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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2012
This is a well made and apparently well engineered device. Insertion of the gas cartridge is simple. The self inflation tube is easily deployed and the puller for manual inflation of the vest is well placed, long enough to find in a hurry, but not so long as to be in the way, or get caught on things. If you fall in, the vest is designed to inflate automatically once it become wet. There is a water soluble "bobbin" which, when dissolved, allows the mechanism of penetrate the cartridge and release the CO2. If you "test it," you have to replace it!

Getting the vest on is easy and the adjustments allow for all sizes. I'm an "extra large," and there is still plenty of adjustment left. The adjustment strap is long, and on a small person might need to be "stowed" in the vest to avoid getting caught on things in the boat.

Once on, the vest is comfortable and you soon become unaware that you are wearing it. However, on very warm and humid days you'll know you're wearing something. The colors, dark red and black, absorb the sun's heat and add to the discomfort, but not enough to make you want to take it off.

The replacement cartridge sells for over $20, so I have not tested it to date. I will manually inflate the vest and see how the buoyancy is for a guy my size and file an additional report. All in all I'm pleased with the purchase. I'm an "older american" who gets out in the boat a lot to do wild life photography. Lately, I realized I could not get back in the boat, if I fell out, and certainly couldn't swim more than a short distance. Better to be on the safe side, but the conventional vests are just too hot and bulky. This should serve the purpose and be a "life saver," if the need arises. I give it four stars, as I've not tested the buoyancy or the automatic/manual inflation system.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2014
All the positve reviews are absolutely true. Its light, packs and stores easily and is not the least bit cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear. That being said,I guess I'm the only reviewer yet to yank the cord!

Went kayaking today on the ocean and my kayak had an epic structural failure about 75 yards from shore. She rolled and spilled me into open water in a split second. I was able to right the kayak, but unable to reboard the floundering craft. Bad situation, alone treading water with no choice but self-rescue. I was wearing my Onyx pfd and needed it to work NOW! I yanked the lanyard down and it instantly inflated keeping my head and chest on the surface of the water. It is difficult to swim with, unless you scissor kick but that's true of all life jackets I've ever worn. Needless to say, the tide eventually pushed me ashore...alive because I wore an effective life jacket
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I fish the French River every year and the life jackets they provide for us are not very comfortable. This year I took two of these jackets and got caught in several storms. Rain didn't bother these jackets nor did we have an activation. You don't even notice that you are wearing them. Never go fishing without them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
What a great idea. It's very comfortable, not binding at all. I have not yet exposed it to water to see if it does in fact inflate properly. I just hope it does when necessary.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2014
I hated life jackets until I acquired the Onyx A-24. I kayak a lot and enjoy the freedom of not wearing anything on my upper body. Because of regulation (got ticketed several times because I didn't wear a life jacket...) I finally decided to look for and invest in minimalist life jackets. I can only say that this jacket is light weight, minimalist and gives freedom to all movements. It's worth the investment. It is made of high quality materials and replacing the gas cartridge is extremely easy.
All my kayak guests found it extremely light and minimalist. It's almost like if you were not wearing anything.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2015
Looks good, feels good. But when I fell out of the boat last weekend and went completely under with 48 degree water temps, it did not inflate. The inspection port was in the green too. Now I can't trust the second one I bought for my wife either. May just be a one in a million failure, but it failed for me. Not blaming the seller, not their fault.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2014
Very comfortable and light. However, in loading the cartridge into the vest, the sensor ring broke off with very little pressure. The plastic ring is held on with just four tiny little plastic spokes. Very flimsy design. This was my second vest, the first was bought out of a local store and I had no trouble loading the cartridge on that one, so I was surprised when this one snapped off so easily. Since they recommend testing this vest so often for leaks which requires removing the cartridge, I think the potential for breaking off this ring would be very high. Their manual even warns about inspecting the ring for breakage. Maybe they ought to fix this problem by beefing up their flimsy design!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2014
Light weight and comfortable to wear in all weather conditions. We are very pleased with this product and would order again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
The Onyx vest is very nicely put together and appears to be a quality product. I have not had occasion to deploy it yet and hope that I never will. Fit L& finish are excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2013
great product purchase. makes me feel alot safer when my pops goes oout on the water to fish by himself.
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