I am headed to Christmas Island in January and the travel company that I am using has recommended that I take an inflatable PFD since the life jackets that the lodges supply there are either inadequate or non-existent. I have looked into several different types, ranging in price from about $100 to about $300, depending on the type of inflation mechanism.

One complication is that all of these require a CO2 cartridge for inflation. There appear to be restrictions for taking these on airplanes, either in the cabin or in checked baggage. This may restrict me to using any PFD without the CO2 cartridge. This would imply that I should just inflate it by mouth before I get on the boat and forget the auto inflation features. If this is the case, I can see no reason the buy one of the high-priced models.

If anyone has traveled by air with an inflatable PFD recently and could offer advice, I would greatly appreciate it.