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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

Ocean Safety Kru Sport Pro

Ocean Safety Kru Sport Pro - beforeFeatures

  • Crotch-strap: Yes
  • Light: No (but the AQ40 light is available to buy for £20)
  • Sprayhood: Yes
  • Harness: Yes
  • Firing mechanism: United Moulders UML-5
  • Fastening mechanism: Zipped panel
  • Price: £160
  • Rating: 5/5 (best buy)

Performance

The adjustment of this jacket is very easy; simply loosen right off before putting on and then pull the loose ends either side.

Once donned, the Kru Sport Pro felt comfy and offered a great feeling of security due to the large meshed back and zipped front panel.

In the water it was joint fastest at firing and turning our casualty over in just four seconds. Once inflated the head was held nicely above the waterline and the jacket still felt comfortable.

Ocean Safety Kru Sport Pro - after

The sprayhood took our tester a while to find in the water but once he had hold of the tab to
pull it out it was very easy to fit.

This made us realise how important it was to familiarise yourself with any lifejacket you buy. If you have a sprayhood, get to know how it works – it is definitely time well spent.

One quibble was that there seemed no obvious way of securing the loose ends of the sprayhood and I would have liked another reflective panel on the bottom of the righthand bladder because the one that was there was obscured after inflation.

Rearming

Simply unscrew the cylinder and firing mechanism and screw in the new ones. Replace the plastic manual firing pin if required. Rearming kit: £20

Repacking

Although it looked complicated, with a separate bladder and cover, this turned out to be very straightforward to repack due to the two separate halves, each with a zip, and a separate compartment for the sprayhood.

Contact: Ocean Safety Ltd
Tel: 023 8072 0800

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