Each water sport and activity requires a particular set of gear. However, one thing is common among the different sets: a life vest. The best life jackets ensure your safety as you go on a water adventure.
A life jacket should be made from tough materials so it will not get pierced easily. It should also sport a striking color so lifeguards or rescuers can spot you quickly whenever you need help.
Life Jackets Reviews
Lifesaving Pro Manual Life jacket
Lifesaving Pro Manual Lifejacket is a heavy duty and comfortable-to-wear vest. It comes with an adjustable belt. It features 3M Reflectors, which makes it highly visible in the dark.
Absolute Outdoor Life Jacket
Absolute Outdoor Life Jacket is an auto-inflatable life vest for adults. Wearing it in warm weather will keep you cool because it is not bulky. It comes with a stretchable flex-back insert and a low profile design.
PFD Quality Life Jacket
PFD Quality Life Jacket inflates in less than 5 seconds. Because it is adjustable, it can suit both the youth and adults. It is durable and lightweight. It is also reusable and easy-to-air dry.
Full Throttle Hinged Life Jacket
Full Throttle Hinged Life Jacket comes with a soft flotation foam. It is lightweight. It features Smooth Span and multiple hinge points for added comfort and flexibility.
USCG O’Neill Life Vest
USCG O’Neill Life Vest features a minimal bulk design and dual-safety buckles, which allow a quick release. It is comfortable to wear because it is made with polyethylene foam.
MoveVent Curve Life Vest
MoveVent Curve Life Vest comes with a lightweight flotation foam. It gives you great mobility and ventilation. It fits easily on sit-on-top kayaks and high-back seats.
Stearns Basic Life Jacket
The youngsters may like Stearns Basic Life Jacket because it is not too fancy. It is built with durable nylon construction. It rewards stability and superior range of motion.
Lifesaving Pro Automatic Life Vest
With Lifesaving Pro Automatic Life Vest, you will be amazed at the fast and easy inflation. When it is immersed in water or when you pull the inflation handle, it is already good to go!
O’Brien Women’s Life Vest
O’Brien Women’s Life Vest is a coastguard-approved life vest – especially for women. It features a multiple hinge point on the front and on the back.
MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Life Vest
Wearing MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Life Vest is easy. If you paddle often, this is ideal for you because it is designed with a soft flotation foam and vented channels.
Life Jackets: A Jacket That Saves Lives
Life jackets, a type of personal flotation device (PFD), are worn to assist the user in floating on water. It is one of the most important devices needed when riding a boat or doing any water-related sports.
Life jackets have been saving lives for centuries and have been one of the most widely used floating devices across the globe. It is believed that the first life jackets originated in 870 B.C. when the Assyrian King Assur-Nasil-Pal’s army used inflatable animal skins to cross moats.
It was in 1851 when Captain John Ross Ward, a British arctic explorer, created a life jacket made of cork. During the World War II, synthetic life jackets (called “Mae West”) were used by sailors and pilots; and in 1960s, life jackets were manufactured for public use.
Safety is one of the main reasons that life jackets have been one of the most essential devices for water-related activities. They are available in different “types” according to their use and features and are also available in different shapes and sizes.
Choosing a life jacket depends on several factors such as age of the user, size and purpose. These things will be helpful in choosing the most effective equipment to ensure safety while having fun.
Life jackets are essential in water-related activities. Choosing the most effective and appropriate life jacket for your needs will prevent bigger problems and avoid dangers in the future.
How Can a Life Jacket Float?
Life jackets are known for their ability to save someone’s life in times of danger and emergency. Its ability to prevent someone from drowning has been saving many lives. You might be wondering how these simple jackets can keep someone afloat – here’s how.
Life jackets are all about buoyancy. Buoyancy is the ability to float in water or air. Life jackets were invented for this sole purpose. These jackets are made with materials to sustain and supplement buoyancy when needed.
Nowadays, life jackets have plastic foams (usually polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene) inside them, giving them the ability to float in water. These foams are covered with nylon or vinyl to keep them intact.
The effectivity of a life jacket depends on its user’s weight. It was Archimedes’ principle that helped the invention of life jackets. His principle of floatation explains that an object can float depending on the density of the submerged object. The rule of thumb follows the idea that “the heavier the mass and the denser an object is, the higher chance that it will sink.”
Following this principle, life jackets are capable of supplementing buoyancy to the one who wears it. Since a human body already has its own buoyancy, a life jacket just adds the needed buoyancy for the body to float.
Knowing a thing or two on how life jackets work will not just provide you a clear explanation but can also provide a better appreciation of it; but before purchasing a life jacket, one should be able to distinguish the types of life jackets that are suitable for their “buoyancy” needs.
Types of Life Jackets
Life jackets are categorized according to their “types”. The main difference is their purpose. Knowing the different types of life jackets will provide a better understanding on how to maximize the benefits of one of the most commonly used personal flotation devices.
Type I (Offshore) life jackets are considered to provide the most reliable floatation as it can turn most unconscious wearers face-up on open waters. It is best for boating, cruising, racing, fishing and other water-related activities where immediate rescue is not common. Many Type I life jackets are designed with bright colors for search and rescue operation concerns.
Type II (Near-Shore Buoyant Vest) life jackets are mainly used on inland day cruising, boating and fishing where there is a higher chance of fast rescue. This type is not as bulky as type I life jackets and can to turn some unconscious wearers face-up.
Type III (Flotation aid) life jackets are generally used for wearers on calm and inland waters where search and rescue is fast and easy. It is known to be the most comfortable type of life jackets which can be used for longer and continuous hours. This device is used for general boating or activities marked on the device.
Type IV (Throwable Device) life jackets, as its name implies, are used to be thrown to someone who has gone overboard or just to provide added buoyancy to a person in the water. This type includes boat cushions, horseshoe buoys and ring buoys. These are not designed to be worn and the person must be given a wearable life jacket. They are not advisable for children, unconscious people and non-swimmers.
Type V (Special Use) Life jackets are used for their specific purposes. This includes boardsailing vests, pullover vests, sailboard harness, deck suits, paddling vests and work vests. This type of life jacket is designed to be continuously used where accidents can suddenly occur. They must be used according to their label directions to get maximum support.
Things to consider when choosing a life jacket
Purchasing a life jacket may be a little confusing to most consumers especially if they have no idea about its different categories and “types”. Though the type of life jackets is your top priority, you also need to consider several other factors when choosing the best life jacket for you.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is “What type should I use?” Life jackets have 5 different types and they differ on how they are going to be used. Rough water activities require Type I life jackets for their highly reliable floatation features. Type III life jackets cannot be used by non-swimmers, children and unconscious people. Knowing the type of life jackets will give you a better understanding on where a specific type of jacket will be effective.
Buoyancy is one of the essential things you need to consider when purchasing a life jacket. This will determine how your life jacket will be effective depending on the water-related activity that you will be doing. The different types of life jackets provide different buoyancy measurement so be sure to check them out before heading to the store.
Life jackets should fit perfectly. A life jacket must fit to its user perfectly for it to provide maximum buoyancy. The size of the life jacket will affect its performance. Children cannot use adult size life jackets since it will be too “loose” for them to use it which can lead to bigger problems. In addition, if you are planning to go cruising with a friend or your family, you have to make sure that there are enough life jackets for everyone on board. As what they say, “better be safe, than sorry”.
Choose a life jacket that is coast guard-approved. Safety is the main reason why life jackets are made. Coast guard-approved PFDs provide additional security and credibility by having the needed requirements that life jacket manufacturers need to follow.
Other features may also be available with the various life jackets sold in the market nowadays. Some modern life jackets have “tabs” to let the user attach a knife, whistle or other needed accessories. Others have pockets or fishing features where a user can place small items or hook fishing materials. In addition, life jackets are available in different colors which can suit your preference though bright colors with reflective tapes are usually chosen for better visibility.