How to Care for your PFD



  • After using your life jacket, allow it to drip dry in a well ventilated space before stowing it away. This will help to prevent mold or mildew.
  • Always rinse off your PFD with fresh water after it has come in contact with salt water.
  • Be sure to never dry your PFD on or under a direct heat source, such as a heater, radiator, dryer, or in direct sunlight. Doing this will weaken the buoyancy of the PFD and drastically limit its life span.
  • If your life jacket does not fit you properly, do not attempt to modify it in any way. An altered life jacket could impact its ability to save a life, and each person onboard should have a PFD that is made to fit them correctly. Also, if a PFD is altered in any way, the manufacturer’s warranty is void! A great way to avoid this: consider our Buying Guide for PFDs and take proper measurements of your body to make sure the life jacket you are purchasing will properly fit. Even adding hooks, pockets, etc will hinder performance.
  • Thoroughly examine your life jacket prior to excursions on the water, checking for any rips in the fabric or seams, and make sure all snaps, hooks, pockets, and tightening latches work properly. Ensure that your life jacket is capable of performing correctly by taking it to a professional at a marine shop twice a year for an inspection. Most organizations who are well versed in these assessments won’t even charge you, but even if they do, this small amount of money could save your life.
  • Even though they seem like they can double as a cushion, lifejackets should not be used as a one. By placing weight or pressure on a life jacket, by kneeling on it or using it as a boat fender, you are impeding its future ability to float on water.
  • Do not leave your life jacket on board for long periods of time when the boat is not in use, especially during the Winter and Summer months. The extreme temperatures can damage the buoyancy.
  • PFDs do deteriorate over time, and purchasing new life jackets will eventually be inevitable.