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Should A $5 Price Difference Be The Deciding Factor?

Periodically I search the world-wide-web checking-out worth variations between the Basic vs. Deluxe fashions of the Stearns Puddle Jumper. The Stearns Puddle Jumper is a U.S. Coast Guard Approved, Type III PFD for teenagers, 30-50 lbs. A PFD is a private flotation gadget. Generally talking, retailers promote the 2 Puddle Jumper fashions at a $5 price-point distinction. While the retail worth fluctuates, particularly in geographical places the place excessive seasons are skilled… spring, summer season, winter, fall… nonetheless the distinction in worth is often and roughly $5.

The Price Difference

Is the $5 distinction in worth the proper “determining-factor” when deciding which Puddle Jumper to purchase? I feel not. Not when you think about {that a} “higher” life jacket has a larger likelihood of saving a life. What is a life price? A life is priceless, proper? Perhaps, nevertheless, I’ve rushed into an opinion. When I power myself to recollect the various people who find themselves standing in entrance of powerful financial instances, $5 turns into a relative amount of cash. Young {couples} with younger kids, younger folks new to a profession and subsequently occupying entry-level positions, have restricted assets. Then there are the people who find themselves nonetheless in class, nonetheless making ready for his or her supposed profession who even have restricted assets. In entrance of powerful financial instances $5 is most positively a relative factor. Depending on life-circumstances a $5 meal might be as life-saving as a toddler’s life-jacket!

Other Considerations: Design & Fabric

If, nevertheless, a $5 worth distinction isn’t the driving determinant there are different variations that must be highlighted and thought of.

First, be aware the similarities between the 2 fashions:

Similarities: Basic vs Deluxe Models

  • Both made with bright-colored materials.
  • Both made with animal designs utilized and/or woven into the material.
  • Both constructed with polyethylene foam.
  • Both made for kids 30-50 lbs (13.6 kg – 22.7 kg).
  • Both present a vest that matches comfortably over a toddler’s chest and arm items thus offering stability to the kid whereas in water.
  • Both are Coast Guard accepted Type III efficiency.

Second, be aware the 2 main variations between the fashions: Design and Fabric:

The Design

  • Basic Model is made with easy animal designs.
  • Deluxe Model is made with extra detailed animal designs.

Regarding the design, in case your little one turns into hooked up to a specific animal character she or he will wish to “be with it” and can subsequently wish to put on the Puddle Jumper. The little one who needs to put on a “flotation assist” as a result of it’s a buddy versus the kid who merely submits to an imposed rule: “a life vest have to be worn” is a state-of-affairs that too continuously results in life versus dying, or vice-versa. Any flotation gadget, together with the Puddle Jumper, can solely save a life when it’s worn. If your little one is interested in an animal character, then by all means purchase the Puddle Jumper with the design your little one is interested in. With the “animal character” strapped throughout his or her chest your little one is safer within the water, and, higher capable of regulate when irritating sudden conditions happen whereas in a pool, lake or on the seashore.

The Fabric

  • Basic Model, Nylon Fabric
  • Deluxe Model, Woven Polyester

The sort of material used to assemble the Puddle Jumper is one other distinction to think about between the 2 fashions. Both nylon and polyester are light-weight and sturdy materials. Both are artificial materials. Neither is a greater cloth. They even share most of the similar properties.


  • Easy Care
  • Lightweight
  • Wrinkle Resistant
  • Stretch Resistant
  • Shrink Resistant


  • Stronger
  • Softer (traditionally)


  • Faster Drying
  • Easier to Dye
  • Abrasion Resistant

Historically nylon was thought of the smoother softer cloth, as in comparison with polyester. Over time, nevertheless, refined manufacturing capabilities have resulted in a softer polyester cloth that in some ways matches nylon. This is true sufficient that Stearns is now capable of make the declare that the Deluxe Puddle Jumper has the “softer” really feel, and subsequently causes much less chafing in opposition to your kid’s pores and skin.

Polyester dries sooner. This is because of its’ water-wicking skill. Polyester is hydrophobic, which implies it expels water to the floor of the material’s fibers the place the water then evaporates. Nylon, then again, absorbs water and subsequently dries slower. The hydrophobic property of polyester goes to the texture of the material when strapped round your kid’s chest and arms. Your little one won’t really feel moist and chilled. As youngsters develop into accustomed to the Puddle Jumper they develop into nearly oblivious to the truth that they’re carrying a flotation assist. As this set of circumstances evolves the chance will increase that your little one can be carrying his or her Puddle Jumper at crucial time: whereas within the water, on the life-saving second when it’s wanted.

Also examine the color-fastness of the 2 materials. Bright coloured cloth is a key function of the Puddle Jumper. It attracts and delights youngsters. The vibrant colours are additionally a security function; the brilliant colours enable you to, guardian or guardian, to simply see your infant as they frolic about within the water. Therefore, a comparability of polyester and nylon in mild of their colorfast properties is necessary. Polyester absorbs extra shade (extra dye). This, once more, is due to polyester’s water-wicking property. Since the polyester expels water when within the dye answer extra dye bonds to the polyester fibers.

Conclusion: Which Puddle Jumper Model Is Best?

So what’s the bottom-line? Which Stearns Puddle Jumper is the “finest?” The reply begins with a quote from the U.S. Coast Guard. They say, “The good life-preserver, life-jacket, or PFD (private flotation gadget) has not but been designed.” Given these state-of-affairs respecting life-jackets, even so the Coast Guard remains to be prepared to level to traits of a life-jacket that make it “one of the best”:

  • It’s the one you are prepared to put on!
  • It’s the one which saves your life each time it is wanted.
  • It’s the one which matches your wants!

Given the entire above info, and understanding that the Stearns Puddle Jumper is Coast Guard accepted just for youngsters, and provided that they weigh between 30 and 50 lbs (not for adults customers, nor for infants) the possible checklist of Puddle Jumper customers is narrowed, regardless of design or mannequin.

For this narrowed checklist of customers, kids 30-50 lbs… our most susceptible swimmers… the reply as to which mannequin is “finest” is straightforward.

IF the additional $5 does not break the piggy financial institution and deprive your loved ones of its’ subsequent meal, and, IF the detailed animal design on the chest-band of the Puddle Jumper attracts your kid’s consideration and affection, then spend the additional $5. Buy the Deluxe Puddle Jumper. And, since polyester cloth is softer and extra waterproof and subsequently extra comfy, rising the chance that your little one will put on the Puddle Jumper, then once more the reply is straightforward, purchase the Deluxe mannequin.

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