Outdoors

"World's thinnest" life jacket might not bug you

The Wingman is available in four colors
The Wingman is available in four colors
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The Wingman is available in four colors
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The Wingman is available in four colors
The Wingman was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers
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The Wingman was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers

A lot of people don't like wearing life jackets, as they find the things to be bulky and cumbersome. If you're such a person, then you might be interested in the Wingman, as it's claimed to be the world's thinnest.

US Coast Guard-approved for adults weighing over 90 lb (41 kg), the Wingman has actually been around for a few years, having been the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It's just become commercially available relatively recently, however.

It was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers, although it was designed to be considerably less expensive than those. In its case, the replaceable CO2 canister is located out of the way, on a plate in the back.

That canister is activated by pulling a chest-located rip cord that is routed over the wearer's shoulder. When the cord is pulled, the Wingman's horse collar-style bladder instantly inflates, bursting through the vest via a unique zipper system that's designed to give way in three places. If need be, it's also possible to inflate the bladder orally.

The Wingman was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers
The Wingman was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers

Once all the excitement's over, the bladder can be deflated and stuffed back in place.

Users performing high-output activities can opt for a 1.5-liter hydration pack, which is inserted into a sleeve in the back, with its drinking hose coming over the shoulder – not the same shoulder as the rip cord, as that could be confusing.

The Wingman is available now, for US$199. Some of its other features can be seen in the following video.

Source: Hyde Sportswear

Hyde Wingman Life Jacket Features & Innovations

1 comment
Dustin
> It was inspired by the CO2-inflatable vests sometimes worn by big-wave surfers, although it was designed to be considerably less expensive than those. > The Wingman is available now, for US$199. Really? I ask because I bought one at REI several years ago for under $100... This is years late and twice the price..what's so special about it?