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Life Jacket Selector

Please answer these questions so the proper life jacket can be recommended to you.

Are you boating offshore in potentially rough weather or water?

Life Jacket Types and Uses


Offshore Life Jacket

Type I life jackets are designed for rough, open water where rescue may be slow-coming. They are generally bright colors for increased visibility. Most type I life jackets will turn an unconscious person face-up. These PFDs have the most buoyancy of all PFD types.


Nearshore Life Vest

Type II life jackets come in a range of sizes from child through adult. They are for calm inland water where rescue is expected to be relatively quick. These PFDs are often less bulky than Type I. Some models will turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.


Flotation Aid

Type III life jackets can often be the most comfortable. They are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes for different boating activities.


Throwable Device

Type IV devices are not considered by law to be a wearable life jacket. They are to be kept readily available so they can be thrown in an emergency to a person in the water. These include boat cushions, ring buoys, and horseshoe buoys.


Special Use Device

Type V are special use PFDs. These work vests, deck suits, and hybrids are often more convenient or useful for specific activities. They must be worn to be considered an approved device.