A personal flotation device also known as a PFD as is a piece of
equipment designed to assist a wearer to keep afloat in
water. The wearer may be either conscious or unconscious. PFDs are
designed for men, women, children and even pets. PFDs are designed and
manufactured in numerous sizes to provide a comfortable safe fit
regardless of body
weight. Designs differ depending on wearing convenience and level of
The most ancient examples of life jackets were hollow, sealed gourds, for
support when crossing deep streams and rivers. Norwegian sailors used buoyant
safety devices consisting of simple blocks of wood or cork.
Perhaps the first commercially available life jacket was the Mallison Seamans Friend which was advertised for sale as early as 1804. The modern life jacket, a cork vest, which was worn by life boat crews, provided flotation and protection from the weather. A Royal National Lifeboat Inspector, Capt Ward, introduces this vest in 1854.
Technology collided with the life jacket in 1900. The French introduced a battery powered life preserver. Small,
rubber-insulated batteries were used to inflate the
inflatable life jacket. But that is not all. The batteries also powered search and rescue technology in the form of a light to transmit and receive SOS messages and to launch a distress flare.
The life jacket took another leap forward when pouches containing watertight cells filled with
a vegetable material replaced the rigid cork material. These soft cells designed jackets were flexible and more
comfortable to wear compared cork jackets.
Kapok buoyancy was used in many navies fighting in as late as WW II. Soon foam would replace the Kapok in life vest.
In 1928 the first inflatable life jacket was invented by Peter Marcus. Mr Marcus introduced improvements to the original inflatable life preserver in 1930 and 1931. Mr Marcus's vest become known as the Mae West. This nickname originated because someone wearing the inflated life
preserver often appeared to be as physically endowed as the actress by the same name. The inflatable vest were issued to air crews as part of their flight gear. And form this sprung a new affiliation. Flight crew members that were saved by means of the Mae West inflated life jacket became a member in the Goldfish Club.
The flotation jacket is special form of PFD that serves to protect form the elements like a waterproof jacket while providing flotation protection as well. Modern flotation jackets are comfortable and the waterproof, windproof fabric and foams provide insulation for warmth. The camo flotation jacket is a favorite among hunters and the solid color flotation jackets are preferred by fishers. We stock both styles and you will save when you buy at our everyday low prices.