Life Jackets, Vests, PFDs & Accessories

Life Jackets
Boating Know How

Maintaining Your Life Vest

Life Jackets, Vests, & Inflatable PFDs can last for years when the right type of care in cleaning and storage is taken. ... read more


To make the most of your purchase, follow these steps:

Cleaning & Drying

  1. When washing, use a sponge and mild detergent (if necessary).
  2. Do NOT use solvent based cleaners.
  3. Let drip-dry in ventilated area. Do not attempt to speed up the drying process by using any type of heat source
  4. Drying in non-direct sunlight will help prevent fading.


  1. Make sure the life jacket is completely dry before putting in storage; any moisture has a good chance of leading to mold or mildew.
  2. Keep in a DRY place. If storing in your boat, make sure your boat is moisture free
  3. Again, keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Safety Check for Inflatable PFDs

  1. If your life jacket is the Automatic Inflatable style, you'll want to remove the CO2 Cartridge.
  2. Check the cartridge for damage and make sure it hasn't previously activated without your awareness -CO2 cartridges can only be used once . If there is any damage or if the cartridge has been activated, replace at once.
  3. Clean all areas using a mild detergent, including the manual inflation valve & CO2 cartridge detonation mechanism. Make sure to check for damage along the way.
With the proper cleaning and storage, your PFDs will stay fresh and look new for many years and best of all, when you pass a vest to a friend to wear, it won't smell like an old gym sock, especially in inside your boat.

Thanks to Wayne at Kent Watersports and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association for help with this article.

Photo by mikebaird

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Life Jacket USCG Requirements (Video)

Learn from Keith the Boating Guy on the requirements for wearing a life jacket while boating. This is brought to you by Discover Boating. ... read more

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Keith the Boating Guy. Another common question I get is "What's up with life jackets?" What's required to have a life jacket on a boat?

Let me start by talking about federal regulations. They require that all recreational boats must carry one wearable life jacket for each person on board. You should adhear to you State laws regarding life jacket usage and requirement. From State to State sometimes the laws change. In States that have no children's laws for wearing life jackets, the U.S. Coast guard requires all children age 13 and under wear a life jacket while on the deck of the boat while it is underway. Remember to check with your State to see what the laws are in your State where you boat. Now if you take your boat and trailer from State to State, make sure you check between States while you travel around.

Now to meet Federal guidelines life jackets must be approved by the Coast Guard, in good servicable condition, readily accessable and the right size for the intended user.

Now's a good time to interject, how do you know if you have the right fitting life jacket for your child? Remember this, life jackets for children are based on weight, not age. So before you go shopping, make sure you know your child's weight. Also it is a very good idea to take you kid with you when you go shopping. There's lots of fun things out there that kids would like. For example, check this one out. Nice and bright. Kid picks it out. Much more likely to want to wear this. So remember, if they are 13 and under, they have to wear this when they are out in the boat with you.

Now, what if they are smaller than this one. This one is a 50 to 90 pound jacket. For smaller infants, they'll need to have a life jacket with a head rest on it. It also has a strap between the legs. This one is good for infants, up to 30 pounds.

Now when you put your kid in a lift jacket, you want to make sure it is a nice snug fit. The best way to check this is to grab it by the shoulders right here, lift up on the child, and you want to make sure you don't pull the child's jacket up over the child's ears over their head. They actually stay in the jacket.

Once you get the right fitting one for the life jacket, it's something fun they want to wear, and you have a life jacket on the boat for every other person, you're ready to hit the water.

Also remember, it is a very, very good idea to wear your life jacket when you are out on the water.

We'll see you out their soon...

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About Life Jackets & PFDs

Putting Safety First With Jackets, PFD's and Vest

When it comes to Life-Jackets, we know our customers don't joke around. That's why we offer Coast Guard approved Life-Vests & PFDs for every need, whether it be wakeboarding, fishing, to inexpensive back-ups for your boating guests. Our mammoth selection offering a variety of types, sizes, styles, and top brands such as Kent, Mustang, Jet Pilot and Kwik Tek, we guarantee we've got something for you, the family, and even the dog! Looking for matching life-jackets for the entire family, check out our General Purpose Life Jackets & Vests. Many of the products in this category have variation sizes to match the different sizing needs of your family members. Concerned about your youngsters? Check out our Kids, Infants & Toddler PFD category where we offer a variety of life jackets that use a head flap designed to keep your child's head above the water line.