While technically categorized as a flotation aid rather than a traditional life jacket, type 3 life vests are USCG approved for calm, inland activities where imminent rescue is highly likely.
These vests make excellent day to day life vests for both recreational and commercial boaters. Read about other life jacket types here.
About The Type 3 Life Jacket
Like the Type 2 Life Jacket, type 3 vests are approved for a minimum of 15.5 lbs of buoyancy and are intended for inland waters under circumstances in which a water rescue is likely to occur fairly quickly.
Type III vests make up the majority of the life jackets available on the market today, as they provide the most flexibility in terms of individual design choice while meeting the strict USCG standards.
This means that most inflatable and fitted vests are likely to be type 3 vests. One of the main distinctions is that unlike the type 2 or type 1 options, these vests are less likely to right an unconscious person. Whether or not a type 3 vest can turn an individual face up is subject to the specific brand in question, and should be assessed on a case by case basis.
Recommended Type 3 Life Jackets
Because the Type 3 life jacket is a versatile option for many boaters, there are a wide range of possibilities to consider, including both fitted neoprene and manual and automatic inflatable options. Here is a short selection of a few recommended Type III vests.
Mustang Survival MIT 100
The Mustang Survival MIT 100 is a leading option for Type 3 performance life jackets.
The Membrane Inflatable Technology uses a state of the art fabric system that allows for an expandable, adaptable fabric that uses less fabric than other vests on the market today.
Built with an eye towards security, utility, and fashion, the MIT 100 is perhaps the most stylish life jacket available that continue to provide a flexible, comfortable range of motion to handle a wide variety of activities. This is the top of the line Type 3 life jacket and is perfect for any near shore or inland boating scenario.
Onyx A/M-24 Deluxe Inflatable Vest
The Onyx Deluxe Inflatable Vest come is an excellent choice for many recreational boaters.
With either manual or automatic options, the life jacket uses a universal size design that is accessible to a wide range of adults, featuring a nylon oxford fabric with adjustable belts to allow any individual to adjust the straps for a perfect fit.
The Onyx design is built for both practicality and utility, offering a comfortable, secure option with a wide range of motion, as well as a few practical advantages, including a mesh fiber pocket for accessible storage while in use.
The Onyx A/M-24 is USCG Type V approved for commercial with Type III performance for recreational use.