The activities in the water are cool Can anyone say the opposite? With the best life jacket on hand, you can do countless fun things. Sailing on the high seas and taking a dip, diving, kayaking, fishing or sailing, among many other water sports … Of course, all that fun requires taking certain safety measures first. Just like wearing a vest.
Have you used any before? If your answer is positive, you can understand how important it is to carry a model that is comfortable and efficiently safe. If not, then maybe you need some guidance on this. Always have to evaluate previously the quality and model that you are going to use.
It is a very necessary safety implement. You should use it if you do not want to, instead of having fun, have a hard time in the water. No matter how good swimmers we are, who knows the currents of the sea and the lakes knows that they can be treacherous. So it is better to prevent than to regret using one of these jackets. Besides, you do not want any problems with the coast guard, do you?
What Are the Best Life Vests?
When choosing, there are several features to consider. One is the type of sport or activity that will be practiced using them. Another very important is who will carry this aquatic accessory. There are vests for adults, youth, children, babies and even for pets such as dogs and cats. The sizes and designs are different, so it is important to pay attention.
Here we leave a list of the best in the market. All have been very well valued for their good quality and affordable price. You can take a look not to go blind to buy. You will have our opinion and those of others who have tested all these models. So you can make a comparison and decide yourselves.
Helly Hansen Life Jacket
It has a buoyancy of 50 Newtons. It has a front zip and an adjustable waist strap. It is unisex and is available in black and red colors. Its filling is made of polyethylene foam, it is quite light and goes very well with Kayaking. Includes emergency flare pockets.
Rooster Life Jacket
It is blue as its name says and its zipper is on one side. The manufacturer says that it is easier to put it on and take it out later. It has a practical pocket on the front to put anything necessary such as a driving cap, a knife or food. The material with which it is made receives the name of Ripstop because it is resistant to snags.
Bic Buoyancy Aid Iso Sport
This life jacket comes with gray, orange and white tones. It has two straps and a zipper for better fit. It includes a pocket on the left front that is perfect for placing some necessary equipment such as a knife. The shoulders are not adjustable but its quality-price is quite good.
Helly Hansen Sport Ii
Made of nylon, this vest is light enough. In addition, its design is not too big or bulky. Its buoyancy is 50 Newtons, and the front foam is closed cell PVC. For the adjustment includes a strap that closes in the upper abdomen and a pair of laces that are tied, one on the chest and one on the waist.
It comes in different very striking colors, perfect to be seen far from the shore. Specifically in blue, green and orange. It is very beautiful and colorful. It has three adjustable straps on the torso. As it is not too bulky, it allows freedom of movement. Bring a SOLAS whistle and two ribbons in the crotch for safety.
Special note to lose sight of the kids because it comes in an intense and striking orange color and added a pair of reflective panels. It comes with a central zipper, a strap that is tied to the waist and another for the legs. It is soft and comfortable and is available for children with weights between 5 and 15kg or 10 and 25kg.
This is a vest that is available in several sizes according to the weight of the children. It has an ergonomic cut and a nice design with marine animals. Its intense orange color allows you to see the little one well. On the central zipper that has a strap is adjusted in the waist area. Bring also laces for the chest and legs.
It has very nice and varied designs. It is very easy to put on and fits with a zipper and a Velcro closure. It is made of neoprene and still wet feels comfortable. It is short and not very bulky because what gives freedom of movement. It serves as a support for initiation of swimming and water activities.
It is designed for the use of children between 18 months and 7 years of age. Its purpose is to keep the child afloat to help him swim while he is in the process of learning. Its material is soft neoprene which makes it comfortable to use in the pool or on the beach. Includes 8 removable floats.
Intex 58671EU Deluxe
It is a jacket made of plastic, quite safe and practical. It is durable and takes up little space to take it anywhere. It is suitable for children between 24 months and 7 years of age. Its design is beautiful, comes in strong orange and white and has two adjustable straps to close it.
Made of neoprene, this jacket has a cute design of boats and fish and is aimed at children under 15kg. It fits with a front zip and two straps in the waist area. He also has another one to hold the legs. The colors blue, green and orange that it has been intense and striking.
With polyethylene foam capable of floating at 100 Newtons, it is a very colorful life jacket in a neon color that includes a pair of reflective panels. It is covered in polyester and has a front zipper and two straps to hold it by the front plus the additional for the legs.
It is a cute neon yellow vest with a very nice and childish motif design. It has a high collar to protect the head and keep it high with two reflective panels. Its buoyancy is 100N. Bring your zipper to close it in the front with a strap that fits at the waist. On his legs, he also wears a leash. Includes a whistle
Plastimo Typhoon 100N
It has 30% more buoyancy than the legislation requires, plus it has a high neck to keep the head out of the water. Its design has cheerful motifs of suns, stars, moons, and airplanes. The colors are very vivid, orange, blue and yellow and to visualize the small adds its reflective bands. It includes its zipper and cinches in waist and legs plus a whistle. It is suitable for children between 1 and 2 years old.
It is a high visibility child life jacket with a very intense orange color and by supposed reflective bands. For the support and comfort of the head, the neck has soft foam panels. Includes a whistle, zipper, and buckles easy to buckle and remove.
Do not forget your pet dog and cat when you go sailing. They also enjoy a lot. This model is an option to protect them. It is available in four sizes and different sizes to adapt to the variety of breeds. It is orange-red and is filled with closed cell foam for greater flotation.
Your dog or cat will look super fashion with this vest model because it offers varied designs with motives such as bones, flowers, and dots. To repel in the heat, it has conductive meshes that favor the perspiration and the fast drying. Add velcro closures. You can use it from a pit bull to a Yorkshire and you will see that they will not want to get out of the water.
It is a very practical and visible life vest with a strong orange hue. It is made of nylon for freshness and is lightweight. It has a lifting ring, two adjustable straps and a Velcro closure on the neck. It is quick to put on, which is perfect for pets and its filling is made of polyethylene foam.
Specially made for dogs this model is very complete and has a beautiful and visible design. It is possible to buy it in fluorescent orange and fluorescent green colors. It has three adjustment straps to close it under the front and back legs and at the neck level. You can not miss its lifting handle and foam to keep your head afloat.
The manufacturer of this vest offers 5 sizes to fit the different sizes of pets. Ensures that it has been scientifically designed to protect the animal, keep it comfortable and afloat. It has a reflective safety strip and a nice motif of natural plants. It is practical for swimming and can be used as support for beginner puppies.
These Are the Different Types of Life Jackets
As we mentioned before, there are different kinds of this security garment depending on its use and also according to its user. So before getting hold of one, you must check what and for whom you are looking for it.
To Fish: It is a very good option to sail on board a kayak. The cuts that the jacket has in the arm area are large. That allows you to do all the necessary maneuvers with the fishing rod, without complications. In addition, you can paddle with greater ease and dexterity. As it is a device to float rather light, it serves to be used for long periods of time.
For Kayaking or Canoeing: Special for this sport, also known as canoeing. It is very similar to the previous just because it facilitates the user’s strokes while rowing. It is comfortable and not too thick. The back area is thin and made of nylon, which makes it very light. It has to be this way to enter comfortably in the kayak. If it were thicker, the rowing maneuvers would be somewhat cumbersome and inefficient.
Basic Security: They are quite common and work very basic. They are for calm waters and meet the minimum security requirements of the Coast Guard. They are not recommended for use in places where a rescue could take a long time. They are filled with foam and the number of safety straps is limited.
For Water Skiing and Tubing: Somewhat similar to their brothers for Kayaking and fishing, they are wide in the area of the arms to allow movements. Light and comfortable to carry them for a long time, they also have several straps to secure them. This way, the user does not have to worry because the vest gets out of place or moves while enjoying the waves and the movement in the water.
For Young People: Versatile for any water sport, they are designed for thin-skinned teenagers or children with a weight between 22 and 40kg. They are unisex so both girls and boys can use them without distinction.
For Children: We should call them life vests for kids. The spoiled ones of the house must also take them for their protection when sailing or enjoy the water. We speak of those children from 1 to 3 years of age. The good thing is that they also work to accustom children to water and their enjoyment. It keeps them afloat and allows them to lose their fear of the dip. They are suitable for any aquatic activity.
For Babies: They are perfect for the little ones. They are taken by children from 3 months to one year of age. Its design has several adjustable fasteners such as straps and zippers to ensure the safety of your tender carrier. You must make sure that they include among their specifications fast drying or resistance to mold, to avoid respiratory problems or skin to the baby.
The last three youth and children vests must always include the straightening system. This means that the garment must be able to flip or straighten its user upside down in case of a state of unconsciousness. This function is vital to save children’s lives.
How Does a Life Jacket or Jacket Work?
The main task of these safety clothes is to keep afloat the person who uses them in deep water. They are used both preventively and as rescue equipment in emergency situations.
This action of floating must be combined between the vest and the physical characteristics of the user. The weight, physical condition and age of the carrier influence to determine how much buoyancy it needs. For each variant, there is a different jacket and different ways to float. For example:
The Inflatables: They may require inflating them manually, although there are also automatic ones. It is the air that goes in their chambers that keeps them above the surface of the water. That is precisely why they are not the most recommended for young people under 16 years of age. They could have some air leak and deflate. Of course, that puts the safety of the person who uses it at risk. So only expert swimmers or users above that age can use them.
The Floats: Lazarus to the water is to see them float immediately. They are filled with foam and of course, they look big and bulky, but they are the most used. They fully fulfill their function as long as they are used correctly. As we said before, vest and user must combine in their characteristics so that both stay afloat.
The Mixed: Mix both, the air chambers with foam fillings. They are an expensive version and therefore not very common. Although they may be more reliable than the first, their air chambers should be subject to periodic checks to avoid leaks.
What a Good Life Jacket Should Have?
Now that you know the types of vests and their operating systems there are other important data that you should check when you are buying one. Take note:
Navigation Area: According to Spanish legislation, navigation zones are classified according to the distance they have from the coast. Depending on the area where you are going to give you the dip, you must choose the right type of vest. These aquatic areas are 7. The smaller the number of its denomination, the greater the distance from the coast. For example, zones 7, 6 and 5 are the beaches and their vicinity. Zones 3, 2 and 1 are for offshore navigation and ocean navigation.
Float Capacity: The flotation capacity has a measure called Newton. In this case, the greater the number of Newtons, the greater the buoyancy. They range from 50N to 275N. The 50N is intended for good swimmers but to be in calm waters, specifically in navigation areas 5,6 and 7. Kayak or water skiing practices are usually accompanied with this vest.
The 100N can be used by people who can not swim. However, they are not those who keep an unconscious person on their back. For this reason, they should also be used only in navigation areas 5,6 and 7.
Those that indicate 150N are much stronger, and if they turn someone upside down, therefore its use is recommended at sea, specifically in zones 2,3 and 4. If you go a little further, those of 275N is the most indicated. These are appropriate for navigation zone 1, in oceanic waters. They are very bulky, and you will not be able to swim with them, they are only responsible for keeping you afloat.
Materials: Regarding the fabrics used to line the vests, there are two main materials: neoprene and nylon. Neoprene is currently used by aquatics. It is not the least expensive, but when adjusted, it facilitates the practice of water skiing, tubing, etc. They can keep someone afloat for a long time.
Those that are nylon are used for lower risk activities such as canoeing. Their advantage is that they are lighter, they allow amplitude of movements, and they are much cheaper.
Design: It’s not just about floating. Some vests are adapted to the needs of each user according to the activity to be carried out. For example, for fishermen or canoeists, there are pockets and ventilation channels. The bright colors and the reflective tapes are a plus of security that allows others to see the wearer of the vest. This is particularly important for those who sail at night or to be rescued on the high seas.
Sizes: Impossible not to notice this before purchasing a vest. For children, there are different sizes according to their weight and age. Meanwhile, the adult sizes vary according to their texture. Just like the sizes of a shirt or blouse, you will find them in S, M, L, XL, 1XL, 2XL and 3XL.
Vests for Pets
If you like to take your pets to navigate, it is also important to protect them. Instinct will help them swim, but they also get tired. To avoid scares, do not forget a vest for your dog or cat. As there are different breeds and sizes, you should also consider the correct size for them. A Pug is not the same as a Labrador or a Saint Bernard.