Life jackets

When you are on the water, the single best thing you can do to avoid drowning is to wear your life jacket. It's just like wearing a seat belt while driving-when worn properly, it may save your life.

Minnesota law requires one U.S. Coast Guard approved, properly sized, and easily accessible life jacket for each person on the boat.

All children under ten are required to wear an approved life jacket at all times while in a boat.

While not required by law, we recommend that everyone wear a life jacket when on the water.
Learn more about life jacket types and regulations »

How to select and fit a life jacket

A properly fit life jacket will be snug, but not uncomfortable-it should allow for free motion.

  • When selecting a life jacket, make sure to wear your paddling clothes while trying it on.
  • To fit the life jacket, tighten all straps and buckles.
  • Have another person pull up on the shoulders of the life jacket. If the shoulders move up past your nose, try tightening the straps more. If it still moves, the life jacket may be too large.
  • Test out your life jacket in a pool or shallow water. It should not ride up on your body or slip while in use.