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Whenever you are out on the water, safety is key. Whether you are water skiing, sailing, kayaking, jet-skiing, or fishing, you need a life jacket that will keep you safe and comfortable.
Luckily, there is a wide range of life vests and personal flotation devices available these days with fantastic design features and seriously effective functionality.
We have put together a list of the seven best life jackets available online, catering for all water activities and all kinds of body types. So read on to find out how you can keep your head above water!
If you are after an unobtrusive life jacket that allows you to carry on with your water activities unimpeded, then this Mustang Survival Corp Inflation Cell is ideal. It is so lightweight and slender that you will barely realize you are wearing it.
The range of motion that this flotation device affords you is second to none, and yet the extra buoyancy that it provides in the water is amazing.
In fact, this inflatable jacket provides twice as many pounds of buoyancy as a foam PFD would. That's impressive.
The minimal design makes this inflation cell a great choice for hot weather, as it does not leave you feeling sweaty and claustrophobic as you wear it.
With just the single waist strap and secure clip, you can cast off, row, hoist sails, and do whatever it is that you want to do without feeling bulky and bothered. Brilliant!
Also found at mustangsurvival.com
This lightweight PFD life jacket from Stohlquist is U.S. Coast Guard approved, and it has some incredible design features which make it stand out from the competition.
The foam paneling has been cleverly curved and cut to allow you the maximum range of motion with minimal restriction.
What is more, the back panel is thinner than many other life jackets so that you can sit comfortably on your craft without feeling stiff.
This jacket has handy front fastenings for ease of wear, and the high buckles help to hold the jacket in place and stop it from riding up over the course of the day.
It is an extremely lightweight and well-designed flotation aid, and thanks to the box-stitched webbing and robust buckles, it's durable too!
However, this jacket is best suited to strong swimmers, as it's not quite as buoyant as other life vests.
Also available at olympicoutdoorcenter.com
This type II keyhole life vest by Airhead is a great option for those who do not want to spend a large amount of money on a very fancy life jacket. The over-the-head keyhole design is basic but effective, and it is certainly very quick and easy to take on and off.
What's more, the majority of the padding is at the front of the vest, meaning that it tips the wearer upwards in the water, allowing their head to stay dry. Even an unconscious person will stay face up in this vest.
It also has an adjustable waist strap, and its universal size means that it is suitable for any adult. The orange color choice means that those in the water are instantly visible, and the PFD is U.S. Coast Guard approved. This jacket is an excellent, no-frills option for boating enthusiasts.
Also available at airhead.com
This water sports life vest by XGear is seriously well kitted out with all the fabulous features you could wish for in an activewear life jacket.
It is a great choice if you are out canoeing, sailing, rowing, fishing, or kayaking because it is lightweight and yet is also very buoyant.
The four front clips are all quick-release, so you can easily take the jacket off when you need to.
Their combined strength keeps this jacket firmly in place no matter how active you are being and means that there is no danger of this jacket coming off if you are thrown into rough waters.
The jacket comes with a safety whistle that you can blow to get someone's attention or to signal that you are in need of assistance. It also has a handy interior pocket where you can store your valuables.
Although not completely watertight, the pocket is fastened with Velcro, which goes a long way to keep your belongings dry.
Also available at onlineoutdooroutlet.com
This high-density life jacket suits a wide variety of body types and is a really comfortable option if you know that you will be out on the water for quite some time.
The swim jacket has multiple adjustable features, like elasticated stretch panels in the sides and height-adjustable shoulder straps.
We love the zippered pockets on the front of this float coat because you can keep small items like sunscreen, lip salve, car keys and phones close by and easily accessible at all times.
This jacket is made from high-density cotton with excellent buoyancy properties, so it is great for keeping you high in the water. Wear it sailing, surfing, or sunbathing!
Also available at poeticsports.com
The jacket is equipped with multiple, generously sized storage pockets that have zipper fastenings to keep your gear secure. There is even a handy pocket on the back of the jacket, which makes great use of that area.
The life jacket has lots of great accessory loops and attachments so you can clip your flies, reels, and rods to yourself and move about your vessel freely.
However, we'd only recommend this jacket to confident swimmers, as the buoyancy element is not as strong as in other life vests.
Also available at thegalaxymart.com
If you have a little one who is keen to get in the water, then you might want to consider opting for this kid's float vest.
Rather than wearing traditional armbands and rubber rings, your toddler will be able to feel free and unrestricted in the water with this beautifully designed vest.
The convenient front zipper and adjustable strap make slipping in and out of this vest a breeze, and the crotch straps keep the vest nicely positioned on the body.
This vest also has a really handy grab loop at the back, which is great for parents to hold onto when kids are near open water or swimming pools.
The vest is lightweight and made of high-quality neoprene material, which helps to keep little ones buoyant in the water, even when they are just learning to swim.
However, this vest is not a life jacket, and therefore, kids should always be accompanied by an adult in the water as they wear it.
Also available at ubuy.com
Buying a life jacket should be an easy process. You will find that most manufacturers provide detailed information on their websites regarding sizing, materials used, construction details and any additional accessories included.
However, it never hurts to ask questions and read through reviews online. Here are some key things that we think you should take into consideration before buying your own life jacket:
It's important to ensure that the life jacket fits correctly. Make sure that the arms fit comfortably around your shoulders without restricting movement.
Ensure that the chest strap is snug but not too tight. Also, check that the waist belt does not cause discomfort while swimming.
When purchasing a life jacket, it is critical to look for one that offers good buoyancy. A good quality life jacket will hold its shape and stay afloat well. Look for a life jacket that has been tested for its ability to float.
Check that the life jacket has enough buoyancy for the type of activity you plan to do. For example, if you plan to swim in open waters, then you need to choose a life jacket that floats well.
The material used in the life jacket is just as important as its size. Look for a life jacket that is well-made using quality materials such as ripstop nylon, neoprene, EPE foam and more.
Nylon and PVC are less expensive than polyester, but they tend to wear out faster. Polyester is more durable and will last longer. Some manufacturers also include features such as reflective strips, adjustable shoulder straps, and waterproof zippers.
All life jackets must meet certain safety standards set by the U.S. Coast Guard. These standards cover everything from how much flotation the life jacket provides to the overall strength of its components. Most importantly, all life jackets must conform to the following requirements:
Check out the construction details of the life jacket. Does it feature reinforced seams? Is there a hood? Are there extra compartments? How many sizes do they come in? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself before purchasing a life jacket.
When looking at life jackets, you may notice that some models come with additional items such as a whistle or flotation device. This is because these items are often sold separately by the manufacturer.
So if you want one of those extras, then look for a model that includes them.
Buying a life jacket shouldn't break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options available. If you're after something cheap and cheerful, then consider buying a second-hand item. Otherwise, opt for a high-quality product that comes with a warranty.
A life jacket is designed to help save lives, so it needs to be suitable for whatever activity you plan on doing. For example, if you're planning on taking part in water sports, then you'll probably need a life jacket that offers good buoyancy.
On the other hand, if you're going to be walking along the beach, then you might prefer a lightweight vest.
Most life jackets have a range of motion that allows you to move freely in the water. This can make all the difference when trying to escape from a dangerous situation.
Of course, a tight-fitting jacket will also hinder how much you can twist and how easily you can move your arms.
If you are fishing, then this could prevent you from being able to cast off successfully, and likewise, if you are water skiing, it may prevent you from being able to bend and twist on your skis.
This is why it is always best to test out your jacket and try it on before the time when you need to wear it.
In colder waters, you should choose a jacket that has enough insulation to keep you warm. However, you should go for a lighter jacket in warmer climates that won't weigh you down too much and make you feel sweaty and uncomfortable.
You don't want to find yourself without a life jacket while you're out swimming in the ocean. That's why it's important to store your jacket properly.
Ideally, you should hang it up somewhere dry and away from direct sunlight. Also, make sure that you put it in a plastic bag to protect it from any damage.
Life jackets vary greatly in price depending on their quality. Some cheaper models will not offer the same level of protection as more expensive ones. Therefore, it is important to research the different types of life jackets available and decide which type suits your budget and lifestyle.
Yes, but only if the person wearing the life jacket doesn't know how to swim. The chances of drowning increase significantly when someone wears a life jacket incorrectly. Therefore, it is vital that people who use life jackets learn how to wear them correctly.
There are many different sizes of life jackets available. Generally speaking, most adults require a medium-sized jacket. Children usually need smaller versions of adult jackets.
If you're looking for a life jacket online, there are lots of places where you can buy one. eBay is a great place to start. Alternatively, you could check out Amazon.
Most life jackets come with a warranty card. If you notice that your jacket isn't working properly, simply contact the manufacturer, and they will arrange for it to be fixed at no cost to you.
Buying a life jacket can sometimes seem like an intimidating task. Fortunately, finding the right product shouldn't take long. Just remember to look into the different features and benefits offered by each model and pick the one that works best for you.