Each year, nearly 4,000 people die in the United States due to drowning.

Many of these drownings occur from boating-related incidences, and some are from going too far offshore.

If you want to protect yourself and the ones you love, the best way to do so is with a life jacket.

Continue reading to discover all of the factors you should consider when buying a life vest for your boat!

1. Size

The first thing that you should consider when buying a life vest is the size that you need.

When life vests are too small or too large, they can lead to issues and make the jacket useless. If you aren’t sure what size to look for, try a couple of jackets on. You should buy a vest that holds close to your body with room to move.

Make sure there isn’t any extra space above the arm openings, otherwise, the vest could easily slip off. A life jacket fitting with a professional can help ensure that you buy the right one.

2. Condition

Whether you are buying a new or used life vest, you will want to look at its condition.

Vests shouldn’t have any rips or tears at the seams. You should also look for areas in used vests that have water built up in them. Some places will allow you to test the vest to ensure that it doesn’t become waterlogged.

If you find a vest that you are questioning the condition of, it is probably best to look at other options.

3. Style

There are various types of life vests that you will come across while shopping for one.

Most people on boats and jet skis use life jackets. Life jackets come in a variety of colors and styles that will match your outdoor lifestyle. These jackets are often comfortable to wear and help return a person to a face-up position when they fall in the water.

Vest jackets are best for inland waters where rescue can quickly come to your aid. Offshore life jackets are ideal for oceans and larger bodies of water because they are more buoyant.

4. Stamp of Approval

When you go to buy a life vest, you will want to ensure that it has a stamp of approval.

Life vests and jackets should be approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to ensure safety. When the vest has this approval, you can trust that it will get the job done and keep everyone safe. Find the approval on the inside of the vest near the size information.

5. Features

Depending on how you plan to use your life vest, you may want to consider additional features.

Some people recommend getting life vests with reflective tape and materials to help draw attention. You can also look for jackets and vests with pockets or areas to hold your keys. If you plan to wear your vest often, you should look into getting one with plenty of air ventilation.

By looking at these life vests, you can find the most suitable option for your needs!

Get the Right Life Vest

There are many things to consider when buying a life vest for yourself or people on your boat.

By utilizing this guide, you can ensure that everyone has an appropriate vest that will help keep them safe in case of emergencies. Accidents and emergencies happen when you least expect them. Be prepared is the best way to keep the ones you love protected.

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about boating safety and keeping everyone secure!

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