July 2013 Issue

Life Rafts

Select for stability, redundant flotation, ease of boarding and canopy. Though more expensive, Winslow is our pick for the best overall.

It’s been over a decade since we last looked at aviation life rafts. While there have been noteworthy changes in the industry, numerous evolutionary improvements and some new offerings, it’s also a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. Winslow still, in our opinion, offers the best rafts—you pay a premium, but we feel you get the value for your dollars.

In this article, we’ll focus on the most commonly available two- to six-person life rafts from EAM Worldwide (EAM), Revere Supply Co. (Revere), Survival Products and Winslow LifeRaft Co. (Winslow). With a few exceptions, these life rafts are not certified in accordance with FAA TSO-C70a (we call them “non-approved”) and are generally significantly less expensive and often weigh considerably less than approved life rafts.

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