My PFD (personal flotation Device)
As a child my buoyancy aids were very obstructive, they were the foam filled type that most children wear. This type of buoyancy aid are still kept aboard workboats incase of emergency, their benefit is they do not need inflation. You know prior to entering the water that it is going to keep you afloat. In reality you could not work in one as they are just too bulky, restrictive of free movement and cumbersome. Over the years we have tried many types of PFD, a really important factor for aboard the work boat is the Auto inflate system as there is the possibility of going overboard whilst unconscious. This auto system could also be detrimental though as on many PFD it is initiated by the soaking of wax paper. The issue for us is sometimes whilst working on deck they get so wet that the PFD sets its self off and this could be potentially more of a hazzard than not having a PFD on due to the deck machinery. My Spinlock deckvest works on a hydrostatic release that requires positive pressure to initiate the system. This basically means you have to hold it underwater to set it off.
As far as comfort goes, I actually find it more comfortable wearing my PFD aboard than not having it on, as it provides a cushion behind my neck. I often forget to take it off and it ends up back at home with me!
A feature I really like is rather than just having a light fitted, when wet the entire PFD illuminates. We carry out MOB drills monthly and in the dark it is very hard to spot a small light, but that isn't a problem for me as this thing flashes up like a beacon so I feel much safer knowing I can be seen.
Monthly I take my PFD home and manually inflate it to check for defects. I leave it inflated overnight to ensure there are no tiny holes or other issues that could prevent its optimal performance.
This is not a paid partnership just my independent review