As a company we produce 50, 100 and 150N approved lifejackets, in relation to our main kit the lifejacket is inside the garment, so a 50N can be any colour, any spec – no restriction, the 100 needs to be a bright colour at the top and over 100sqcms of reflective tape, which is the equivalent of 20” of SOLAS tape, and the 150 must be a good colour at the top again, have a Deck Safety Harness fitted and have over 300sqcms or 60” of SOLAS Tape.
With regards to the foam lifejackets, then the Deck Safety Harness on our kit, would become more so a Lifting Becket on the foam models, the tape amount remains the same, but the buoyancy or the amount of foam inside the jacket will finally determine the approval that it sits with, so for example you can get Child Foam Lifejacket 100N, which has enough tape for 150N, but not enough buoyancy to go above 100N, the buoyancy of this jacket will be between 80-90N most likely, so as its over 50N, it becomes 100N, on our own Junior Inflatable Lifejacket, the buoyancy of this lifejacket inflates to 108N, on that basis you would think its 100N, but as it is over 100N then it becomes 150N, as it also has enough tape and a deck safety harness too.
All Lifejackets must turn the user over, for this they will have a collar, this will enable them to self right, all non collar jackets would be called buoyancy aids which are 50N rated , many people certainly on television and in the media get this incorrect, and they suggest you are wearing a lifejacket but in fact you are not and most buoyancy aids will not self right. I say most because we produce a 50N fully auto coat as I said at the beginning, probably the only one in the world.
The official statement that we show on our lifejacket labelling by law:
Buoyancy Aid Level 50 – For Swimmers Only, Sheltered Waters, Help at Hand
Lifejacket Level 100 – Sheltered Waters
Lifejacket Level 150 – Offshore, foul weather clothing
Indeed the US approvals would be slightly altered as they go with US Coast Guard ruling, Australia go with their own standards and New Zealand have NZ Maritime approval while Canada have Transport Canada, and it goes on, but some of these standards still relate to the three levels that are used in the EU as we do and as stated above.
I hope that helps, let me know if you need any further information.
I wonder if you would be able to clear up some confusion i am having with 100N PFD’s. I have been finding contradictory claims across the internet. Am ignoring Americans and Australians as they only add to the confusion,
I see much talk across various sites about the 50N buoyancy Aids being unable to turn heads face up, and similar talk in relation to 100N ,but then those 100N’s being referred to as Lifejackets. Couple this with the regular warning that both types are only suitable for calmer inshore areas. The 100 appears to have more in common with the 50 than it does with 150/175 Lifejackets. Is it the head support that turns a buoyancy Aid into a lifejacket ?
I note that you too, stock 100N foam filled Lifejackets, but not in adult sizes. I see that you do have 150N.
Is a 100N Lifejacket not available/ suitable for adults ?
hoping you can clarify matters for me … thanks