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  1. #1
    Marc_D's Avatar
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    Life jacket sizing.

    I'm 6' 5" tall and I have trouble finding a life vest which doesn't look like a man bra on me. I'm not a skinny guy either, but finding one of the right girth isn't a problem (XXL or XXXL depending on brand and style) but lenght is always an issue. Just about every vest I have ever had or tried on winds up comming to just bellow my navel.

    Does anybody know of any brand that makes "tall" sized vests, or at least vests which tend to be a little longer.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Marc_D; 05-25-2008 at 10:08 AM.


  2. #2
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    There has been discussion about this topic, the only thing available is the inflatable USCG approved lifejackets...however they are expensive, require maintenance and go inflate accidentally by pulling on the cord.


    http://www.boatersworld.com/waterspo...kets-flotation



    http://www.boatersworld.com/inflatab...kets-flotation


    The cut on a lifejacket is usually a straight cut. The usual sizing discontinues at XXL. And yes they will ride up high due to the design and fabrication on webbing straps/zipper front entry.

    A uscg approved float coat may work, but usually for colder climates and higher price index.

    JOBE makes a XXXL PFD.
    Shawn



    How to Choose the Correct Life Jacket

    Life Jackets or P.F.D. (Personal Flotation Devices)

    There are five ratings or “Types” of PFD listed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). They are as follows:

    1. Type I-Off shore vest: Provides the most buoyancy of any USCG type PFD and is the only vest designed to turn an unconscious person to a face-up position. They are ideal for remote or rough waters where the possibility of rescue may take some time. They are bulky and it is unlikely they would be used for recreational use such as waterskiing or wakeboarding.

    2. Type II-Near shore buoyancy vest: Designed to turn “some” unconscious persons to a face-up position. Intended for calm inland waters or where there is a good chance of a relatively quick rescue. Examples of these vests would the orange inexpensive vests most boaters have onboard. Sizes: Child 30 - 50 lbs, Youth 50 - 90 lbs. and adult over 90 lbs.

    3. Type III-Flotation Aid: Designed so wearers can place “themselves” in a face-up position and would be ideal in situations where quick rescue is possible. This is the most common jacket used for recreational purposes such as; waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, inland fishing and general boating. The PFD's are not intended for rough water or the open sea. This vest comes in many different sizes, styles and colors. This type of vest is the most comfortable for continuous wear. Boater's Outlet has thousands of Type III ski vests in stock in a variety of colors and sizes.

    4. Type IV-Throwable Device: Designed to be thrown to a person in the water, grasped and held by the user until rescued. This type of flotation device is either a life ring (ring buoy) or a throwable cushion. Boater's Outlet stocks 20”, 24” and 30” ring buoys. In the Type IV cushions, we stock a variety of colors including: red, white, blue and camouflage.

    5. Type V-Special Use Device: Designed and approved only for activities listed on label. Such as commercial whitewater rafting, kayaking or canoeing.



    A Closer look at Type III PFD

    Since the most common PFD for water skiing, wake boarding, towable tubes, fishing and general boating is the Type III, we will talk a little more in depth about this type of ski jacket.

    PFD Materials

    P.E. and Ensolite Foam-The guts of the ski vest are shaped pieces of either Ensolite or P.E. foam. The P.E. foam is white, thinly layered pieces that are found in most ski jackets on the market today because of the relatively inexpensive cost. The drawback is that these layers can bunch up or roll inside the jacket over time. Ski Jackets with P.E. foam are generally a cheaper priced jacket. The layered foam ski vests are usually your only choice at a general sporting goods or a big box discounters stores. Ensolite foam is higher quality foam that is a single sheet that won't separate and resists losing it shape.

    Ski Vest Exterior

    Vinyl Ski Jackets-Years ago, this type of ski jacket construction was very popular. It is made with high quality Ensolite closed-cell foam that is hot-dipped in liquid vinyl for a shiny, tough finish. This ski jacket, which is still available, is loved by waterskiers because unlike the nylon covered ski jackets, when wet, they are not cold to the skin. Boater's Outlet stocks these vinyl ski jackets. Sizes available, Childs sizes are XS, SM & MD. Adult sizes are XS, SM, MD, LG, XL and XXL.

    Nylon Ski Jackets-The nylon exterior ski jacket is the one most people are familiar with. Boater's Outlet has thousands of nylon ski jackets in stock in a variety of colors and sizes. Children�s sizes available are Infant, Child, Youth and Teen. Women's sizes are XS, SM, MD and LG. Men�s sizes are XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, XXL and XXXL.

    Neoprene Ski Jackets-In our opinion, the neoprene ski vest is the most comfortable and easiest P.F.D. to fit for our customers. Because of the stretchy “wetsuit material”, the wearer can buckle up just a little bit tighter, which is great for safety and also for the wearers comfort level. The neoprene ski vest is quickly becoming the ski jacket of choice. Boater's Outlet stocks an assortment of colors and sizes. Children's sizes are Infant, Child, Youth and Teen. Women's sizes are XS, SM, MD and LG. Men's sizes are SM, MD, LG, XL, XXL and XXXL.

    Look for the following ski jacket brands at Boater's Outlet: Ski Warm, Kent, Super Soft and Sub Zero.

    Selecting the Correct Size Life Jacket

    Be familiar with the sizing and how it works.

    Adults (men & women) are for persons over 90 lbs and are fit by taking a measurement around the chest. For instance, a men's medium is generally 36” - 40” chest size. Women's medium is also 36” - 40”, but the ski jacket is about 2” shorter in length, since women tend to be slightly shorter.

    Infants are Coast Guard Type II rating. Infant ski vests are rated up to 30 lbs, they have a support “pillow” and depending on the design, usually most or all the foam is removed from the back area. What this does is position the child face up with their head above the water. A safety strap is placed between the child's legs for extra security.



    Note: An adult must be present and remain by the childs side to ensure their safety.

    Childs-are Coast Guard Type II rating. Child ski vests are rated 30 lbs to 50 lbs, a safety strap is placed between the childs legs for extra security.

    Note: An adult must be present and remain by the childs side to ensure their safety.

    The ski jacket should not have any movement. If the jacket overlaps in the front, it is too big. Consider for a moment, your child is waterskiing and she loses control and goes into the water, if the ski jacket is too big, the ski jacket may come off. At Boater's Outlet, we like to do a small test. First buckle and/or zip the wearer completely up, then grab the ski jacket shoulders and try to lift them off the ground (kids love this). Did the ski jacket slide up? If it did, try the next smaller size. If there is a gap in the front of the ski jacket or the wearer is having a hard time breathing, it's probably too small, try the next size up and do the pull test method above.



    Parents please, do not get a size or two too big “because she will grow into it”. Not only is this thinking not safe, it's not legal.

    Coast Guard approved PFD's of proper size, in serviceable condition, and readily available for each person aboard. All PFD's must be used in accordance with the age, weight activity, and use restrictions listed on the U.S. Coast Guard approval label. Excerpt “Highlights From Utah's boating Laws & Rules” Rev. 6/02

    Slightly tight is better than too big.

    We also carry ski belts. They come in single and double belts and sizes SM, MD, LG and XL. Great for pool exercise.

    Ski belts are not an approved Personal Flotation Device by the Coast Guard.

    The items listed on this page are suggestions only! It is up to the individual(s) to make sure that they obey the law and to make sure the P.F.D. is properly sized, the appropriate PFD is used, and the PFD is in good condition. We highly recommend anyone who is going boating to have the local Coast Guard Auxiliary or similar agency to inspect all safety gear including his or her Personal Flotation Devices.

  3. #3
    Marc_D's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I don't really have a problem finding PFDs with the correct girth as quite a few manufactures make both XXL and XXXL sized vests and these fit me fine. My problem is mostly lenght and quite frankly is more aesthetic then anything else. Normal legth vests are quite adequate for keeping me afloat, they just look odd on me when I stand up.

    Inflatable vests could be a solution, but I don't think they are legal for PWC use here.

  4. #4
    I realize this is quite an old thread, but thought I'd try anyway. Did you have any luck finding a "long" vest of any kind? I am the same height and have searched everywhere, with no luck

  5. #5
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Yes you ae correct, inflatable type lifejackets are not PWC legal. Well, a lifejacket isn't so much designed for a fashion statement as comfort for
    'floating' in the water. They are designed to keep you airway above the waterline. You have to upgrade your 'style' depending upon the water conditions and weather. I think the issue about a shorter lifejacket 'cut' is that when you are in a sitting position, the lower frame of the lifejacket will then cut into the pelvic/hip area. I prefer a very high cut so I have mobility, which to me translates to safer operations. The flotation also if it is framed lower towards the hips will offset the proper buoyancy factors of height vs. weight ratios making it an 'improper fit' for flotation.. if that makes sense to you...

  6. #6
    It is 2016, and finally HO Sports started selling the TALL OVERSIZED life vest. It is the TALL version of the HO Infinite Life Jacket for Big and Tall men, Coast Guard Approved for Big and Tall up to size 5XL-TALL. Google TALL OVERSIZED LIFE VEST to find the one company stocking it this year.

    It is the only recognized good name brand TALL vest at the moment. I am sure other big brands such as Connelly and Oneill will start making these someday, but it takes time and a ton of money to get a USCGA compliance certificate on a new type of life jacket.

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abmicro View Post
    It is 2016, and finally HO Sports started selling the TALL OVERSIZED life vest. It is the TALL version of the HO Infinite Life Jacket for Big and Tall men, Coast Guard Approved for Big and Tall up to size 5XL-TALL.

    Google TALL OVERSIZED LIFE VEST
    to find the one company stocking it this year.

    It is the only recognized good name brand TALL vest at the moment. I am sure other big brands such as Connelly and Oneill will start making these someday, but it takes time and a ton of money to get a USCGA compliance certificate on a new type of life jacket.
    Google search results will vary depending on where the person is and their Google search history. Which stocking company are you actually recommending here?

    Is it this company?

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=TALL+OVERSIZED+LIFE+VEST

  8. #8

    Tall life vest for big and tall men

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc_D View Post
    I'm 6' 5" tall and I have trouble finding a life vest which doesn't look like a man bra on me. I'm not a skinny guy either, but finding one of the right girth isn't a problem (XXL or XXXL depending on brand and style) but lenght is always an issue. Just about every vest I have ever had or tried on winds up comming to just bellow my navel.

    Does anybody know of any brand that makes "tall" sized vests, or at least vests which tend to be a little longer.

    Thanks.
    It is 2016 and HO Sports, a division of Hyperlite, just released a TALL life vest that is 3 inches longer than all other regular life vests. They make from sizes XL-TALL all the way up to 5XL-TALL. It is the only recognized name brand watersports vest that comes in a TALL. There are other vests out there that say they are TALL but mostly for working on oil rigs, and some cheap off brand knock offs from china. HO Sports is a quality watersports company and I believe the vest will be a hit with the big and tall guys who want a vest that is more cosmetically pleasing.

    Search Google for: HO Sports Tall Nylon Life Vest

    to find the watersports vendor selling it.

  9. #9
    People have waited years for the vest companies to start making these, and only this year, 2017, HO Sports and Hyperlite started making TALL life jackets. The nylon is the HO Sports Tall Nylon Life Vest, sizes up to 5XL-TALL. The neoprene is the Hyperlite Indy Tall Neoprene Life Vest up to size 4XL-TALL. waterskiworld was the first to get them, and eventually all the big watersports dealers will start selling them this Summer.

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  11. #10
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abmicro View Post
    People have waited years for the vest companies to start making these, and only this year, 2017, HO Sports and Hyperlite started making TALL life jackets. The nylon is the HO Sports Tall Nylon Life Vest, sizes up to 5XL-TALL. The neoprene is the Hyperlite Indy Tall Neoprene Life Vest up to size 4XL-TALL. waterskiworld was the first to get them, and eventually all the big watersports dealers will start selling them this Summer.
    Thanks! Looks like HO just might have something for us extra fat guys, too.

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