The right life vest makes all the difference. It can be a difference between life and death. It is mandatory to make sure that you have the right life vest before participating in your favorite water sports. Since there are many life jackets in the market, it is good to know what to look out for so that it is not confusing to choose one and also to make sure that you end up with the right life jacket. The first step is defining your needs, which starts by answering the question what is a life vest? That will help you know why exactly you need a life jacket and what functions you expect it to do. Once the need is defined, then we can go into checking on other factors to consider which may include:
There are different kinds of materials that can be used in making life vests with the most common ones being nylon and neoprene. Different materials define different comfort levels and durability of the life vest. They both have their own pros and cons that make users to prefer either of them. Life vests made from nylon are normally cheaper and are common with paddle sport life vests. It is also very light hence more suitable for paddling. Neoprene life vests on the other hand are more expensive since they are more comfortable and give a higher level of buoyancy. They are more common with water sport vests since they have buoyancy that keeps users afloat.
Sizing and fitting
Life vests come with different sizing and fitting to provide comfort to those who are using it. You should keep in mind that the sizing in kids and adults is different. When it comes to adults it is the size of the chest that will determine the right size while in kids it is the weight that determines the right size. Sizes will also differ depending on the brand and model. A life vest should give you a snug fit but be at the same time comfortable to give you the flexibility of moving around freely.
Life vest style
As much as most life vests are unisex, there are those that are specifically made for a certain gender. For example there are those that have been made feminine and have been designed in such a way the y contour the female body and even have an allowance for the bust. It is therefore better if women go for feminine life vests as opposed to unisex styles.
Type of life vest
There are many kinds of life vests and they have all been customized for different needs. The common life vests include: the off-shore life jacket, near shore buoyancy vest, flotation aid, throw able device, and special use devices. They have all been specifically made to suit specific situations and hence they are better suited for some situations than others. The good thing is that when you are doing a purchase most stores will advise you the best life vest for you depending on your needs.