From the family business team that brought you the lauded back tow system, we now have an inshore coastal lifejacket encased in a super skinny stylish outer. We put it to the test alongside a bunch of other established brands and see how it performs.
TeamO Micro Ultra Light Auto Lifejacket
The TeamO Micro lifejacket is immediately noticeable amongst others by just how very thin it is. Rolled tightly into a skinny casing is a 170N inshore lifejacket. It should be noted from the outset that this lifejacket isn’t fitted with a back tow system. But it is a stylish piece of safety gear and is available in black with orange trim, black with yellow trim or this aqua blue version.
A new lifejacket from TeamO this Micro lifejacket really is the most skinny looking thing that almost disappears amongst a coastal jacket or other outerwear, if it wasn’t for the bright turquoise colour you might miss it.
The contouring of the tightly packed casing gives the lifejacket a 3 dimensional form which naturally fits the body.
The bladder is rolled tightly inside the casing which makes it feel semi rigid. Over the top of a t-shirt this was noticeable and created, albeit small and light, pressure points where it touches. This might be annoying after a long day wearing it over a t-shirt. Thought it may not be noticeable on a bigger body, as I suspect this lifejacket would fit a broader frame than mine a little better.
Over a t-shirt I felt there was an airgap between me and the lifejacket, but with time I think that the TeamO Micro will naturally take the individual users unique shape and become more comfortable.
The surplus webbing after adjustment is rolled away relatively neatly in a broad elastic loop. It closes with a chunky buckle that is easy with gloves on or cold hands.
Inflated during dry testing, the bladder feels quite blocky shaped compared to the contours of other inshore bladder types. The expansive unblemished swathes of yellow looks like there perhaps should be more reflectors or something on it. The reflectors are down the sides of the bladder and become a little hidden later on in the pool.
The top up tube is within easy reach and the whistle is tethered to it, so it’s very easy to find. There’s no other frills on this lifejacket and it’s unlikely that you would add any as the casing is so tight, there’s no room for even a wafer then mint. Never mind a sprayhood or light.
In the pool it performed well, though I found the fit to be difficult to get tight enough to fit snugly. I needed to cinch up the crotch strap to a point of discomfort to hold the lifejacket in place.
Given the skinny casing and how the lifejacket is packed long and thin, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see the bladder was twisted when it was first manually CO2 inflated and had to be untwisted by one of the other sailors next to me. Caution is required when repacking this lifejacket to ensure there’s no twists.
After a little rummage around the lifting strop was found under the lifejacket.
The trigger mechanism uses a stumpy 33g bottle and the black capsule with pop-off green tags.
You can see how the TeamO Micro (far right hand side in the picture) compares alongside the other lifejackets in the coastal range. TeamO Micro bladder is unmarked and takes on a squareish silhouette.
TeamO Micro Ultra Light Lifejacket
Price from £129.95
How our lifejacket scored on average out of 10 for each of our criteria
9 – Adjust speed ease difficulty
10 – Fastening buckle ease with gloves
8 – Comfort
10 – Practicality. bulk snagging
8 – Positioning of essential items
NA- Accessory attachment / kill cord loop
8 – Night view / reflectors / light (if fitted)
4 – Ease of checking bottle / trigger status
6 – Unpacking / repacking
8 – Style
6 – In water score
77% Total as a percentage
The target market for the stylish TeamO Micro is likely to be for those who use RIBs, go day boating and motorboating and for other inshore sheltered water activities. If you want a lifejacket with the smallest footprint, then this may well fit the bill. If you are looking for a lifejacket that you can add to later with additional safety gear, then you might look elsewhere.