How long should a good ski vest last?

MsuwaterskierMsuwaterskier Posts: 9 Baller
edited June 2016 in Other Stuff
Alright I'm getting pretty feed up with my life vests disintegrating after only 1 year of use (see pics below). I only ski 5 months out of the year, 3-4 days a week in season, and my vest is always stored hanging up and out of the sun. My last 3 vests conveniently have fallen apart 2 weeks past the 1 year warranty. My most recent vest was a Connelly, the 2 before that were O'Neill. The rubber like material around the neck just molts and makes a mess out of my shoulders and the upholstery of my boat.

So is it just me or is this the way of manufacturers making us by new $150 vest every year? I still have vest from 20 years ago that are in better shape than the last 3 high end vests I have bought.

How long should I expect a vest to last? What brand is good these days? (I won't buy another O'Neill after the way their customer service treated me)



  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,263 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2016
    Key word in the thread title "good". I don't think they don't make them like they used, so using that qualification are there any "good" anymore. I've got a couple of old StraightLine Ultra that are over 15 years old and I'm still using them. I still say if someone could get the rights or this far along just copy them they could sell thousands of 'em. I scooped up a used one from @Roger back in '09 that I'm happily using. I think @Roger said it did shrink however!
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • AndreAndre Posts: 991 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2016
    On my 7 th season with my O Neill Outlaw so...
    125 sets a season in our 5 months season,always dried in the sun...
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,957 Mega Baller
    7 or 8th season on my Eagle One vest. Its time for an upgrade, but is still working great.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,382 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Straightline Ultra vest going on 5 or 6 years now...maybe more. I ski yr round and often. I do not hang it up, I lean it standing up in a plastic chair and it stays out of the sun. I see it lasting another 2-3 yrs. Why this is not made anymore is beyond me other then they would not sell them yr after yr to the same skier. O'brien made that same kind as well which I used for yrs. The Goode PV (just the vest) is very similar. Super light, never holds water, flexible enough and you feel like you have some protection on vs the wetsuit style now a days. I think if brought back, a crap ton would be sold as mentioned above.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 507 Solid Baller
    Hmm not sure what's going on there, my Radar vest is on it's 4 year or so and has barely got a mark on it.
  • JordanOzJordanOz Posts: 59 Baller
    2 seasons on my Rip Curl E-Bomb, reckon it will still be good for another 2 or 3.
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 282 Solid Baller
    2nd season with my O'Neill slasher, very comfortable and still good and the season is from late March to end of October. But I agree not the same quality like my 16 years old USCG O'Neill, undestructible
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,653 Mega Baller
    I'm on my second O'Neill Impact w/lumbar support which is 8 - 9 years old. First on lasted about 15 seasons.
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,744 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    At regionals I will have been using my Eagle 1 for 6 years. If not for the stitches pulling on the side of the zipper it would be fine.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,013 Crazy Baller
    Jeff Rodgers has been wearing the same Overton's vest for 25 years! That's the one to get!
  • SpuddySpuddy Posts: 128 Baller
    9th season in my O'Neil outlaw vest was just thinking I might start to look at a new one but still some life in it. I am from up north so shorter season, May-October
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,008 Mega Baller
    edited June 2016
    I'm with @Wish Still wearing my Straightline Ultra vest that has to be 10 years old or more. I take care of it like a $200K sportscar, because I know I can't replace it.

    Come on @Eddie Roberts give us a non-water absorbing vest option!! Me and Wish will sign up today! Thin and lightweight, with straps and covers your front (even longer fronts of us full-figure guys).. :)

  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 988 Solid Baller
    Nine years on a oneill vest no problems.
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 242 Baller
    I've got 2 oneil gooru's, easily 7 ish years old, my only grumble is they stretch out a little after a couple seasons, i try not to let them hang dry, laying flat on a lawn chair seems to help,
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,194 Mega Baller
    3rd season on my Radar xvest - it regularly hangs out in the sun from the tower to dry out. I will say that the outside of my Connelly bindings look like your vest after only a couple seasons.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 831 Crazy Baller
    I've had great luck with Oneill. I'm on my third one in 16 years. Older ones were replaced because they started looking rough. I still keep them around for guests as they are perfectly functional. Sorry to hear you had trouble with customer service.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,679 Mega Baller
    I have an Eagle that I have had going on 3 years without any issues with it. I didn't find the O'Neill pullover I had lasted as well.
    Mark Shaffer
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,263 Crazy Baller
    Like @Wish and @A_B I'll buy a StraightLine Ultra clone tomorrow if someone starts marketing one. And I know of at least three other skiers that immediately come to mind who would do the same.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • WishWish Posts: 7,382 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I know of 2 others as well.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • MSMS Posts: 4,946 Mega Baller
    I have a Liquid Force Cardigan that is 6 years old, another that is 3 and another 1. All are top quality and have shown little wear. I upgraded from the 5 year old vest due to the new ones are lighter. IMO they are the best out there and you can get them for under 80 if you shop around.
    Shut up and ski
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 535 Crazy Baller
    Are you skiing in the river next to the paint factory? Seriously, it could be sunscreen or chemicals eating that stuff.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 542 Solid Baller
    @Msuwaterskier is this a problem with your vest only?
    Or with other neoprene stuff (wetsuit, neo top etc.) as well?
    I saw similar problems on collar area with skier that used hair style lotion.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,057 Baller
    edited June 2016
    I have two(neo USCG approved( of them one an old Ski Warm, and Connelly that I have had for 7 years. The Ski Warm is 10+ years. Still in good condition. They only get used when a drysuit or wetsuit is not needed. I have a regular nylon vest I wear over those since it is lighter in weight. I just keep them out of the sun when not in use. Can't use the thin slalom vests they make now since they are not legal in PA.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • MsuwaterskierMsuwaterskier Posts: 9 Baller
    @Blueski I know your question was meant to be funny but I had to give that scenario serious consideration. I ski on Ford lake in SE MI which used to be Henry Fords dumping grounds. It's since been cleaned up and is a really nice lake. I wear the same sunscreen as everyone else, and this issue has only been with my new life vests in the last 3 years. All of my old gear, including wetsuits are holding up just fine.

    @OldboyII that suggestion made me laugh as I am bald. It might be an issue for others though.

    I noticed a common thread between all of the vests mention by others that are holding up well. None of them have the smooth rubber-like skin that has been the issue with my last 3 vests. So I went out today and bought a Radar Vapor vest. I hope this one holds up for a while.
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 535 Crazy Baller
    @Msuwaterskier, yea, the first part was tongue in cheek, but not the second part. I used to ski a river in college. One time my feet burned for three days after whatever was in the water mixed with my rubber bindings (true story). Similarly, my wife slathers the kids in sunscreen, which is good, and my son's vest that has the same rubber was essentially eaten away after a couple of summers.
  • HockdogHockdog Posts: 156 Baller
    Bought a Ronix last year, $150 thrown away......should have known better than to buy a wakeboard type vest for skiing. Total crap.
  • buoyboy1buoyboy1 Posts: 67 Baller
    Still wearing the same O'Neill Boost for over 10 years. Would like to buy a used one from someone since nothing else seems to last as long. Please let me know if anyone has a Large size in their closet that they would like to sell that has low miles on it.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    @MattP @MrJones @Chef23

    How well do your Eagle vests float you after all this time? Flotation has always been my biggest problem with my comp vests. When new, they all typically float me to my eyes with all the air out of my lungs. After about 1-1.5 years, they don't float worth a crap anymore and I sink if I let all of my air out. I've never dropped the coin on an Eagle vest because I'm fearful of spending that much money for the same results.

    All my Radar comp vests have lasted a year max before all the flotation was gone. My current O'Neill Checkmate vest has lasted the longest but unfortunately it's also the only vest I've ever used that chafes my arms. The checkmate vest is about to get retired too because it's stretched and doesn't fit as snugly when wet even though I've gained weight.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,679 Mega Baller
    I would say it floats me to my chin. The Eagle Platinum vests have more flotation in them though.
    Mark Shaffer
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 690 Crazy Baller
    It looks like both chemical and mechanical wear and tear.

    Could there have been some drips of gas or motor oil on it?
    Has the vest been stored close to a electric motor for long periods (for example central vacuum cleaner that creates ozone)

    Could the vest been stored in the boat hopping around close to something sharp?
    Stupied question, you don't wear a 'sand paper beard' or similar?
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
Sign In or Register to comment.