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PFDs for everyone

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Prepare for the worst with the best in PFDs.


Photo by Craig W. Dale

M.I.T. 22

Mustang Survival

Mustang Survival has been producing personal flotation devices—or as its tagline says “saving lives”—since 1967. It offers two model lines: one with manual inflation and the other that automatically activates upon contact with the water. Because these PFDs aren’t usually inflated, they don’t get in the way. Plus they are flexible enough to conform to your body, thanks to Membrane Inflatable Technology. A simple rearm kit with a spare CO2 cartridge makes the flotation device as good as new after inflation. (The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of approving inflatable PFDs for children under 16.)



Pet Life Jacket

Paws Aboard

Though Fido may be an excellent swimmer when he’s close to shore, the further out to sea he gets, the more danger he’s in. A canine PFD can provide both extra buoyancy and visibility when a dog ends up in the water. And because a tired animal may need help climbing back onboard, a handle on top makes it easy for you to give him a helping hand.



Infant PFD


You need to get children used to wearing PFDs as soon as possible because adjusting to the feel of one takes time. Stearns has more than 50 years of experience making and selling PFDs for young boaters, like this Type II U.S. Coast Guard-approved vest. It’s made of patented hydroprene foam to help keep your infant cool in the sun. Plus, this one has a rhinoceros on it.



Jet Ski Anthology Neoprene Vest


Some water activities such as riding personal watercraft or waterskiing require extra buoyancy plus a more comfortable cut and super-reliable restraints. Kawasaki designs its PFDs to be lightweight and especially comfortable around the arms and neck. Their combined zipper and belts will make sure you stay in your vest no matter how hard you launch into the water.


This article originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.