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Types of Life Jackets

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Life Jacket FIT FACTS

If a life jacket fits properly...
• It will help keep your head above the water.

• If it's too big, the life jacket will ride up around your face.

• If it's too small, it will not be able to keep your body afloat.

•Life jackets designed for adults will not work for children!
Try it on for size!
• Check the manufacturer's label to ensure that the life jacket is a proper fit for your size and weight.

• Make sure the jacket is properly fastened.

• Hold your arms straight up over your head.

• Ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull up.

• Make sure there is no excess room above the openings and that the jacket does not ride up over your chin or face.

• For the best fit, try the life jacket in shallow water under safe and supervised conditions.

Children

Life Jackets for Recreational Water Sports
Today's life jackets may not be what you think — many are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport.

Child Hybrid Inflatable

Child Hybrid Inflatable






  • For general recreational boating
  • Inherently buoyant, also inflates automatically upon immersion or manual activation
  • Requires regular maintenance(see owner's manual)
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Not for sports where immersion is expected (whitewater paddling, waterskiing, etc.)

Child Life Jacket

Child Hybrid Inflatable






  • For general recreational boating
  • Designed for possible immersion
  • May have special safety features for children(see owner's manual)
  • Requires little maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May not turn unconscious wearer face up

 

The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:
  • U. S. Coast Guard approved
  • The proper size for the intended wearer
  • In good and serviceable condition
  • Properly stowed (readily accessible)

Under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity. The law does not apply to children under 13 years of age who are:
  • on a sailboat and are restrained by a harness tethered to the sailboat;
  • in an enclosed cabin;
  • on a vessel engaged in an emergency rescue situation.

Note: Boating out-of-state? There may be a different age requirement. Check with that state's boating authorities before heading out on the water.


General Boating

Life Jackets for General Boating
Today's life jackets may not be what you think — many are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport.

Manual Inflatable

manual






  • For general recreational boating
  • Only inflates upon manual activation
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Not for children under 16 or non-swimmers
  • Not for sports where immersion is expected (whitewater paddling, waterskiing, etc.)

Auto Inflatable

a






  • For general recreational boating
  • Inflates automatically upon immersion or manual activation
  • Comfortable and cool
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Not for children under 16 or non-swimmers
  • Not for sports where immersion is expected (whitewater paddling, waterskiing, etc.)

Belt pack inflatable

Belt Pack Inflatable






  • Inflates automatically upon immersion or manual activation
  • Extremely easy to wear
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • Must be placed over head after inflation
  • Not for children under 16 or non-swimmers
  • Not for sports where immersion is expected (whitewater paddling, waterskiing, etc.)

Vest-Type Flotation Aid

Vest-type Flotation Aid






  • For personal watercraft, waterskiing and watersports
  • Designed for possible immersion
  • Rugged Construction
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May not turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Designed for waterskiing or other high impact, high speed activities

Vest-Type

Vest Type






  • For general recreational boating
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Less Bulky than offshore vests
  • Requires little Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • Good Flotation
  • Good for non-swimmers

Offshore Vest

Offshore Vest






  • For offshore boating and racing
  • Intended for boating offshore, open water, and coastal cruising
  • Offers the most flotation
  • May help prevent hypothermia
  • Bulky
  • Designed to turn an unconscious person face up
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)

Angling & Hunting

Life Jackets for Angling and Hunting
Today's life jackets may not be what you think-many are made specifically for anglers and hunters: they're lightweight, easy to move in, have multiple pockets for bait or ammunition, and even come in camouflage. Outdoor sports enthusiasts can even be sure their trusty companions are safe on the water, as there are even life jackets for hunting dogs!

Mesh Camo

mesh camo life jacket






  • For hunting
  • Designed for waterfowl hunting
  • Quilted shooting patch on right shoulder
  • Mesh pocket for storage(see owner's manual)
  • May not turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Special fit allows for freedom of movement

Float Coat

float coat






  • For hunting
  • Designed for waterfowl hunting
  • Hip-length, concealed hood, two-way zupper with storm flap
  • May prevent hypothermia
  • May not turn unconscious wearer face up

Inflatable Fishing Vest

Inflatable Fishing Vest






  • For angling
  • Inflates automatically upon immersion or manual activation
  • Includes pockets and straps for supplies and tackle
  • Requires Regular Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up
  • Not for children under 16 or non-swimmers
  • Not for sports where immersion is expected (whitewater paddling, waterskiing, etc.)

Paddling

Life Jackets for Recreational Water Sports

Touring Whitewater Paddling Jacket

paddling







  • For Paddlesports
  • Intended for canoeing, kayaking, rafting and whitewater activities
  • Special fit allows for freedom of movement 
  • Requires Little Maintenance (see owner's manual)
  • May turn unconscious wearer face up

Pets

Life Jackets for Pets
Four-legged family members need to stay safe on the water, too. There are a variety of life jackets made specifically for dogs (and even a few other types of pets). Check for them at marine supply stores and pet shops. A salesperson can help you measure your pet for the right fit.
just for dogs Just for Pets
 
 
The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:
  • U. S. Coast Guard approved
  • The proper size for the intended wearer
  • In good and serviceable condition
  • Properly stowed (readily accessible)