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Personal flotation devices (PFD) are defined by the Coast Guard as:

TYPE I PFDS / OFF-SHORE LIFE JACKETS: Best for all waters, open ocean, rough seas, or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming. Abandon-ship lifejacket for commercial vessels and all vessels carrying passengers for hire:

  • Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - SOLAS Service
  • Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - U.S. Service
  • Inflatable Type I PFDs - SOLAS and Domestic
  • Hybrid Type I PFDs - US Services


TYPE II PFDS / NEAR-SHORE BUOYANT VESTS: For general boating activities. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue.

  • Inherently Buoyant Type II PFDs
  • Inflatable Type II PFDs
  • Hybrid Type II PFDs


TYPE III PFDS / FLOTATION AIDS: For general boating or the specialized activity that is marked on the device such as water skiing, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and others. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue. Designed so that wearing it will complement your boating activities:

  • Inherently Buoyant Type III PFDs
  • Inflatable Type III PFDs
  • Hybrid Type III PFDs


TYPE IV PFDS / Throwable Devices:

  • Ring Buoys
  • Buoyant Cushions


TYPE V PFDS / SPECIAL USE DEVICES: Only for special uses or conditions. See label for limits of use:

  • Hybrid Inflatable PFDs
  • Canoe/Kayak Vest
  • Boardsailing Vests
  • Deck Suits