PFD and am very happy with it.
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Old 10-05-2016   #5
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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My rule of thumb is once I can't clean off that grody combination of sunscreen and filth that rubs off around the collar. I think I'm just going to get a black PFD next time...

Seriously, inspect for tears, loss of bulk, illegible writing in the label, and significant fading. Any of these should reconcile the PFD to being retired.

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Old 10-05-2016   #6
 
San Jose, CA, California
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The PFD is one of those gear item's one should buy new and replace often. I believe I have been through 3 in the last 10 years.
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Old 10-05-2016   #7
The Cancer Kayaker
 
Denver, Colorado
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Good to know everyone thanks


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Old 10-05-2016   #8
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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All very good advice. However, if I could find my much loved Lotus Lola, somehow "lost" in a basement cleaning, I would wear it until the fabric disentegrated.
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Old 10-05-2016   #9
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
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My PFD just got denied being used at the put in for westwater. It was because you could not read the type v on the label, everything else is legible. I still fully trust this jacket and will continue to use it, however it will not being joining me on trips with a check in.
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Old 10-05-2016   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
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They require type III or type V at westwater, right?
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