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.