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A life jacket, also known as a personal floatation device or a PFD, is a simple solution that protects swimmers from drowning. Being made of lightweight materials and pockets that trap air, it provides buoyancy to help a person stay afloat in water.
The most important safety equipment for an athlete performing any of the water sports is life jackets. Even if they are really good at swimming, it is still important to wear a personal floatation device because such sports usually happen in rough waters. Furthermore, a person might find it really hard or even unable to swim if he or she is exhausted. Read this article before you start shopping for PFDs. This article will tell you about the different types of PFDs that exist and will help you choose the right one depending on your needs.
There are mainly four different types of life jackets. All of these are approved for professional and personal use by the US coast guard. So, whether you are going canoeing or kayaking or are a professional lifeguard, these PFDs will be useful for you. But before you decide which one of them is right for you, you need to know more about the different types of them. Here are the four types of personal floatation devices and the pros and cons of each one of them. You can also find the tips on selecting the right type of life jacket in this article as well.
This is the most common type of life jacket or personal flotation device. One reason for the popularity of standard life jackets is the fact that they are affordable and do not require much maintenance to keep them in working order. Such PFDs are easy to design as well because they make use of materials that are inherently buoyant like lightweight plastic and pre-inflated air pockets made of durable materials like hard plastics. Also, such PFDs are extremely versatile as well. You can use them for kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and many other types of activities.
The main advantage of inflatable jackets is that they are really compact. And for that reason, they don't take up as much storage space as a standard PFD. Such PFDs are also more comfortable to put on and wear for an extended period of time. As you can imagine, inflatable life jackets are not inherently buoyant. Unless you inflate the PFD, they won't help you float on top of the water. This poses a safety risk because if the person fell into the water and is unconscious, this PFD will not help that person. Usually, these jackets use CO2 cartridges for quick and easy inflation. Therefore, they require more maintenance than a standard PFD.
Hybrid personal floatation devices offer the best of both worlds by combining the benefits of both standard and inflatable PFDs. This makes them inherently buoyant to a certain extent but in a more compact package than a standard PFD. It is also possible to inflate them further to provide additional buoyancy in case the person falls into the water. However, one downside of such PFDs is that they cost much more than a standard life jacket. But for professionals who need to regularly wear PFDs as a part of their work, hybrid life jackets are definitely worth it.
Most animals, including cats and dogs, are usually good swimmers. So, you might be wondering then what is the purpose of an animal life jacket. But in reality, even though animals are good swimmers, they do tend to get tired pretty quickly, especially so if they are not used to swimming. Tired animals will find it difficult to keep their heads above the water. Having life jackets can be a real lifesaver in those cases. Another reason to put a life jacket on your pet is to avoid accidental drowning due to falls when the animal might not be prepared to swim.