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Life Jackets - Level 100+

Similar to the former Type 1 category

Level 100+ lifejackets provide higher levels of buoyancy. There are two options: inflatable or non-inflatable.

Inflatable lifejackets rely on CO2 for buoyancy, which means they are lighter and less cumbersome to wear than the equivalent foam lifejackets. Once inflated, these lifejackets display high-visibility colours.

Generally, adult inflatable lifejackets are rated at 150+ and are designed to help keep the wearer’s head face-up and above the water even if unconscious.

There are two kinds of Level 100+ inflatable lifejackets, those that are inflated by manual activation or those that inflate automatically when the lifejacket comes in contact with water.

Level 100+ lifejackets are required in certain situations, for example when boating on open (ocean) waters.

The inflatable types are becoming more popular because they are comfortable to wear, but boaters must be aware of the added maintenance and service requirements that come with this style of lifejacket, and the need for detailed crew and passenger briefing on their operation.


There are now many different brands on the market so it is important to choose one that suits your needs. Whether it is a jacket or vest, a yoke or a belt bag inflatable style, ensure you read and understand all the instructions. Familiarise yourself with the inflation procedures and the care required for your jacket while not in use.

Manual or automatic inflation?

This will depend on what you are most comfortable with and what activity the lifejacket is being used for. The benefit of an auto inflating jacket is that as soon as the inflation mechanism gets wet the jacket will inflate, whereas a manual jacket's CO2 inflation is only activated by hand.

Poor swimmers may be more comfortable with an auto jacket, but remember a large amount of spray may activate the jacket while on deck.


The above information is reproduced from the Roads & Maritime Services of NSW web site. You can find the source here.

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