PREVENT F*%$@ING DROWING (PFD) MTI 16g Beltpack Review
Paddling is all fun and games until somebody drowns! Fortunately for us, MTI Life Jackets is here to provide many different styles of PFD’s to meet any paddlers or boaters needs.
When we were heading out to complete a 246-mile paddle down the Suwannee River aboard one Giant SUP, keeping our gear to a minimum was definitely a priority. Traditional life jackets are great for use in a kayak, but can be extremely bulky and end up getting in the way while maneuvering around on a SUP. That is why we chose the MTI 16g Beltpack (In beautiful Mango Print!) to go with us on our journey!
There are several things that set this belt pack apart from other belt packs, and are all reasons why we would recommend choosing MTI for your next PFD. First, lets talk functionality. This Type V PFD is US Coast Guard approved, lightweight, includes a whistle, and is super fashionable!
If you are new to the world of PFD’s, a Type V PFD is a floatation device that has a CO2 cartridge included, and must be inflated in order to offer floating assistance. This can be done by either pulling a cord that will inflate the pillow-style bladder immediately, or it can be inflated orally. After the beltpack is inflated, there is an extra strap that goes around the users neck for extra stability in the water. Type V PFD’s must be worn at all times while on the vessel, so it is important for us to have something comfortable like the MTI 16g belt pack that does not get in the way while we are paddling on lengthy journeys.
The MTI 16g Beltpack weighs in at only 1.4 lbs, (including the whistle & CO2 cartridge) but don’t let it’s small size fool you. This bad boy provides 15.5 lbs of buoyancy when inflated, which is plenty of buoyancy for a full-size adult Squatch or a Siren. An added bonus of this product that makes it the “best bang for your buck” is that it it comes with the CO2 cartridge already inside, whereas many other beltpack brands sell the CO2 cartridge separately. Listed at only $69.95, this is the lowest price quality beltpack that we have found on the market.
It seems that something that can float so much weight would never be able to deflate and fold back up to fit inside the small beltpack, right? Wrong! It actually proved to be extremely easy to deflate this and return it to its original form. Simply roll it back up, and velcro the pouch back together. This is very unlike other belt packs that we have used, which usually have some sort of complex origami that has to be completed before returning the item to its original condition before use.
In addition to being lightweight and comfortable, this belt pack is great for those who enjoy going on overnight camping journeys while traveling on the water. During our Suwannee River paddle we discovered that the “camping pillows” we had brought with us were extremely flat, full of static electricity, and overall just plain uncomfortable. Little did we know, we had luxurious inflatable pillows to rest our necks upon just steps away, folded up in our MTI belt packs! The 16” x 19” inflatable bladder was far more pleasant while sleeping, and we could have carried one less thing on our trip.
Overall, we could never go back to using traditional PFD’s while SUPing. We love the freedom that we get while using the MTI 16g Beltpacks, and have even gotten used to clipping our waterproof speakers on the D-rings provided on the strong polypropylene belt, which leaves our hands free for easy launching.
If you are looking to upgrade your PFD, things have come a long way since the days of looking like a bright orange marshmallow on the water! Be stylish & safe, plus enjoy the benefits of extra functionality like whistles and pillows while on the water with these MTI 16g Beltpacks.