My regular crew and I purchased four of these suits at the beginning of the year with the intention of giving them a thorough testing along with the general abuse typical of salt-water angling combined with rotten Irish weather!
We found our suits to be comfortable and extremely warm. The extra room around the arms allowed for easy casting whilst shore angling, and being a two-piece suit, there was also the advantage of removing the jacket on warmer days. In fact, these suits have all the hall-marks you would expect with a top range item from one of the World’s leading companies.
They kept us warm, comfortable and dry through-out the year, despite what Mother Nature threw at us, but the big question has to be, do they do exactly what they say on the tin? In other words, do they actually keep an angler afloat if and when the un-thinkable occurs?
The only true test is to try it. Obviously I would have jumped off a pier myself, but unfortunately I needed to take the photographs! Sid Kennedy’s young lad kindly volunteered (he wasn’t given a choice!) and once fully suited, took a running leap off Wicklow Harbour!
He submerged for a split second, and then popped up like a cork! The Penn two-piece Flotation Suit passed with flying colours. The suit held Derick high in the water with his head well clear of the surface. He also commented how surprisingly warm it kept him, even while he bobbed about in the sea. I wish to thank Derick for his help in our field test.
Not content with one leap into the briny, Derick continued to jump, fall and dive-bomb off the harbour wall for over half an hour, and on every occasion, the suit popped him up on the surface and out of danger. My year long field test is definitely a thumbs up for this valuable piece of life-preserving equipment.