Understanding the Different Types of Life Jackets

Life jacket, also known as a floating device saves lives, but that isn’t all you need to know about it. Most people are only concerned about getting a personal floating device since they get to see the importance, but there is more to it. This post will help you understand the different types of life jackets.

There is a different life jacket out there you will find in the market. It is essential that you get familiar with each, knowing the right application and when or where you should use the jacket. We will share that shortly.

Types of life jackets

Type I: Offshore life jacket:

This is one of the types of life jackets you will find in the market. It is the type of personal floating device that can be used on all waters. There are some cases whereby the rescue team will be late to the scene to rescue people; in such occurrence, an offshore life jacket is the best to keep you floating and stable for a more extended period.

If you are travelling on the sea and considering the type of life jacket you should get, the offshore is the best for you. The life jacket is not the type that is used around water that is not deep or large. Whosoever wear the life jacket should be assured of safety even if they fall into the water.

The floating device will turn the wearer to face up by ensuring the head is above the water. It is never to be used for swimming because it is large and can be quite challenging to move around in the pool. Adults and kids can use the floating device.

For adults, you should look out for the ones within 22lbs of buoyancy and kids, and you should look out for the one with 11lbs buoyancy. So, for every offshore activity, deep waters, sea and many more, you should consider this type of jacket.

Type II: Nearshore buoyant life vest:

If you need a life jacket where there is a good chance of quick rescue, then you should consider the nearshore buoyant life jacket. It is the type that should be used with inland waters. This should not be used on deep waters where rescue can be delayed because of the design.

The design or the construction of the jacket doesn’t give room for users to face up. It can only keep the wearer balanced and in a calmer state before the rescue team arrive. Take note I never said it would not turn the wearer face up, but I mean it may turn it or not.

That means it is never reliable, which is why you should never be used on deep waters. This type of life jacket is simple and easier to wear for anyone. It is the type that can be used for swimming because it is easier to move around with it.

Also, it has the size for adults and also for kids. It is very important that you get the right size. For the adults, 15 ½ lb of buoyancy is the ideal size, for child 11lbs of buoyancy and for infants, the right size if the 7lbs of buoyancy. Take note that you get the right size for you as it is also important to keep you floating.

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Type III: Floating aid:

This is another type of life jacket you can use. It is the type that you can use on inland waters. You can find this among fishermen, swimmer, wakeboarders, and so on. This can be regarded as a floating suit, water sports vest and floating coat.

This type of floating device can not automatically turn the wearer face up. It means the wearer must try all in their capacity to face upward. It has the tendency to keep the head above the water to ensure the person doesn’t drown.

It is similar to that of type two discussed above relating to the level of buoyancy. Obviously, it does the primary assignment of a life jacket effectively, which is to keep you floating and reduce your chance of drowning in the water.

Other floating devices

Apart from using a life jacket, there are some other devices that you can use to keep you floating in the water. If you are familiar with the swimming pool or any naval sector, you must have found some other devices that can be used when dealing with water.

I was at a swimming pool party and found lots of balls on the water. They were embraced by those in the pool, and it keeps them floating. Then I realize that a ball is one of the floating devices one can use, but it is quite difficult considering the ball can slip off easily, and that will leave the person to drown if they do not know how to float.

Another which is prominent is the floating tube. I personally use this more often whenever I have to move around the pool, especially the deep part of the pool. You can either sit on the tube or have it around you while you move around in the pool.

What you should never do with a life jacket

There are many things you should never do with a life jacket whenever you have it on you. You should never pull off your life jacket whenever you are still in the pool or on the sea. Also, you are advised not to handle any sharp object that could puncture or damage the life jacket.

A punctured life jacket will lose its potency to keep you floating, and that could lead to an unpleasant outcome.


Life jackets are never to be considered as optional device whenever you are dealing with waters. It saves lives, and that is, you should always have it on you. Also, it is imperative that you know the types of life jacket you can meet in the market. This post on Understanding the Different Types of Life Jackets covers all you need to know as regarding the types of life jacket and the best for you to choose

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