Life Jacket and Vest FAQ

September 26, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a PFD?
    A Personal Flotation Device is the modern term for any device designed to keep an individual afloat in open water. This includes life jackets, life vests, float rings, airplane seat cusions, life belts, inflatable jackets, and lots of other devices.
  2. If I inflate my PFD by accident, do I have to replace it with a new one?
    No. All modern inflatable life jackets and life vests use small CO2 cartridges to provide the inflation gas. They are easily replacable and inexpensive. Some inflatable PFDs even have a spare in a special pocket.
  3. Does it matter how I store a life jacket or other PFD?
    Yes. How you store your PFD is a major factor in whether or not the PFD will be ready and able to perform its life saving task when needed. Read this article to learn more.
  4. Do I need to clean my PFD after using it?
    Yes. Cleaning is how you will keep your PFD in good condition so that you can depend on it the next time you use it. Our staff has an article to describe how to clean your PFD. Click here.
  5. My PFD has mold on it. What do I do now?
    It may be possible to clean the mold off of your PFD. Try using the cleaning procedures for removing mold and mildew in the article “How to Remove Mold From a Life Jacket/PFD.” If you can’t get it clean, or if you can see deterioration of the life jacket’s outer covering, it is time to shop for a new PFD. You can get started in our store.
  6. Can I get a life jacket for my dog?
    Yes. There are special life jackets made just for dogs.  You can check out some good ones here.
  7. What’s wrong with a little mold or mildew on my life jacket?
    First, you should realize that when we speak of mold or mildew, we are talking about a number of different kinds of molds or fungi. These primitive plant-like organisms are simply homsteading in the very comfortable, wet environment of the covering of your PFD. As the mold/mildew goes about its business, the material that makes up your PFD’s covering is scavanged for food and subjected to chemical wastes products. This will weaken the fabric, slowly compromising its ability to hold your PFD together. This can result in a mechanical failure in your jacket/vest when you can least afford it. Besides, they can make your PSD smell bad!
  8. My life vest has  developed a strange and unpleasant smell. What could be causing it?
    It is probably a good indicator that you haven’t been properly cleaning or storing your vest. It may have become home to mold or mildew. Look for discolorations, spots and areas where the smell is the strongest. These can all be infested areas. Clean your vest thoroughly and let it dry. If the smell persists, try using the cleaning procedures for removing mold/mildew in the article “How to Remove Mold From a Life Jacket/PFD.”
  9. I have had my life jackets since I bought my boat. When will I need new ones?
    It depends entirely on how they have been cared for, used and stored. This article provides some guidelines.
  10. As a woman, I have not been able to find a life jacket that is comfortable enough to wear for very long. Is there a solution?
    Yes.  MTI Adventure Wear has designed a special PFD just for women. The PF Diva Women’s Kayak Life Jacket includes an “adjust-a-bust” fit kit to allow you to customize the PFD for a comfortable fit. Although designed for kayakers, it is appropriate for any CGA Type III activity.


Comments or questions are welcome.

*(denotes required field)

Powered by Fast Secure Contact Form

Post to Twitter

Comments are closed.