How often should I inspect my inflatable PFD?

We recommend visually inspecting your inflatable PFD before every use; this is just a cursory check to make sure nothing is amiss. This inspection is slightly different for each style of inflatable Mustang Survival offers, so it is best to check your device's user manual for specifics, but in general, you should:

  • Ensure that any zippers are closed, and there is no visual damage to them;
  • Ensure that any buckles are in working order and aren't missing pieces;
  • Ensure that the waist belt and webbing is attached to the device properly (any loose threads or fraying where it connects to the device is cause for concern);
  • Ensure that (if your device has one) the indicator on the inflator shows 'green';
  • Ensure that your inflator or component is not expired:
    • Hammar inflators are good until the end of the year noted on them;
    • Halkey-Roberts bobbins are good for three years after the date stamped on them.
  • Check to make sure there are no rips, tears, or holes in the fabric;
  • Check that the oral inflation cap is on the inflation tube properly.

We recommend performing a visual inspection of the inflatable bladder, and an air retention test on the bladder, every six months (or more frequently if it is a high-use product). We do not recommend going longer than a year between bladder inspections. This inspection should be recorded on the inspection record label on your device.

The air retention test does not require that you inflate the device using the CO2 canister. We recommend inflating the device using the oral inflation tube until the bladder is firm. The bladder should be inflated and left to sit in a location where the temperature will stay relatively constant, such as on your couch in the living room or on the dining room table.

If you inflate the bladder via the oral tube, the bladder should be inflated until firm and left to sit for the period specified in your device's user manual; usually at least six hours. If your device has maintained the same firmness after the specified time period and has not visibly deflated, it is in good order and can be repacked.

If you inflated the bladder using the CO2 canister, leave the bladder to stabilize for approximately five minutes. The CO2 is cold when it comes out of the canister and will expand slightly as it warms up. After this warm-up period, take a reference of how firm the bladder feels.

If the device's bladder has visually lost air or is noticeably softer/less firm, it is recommended that you replace the device. If you are unsure about the results of the air retention test, we can perform a more thorough check at one of our facilities. You will need to contact our Customer Experience team in Canada 

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