Did you know? What Floats You!

A little Life Jacket Knowledge


Type I

Also Known As: Offshore Life Jacket

Offers: 22 lbs. bouyancy

Most Typically Used For: Open, rough or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming.
Pros: Floats you the best.  Turns most unconscious wearers face up in the water.  Highly visible color.
Cons: Bulky.
Sizing: Two sizes to fit most children and adults.

Type II

Also Known As: Near Shore Bouyant Vest

Offers: 15.5 lbs. bouyancy


Most Typically Used For: Calm inland water or where there is a good chance of a fast rescue.
Pros: Will turn many unconscious wearers face up in the water.  Less bulky, more comfortable than Type I.
Cons: Not for long hours in rough water.  Will not turn some unconscious wearers face up in water.
Sizing: Infant, Child-small, Child-medium, Adult

Type III

Also Known As: Flotation Aid

Offers: 15.5 lbs. buoyancy


Most Typically Used For: Calm, inland water or where there is a good chance of fast rescue.
Pros: Generally the most comfortable.  Freedom of movement for water skiing, small boat sailing, fishing, etc.  Available in many styles, including vests and flotation coats.
Cons: Not for rough water.  Wearer may have to tilt head back to avoid face down position in water.
Sizing: Many individual sizes from child small to adult.

Type IV

Also Known As: Throwable Device

Most Typically Used For: Calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic, where help is always nearby.
Pros: Can be thrown to someone.  Good back up to wearable PFD.  Some can be used as seat cushions.
Cons: Not for unconscious persons.  Not for nonswimmers or children.  Not for many hours in rough water.
Kinds: Cushions, rings, and horseshoe buoys.