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How to Make Sure a Life Jacket Fits Correctly

How to Make Sure a Life Jacket Fits CorrectlyEveryone knows how important it is to wear a life jacket when out on the open seas. But if it doesn’t fit properly, it won’t be effective. So how can you make sure your life jacket fits correctly?


Life jackets for children are broken down by weight into three categories: infant/toddler (8-30 lbs), child (30-50 lbs) and youth (50-90 lbs). For adults, life jacket size is based on your chest measurement. Each manufacturer may have slightly different ranges for their sizes, so be sure to check the label carefully. Also confirm that the life jacket is United States Coast Guard approved to ensure it has been made to proper standards.


Different types of life jackets will have different entry methods and slightly different adjustments, so it’s important to choose ones you feel comfortable with. The most common entry types are over the head and side entry. Fastenings will be either zippers, straps or buckles, or may be a combination of these. If they don’t fasten completely or properly when you put them on, it is probably the wrong size for you. The fit should be snug but still comfortable.


Before heading into deep waters, try testing your life jacket where it’s shallow to know how it feels. Relax your body and tilt your head back to float to test the buoyancy. Your chin should be comfortably above water, and the life jacket shouldn’t ride up much or go over your chin.

Here at Woody’s Watersports, our employees will help with life jacket sizing and any questions you may have. Safety is our number one concern, so you can rest assured that we will always make sure your life jacket fits properly. Reserve one of our jet ski rentals today!

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