How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
Safety Kit Sweepstakes May 16 to May 26
New York Mills, Minn. – (May 18, 2015) – Looking for a life jacket? Lund Boat officials remind you that today’s life jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for YOU, your planned activities and the water conditions you expect to encounter.
Try It On
-Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
-Make sure the life jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
-Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up.
-If there is excess room above the openings and the life jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.
-It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jacket.
-Life jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous.
-Life jackets that are too small may not be able to keep your body afloat.
-Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
“The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters may know,” explained Jason Oakes. “Life jackets that use inflatable technologies are cool and comfortable now days. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. Many inflate automatically when immersed in water.”
“There are life jacket styles available for almost any boating activity,” Oakes added.
For cruising in an open motorboat:
Comfort is the key – choose a life jacket you’ll want to wear. For ages 16 and older, inflatable life jackets are a great option.
Vest-style life jackets come with features such as pockets and clips to replace the fishing vest help keep the angler safe.
For personal watercraft and water sports:
Inherently buoyant lighter-weight life jackets are rugged, with multiple buckles and clasps to keep them secure after impact with the water.
For hunting and cold weather:
Full coats and suits are available in camouflage colors for waterfowl hunting, and for those who boat when air and water temperatures are cool.
Special life jackets are designed with large openings for arms to allow ease of movement.
Virtually all styles, some feature cartoon characters, are available and sized especially for children, and have straps for pulling children from the water as well as high-visibility schemes.
Life jackets are even available for our four-legged friends. It’s helpful to purchase one with a handle on top, to easily pull your pet out of the water, if needed.
“No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is this: Remember to grab a life jacket and ‘Wear It!’,” Oakes concluded.