Top 6 tips for wearing a life vest

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A life vest can make the difference between surviving an accident on the water and drowning. In fact, according to the National Safe Boating Council, 85 percent of boaters who drowned weren’t wearing a properly fitted life vest. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your life jacket is worn properly and kept in good working order. Wear it snugly and make sure you’re minding the weather conditions—these are just a few of the tips we’ll share with you today. If you’ve read this far, then you probably know how important it is to wear your life vest any time you’re on or near deep water. But do you know what constitutes a “properly fitted” life vest? How about why it’s better than an inflatable one? Don’t worry; we’ll cover all that (and more!) below.

Wear your life vest for the whole duration of your activity.

  • Wear your life vest for the whole duration of your activity.When you are on the water, it’s important to wear your life jacket for the entire time you are on board. If you’re in cold water, wearing a jacket will not only increase your chances of survival but also make you feel more comfortable while participating in an activity that could potentially be fun!

Make sure it fits properly.

  • Make sure it fits properly. A life vest that is too big or too small can cause discomfort and even injury while you’re wearing it. It should be snug around your body, with no gaps between your torso and the vest. If it’s too loose, it will move around on you in the water and make swimming more difficult; if it’s too tight, it could cut off circulation or cause chafing.
  • Don’t wear an ill-fitting life vest because of vanity—it could get you killed!

It should fit snugly, but not too tight.

Take a look at the life vest. Is it snug, but not too tight? If so, you’re in good shape.

If the life vest is too loose, then it’s not doing its job and you need to get a new one that fits your body type better.

On the other hand, if the life vest is too tight around your chest and shoulders (or anywhere else), this can lead to bruising or chafing on your skin when you wear it for several hours at a time over time.

Be mindful of the water temperature and conditions.

  • Always check the weather before heading out on the water.
  • Check the water temperature before you enter it and make sure it’s not too cold or hot for your comfort level.
  • If you plan to be in a kayak, canoe or other small boat that requires you to sit on top of the water, then check for wind speed and direction as well as gusts so that you can plan accordingly for how much leeway is needed for maneuvering through waves or currents.
  • Be aware of any other boaters in your general area, especially if they are traveling at high speeds relative to yours. Use common sense when approaching areas where another vessel might run into yours; allow them plenty of room because they may not be able to slow down quickly enough if necessary (especially true with larger boats).

Check your life vest regularly to make sure it is in good working order.

It’s also important to check your life vest regularly, to make sure it is in good working order. Here are some things you should look for:

  • Damage to the exterior of the vest (especially around straps, buckles and stitching)
  • Leaks or holes in any part of the inflation mechanism (such as valves or seams)
  • Damage to the harness that could cause it to break free from its attachment points during a dive
  • Damage to any reflective surfaces on your jacket (like logos or stripes)

If you notice anything that seems out of place or broken, don’t hesitate—get in touch with an expert at PADI!

Inflatable life jackets are NOT a good idea for children.

Inflatable life jackets are not a good choice for children. While they provide more buoyancy than foam or fabric vests, they’re not designed to work well in all situations. In fact, many manufacturers will tell you that their inflatable products shouldn’t be used by children under the age of 8 years old or less than 80 pounds. They may be able to float with an inflatable vest on—but if you were to fall overboard and the vest wasn’t inflated, your child would likely sink like a stone (and might even face serious injury or death).

In addition, some parents have reported that after several uses over time their child’s vest didn’t hold up as well as expected; it seemed as though there was something wrong with its construction or design. If you choose an inflatable life jacket for your kids, make sure it’s proven reliable first and foremost!

A properly fitted life jacket can save your life!

A properly fitted life jacket can save your life!

A. A life jacket can keep you afloat.

B. A life jacket will keep you warm in cold water.

C. A properly fitted life jacket will keep you from injury and fatigue, which are common causes of drowning deaths


Wearing a life jacket can save your life in an emergency situation. However, not all life vests are created equal so it’s important to find one that fits you properly. Life jackets come in different sizes for adults and children, as well as many different styles and colors. There are two types of life vests: inflatable ones made out of nylon fabric with air chambers inside them or foam filled ones that do not require inflation at all. The best thing about these jackets is they will keep you afloat even when unconscious! To sum up this post: Wear your life vest for the whole duration of your activity, make sure it fits properly but not too tight; be mindful of the water temperature and conditions; check it regularly to make sure its working order is good; and finally don’t use inflatable ones if you’ve got kids around!

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