Comp Vest Choosing

ShortstackShortstack Posts: 6 Baller
Preface: This is my first post so I don't know if its in the right section.

I've decided that its time for me to get a new comp life vest to replace my old one (O'neill Gooru, which I think is a 2010. I bought the life vest from my ski coach, so I don't know the year). The thing thats stopping me from buying right away is that I'm clueless when it comes to ski vests, and I'm cheap. I don't want to end up accidentally falling into the trap of just buying the vest that looks the best. So, here are the ones that I'm looking at....

O'neill: Gooru, Techno, Slasher
HO: Syndicate Vest
Camaro: Impact
Radar: Legend
Stokes: EVO
Eagle: Something

With the O'neill vests, I dislike the look of the Techno and I've read reviews where the Slasher doesn't last. The Gooru I don't have a problem with, and is one of my leading choices, but I'm looking for something with a zipper. The only problem I have with the Syndicate Vest is that I currently ski on a Syndicate, and I don't want to look like a person who will buy anything because it says Syndicate on it. The Camaro vest looks good to me, but I don't know much about Camaro vests. The problem I have with the Radar vest is that I don't think that it would stay white if I use it in my lake. I don't have a problem with the Stokes Evo, other than the fact that I've never heard of Stokes. Finally, I've always heard good things about Eagle vests, but I'm not a huge fan of the styling.

Not knowing much about new life vests, I'm hoping that you skiers can steer me in the right direction to buying a new life vest. Thanks in advance.


  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,990 Mega Baller
    edited July 2014
    First if all welcome to the site!

    If you are buying a best based on price -How much is your life worth to you...?

    The Radar Vests hold up well. I would recommend the Vapor vest over the legend just based on the color. They are an awesome company who stands behind their products

    The Camaro vest is solid I have a number if friends with it. It is a contender for my next vest.

    The Stokes Vest I hear is really nice and is also a contender for my next vest. I hear the quality is very high end and the owner of the company is a pro skier.

    Eagle are good vests another company owned by skiers. You can custom their vests any what you like. I have owned one for 5+? Years.

    The HO vests are also good.

    I personally don't usually like the way the O'Neal look. I have plenty of friends who love them.

    All of these companies stand behind their products and will do their best to help you if there is a issue with the product. They take vest design seriously because it is a safety device. Hell get the HO if you are on a HO ski. Who cares if it matches or doesn't that my friend is up to you.
  • MSMS Posts: 4,653 Mega Baller
    Shut up and ski
  • RupRup Posts: 72 Baller
    I love my silver Eagle vest.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 728 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2014
    If you happen to fit a men's small: '13 Radar Decibel $45
  • ShortstackShortstack Posts: 6 Baller
    Thanks for the advice. My concern about being cheap is that I didn't know if the more expensive vests were worth the more expensive price, or if the cheaper vest is actually the better vest. I didn't want to just jump and buy the Eagle if the Syndicate vest was better.

    Right now I'm heavily considering the Syndicate, Stokes, Camaro and Eagle (of my original choices). The last tournament I went to, there was two of us that weren't using an Eagle Vest (and we were both using O'neill), so I'm slightly biased. I considered the Ronix Impact One, which is the Radar Legend just in green, but I didn't want to look like a salad, though the vest with L.E.D.s did look interesting....

    @MS, I considered that vest at one point, but I have a friend who owns one, who disliked it. His was a model year older though. I would try his, but he's a bigger size. I'll look into the Cardigan though.

    @Rup, Do you think the Silver Vest is worth $50 more dollars than the Bird of Prey, or would it be a better idea to stick with a vest that is Bird of Prey esque.

    @andjules, I was actually looking at the Radar Decibel vest a couple of months ago (in winter), but I didn't jump on it. I am a men's small, so that's a contender now two. Decisions, decisions.....
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,425 Mega Baller
    Anyone have the Stokes EVO they look really nice. Wondering how they float. My eagle barely keeps my head above water. Camaro floats great but its starting to stretch out after a few seasons.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    Take note of how much padding the Eagle vests have if you're looking at them. They all seem to have different padding thicknesses.

    I owned the 2012 Radar Decibel vest and loved it until about a month ago when I started noticing that it wasn't really floating me as high as it used to. I'm 6' tall, 188lbs, and have a 40" chest under the armpits. Originally I took my measurements based on Radar's sizing recommendations and realized that an XL vest (36" chest) was drastically too small for me. Figuring there is no way that they would make 4 sizes of ski vests for people who have smaller frames than myself, I threw sizing to the wind and ordered a medium. The medium vest fit well. Snug but not tight.

    Since my 2012 Decibel vest was losing floatation but it still looks very good. I really didn't want to chance $150+ on a new vest that I may not like so I chanced the $45 on that 2013 Radar Decibel vest @andjules posted on closeout in size small. Size small fits me just fine but I do like my vests snug so they don't ride up on me. I'd say if you're smaller than me, size small will fit you just fine.
  • Chad_ScottChad_Scott Posts: 416 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Waternut. All of this years model vest have more padding than previous years. When the platinum vest was made additional flotation was added. It was them added to all of the vest in the 2014 line.
  • NandoNando Posts: 402 Crazy Baller
    I went from an O'Neill Gooru to a Boost with bad results- they don't have any side padding. "How often do I fall hard on my side?", I thought. Ended up in the ER with what the docs thought was a ruptured spleen. Not ruptured, but nasty internal bruising and torn oblique meant three weeks off the water. I switched to a Slasher and the fit can't be beat and it seems to be well made but I can't vouch for its durability (it's a week old). My brother has an HO Syndicate that seems to have really good impact protection and has been pretty durable.
  • xratedxrated Posts: 497 Solid Baller
    no offense @MattP but "If you are buying a best based on price -How much is your life worth to you...?" you shouldn't even be looking at a comp vest IMO.
  • swerveitswerveit Posts: 204 Baller
    I recently purchased the new Guru vest with the 2014 foam change. Meaning it doesn't soak up water and weigh 5 kilos after your set, awesome. however it has zero buoyancy... I mean negative. so at the end of a pass I'm holding my breath to stay afloat. its really bad. not only for performance reasons as my heart rate is not dropping, but for safety.
    dread to think if i get knocked out... had about 5 guru vests but they end up getting loose and take on far too much water.
    I just put an order in for a new eagle vest.
  • skibugskibug Posts: 1,961
    Eagle front zip. Consider this, as it was something that one of the skiers at our lake experienced. Front zip versus pull over. I don't really see any advantage to pull over vests these days. The front zips are just as form fitting these days and way easier to get in and out of. I mention this because we had a skier get hurt in a bad fall where she broke some ribs. She had on a pull over; needless to say getting out of it was not fun. A front zip would have been much, much less of an issue.
    Bob Grizzi
  • walleyewalleye Posts: 173 Baller
    @shortstack Don't overlook the Goode vest with zipper. For looks No1. for me, my son has one improved his looks:) over the Guru. Not sure of the quality only one season. I have several Guru's they are very good quality and work well. I feel the Goode makes you look thinner:) not sure it would float you or any of the vest you listed if that is a requirement.
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    I am in a O'Neill checkmate and love it. Side zip so its easier to put on/off than a pullover like the gooru. Good padding and protection ad well. I'm in a medium. 5-10 185

    Have a radar decible that is coming apart after 2 seasons. Was good, warm and reversible but rolled up in a crash and got heavy when wet.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,764 Mega Baller
    Lots of great choices out there these days. I agree with what @skibug said about the front zipper. My next vest will be a front zip. Eagle has many ways to customize their vest and is on the top of my list for my next vest.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,564 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2014
    O'neill Assault. USCG approved and built in lumbar support. My first one lasted 18 years and the first 3 years were in Great Egg Harbor Bay(southern New Jersey) and Berkeley Aqautic Park salt waters. My second one is holding up well.
  • acmxacmx Posts: 222 Baller
    @MS, How hard is it to get out of that pullover vest? Seems like it would really stretch it getting out of it.
  • mlangemlange Posts: 160 Baller
    Getting out of a pullover is pretty easy. It's much harder to get out of a heater shirt IMHO. The problem would be if you get hurt as @skibug said.
  • robscholl-OFrobscholl-OF Posts: 285 Baller
    Go the Jeff Rogers route. Nylon four buckle vest for $39.95 from Overtons. He rocked it at the Big Dawg. Obviously it is the skier not the vest......OF
  • ShortstackShortstack Posts: 6 Baller
    edited July 2014
    Thanks for the help. I'm leaning more towards the zipper way for the reason @skibug said. Right now I'm mostly between the Syndicate vest and Eagle vests (if I get an Eagle, it will probably be a Goode one like what @walleye mentioned. I think they look better than the normal Eagle vests, though I can custimize the Eagles). I want a vest that will float me to some degree. I always fall on my side, so side impact padding is important to me. Anyone have any experience with the Syndicate Legend vest?

    Now its time to find boardshorts to match the vest I choose....
  • walleyewalleye Posts: 173 Baller
    @shortstack Do not buy elastic waist band looking cool is important. Most board shorts will balloon out on ups…huge load tweaks my neck. There is elastic type Hurley not sure brand I can look tonight but they never balloon>very important even over looks but these are cool.
  • walleyewalleye Posts: 173 Baller
    edited July 2014
    @shortstackIf you really want impress the ladies put a potato in the front. But not like @MS with in the back:(
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,340 Mega Baller
    @Shortstack you can get Eagle to put a little more flotation in and they also make a black vest with just Eagle written on it.
    Mark Shaffer
  • skiboat38skiboat38 Posts: 116 Baller
    Eagle all the way!
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,050 Mega Baller
    +1 for the Eagle.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • bowtybowty Posts: 75 Baller
    Everyone says Eagle, but specifically which Eagle vest?
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,050 Mega Baller
    I have a matrix but have had others. Some features may be slightly different and @Eagle1‌ may be able to outline those differences but essentially, to me, the front zip jackets I've tried from eagle are pretty much the same. Note I haven't tried them all.

    My next vest will be an eagle too.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • RupRup Posts: 72 Baller
    I like the extra flotation in the back of the vest and the silver looks cool.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,340 Mega Baller
    I think the Eagle Platinum is the only one with more flotation in it but someone posted earlier that might have changed. The Eagle 1 is plain black with just a smallish Eagle logo. I tried on the Platinum last year and really wanted to like it but I found the arm holes a little smaller than the other Eagle vests so I went with a standard one. It could have been the extra padding making the arm holes seem a little smaller.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ShortstackShortstack Posts: 6 Baller
    I know Eagle is a popular brand, but what makes the Eagle vests so popular? What makes them better than the others? Honestly I was leaning more towards the Syndicate, but Eagle vests seem to be more popular.
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