mustang survival PFD

PFD Inspection and Maintenance

5 minutes

The best PFD is the one you wear. That’s why it’s so important to maintain your PFDs and to inspect them regularly to make sure they are in good condition and working properly.

Inflatable personal flotation devices (PFDs) are special devices in that the flotation of the wearer is not derived from inherently buoyant materials. In order for them to do their job, you, the wearer, must do yours!

This means you have the responsibility to ensure you are familiar with the operation and maintenance requirements of your inflatable PFD! You must also be aware of the limitations of the device. 

This is a general guide, check owner’s manual to learn more about your device and it’s features.




  1. Service indicator is green. 
  2. For HAMMAR inflators, current date is not past the inflator expiry date.
  3. Visually examine your PFD for damage or excessive abrasion, wear, tear, or contamination such as mildew or oil stains. Particular attention must be paid to the stitching, straps, and hardware.
    If any item shows signs of damage, perform tasks listed in “Every Six (6) Months” inspection details. If in doubt, send it to your Mustang Survival dealer for evaluation and/or servicing.
  4. All lobe closures (breakout zipper or Hook & Loop tape) are securely fastened.
  5. Waist belt is not twisted and is securely fastened.
  6. Oral-inflation dust cap is in the stowed position.
  7. Ensure the manual pull-tab is accessible.
  8. For the HR auto/manual inflators - ensure the bobbin is valid.



Re-arm your device.

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Perform these tests more often if the PFD is exposed to potential damage or used in extreme conditions.

  1. Leak Test: Orally inflate your PFD until firm and letting stand for at least two hours, ideally overnight (16 hours), in a temperature stable environment. A leaking PFD will not hold its firmness and should be replaced. If your PFD leaks, contact Mustang Survival Customer Service for evaluation and/or servicing.
  2. Deflate and Repack PFD as outlined in the owner’s manual removing as much air as possible.
  1. Check Inflator
Halkey Roberts Inflator

Service indicator is green.
Auto/Manual Bobbin Inspection
  • Inspect the bobbin and ensure the white ‘pill’ is intact and replace if damaged.
  • Check that the current date is not past the bobbin expiry date (EX MM/YY).
  • Note: For older versions, only the manufacturing date is listed. Check the date of manufacture (MMMDD YY). If the current year is +2 years from the date of manufacture, replace with a new bobbin.
6F Manual Inflator

CO2 cylinder without bayonet: Unscrew and remove the CO2 gas cylinder from the inflator and inspect its small end to ensure it’s not pierced.
        • Inspect the inflator’s metallic lever: Check the lever in the up-and-ready position with the green indicator pin in place over the lever.

  HAMMAR Inflators

Service indicator is green.
Expiry Date: Check current date is not past the inflator expiry date.

 John Kelsey in MIT 100


  1. Visual Inspection: Thoroughly check all components for dirt and/or corrosion. Clean or replace, as necessary. If any item shows signs of damage, perform inspections listed in “Every Six (6) Months” inspection details. If in doubt, contact Mustang Survival customer service.
  2. Perform “Every Six (6) Months” tasks.
  3. Clean the inflatable PFD: Follow ‘CLEANING AND STORAGE” section below.
  4. Record Annual Inspection in permanent ink on the Care and Storage label, in the Date Maintained column.


To clean your PFD, hand wash or sponge down in warm, soapy water, taking care not to submerge or expose the inflator to water. Rinse your PFD with clean water and hang to dry on a plastic coat hanger. Do not dry-clean, use chlorine bleach, or apply direct heat.

Always store your fully dried PFD in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight.

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