Ocean Safety Sport Pro ADV is touted as a solid offshore choice for sailors. But does this lifejacket live up to the hype of the brand name?
Ocean Safety Sport PRO 170 ADV
We get our hands on this Ocean Safety Sport PRO 170 ADV for a through testing. When a lifejacket has a certain pedigree brand name we are keen to ensure that they are as good as the hype. We expected a high standard from this industry leading brand and gave it no slac in our test. It is a great lifejacket but it has a few flaws too that could be easily rectified and some others that are inherent to the waistcoat style design format.
All the men who tried this agreed that the fitment was spot on. It was quick and easy to adjust with the double adjuster style allowing our testers to get it adjusted in no time at all. Our female testers though commented that this lifejacket does fit with a large amount of bulk on the directly on the breast. The high cut of the lifejacket that might suit a larger, flatter, broader chested person can fall a little uncomfortably on someone with a smaller torso or someone with breasts. If you are a larger breasted person and are considering this, then we advise you to try before you buy.
We were a little unsure about the double closure, while there was lots of positive comments about the zip and buckle, most people on our test crew dislike the old style metal buckle, preferring a seatbelt style clunk clip. An older KRU version of this lifejacket has the clunk clip so we are unsure why they reverted to this method, possibly budget constraints or possibly ISO related costs for passing certain stringent laboratory tests.
The harness loop is easy to clip onto and the crotch strap is easy to find, fasten and adjust.
We especially like the dedicated built-in pocket for stowing a PLB/AIS or other essential item.
Another neat little detail is the loop for a kill cord, so rib and other sportboat drivers will find this handy.
Phil comments, “the manual trigger toggle is a snagging risk, it should have better stowage to avoid being pushed up in to the lifejacket case by a user not wanting to snag it by accident.”
Toni comments that “it is a good fit under the arms, feels secure when fitted and easy to move around in. With a traditional buckle and zip up front this feels like a really secure jacket to wear for long periods of time. I’d consider upgrading that sprayhood and repositioning the light higher up to avoid it being obscured by the sprayhood.”
James comments from the pool test. “The sprayhood is ok but it feels a bit flimsy. The light is hidden under the bladder when in the water as it flops down. It is very comfortable once inflated. The light sensor cable was accidentally snapped when entering the life raft when it snagged on a fitting.” Note’s from the poolside crew and tech editor “Maybe the loose trigger wire could be better routed to avoid this or maybe it was just a freak accident when climbing into the liferaft.”
In our rudimentary pool roll over test, this lifejacket didn’t roll James over in the time he was able to hold his breath in the pool. Therefore we are unable to comment on the speed of roll over. We are certain that this is due to a number of uncontrollable factors in our indoor pool setting and no reflection at all on ISO rating.
Our testers fell in from the side of the pool, attempting to remain as still as they could while they allowed the lifejacket to auto inflate and then hold their breath until the lifejacket inflated. In these conditions, as a conscious person, it is actually hard to hold your breath for very long at all.
The lifejacket offered serious resistance to being re-capsized once our tester surfaced for air and was in the safety position.
In the inflated mode, the plb pocket is a little fiddly to access but not impossible.
Disappointingly the light, located centre on the bladder is obscured by the sprayhood when deployed. We expected a better layout that that frankly.
Ocean safety Sport PRO 170 ADV
Price from £169.95
How our lifejacket scored on average out of 10 for each of our criteria
8 – Adjust speed ease difficulty
6 – Fastening buckle ease with gloves
9 – Comfort
8 – Practicality. bulk snagging
8 – Positioning of essential items
7 – Night view / reflectors / light (if fitted)
2 – Sprayhood
8 – PLB fitment
7 – Ease of checking bottle / trigger status
7 – Unpacking / repacking
9 – Style
6 – In water score
78% Total as a percentage
This is a comfortable, sturdy, good quality and relatively well specified lifejacket at a good price. It has some great features and comes as standard with the basic equipment for going out of sight of land at night. The crossover bladder is a good design to stop waves funneling into the face, but we would advise to upgrade the sprayhood and light position to have a better in-water performance should you ever need it.