We tested 10 of the best lifejackets on the market in a full-open water test to see how quickly they fire and how comfortable they are to wear
Secumar Ultra AX Plus
- Crotch-strap: Yes (single)
- Light: Yes
- Sprayhood: Yes
- Harness: Yes
- Firing mechanism: Secumatic 4001S
- Fastening mechanism: Seatbelt-style plastic and metal buckle
- Price: €123.90
- Rating: 4/5
The Secumar is a reasonably bulky jacket but feels rugged, almost commercial. The easy-to-use seatbelt buckle provided a secure fastening and was the easiest on test to use, according to Greg.
Adjustment was simple, with a single-side slider, and despite the bulk this wasn’t an intrusive jacket to wear around the boat and was very comfortable thanks to its fleece-lined collar.
In the water the Secumar took a full 15 seconds to inflate – initially we thought we had a failure on our hands. But once it had fired, the Ultra did its job and turned our casualty over.
In the water, the jacket held Greg’s head high with ease. The sprayhood fell to hand easily, was straightforward to put on and offered a good degree of protection.
Reflective panels were adequate, including a nice big one across the front of the sprayhood. This jacket also provided a clear window through which to check the status of the firing mechanism, with a manual over-ride tab should this be required.
This jacket uses a salt pill that comes in a plastic carrier. Reinstallation is simple. A new bottle is fitted with a bayonet fitting rather than the ubiquitous screw-thread, which should prevent the problem of bottles working loose. Rearming kit: £20
The bladder packed away easily into the cover, which was fixed by Velcro. The only snag was working out how the sprayhood packed away.
In the end, I just shoved it unceremoniously into the collar but it wasn’t right and marred an otherwise easy repacking experience.
Contact: Secumar UK
Tel: 01621 782078