Personal Flotation Devices / Life Jackets

Canoeing.com Definition: Inherently buoyant Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) with internal foam or other materials provide flotation without inflation. Lightweight, vest-style PFDs with short waists are non-constricting and most comfortable for paddling. US Coast Guard Type III certified PFDs, provide a minimum of 15.6 lbs of flotation and are best for recreational canoeing. For some whitewater paddlers, Type V (or special use) PFDs are appropriate but must be used according to label instructions.

What are PFD classifications? How should a life vest fit? Check out the US Coast Guard Guide to PFD Selection, Use, Wear & Care



PFD Terminology:

We sort life vests by their intended use:

Recreational
These vests feature simple designs for the occasional paddler. Good for a lake paddle or as a spare.

Tripping/Whitewater
Designed for the long haul, these vests feature adjustable straps, are slim-fitting, with open armholes allowing for maximum reach without interference.

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