It is essential to wear a life jacket when participating in water activities. However, having the right fit is just as important as wearing one. The right size life jacket should not be too tight or too loose and should allow freedom of movement without sliding off and impeding movement.

Size & Fit

  • Life jackets should be snug against the body, but should not be too tight.
  • Measure for proper size: Measure chest size (around the fullest point) and add 6 inches to it – the total measurement should equal the life jacket size.
  • Make sure the life vest is comfortable and allows good arm and shoulder movement.
  • Checking the Fit: Check the fit while wearing the life jacket. A properly fitted life jacket should feel snug around your body and not ride up when you raise your arms.

Tips for a Good Fit

  • Try on several different sizes and styles to be sure you purchase the best one for you.
  • If needed, adjust for a snug fit by using the straps.
  • If in doubt, choose the next size up. An adult size medium life vest may fit a smaller person better than a size small.
  • Replace if outgrown or worn.

A well-fitting life jacket is vital for safety when out on the water. Properly fitted life jackets provide extra buoyancy, which can help you remain afloat if you find yourself in the water. Pay attention to the size and fit instructions to ensure you’re wearing the correct-sized life jacket, and remember that if in doubt, choose the next size up.

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