What is a buoyancy aid?

What is a buoyancy aid?

The purpose of a buoyancy aid is to simply aid the wearers buoyancy in the water, unlike lifejackets which are life-saving devices. Lifejackets offer a higher standard of performance, turning the wearer on their back and fully supporting them with their face out of the water. Using a buoyancy aid assumes the user is able to help themselves either by swimming to safety or to tread water while assistance arrives.

Buoyancy aid use

They are most suited to dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, and other activities where there is a high chance you end up in the water. The design of a buoyancy aid is also such that it allows the user more arm movement which is needed for the activity, and allows the wearer to swim back to their watercraft (boat or other). A lifejacket can make swimming difficult.

Stand up paddle-boarder wearing buoyancy aid

Buoyancy aid design

Most buoyancy aids are one of 3 designs:

  • A one-piece vest which is pulled on over the head.
  • A front zip jacket which is worn like a regular jacket. This design limits the front-buoyancy as it requires a gap in the foam for the zip.
  • A side zip which is a combination of the previous two. Positioning the zip on the side doesn't require the gap in the foam.


Like a lifejacket, it is important to have a buoyancy aid that fits comfortably, allowing freedom of movement and is suitable for the chosen activity.

The 50N Buoyancy aid

Buoyancy aids which have a rating of 50N should only be used by swimmers in sheltered waters when assistance is close by or the wearer can swim to safety. If you are taking part in activities in other situations, you are a non swimmer or you are a young child, then a lifejacket may be better suited.

Pet buoyancy aids

A pet buoyancy aid can be a useful device not only for pets which are being taken on boats but for pet owners who walk their animals near lakes and rivers. The function is the same as the human version whereby it will assist the animals buoyancy to help them swim to safety or aid their swimming whilst external help arrives.

Dog wearing buoyancy aid

 

About Tornado Lifejackets
Tornado Lifejackets are passionate about safety on the water and we want you to enjoy your activities with peace of mind. We therefore sell quality jackets that are affordable and accessible for adults and children. Our lifejackets are all from Europe's largest manufacturers complying to the highest standards for safety include ISO accreditation and CE approval. Our knowledgable team of experts are always on hand to answer any water safety questions you may have.