When to Replace a PFD

August 12, 2011

If a PFD is damaged, inappropriate for the intended use, no longer properly fitting, or in otherwise undesirable condition, follow these tips to make a wise replacement choice:

  • Select a style based on the type of water activity planned. Sizing and other information is usually printed on the inside of the product, and a usage brochure might be attached.
  • Ensure a proper fit, usually snug but comfortable. (Some manufacturers offer sizes up to XXXL, which accommodates a 54-58″ chest.)
  • Consider the need for visibility in the water. Bright colours are recommended.
  • Look for government-approved products. U.S. Coast Guard approved types (CGA) should be clearly indicated. The Canadian Office of Boating Safety (OBS) requires PFDs that are approved by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), Transport Canada (DOT) or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFS). Local government laws should also be considered for activities not usually associated with the use of PFDs (like fishing, wading, tubing, and so on).

Don’t forget to label the new PFD with the name of the person who will be wearing it. If it is intended for non-assigned use, make sure that the PFD is labeled for the appropriate size and weight of the user.

Related Information:

How to Select the Best PFD


Comments or questions are welcome.

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