Inflatable SUP Life Jacket – Fluid
This inflatable SUP life jacket called the Fluid by MTI is the best low-profile
personal floatation device solution to the United States Coast Guard’s
regulation that requires stand up paddle boarders to have a PFD on board if
they’re stand up paddling outside of a surf zone, swimming area, or wading
area. Most stand up paddle surfers prefer to be as unencumbered as possible
while they’re paddling, so this belt pack style solution stays out of
the way until it’s needed (if it ever is). When you need it, the inflatable
bladder is deployed by the user and inflated by a contained CO2 cartridge. Simply
put the bladder over your neck and you’ve got a fully functional personal
As much as the stand up paddle board community may think the Coast Guard’s
requirement is silly (given the fact that a 12’ foam board tethered to
your leg kind of is a personal flotation device in itself), there are areas
where the Coast Guard is actively giving out tickets. If you find yourself stand
up paddle boarding in one of those areas, this SUP life jacket is the best out
of the way solution hands down.
About SUP Life Jacket Producer MTI
MTI, out of Massachusetts, has been making life jackets for paddlesports enthusiasts
in the United States since 1991, but their roots and experience in life vest
production dates back to the 1930s in Japan where the current owners’
grandfather originally started making life jackets. It’s a small, family
owned paddle sports company and the focus on quality shows thru. Many of their
personal floatation devices (PFDs) are made in a factory owned by their extended
family in Shanghai.
In light of the 2008 United States Coast Guard ruling that stand up paddle
boarders are required to have a wearable PFD (Personal Flotation Device) aboard
their “vessel” at all times when venturing beyond swimming, surfing,
or bathing areas, MTI has made a concerted effort to provide lightweight, comfortable,
and SUP-friendly life jacket solutions. They have done an outstanding job thus
far and have established themselves as a leader in this niche SUP life jacket
market. MTI offers low-profile, inflatable SUP life vests that are worn around
the waist ready for deployment when necessary. Thus they stay out of your way
while paddling around. In the unfortunate event you need a life vest, simply
trigger the CO2 inflation canister and a bladder inflates that you can put over
your neck. They also offer more standard lightweight stand
up paddle surfing life vests that are designed not to interfere with arm
movement. And they even offer life
jackets for dogs!
MTI is focused on producing the best personal flotation devices on the market.
They don't veer off focus by creating other products for the paddlesports industry
such as boats or paddles. They work closely with the United States Coast Guard
to ensure they are keeping up with the latest PFD needs, and this is precisely
why they were a first mover in the stand up paddle surfing life vest market.
Like the rest of their PFD products, the design of their SUP life vests is guided
by six core principles that are intended to get a quality safety product into
as many hands as possible, and then to ensure they get used once they are purchased.
Here are the guiding principles:
- Make it comfortable
- Make it look good
- Focus on practical and useful features
- Make it affordable
- Meet or exceed all Coast Guard regulations
- Build it to last
Go with an MTI SUP life vest and you can't really go wrong!