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Old 30 August 2011, 14:08   #1
DJL
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Lifejackets - Velcro or QBZ (Quick Burst Zip)

I'm in the process of buying a new life jacket but i can't work out whether to go for Velcro or QBZ.

All my personal life jackets have been Velcro and I've never had any problems. The QBZ ones I've used just seem to be fiddly when repacking. I can't find any information about the benefits of QBZ over velcro... there must be some reason they introduced QBZ.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 30 August 2011, 14:23   #2
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Definitely QBZ. We've been evaluating various lifejackets on the Clipper RTW race, and whilst a year of full time use is a little over intense, the results are worth noting.

On anything velcro inevitably over time the velcro fills up with lint etc, and despite best efforts eventually wears out - this was most noticeable around the back/hood area where there was most articulation. We have our crews regularly check their lifejackets with inflation tests which won't have helped, but they started looking shabby after about the 4th race (15 races making up the RTW voyage).

By contrast, the new zipped ones we have are much better.
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Old 30 August 2011, 14:49   #3
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my 11y/o lad was given a second hand one last year ,what we relised was that if the auto/manual failed in an emergency he would have had a job on trying to blow it up orally or enough to burst the zip or fiddle about with it rather than the velcro type,granted its a few years old .

one advantage with the Zip type, the coller doesent seem to get the fold marks that the velcro or stud types do as on this model its rolled up rather folded that perhaps can eventually cause a hole.
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Old 31 August 2011, 16:50   #4
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Thanks guys. Jimbo, thats very useful.

I emailed a life jacket manufacturer to see what they had to say. They're response seems to echo your experience Jimbo.

"Choosing a lifejacket with Velcro or Zip is more of a personal preference. We have found over the years that customers that use Velcro get a little frustrated with the hook part of the Velcro as this will catch seaweed or part of a top if it's fleece or just general debris/clothing and overtime the Velcro will loose it's grip and will need to be replaced. Zipped jackets do not have that problem they also lay better on the back of the neck and shoulders. The zips also use the same technology as your car air bags so you know that the zip will not fail upon opening."

I've ordered a zipped version.
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