What to look for in a buoyancy aid

Typhoon International

March 24, 2022

If you are not sure whether you should be using a buoyancy aid or a lifejacket take a look at our blog  which explains the difference between the two.

If you are choosing a buoyancy aid, it’s probably because you are going to be active on the water and possibly expecting to get wet at least some of the time. A buoyancy aid will keep you afloat when you are swimming to get back onto your board, kayak or capsized dinghy.  The built in foam buoyancy will support you so that you aren’t using up extra energy and becoming tired, then potentially getting into difficulty.

To make sure you choose the right buoyancy aid there are a few factors to consider.

First of all, the buoyancy aid needs to support your weight or your child’s weight, so check that the one you are buying is the correct size, which is usually measured in weight as well as size.  Buoyancy aids, like lifejackets can also show how much buoyancy they have, which is measured in Newtons.  50N buoyancy is typical for an adult buoyancy aid, with smaller sizes still approved to the 50N standard having less physical buoyancy, while lifejackets start at a 100N standard. Typhoon’s buoyancy aids are also fitted with adjustable waist straps, so the final tweak can ensure a perfect fit.

Next, consider which is the right design of buoyancy aid for your activity.  Kayakers for example are using their arms a lot and need to make sure there is nothing in the way.  Dinghy racers are generally athletic and moving fast around the boat so don’t want to be impeded either. Both Typhoon’s side zip Chesil and front zip Amrok are low profile  buoyancy aids.

For water activities where the chance of ending up in the water is quite slim, a front zip is normally the preferred option if you are sailing in a stable dinghy for example.

Another style is a four buckle buoyancy aid like Typhoon’s Solva.   These are designed with multiple fastenings to ensure they remain attached if you hit the water at speed.  So this style of design is a must for waterskiers or PWC users, for instance.

Think about the other features you are looking for too.  The Amrok and the Chesil are both fitted with slimline secure pockets for storing the car keys or the sailing instructions.  You also want to go for a buoyancy aid which is cut to the right shape and not rubbing anywhere. The Typhoon range is ergonomically designed for flexibility and movement, so each is very comfortable to wear.


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