People who spend a lot of time in the sea know how cumbersome and uncomfortable life vests can be. They’re bulky and don’t lend themselves to mobility but you need them in case of an emergency. Luckily for you my sea-legged friend, Hyde Sportswear has made it so that you no longer have to wade around in an irritating, unwieldy vest, with the arrival of their latest creation: the Wingman life jacket.
The Wingman was designed for everyone in mind, no matter if you’re on a booze cruise during the weekend or swimming your heart out on the first leg of a triathlon. Its versatility in usage stems from its ability to transform from a sleek article of clothing to robust safety apparatus with the yank of a chord.
This is all thanks to the ingenious addition of the CO2 cylinder which is located on the back of the vest. When activated by the ripcord in the front, it transfers the CO2 to the inflatable bladder of the device allowing you to float. The Wingman vest is made from a top grade super stretch neoprene that expands in about a second when activated.
The vest comes in one size and is suitable for men and women who weigh over 90 pounds and have a chest size that falls within the range of 30-50 inches. Wingman comes in several different colors including camouflage, weighs roughly 1.5 pounds, and has several customizable accessories like a camera mount that locks in place with clip strap system.
One of the most useful accessories is the hydration pack that holds about 1.5 liters of liquid which can be worn under Hyde’s Surf Top Layer or over their compression base stretch tops.
The Wingman vest may have been born out of tragedy when co-founder Pat Hughes discovered that someone died in his first triathlon in 2012. Much to the dismay of Pat, he came to realize triathlon related drownings were a growing problem. He and his friend and co-founder Mike Fox then set out to solve this problem with an affordable vest that swimmers can use in case the worst happens. The Wingman was born and shortly after became US Coast Guard approved.
Wingman is available now for the discounted price $169.00 on their website.