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The Best Life Jackets

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Buyer's Guide

What Type of Life Jackets Should Be worn?

If you are going to be boating for any period of time, or even if you only plan to be out on the water a few times this season, you are going to need life jackets for every member of your crew. Federal law mandates that all boats be fully equipped with at least one life jacket for every passenger onboard. As the boat owner, it is up to you to provide a life vest for every passenger on the boat. Life vests come in all shapes and sizes, and from many different manufacturers, and can be purchased for as little as a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Choosing the right vest is important to ensuring that you have the protection you need.

Most manufacturers provide an option of two types of vests a front inflation type, and a back inflation type. Front inflation life jackets provide the most comfort and protection, while back inflation life jackets are more expensive and provide less comfort and protection. Personal flotation devices, such as life vests and pouches, are also available for purchase. Pouches can be worn under the waistband of the clothing, which will also provide additional coverage without adding bulk to the wearer's clothing.

When choosing which life jackets to buy, there are a number of factors to consider before buying one. First of all, if you will be wearing flotation devices, you want to find a manufacturer that manufactures these items, and is also capable of providing a good warranty. Many quality companies are happy to offer good warranties for their products, especially ones that are considered to be a specialty item. Good quality vests and flotation devices can last years, and are typically easy to maintain. However, cheap imitations of the real thing can break and leak, so it is vital to purchase a life vest that is not only comfortable, but durable.

Finding the right life jackets for boating is not difficult, because there are so many varieties of these accessories available. There are also specific features and qualities to look for when choosing the right vest or flotation device. Some of the main features to look for are seams that will not become visible, zippers and openings for belts or other accessories, adjustable straps that easily fit over the shoulders, and lightweight fabrics that allow for portability. There are also many colors and patterns available, which make finding the perfect equipment easier than ever.

Although most people are aware of the dangers of flammable liquids, like gasoline, diesel, and paintball gun fuel, flammables can actually cause much greater danger while boating. One of the most serious injuries from flammable materials is fire, so you should always wear life jackets even when on the water. Although the standards set forth by the federal coast guard-approved boating equipment standard does require that the life jackets be worn at all times, most manufacturers still do not follow this requirement to the letter. Even though the standards have been in place for several years, many new models are not meeting the requirements to meet federal Coast Guard approval and remain unsafe for use while on the water.

Another important feature to look for when purchasing life jackets is whether or not the wearer's life jackets will remain waterproof when taking a bath. Some people believe that a life jacket should be waterproof but most of them do not realize that the majority of them lose their ability to keep moisture out if they are only worn for a short time each day. If the wearer has to take a bath or shower in the boat because of rain or storm activity, the life jackets could become saturated with moisture and then eventually leak. If not stored correctly, they will soon start to drip, leaving the wearer wet, damp, and uncomfortable.

When one is on the water, having the right safety devices on board is absolutely vital. Boats without the proper devices on board are not safe to use. Life jackets and flotation devices are just two of the devices that are required on most boats when cruising or as passenger vessels. Another great device that can save a life is the compass. A compass may seem like just another piece of equipment, but it is crucial to boating safety and should always be worn.

The choice to wear flotation devices and life jackets should be an individual choice. A person's size, weight, breathing ability, and gender will all play a role in which type of protective gear is worn. While the choices for men and women may seem obvious, there are many reasons why one gender is better suited than the other for wearing a life vest or a jacket. Choosing the best style for you is up to you and will depend greatly on your comfort and how you plan to use the item.