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Essentials Overwate Aviator Survival Vest
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UPDATED 04/01/2024: Order Book Open for Next Run of my Essentials Overwater Aviator Survival Vest
Order Book Closes April 15

I build Doug Ritter Aviator Survival Vests like my life depended upon it...       
...because your life might.

Doug Ritter Essentials Overwater Aviator Survival Vest
Doug Ritter Essentials™
Overwater Aviator Survival Vest

Shown with an Optional ACR ResQLink™ 406 MHz PLB
As I tell pilots time and time again, "if it isn't with you, it can't save you™." This is even more critical for overwater flying. A constant wear inflatable life vest that you don't need to put on if you have to ditch is essential. It only makes sense to include your most critical survival and distress signaling gear with the vest.

Based on Switlik's innovative X-Back™ Life Vest, Doug Ritter has outfitted the vest with the essential survival gear you should have with you for overwater flights. This FAA TSO C13d approved life vest provide reliable lifesaving performance with modular storage pockets for distress signaling and survival gear and it is comfortable to wear in the cockpit. With this vest and the included survival gear you will be prepared for your next overwater flight. NOTE: The Vest is now available in either Blue with Black pockets, as shown, or with an Orange bladder cover with Black Pockets.

The exterior cover is constructed from a blended Nomex/Kevlar Rip-stop weave fabric. The material is soft and comfortable to wear. The Kevlar component provides excellent durability, while the Nomex gives you in-cockpit fire protection. The vest incorporates Dual Manual CO2 Inflation with oral inflation back-up and Dual Independent Buoyancy Cells for redundancy and safety. The vest provides over 35 pounds of buoyancy, in excess of minimum FAA and U.S. Coast Guard requirements. The short length provides added comfort while flying. All survival gear is tethered to vest with braided nylon line to prevent loss. Stainless steel spring clips allow for ready removal or to change around components as desired.

The Vest is priced with two standard storage pockets, the buddy line and a cell phone/PLB pocket, but additional optional MOLLE compatible pouches and pockets are available for added capacity or specialty equipment (Contact Doug Ritter for availability and pricing). All attach using the PALS webbing on the vest and you can adjust positioning to suit your needs.

A 6 foot (1.8 m) 550 lb. test Buddy Line with a lightweight clip on the end is provided to keep survivors together. An FAA TSO C85 approved Locator Light illuminates automatically upon water immersion. Each come with a fully illustrated Instruction Manual covering the vest and the survival gear included.

Essentials™ Overwater Aviator Survival Vest™ Components List

Price including X-Back Life Vest and pockets: $1500 plus S&H  (Sizing: fits most (S to XXXL)


Upgrade to Greatland Laser Green Laser Flare from standard Red Rescue Laser Light - provides 50% or more greater range and more noticeable flash: $160

If you do not have a PLB or your PLB is an older generation, heavier and larger PLB, we suggest the ACR ResQLink 406 MHz GPS PLB: These are readily available online and we no longer can get wholsale pricing on individual orders from ACR, so we do not sell them with the vest anymore. A lanyard is provided for the PLB.

Additional Pockets, Pouches and other options for Modular Aircrew Vest - Contact Doug Ritter for availability and pricing

Doug Ritter reserves the right to substitute, add or withdraw components at his discretion.

With shipping costs threatening to rise again, we will invoice shipping separately when shipped (at my cost). Shipping is via UPS Ground (continental U.S. only), Direct Signature Required and Insured for the full purchase price. Last time shipping cost varied from $50 to $100 (distance and other factor dependent - shipping to a commercial location saves a few bucks).

It should take about 4 weeks to build the kits once all payments are received. The long lead items require approximately 3-4 weeks. As always these days, that is subject to supply chain difficulties that I have no ability to predict.

Any questions, please email me.

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First Published on: October 31, 2010
Revision: 04 Feb. 3, 2016

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