Here’s a new look in life vests from Switlik Survival products – the eVolution UA-80 that provides under-arm floatation to keep the wearer’s head and arms higher out of the water than traditional vests do.
So far, most vests are the yoke type that you wear around your neck. Switlik takes a different approach, going under the arms. Switlik, with headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey, says the eVolution UA-80 is the first of its kind to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for professional aviators and flight crews. The new Switlik uses a two-chamber inflatable air bladder, an approach inspired by the U.S. Army’s Aircrew Combat Equipment program.
Before it’s inflated, you wear the Switlik over your clothing, and it looks a lot like a regular life vest. It has front pockets and loops to hold gear.
If you end up in the water, you pull the inflation handle; that releases a compressed air cylinder, which in turn inflates the bladder. The bladder itself goes across your chest and under your arms, providing 80 pounds of buoyancy.
The Switlik UA-80 not only keeps your head and arms high out of the water, but the inflated bladder also will automatically bring you into a face-up orientation.
The bladder is protection by an abrasion-, fire-, and puncture-proof multi-layer Cordura nylon covering. The vest has reflective patches, and a locator light so the user can be spotted at night. It also has a grab handle so people can pull you out of the water.
The UA-80 costs $795 and will be available in April. You can preorder them now at http://switlik.com and see a demonstration video here: