All you need to know about Mustang Survival Inflatable PFDs.

Mustang Survival has been around for quite some time now, founded in 1967 in Vancouver, and has produced a plethora of products that are widely used and popular in the marine industry. Mustang introduced the inflatable PFD (Personal Flotation Device) to the commercial markets in North America in 1997 and never looked back. Since then, Mustang has produced a wide range of inflatable PFD models for every boaters and anglers needs. 

Mustang inflatables are approved as Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) but perform as life jackets. What does this mean? It means that life jackets will self right you (so your face is not in the water) whereas PFDs will not. So if you go overboard and your inflatable goes off, it will self right you. Kind of an important thing, right?

There are many different versions, styles, models and colours that Mustang inflatable PFDs come in. Some with harness and some without, with choices of manual, automatic or hydrostatic! So many we here at Fogh Marine are here to help! 

Mustang Inflatables offer two common buoyancy ratings within their range of inflatable PFDs: 26lbs (115N) and 35lbs (150N) of buoyancy when the PFDs are inflated. Both are above average for the adult person, which need an average of 8-10lbs of buoyancy to float. The increased buoyancy, combined with the head and neck support when the Mustang inflates, helps right you and keeps you higher in the water. 

The 26lb buoyancy, as seen in the MIT versions, allows the inflatables to be shorter in fit, lighter and less expensive in cost. Not to worry, the 26lb of buoyancy is still plenty for the average adult and provides 67% more buoyancy than the standard foam vest; which is 1.5X more than the Transport Canada (TC)/Canada Coast Guard (CCG) standard. The air cells (the part that inflates) in these models are black with reflective tape, which is still highly visible when in/on the water. 

The 35lb buoyancy, as seen in the deluxe & HIT models, provides 125% more buoyancy than the standard foam vest and 2X the TC/CCG standard. The larger cell is more ideal for big boat sailors and more active water enthusiasts. The models with the 35lb air cells feature fluorescent yellow air cells with reflective tape, a zipper pocket and neoprene collar for comfort (available in certain models). 

There are three common inflation options that are seen throughout the different model offerings from Mustangs.

Manual Automatic Hydrostatic
Activated through manual pulling of the toggle  Water contact activated inflation 

Water pressure activated inflation: 
4" depth or greater in water for it to go off.

Main difference between the manual & automatic?
The bobbin, which when wet, triggers the inflation. 
Uses a Hammer Inflator, rather than a Bobbin, which ensures that it will not inadvertently inflate in rain, spray or high humidity.

The Hammer Inflator eliminates misfires. 

*All Mustang Inflatables have manual inflation capabilities in case of emergencies 

Every Mustang Inflatable PFD has an Oral Inflation tube to manually blow up the PFD. This can be used as a back up inflation method or to check that the PFD is in proper condition. 

Now let's breakdown the different models that are most common with the Mustangs.

Belt Pack

  • Coast Guard approved 
  • 2 Stage Deployment: 
    • Pull the toggle & air cell inflates 
    • Put inflated air cell over your head 
  • Neoprene backed interface for all day comfort 
  • Sizing is adult universal 
  • Commonly used by dragon boaters & stand up paddle boarders 
  • Velcro closure, Safety Whistle 
  • 1.5" Waist Belt
  • 35lbs Buoyancy 

Mustang Belt Pack MD3071

MIT 100

  • Considered the entry level PFD 
  • Light weight 
  • Form fitting 
  • Shorter fit 
  • Velcro Closure, Safety Whistle 
  • 2" Waist Belt 
  • 26lbs Buoyancy 

    MIT 100 Manual (MD2015)                                MIT 100 Automatic (MD2017)

MIT100 Manual MD2015 MIT100 Auto MD2017


  • Considered the mid level PFD 
  • Form Fitting
  • Velcro closure, Zippered Pocket
  • Neoprene Comfort Collar™ 
  • Water activated inflation
  • Safety Whistle, SOLAR reflective tape
  • 1.5" waist belt 
  • 35lbs Buoyancy 
  • Ideal for trimmers 
  • Models available with sailing harness & D-Rings, so that you can attach to tethers or jack lines

       Deluxe Manual (MD3051)                                      Manual with Harness (MD3052)

Deluxe Manual MD3051

Manual w. Harness MD3052

       Automatic (MD3053)                                            Automatic with Harness (MD3054) 

Automatic MD3053

  Automatic w. Harness MD3054


  • Brand new for 2015 from Mustang Survival
  • Revolutionary 3D chassis that reduces drag at speed and improves comfort & mobility
  • Features wider shoulders for better comfort & reducing neck fatigue, wicking mesh liner improves all-day comfort, dual-side adjusters ease fit and an exclusive sleek inflation handle prevents snags.
  • HIT Technology (Automatic) - Will inflate when submerged in 4inches or more of water
  • 1.5" Waist Belt with 1" Side Straps
  • Engineered for anglers 
  • 22lbs (100N) Buoyancy 

                  Elite (MD5153)

Mustang Elite MD5153

Hydrostatic Inflator Technology (HIT)

  • Considered top of the line PFD
  • Water pressure activated - will not go off due to inadvertent rain, humidity or spray 
    • Will automatically go off when submerged in 4 or more inches of water
  • Zipper closure (self healing if broken)
  • Neoprene Comfort Collar™ (helps prevent against chafing & irritation) 
  • Zipper pocket 
  • Ideal for more active water enthusiasts, sailors, like bowmen, and overnight sailing. 
  • Does NOT come in an manual option. 
  • 1.5" Waist Belt 
  • 35 lbs Buoyancy 
  • Models available with sailing harness & D-Rings

          HIT Automatic (MD3153)                      HIT Automatic with Harness (MD3154)

HIT Auto MD3153

       HIT Auto w. Harness MD3154

Now that we've covered the models, lets chat about care & storage of the inflatables. Mustang recommends storing your inflatables in a cool dry place during the winter while during the season storing them in a dry place that is NOT a bilge or damp area. The bobbin's are sensitive to moisture & humidity and can absorb it, which can lead to a misfire. 

Before the start of every season it's a good idea to go through your inflatable to make sure it's in tip top shape for all your adventures. When looking over your inflatable, keep an eye out for any rips, dirt or corrosion. One of the most important points of inspection is making sure your CO2 cartridge is in good shape. Every cartridge has an indicator to let you know if it's good or bad. If the indicator is red, then it's time to change it but if the indicator is green then it's okay. With that said, Mustang does recommend that you change your CO2 cartridge yearly. The cartridge's do have a date for replacement on them, which is generally 5 years from the date of manufacture. Every Mustang Inflatable PFD does come with a user manual that tells you how to re-arm your inflatable, maintenance tips and how to manually inflate the PFD. The user manuals for most models can also be found online on Mustang's website. 

Now I know that is a lot to take in but hopefully that helps you navigate the world of Mustang Inflatables. Have questions or want advice on which model would work best for you? Give us a call at 416-251-0384, send us an email at Contact Us or come on by the store. Any Fogh Marine employee would be happy to help you! 

Additional useful links & videos from Mustang are listed below.   

6 Steps to Inspect and Maintain Your Inflatable PFD

HIT Re-Arm Video

Automatic Re-Arm Video

Manual Re-Arm Video


Tags: Mustang, Mustang Inflatables, PFD, Inflatable PFD, Mustang Survival

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