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SmartVest Review & CF Appointment

Well, here is the long awaited official review of my new SmartVest SQL.  I don't have any current or updated vests to compare this too, so my feed back is based upon what I like/dislike versus the old and out-dated vest.

  • Weight - it is MUCH lighter than my ancient Hilrom Vest.  By all means, it isn't light but definitely a great improvement from my older model.  I can at least carry it myself!
  • Comfort of vest - the fabric is much softer and less scratchy when wearing it.
  • Technology - it has a digital screen, so I can set the time and know for sure how long I'm using it (the old one had a knob to turn).  Also, I can set different programs based on how long I want to use it, etc.  
  • It's quieter!!  Will still doesn't enjoy watching TV with me while I vest, but I don't have to turn the TV to its max volume!  And, the dogs aren't scared of this one as much!
  • There is only 1 I'm not tangled up :)
  • And it comes with a rolling case (that looks like a regular rolling suitcase) and a matching bag for the vest and hose!  Makes traveling super easy!

  • I'm still limited on movement.  The machine has to be plugged in, so I'm stuck sitting in my usual spot.  
  • The noise is still aggravating.
There really isn't much to complain about (other then the fact of having to use it - haha!).  I'm very happy with my decision to get the SmartVest!

And finally, an update on my quarterly appointment in June!  Yikes - that feels like forever ago!

I had been doing well and using my vest, so I was excited to see my PFTs.  Unfortunately, that morning I started feeling a bit froggy and a cough started : (  It literally got worse sitting in the room waiting on the doctor!

FVC -  April:105%        June: 99%
FEV1 - April: 94%        June: 83%
FEF25-75% - April: 68%       June: 45%

So, my small airways were definitely suffering!!  I was prescribed 10 days of Cipro (750mg twice a day)...and that cleared it right up : )  Nothing else to report, all looked good!  So, I'll be going back in September.


  1. My wife has bronchiectasis and we're considering buying a SmartVest SQL out of pocket as Kaiser won't cover it (hope they don't charge us list price!) Do you really use it 2x a day, and is it essential to keeping your lungs clear?

  2. I use my vest once a day for 30 minutes. I fully believe it makes a difference in my airway clearance.

  3. Hi Dana, Is the Smartvest generally considered the best option for CF sufferers and doctors - or are they all much of a muchness?

  4. The SmartVest was new and improved about a year ago when I got mine and there was a big push for people to get them. There are a lot of options, like the Afflovest which is cordless! So, I would suggest seeing all the options and deciding what is best for you.

  5. Hi Dana. How's everything going? I'm doing some research the Smartvest and I just got a few questions I am hoping you can answer.

    1) How long does the smarvest last? Like do you need to a new one every quarter/year or does one smartvest last many many years.

    2) How much does the Smarvest cost? Is it cheaper compares to alternatives?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

    1. Hey William - thanks for reading! All is well here, thanks!

      1) I've had my SmartVest almost 2 years now...doesn't seem like it was that long ago. It's still working great. I did have a problem with the vest part (the internal bladder popped) but they replaced it, no problem.

      2) It cost about $13,000 back in 2014 but after insurance, I paid just over $2,000 out of pocket. I didn't price any others, but I definitely would check out the Afflovest too...the ability to move around and vest sounds great!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hey Dana,

    Thank you for the answer. I got a few more questions for my research:

    Have you considered other vests? Why did you decide to go with the Smartvest? Was it cheaper compared to alternatives?

    Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to answer my questions!

    1. Hey - sorry for the delay!
      At the time, I didn't consider any other vests. This was the latest and greatest at the time (to my knowledge). A SmartVest spokesperson was at my CF walk so I got to see it in person. I mentioned the Afflovest and that is something I am still interested in, but I'm sure insurance won't be willing to get me another just yet.

  7. Hi Dana.
    Interesting article about the Smartvest.
    I also have CF and use the older smartvest (SV2100) and I'm thinking about upgrading. What I love about the SV2100 is that it has a separate pressure knob, and you can really turn up the pressure to get those phlems out. Is the SQL able to give a huge amount of pressure too? I do find it rather loud though, and similar to you with the Hill Rom, my other half cant be in the same room while I am vesting... I like the idea of a quieter vest, but wouldnt want to lose the high pressure the SV2100 has.

    1. Hey there! I won't lie, it is not super quiet by any means. I still have to turn the TV up while I vest, but it's not at the max volume like with the old one. Mine goes up to 100% pressure - I usually use it at about 55%. And for speed (I guess thats what it is), it goes up to 20 Hz. I usually use 15 Hz. Hope that helps!


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