Life vests: varieties, tips for selection and operation
The greatest pleasure people get from relaxing on the water. But this element is sometimes insidious, and if you do not protect your life, then such a vacation can end tragically. Therefore, before heading to a pond, lake or river, it is important to remember safety measures and always have a life jacket on hand.
What it is?
A life jacket is considered a mandatory protective element that is used to support the human body on the water. This product is of various modifications and is regulated by GOST 22336-77. All types of vests are equipped with chambers filled with air or special gas. Each vest model has its own characteristics, in addition, this accessory can differ in colors, equipment, buoyancy, moisture resistance, durability and a wide temperature range of use.
When resting on the water, a vest is required, since it eliminates the possibility of drowning, and also protects against flooding when falling from a vessel, boat, boat. The advantage of this product is that it is lightweight and does not interfere with free movement.
According to the GIMS regulations, lifejackets must be on boats, boats, ships and be available in emergency situations. In addition, the design must be made in such a way that the drowning person can freely rest on the water face over its surface.
The use of protective equipment is also very important for fishermen, since they are not safe from capsizing the boat and in a panic state without a vest can drown.
Recently, life jackets are presented on the market in a huge assortment, each of their types is designed for certain conditions. Therefore, the opinion that all vests have the same characteristics is wrong. These protective equipment are divided into four types:
- for rescue operations and additional insurance;
- for rafting;
- for kayaking;
- for active water tourism.
The first type of vests is characterized by the presence of convenient devices that are important for the work of lifeguards. This is usually a stall, a towing carabiner and a sling cutter. Vests issued for boating have special reflective strips and bright colors. This is necessary to quickly notice a person overboard. This vest is inflatable and with pockets that allow you to store a lot of useful things.
Models for kayaking are not much different from travel vests, the only thing is that they are slightly increased in size and have narrow shoulder straps.
Life jackets for rafting slightly longer than the previous options and provided with additional fasteners, thanks to which you can precisely fit the product according to the figure of a person and fix it on the athlete’s body as firmly as possible. Since rafting is carried out in dangerous sections of the river, which is fraught with injury, vests are additionally equipped with a floating collar. A sports vest supports the head above the water in case of injury and loss of consciousness, it can also be used for jet skiing.
For active water sports, a neoprene vest is also chosen. It is made from a unique material that protects the body from wind and cold, and also guarantees protection of the back from injuries.
Self-inflating neoprene vest, it does not constrain movements, which makes it convenient to use. Vests for fishing deserve special attention. They are bilateral, equipped with headrests and pockets. Each fisherman must have a fishing vest on the boat, this is regulated by the standards of rescue services. In addition, they need to be bought not only for fishing, but also for pleasure boats, even setting out on a short trip by water.
The two-chamber is also very popular. lightweight aviation vest which is intended solely for use on aircraft, ensuring the safety of crew members and passengers when the aircraft is forced to land on water. This accessory is distinguished by the presence of two chambers, it is self-inflating, gas filling is performed from a special spray can. The product weighs no more than 0.6 kg.
Comparison with safety vests
In specialized stores you can find on sale both life and safety vests. Despite the fact that these two protective agents are designed to preserve human life on water, there is a difference between them.
The safety type differs from the life-saving type in that it is more suitable for people who know how to swim well. They have less buoyancy, as the structure inside is stuffed with sheets of light and flexible foam. This material is convenient and highly elastic, but can absorb water over time.
The thickness of the foam sheets in such models is up to 8 mm, in addition, there are recesses on the canvas for air accumulation. Compared to safety vests, life jackets are made of a dense and elastic material, so they are able to withstand low pressure, thereby increasing buoyancy. Specialists recommend those people who go fishing for a long time, to purchase lifejackets with constant buoyancy of at least 10 kg.
If you plan to stay near the coast, ride a jet bike, jet skis, it is best to give preference to safety models.
Rating of the best manufacturers
Life jackets are presented on the market in a huge variety and differ not only in size, purpose, design, but also by manufacturers. The companies whose products have received many positive reviews include the following.
"Free wind" (Russia)
It produces several models of lifejackets that can be used both for water sports and for kayaking. Deserves special attention Cascade modelwhose main advantage is light weight. In addition, the protective product is equipped with inguinal belts (they can simply be tied in knots through reinforced loops or fixed through power buckles), foam-reinforced shoulder pads and reflective elements. The vest completely repeats the shape of the human body, therefore it is convenient to use.
In addition, the accessory is additionally reinforced in loaded places with special clips.
This manufacturer produces life jackets "PR" with a collar. They are manufactured as an individual means of protecting a person during water sports, when falling overboard or riding on motor and sailing ships. Thanks to the reflective stripes, a quick search for a drowning person is provided. The product allows you to stay afloat for a long time, because it is filled with special NPE material.
Besides, The advantages of this accessory include the presence of a stand-up collar, a whistle for calling lifeguards, a patch pocket and side ties that customize the vest to fit the figure of a person.
Products from this manufacturer are characterized by a simple design and affordable price. But most models designed for fishermen are too overloaded with bulky pockets, which are actually absolutely unnecessary. Externally, the vest looks usually, it is mesh, so in the summer heat it is comfortable. The main advantage of products is light weight and ease of use.
In addition, the accessory is characterized by excellent moisture protection, so when water gets on the vest, things in his pockets remain dry.
Life vests from this manufacturer are characterized by high quality and affordable price. The manufacturer equips them with a lot of spacious and comfortable pockets, which can be either mesh open or moisture-proof closed. As for the vests themselves, they are made of breathable and quick-drying fabric. The only thing is that such models cannot keep a person on the water for a long time.
Life jackets from this foreign manufacturer have international certificates CE ISO 12401 and CE ISO 12402-3. Complete safety on the water is guaranteed Double welds for air bubbles. Products can be combined with all types of cylinders.
In addition, all models have adjustable straps and provide long-term maintenance of a person in the water in the correct position (face up).
The vest model deserves special attention Life Sigma, which is a budget option, available both in manual and automatic execution. The products are characterized by attractive design and convenient operation, they are easy to wear.
Each vest in accordance with the code may have one chamber, inflated manually by means of a special head (code 20220) or by using a tube (code 20260). The inflatable bubble is made of durable fabric, which is clearly visible, it quickly develops and is fixed on a flypaper.
This manufacturer has proven itself in the production of not only lifejackets, but also fishing equipment. Protective products have all the necessary functions, they are light in weight and equipped with many small pockets. At first glance, the vest may seem inconsistent, in fact, his pockets are placed everywhere, starting from the chest area and ending with the waist. In addition, there are inside pockets. The only drawback is the high cost.
A producer that is not only well known to fishermen, but also enjoys great popularity among water sports enthusiasts. Products of this brand meet all the requirements of safety and quality, in addition, they are as functional as possible.
There are many waterproof pockets on the vests, which are located in such a way as not to interfere with the movement of a person and not to pile up his heavy weight.
A huge plus of such vests is the fact that they are able to hold on the surface of the water a person weighing up to 120 kg. In addition, the products look stylish and attractive. The only drawback of the lifejackets of this brand is its high cost, but it is justified by its excellent quality, which can not be saved in emergency situations.
If you follow all the rules of operating a vest, then it can be used for many years, without worrying that the lightning will fail or the belt will come off.
How to choose?
Before you buy a life jacket, you need to take into account many nuances, since the safety of being on water will depend on this. Going for such an important purchase, you need to pay special attention to the following.
- All items on the vest must be firmly sewn. No protruding threads or sloppy stitches are allowed.
- It is important to check all clips, carabiners, buckles, zippers and fasteners. To do this, they should be buttoned and unfastened. If problems arise, then it is best to refuse to buy, because being in extreme conditions, these fastening systems can fail.
- Mandatory in the design is the presence of a chest harness. As a rule, all well-known manufacturers equip vests with such a function. It is designed in such a way that it can be quickly released and attached to the rope. In addition, there should be a wide sling on the back, with which you can quickly pull the rower out of the water. She must also be well sewn.
- An important component of a life jacket is the pockets. It is best to choose those models in which they are located both inside and outside. Pockets should not interfere. Vests equipped with several spacious pockets are considered an excellent choice. In them you can place matches with a flashlight and sealed packaging with important documents.
- In order to "fit" the vest on the body correctly, it must have adjusting straps. If they are not, then it will not work to securely fix this accessory on yourself. In addition, vests must be selected in size, as they are large and small. A special size table, which each manufacturer has, makes it easier to choose.
- To be sure that the rescue tool will not fail in an emergency, experts recommend giving preference to models of well-known manufacturers that have received positive reviews. Sometimes unscrupulous manufacturers indicate high buoyancy on vests without testing the product in business. Therefore, before you go on vacation, you should independently check the product in the pool.
- If you plan to buy a life jacket purely for fishing, then you should pay attention to the fact that this type of product is available in two types: with passive and active safety. The first option should be chosen for those fishermen who swim far away by boat or boat, since such vests are designed for long interruptions on the water. They provide comfortable breathing and good support on the water, but because of their enormous dimensions they constrain movement. If the fisherman swims off the coast, then an ideal option for him would be a safety vest with active safety. It is ergonomic and allows you to not only comfortably control the oars, but also quickly swim to the shore.
It is important to consider the following recommendations for its operation.
- You need to buy a vest strictly in size and figure of a person. It can not be altered or converted, otherwise the product will lose all its properties. Before putting on this accessory, you should check it for any punctures, discrepancies in seams and tears. In addition, if the vest was used earlier, you must make sure that the filler did not get water and did not mold.
- Then you need to write your personal data on the vest, it does not hurt to indicate the blood group with the Rh factor. The accessory should be worn before boarding a canoe, boat or kayak. When putting on the vest, first fasten the front buckles and zipper, then tighten the side straps well. You can’t fill the pockets of the product with heavy objects, this will reduce its buoyancy. It is strictly forbidden to put in pockets and sharp objects.
- After the accessory is put on, you need to make sure that it does not rub the chin, armpits, neck and does not slip. If you do not check the reliability of fixation, then in water, under the influence of the current, it can break.
It is important that the vest does not cause discomfort.
The actions of a man who is overboard
Most importantly, there is no need to panic. It is important to make maximum efforts in order to return the body to an upright position. If a group of people, including children, is found overboard, then you need to stay close. Adults should also check that life jackets on children are securely locked. After operating the vest in salt water (ocean, sea), it should be thoroughly washed with soap and water (do not wash in the washing machine), rinsed and dried in a room without heat sources. Do not use detergents with an aggressive composition to clean the product; they can damage the structure of the material.
Experts recommend regularly check the condition of the filler in the vest. Foam should quickly return to its original position after squeezing. If this is not observed, then this may mean that the material has lost its properties, including buoyancy. Such a product cannot be used on water in the future.
With frequent use of the rescue tool, its shape may also be lost, as a result, the vest does not fit the body tightly, even with maximum adjustment. In this case A new product should be purchased.
Keep the lifejacket in a dark, well-ventilated and dry place, where ultraviolet rays do not fall.
In the next video, you will find a detailed overview of life jackets for Spass fishermen and hunters.