Life Vests & Flotation Devices

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Explore Life Vests at Public Lands

Life vests are essential for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities that involve spending time around water. This guide will help you pick out the perfect life vest for your needs at Public Lands.

What Type of Life Vest Do You Need?

Life vests are available in five different types. Types II and III are the main types that are sold at Public Lands.

Type II life vests offer at least 15.5 pounds of buoyancy. These vests have a pillow for your head. A type II vest can move you into a face-up position if you're unconscious in the water.

Type II vests are ideal for nearshore boating activities. They are most beneficial when the water is calm.

Type III life vests are recommended for waterskiing, tubing, and other watersports. Type III vests are often called "ski vests," so don't let the difference confuse you. The vests provide the same amount of buoyancy as type II vests.

Type III vests are made for conscious wearers; they don't have head pillows. As a result, they may not be able to move an unconscious person into a face-up position in the water.

Many type III vests are designed so that you can inflate them when you enter the water.

Do You Need a Nylon Vest or a Neoprene Vest?

Neoprene life vests are more expensive than nylon vests. When wet, neoprene vests will stretch to conform to your body.

Nylon life vests are lighter than neoprene vests, and they're more budget-friendly. Since nylon isn't as soft as neoprene, you'll want to wear a rashguard underneath your nylon life vest.