How to Buy a Life Vest for Kayaking

Kayaking can be a fun activity for the whole family. However, it can also be dangerous if you are not equipped with the right safety gear out on the water. Having the proper life vest is very important as it keeps you afloat if your kayak tips over and you find yourself in the middle of the river or lake. It is important to buy the right kind of life vest for kayaking which you can do easily by following some simple methods to get you started in the right direction.


  • 1

    Understand the different types:

    There are many different types of life vests or jackets available in the market. There are five main types which are categorised by the U.S. Coast Guard. Type I is thick and provides good floatation and is best used in the ocean. Type II is relatively thinner and is generally used in calmer water like lakes. Type III life jackets are good if you need to move your arms properly and still have some floatation capabilities. Type IV are basically floating devices that are not worn but can be used to float on the water. Type V are life vests that are specifically designed for various water based activities.

  • 2

    Understand sizes:

    There are different sizes when it comes to life vests. These are generally based on categories like infant, child and adult sizes. Also, sizes can be further categorised by gender. Remember that in order for a life vest to be effective it should fit properly and be of the correct size.

  • 3

    Understand laws:

    In the United States, it is the law for anyone going on a boat, raft or other type of vehicle in the water to wear the appropriate life vest. The U.S. Coast Guard gives certification on a wide variety of different brands of life vests.

  • 4

    Check vest for certification:

    Make sure that before you buy a life vest it has been certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. This will put your mind at ease that you are purchasing a quality item that does what it says.

  • 5

    Learn how to wear:

    There are many different styles of life vests in the market. Be sure to understand how to wear a life vest in terms of the straps and clasps that keep it on your body. Some life vests are worn over the head while others have various closing mechanisms to ensure it does not slip off if you find yourself in the water.

  • 6

    Find retailer:

    You can go online and find a wide variety of different websites that specialise in life vests. Be sure to purchase from a reputable website.

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