Exclusive test: 10 of the best lifejackets tested to the max

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

Spinlock Deckvest Lite

Spinlock Deckvest Lite - beforeFeatures

  • Crotch-strap: Yes (single)
  • Light: No (available for £39.95)
  • Sprayhood: No (available for £20.35)
  • Harness: No
  • Firing mechanism: United Moulders UML-5
  • Fastening mechanism: Plastic buckle
  • Price: £139
  • Rating: 3/5


The Spinlock jacket is an unusual design in that it slips over your head rather than being worn like a waistcoat.

It was easy to put on if you were flexible enough to reach behind for the strap, and very easy to adjust thanks to a system that required just a single pull on the loose end of webbing.

Wearing it on board, the Spinlock not only looks different but feels different too, which might take some getting used to.

Spinlock Deckvest Lite - after

Having said that it was comfortable, with a superbly soft neoprene collar. As an aside, our tester also thought it looked great too.

The jacket inflated and turned our tested over in a respectable 4.5 seconds but when inflated he reported some compression on the neck to the extent of slightly restricting his breathing.


It’s got the ubiquitous United Moulders UML-5 mechanism, so simply unscrew the old and screw
in the new. Rearming pack: £19.95


The Deckvest Lite is very compact and this works against it when it comes to repacking. It wasn’t particularly easy and the end result was more shoved in than carefully packed. If I had a sprayhood to get in as well it may well have beaten me.

Contact: Spinlock Ltd

Tel: 01983 295555

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