Picking out the perfect PFD (Personal Floating Device) or life jacket is a crucial step in staying safe in the water. There are many factors to consider when selecting a PFD and it’s important that you select one that is comfortable, fits correctly and is best for the activity you are going to be participating in. Knowing how to choose a quality and reliable PFD can be the difference between life and death in the water.
Types of Life Jackets
U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs
The most important factor when selecting the right PFD is to make sure that it is U.S. Coast Guard-approved. This means it has passed rigorous safety testing and meets all requirements in regards to flotation and buoyancy. U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs come in three types: Type I, II and III, with Type I offering the most buoyancy.
Inherently buoyant poofs
Inherently buoyant PFDs are constructed from foam, so they offer flotation even when they are not inflated. These PFDs are often cheaper and make for a good option for anglers.
Inflatable PFDs are designed with a pocket of air that can be inflated either manually or automatically. These can be a good option for boaters who need something more compact that won’t get in the way.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Life Jacket
The most important factor to consider when selecting a PFD is fit. You want a PFD that fits snugly but is not too tight. It’s always best to try on a PFD before purchasing it to make sure you are selecting the correct size and that it is comfortable.
Level of Buoyancy
You also want to make sure you are selecting a PFD that offers the right level of buoyancy for the activity you are engaging in. U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs come in three types: Type I, Type II and Type III, with Type I offering the most buoyancy.
Be sure to consider the price of the PFD when selecting one. Life jackets can range in price based on the quality and features. Generally speaking, the more features and better quality you want, the more you will pay.
People Also Ask
What are the different type of life jackets?
The three types of lifesaving devices recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard are type I, type II and type III. Type I devices, generally known as offshore life jackets, are the most buoyant and are best for open, rough, or remote water where rescue may be slow to arrive. Type II and III devices, also known as near-shore and swim vests respectively, are less buoyant but more comfortable and are best for novice or weak swimmers in calm, inland waters.
Do I need to wear a life jacket when boating?
Yes, it is important to wear a properly fitting life jacket when boating. U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that each person on board a boat have a wearable and properly fitting life jacket available to them.
Which type of life jacket should a child wear?
Children should wear a life jacket that is specifically made for their size and weight. This will ensure that the lifejacket fits properly and offers the best flotation.
When should a life jacket be worn?
It is generally recommended that a life jacket should be worn any time you are in and near the water. This includes fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, tubing and even paddle boarding.
Selecting the right life jacket can be the difference between life and death. It is important to choose a life jacket that fits properly, is U.S. Coast Guard-approved, and is designed for the activity you are engaging in. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure you are choosing the right life jacket for you and your family.