The Wingman Life Jacket is a blessing to many, especially for avid outdoor activity enthusiasts. Hyde, the brand’s parent company, pledges to upgrade its product to improve safety use and customer satisfaction. The effects can be easily seen on the product features, which will be further discussed in this post.
The Origins of the Wingman Life Jacket
Before going in-depth over the product details, understanding its origins is crucial. The idea of the suit was born from an incident that happened in 2012 during Hughes’ Triathlon. Unfortunately, some triathletes drowned during the event, which made Pat and Fox, the creator of the Wingman life jacket, decide that they needed to do something to prevent such cases from happening again. The result is a well-rounded life jacket suited to many types of users, even those that aren’t triathletes.
The Wingman life jacket idea had a very rough start, but after several years of pursuing and processing, both Pat and Fox were able to pull off the project through a Kickstarter campaign. They have acquired initial funding of $67,529, allowing them to sell the product for $249. However, after several years, the price was cut down, and it is now available for only $199.
The Wingman life jacket may be new to the market and is against established names, but it has some striking features that make it worth checking out.
The company behind the Wingman life jacket, Hyde, dedicated a lot of its time to research to create a perfect outdoor water activity product that would benefit many people. This means that not only athletes would be able to enjoy the goodness of this one of a kind product, but also normal folks who want to try out recreational outdoor water activities.
That said, it is easy to conclude that the Wingman life jacket is user-friendly, and it doesn’t require practice to use. The careful research that the Hyde company committed can be easily seen to be reflected in the features section of this article. You can also see a lot of patented features that truly make the life jacket unique.
One of its best selling points is its high performance despite being a low profile product. The ergonomic fit is also one of the features that many outdoor enthusiasts are looking for, so despite it being a sort of requirement, the Wingman life jacket took it to another level. The underarm straps are also 100% adjustable, providing a flexible customization opportunity for different body types.
It is also worth noting that everything can be easily adjusted anytime, so whatever the activity is, the wearer can have all the freedom they please. In other words, the ergonomic profile that the Wingman life jacket provides is unmatched and is worth the price.
Two-Stage Donning is Not a Thing
By choosing the Wingman over other life jacket variants, users will have the advantage of not experiencing two-stage donning. Basically, to make the Wingman float, all you have to do is pull the ripcord off, and you’re good to go. At times of contingencies, having this convenience is very important as every second counts when saving one’s life.
Other life jacket variants are also very demanding when it comes to the donning stage, making it a lot harder for users to activate the product’s intended purpose. Some products even require 2-3 steps before setting off, so the Wingman life jacket has an obvious advantage in this scenario.
This feature also brilliantly combines with the first one, the ergonomic fitting, as it would allow faster and smoother transition that would totally help when it comes to emergencies. Besides, it is hard to compensate for the lack of speed when talking about emergencies after all.
CO2 Cylinder Location
A CO2 cylinder has become a requirement for many floaters and lifejackets, but there’s a problem that many products share. Most of the time, manufacturers do include CO2 cylinders, but the problem is where it is located. Modern ones being released in the market can be seen to have CO2 cylinders on the chest or front part of the user. However, the Wingman product wants to differ by changing the traditional location and putting the CO2 cylinder at the back.
This feature is essential for many outdoor water activities since this device would only cause discomfort and distraction if it is located on the front of the torso. In addition, Hyde went out on its way and developed a customized plate for the device, which they have also patented, meaning that you can only get this type of feature when you use the Wingman life jacket. The patented mounting plate makes sure that the CO2 cylinder won’t hinder the user’s arms when doing strenuous activities.
Hydration Sleeve Inclusion
A hydration pack is mostly being brought by athletes and outdoor activity enthusiasts in a separate setup, but these instances are no longer possible since Wingman life jackets have an included hydration sleeve, which allows any user to have their own pack ready at all times.
It is also worth noting that the Wingman is the only inflatable outdoor water gear that has been approved by the US coast guard, mainly because of its many useful features and tenacity as a product. Having a hydration pack with you all the time without worrying about the storage is also a huge plus since it would be a hassle to go back onshore just to drink water.
To keep things more efficient and interesting, Hyde also makes sure that the hydration packs will be kept secured as always by using channels on the shoulders.
Patented Zipping Technology
The patented triple bursting zipper is also a good advantage when talking about general safety and also comfort. The zipper can automatically open on inflation, which gives the bladder enough space to come out freely, which means that the user can stay afloat without too many steps and hassle.
Other life jackets in the market are also notorious for being hard to pack and unpack, adding more worries to the user. On the other hand, Wingman life jackets can be easily packed, all thanks to the patented zipping technology made with Hyde’s initiative. Knowing that it is also patented makes it a unique feature that you can’t see on other products.
Modular Pack System
A modular pack system may be a common thing for other outdoor water gears. However, the Wingman life jacket makes it so that the user can still move freely without worrying about all the items being held inside the modular pack system.
The pack is also oriented horizontally, which opens up to many possibilities that aren’t existent to other products in the market. Waterproof devices such as smartphones and cameras can easily fit in the packs, where it can be safely kept without worrying about them being lost. With its space, the user can easily bring a handful of objects that are helpful for some activities that require gadgets and equipment.
With the aforementioned patented zipping technology, the Wingman life jacket can be easily packed and unpacked almost anywhere, even if there’s less space being provided. Because it doesn’t have that much going on, the item’s weight is fairly manageable, which means it can be easily carried almost anywhere without trouble.
With its easy to learn the suit-up procedure, almost anyone can get ready within several minutes, but the time can be easily improved through muscle memory and also practice.
Strong Internal Structure
Body types are a big problem that many companies are worried about when making their products. It would take them some time to formulate an effective structure that would work on most body types. While it is indeed a hard problem to face, Hyde did well on this part, and they have created a strong internal structure that can easily provide strength to the user. It is also a clever way of distributing the weight throughout the whole life jacket, making it easier for the user to move.
The weight distribution is also a crucial aspect when it comes to life-saving, as users can be easily picked up using the straps of the Wingman life jacket.
Easily Fit Any Body Type
Hyde worked hard on making the Wingman life jacket fitted for any body type. It has a chest size of 30 to 50 inches, making it ideal for men and women to wear. Like the straps and channels, the additional features are not considered hindrances since all features are tested before the item is released in the market.
Additional Accessories and Equipment
The Wingman life jacket is already an ideal product to use individually, but for those aiming to use the product for competitive sport or other activities that demand straining actions, it is recommended to get additional accessories and equipment to have an improved experience. Examples of these activities include surfing, kiteboarding, and kayaking.
Stylish Yet Simplistic Design Approach
Outdoor water gears aren’t just made with useful features in mind. There are still, of course, a lot of users and enthusiasts outdoors that consider design and style as a big factor when choosing what product they will buy. Despite having overwhelming features, the Wingman life jacket still excels when it comes to its presentation.
It has several color selections that are perfect for any environment. These colors are also meant to represent the minimalist style approach that Hyde is aiming for. However, the company also makes sure that the design would not be a hindrance when deciding the features.
Fresh Salt Water Use
Surprisingly, the Wingman life jacket can also be used in a fresh saltwater environment. Most products that are out in the market may be able to do this as well, but most companies don’t advise doing so because it would inflict some considerable damage on the gear.
However, the Wingman life jacket should still be taken care of when the user decides to use it in a fresh or saltwater environment. After a session, it is mandatory to wash the gear thoroughly with clean water. Every part should be rinsed so that the gear shouldn’t have any problem or damage. The CO2 cylinder that is also installed on the gear should be removed and washed as well since the water formula can cause the cylinder to suffer from corrosion.
In other words, washing after every usage from the saltwater environment is mandatory, as well as letting it dry in the open air.
Best Activities to try Wingman Life Jacket
Here are some of the outdoor activities that are perfect for showing the Wingman life jacket’s capabilities.
With its flexibility and one size fits all feature, the life jacket is essential for surfing use, especially for those just starting out. Since surfing is very rough to learn, the chances of falling from the board numerous times are present, which puts the Wingman life jacket to good use.
The CO2 cylinder that is included in the life jacket is perfect for any marine environment. Since it is 100% approved by the US Coast Guard, anyone can easily say that it is indeed safe to use. The life jacket body features also allow for more daring and professional diving performances. The manual ripcord feature is also an important one to point out, as it means that automatic inflation isn’t possible in any way.
To begin with, wakeboarding may not be an extreme activity, but it still can be a dangerous activity for beginners. With the Wingman life jacket’s easy-to-activate inflating feature, anyone can stay out of trouble and continue learning this amazing outdoor activity.
For its price, the Wingman Life Jacket is totally worth the purchase, and it can even be considered as an investment. The product is loaded with many useful features designed for many users, further proving that Hyde is indeed committed to providing only the best products and services in the market, which is evident in the Wingman life jacket. Furthermore, this can be justified by its many other patented technologies that have been implemented on the gear itself.