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Life jackets are required on watercraft for all drivers and passengers. Also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), it must be U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Sea-Doo explains how to choose the right one.
PFDs come in a range of styles and colors, and can serve added functions. But the ultimate goal in choosing a Life Jacket is finding one you will wear every single time you go out on your watercraft. A life jacket only works if you wear it.
Make sure to choose the correct size and fit. It should be snug yet comfortable. Look inside to find the size, chest dimensions and weight range. It also has to include a U.S. Coast Guard-approved stamp.
Parents should pay close attention to children’s life jackets. Kids don’t always perfectly match the dimensions and they grow up so fast! If a kid’s PFD is too big, the front panels will overlap and it falls off the shoulders. If it’s too small, the front panels won’t meet or the straps/buckles/zippers can’t fully close. PFDs with a crotch strap are better for smaller children because it’s extra peace of mind that the vest will stay on.
Most life jackets feature interior foam panels wrapped in nylon or neoprene that both protects the foam and adds color and style. Nylon is typically a cooler material while neoprene tends to be warmer. The advantage of neoprene life vests is they are usually more form-fitting, so they feel less bulky.
In addition to traditional, front-closing vests, pullover styles are also available. The solid front panel of these vests often appeals to more athletic riders. Some people prefer them for the added protection a solid piece of foam provides.
Most riders will find a Type III “ski-vest” style jacket most comfortable. Type III jackets typically open at the front and are secured with a combination of straps, buckles or zippers.
All Sea-Doo PFDs include a plastic D-ring sewn securely into the front seam. This ring provides a handy spot to securely clip on your safety lanyard.
Now that you know what a Personal Flotation Device is and that life jackets are required on watercraft, start browsing for the perfect one in the Sea-Doo Shop.