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What are the Different Types of Life Preservers?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Depending on the need, there are various types of life preservers available. From the typical foam design covered in orange nylon that most people recognize, to specialized life vests for water skiing and other water sports, there are plenty of options from which to choose.

Life preservers are designed to provide ease of motion so the swimmer or skier can move freely in the water while still protected. Some water sports enthusiasts prefer the ease of the life saving belt to full upper-body life preservers. The belt is made of floatation foam, is simple to secure around the waist, and provides for the comfort and agility of those engaging in water sports.

For boating, many people choose life preserver designs with adjustable straps. This way, they can choose a one-size-fits-all style that is not only affordable, but can also be adjusted for each person that uses the life preservers. Boaters can purchase a few extra life preservers to keep on the boat, so that they are always available for guests.

Some life preservers are quite fashionable. They are available in an assortment of styles, colors, materials, and sizes -- from tiny vests with adjustable straps and swimsuits with built-in life preservers for small children, to vests, belts, and jackets designed for older children, teens, and adults.

Children's life preservers are made specifically to fit smaller bodies. Women's and girls' styles are more form fitting than men's, and come in many trendy styles and colors. They are specifically designed for a woman's shape, with a closer, body hugging fit. Men can also find a large selection of stylish, colorful life preservers, but theirs feature a roomier design.

There are life preservers for every member of the family, including the family dog. These life preservers are specially constructed to fit pets appropriately, and many use the adjustable strap design so they can be secured to keep your pet safe. There's no reason every member of the family, including Rover, can't enjoy a day of fun in the water.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon308068 — On Dec 08, 2012

I recently went snorkeling and wore a cool life belt. It was non inflatable -- just a yellow belt. It was so cool but I can't seem to find one to buy.

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