Guide To Lifejacket Sizing

When choosing a lifejacket, the sizing is very important. If your lifejacket doesn’t fit correctly, there is a chance you will slip right out of it when you are in the water. 

Foam Lifejackets and Buoyancy Vests

Foam lifejackets and buoyancy vests come in a variety of sizes and usually have some adjustable straps to get the perfect fit. These lifejackets should fit snug so they don’t ride up or slip off completely when in the water. It is best to come in store and try some on before purchasing so that you buy the correct size. If you are buying online, make sure to check the fit before removing the tags just in case you need to exchange it for a different size.

Here’s some things to look out for:

  • Good snug fit
  • Buckles and zips do up easily
  • Check the space between the shoulder and lifejacket is no more than 2 finger widths
  • Check the newtons of buoyancy is suitable for who is wearing it (usually on a label inside the lifejacket)
Inflatable Lifejackets

Inflatable lifejackets are designed to fit adults over 40kg. Each model only comes in one size and has an adjustable strap that goes around the waist. It is important to tighten the strap up so it fits securely. Tighten it enough so that you can’t fit more than a fist between your torso and the strap.


It may be tempting to buy a lifejacket your child will “grow in to”. However if the lifejacket is too big, it may slip right off when your child enters the water. The cost of a lifejacket is insignificant compared to your child’s safety so make sure to choose a lifejacket with a snug fit.


Burnsco Tip: A crotch strap is a great addition to a lifejacket for extra safety. The crotch strap easily attaches to the front and back of the lifejacket and goes between your legs to prevent the lifejacket from riding up or slipping off.

For more information on Burnsco's lifejacket range, phone us on 0800 102041, email us, or Livechat with one of our staff via the website.


  1. Ultra Raider Adult Lifejacket
    Club From $96.49 Regular From $105.49