FAQ

What is ArcticShield Technology?

How warm is ArcticShield?

What is the ArcticShield Warmth Factor?

How does ArcticShield work?

What is X-System Technology and how does it work?

What are Inflatable Life Jackets and how do they work?

Can I wear my inflatable life jacket when ice fishing?

Can I bring my inflatable life jacket on a plane with me?

What should I be looking for when trying to fit a life jacket for my child?

What is the right life jacket / personal flotation device (PFD) for the right activity?

How many life jackets do I need onboard my boat?

How do I properly care for my life jacket (PFD)?

Are there life jackets available for dogs?

 


 

What is ArcticShield Technology?

ArcticShield technology is a multi-layered, heat-resistant thermal material that captures and returns your body heat.

 


 

How warm is ArcticShield?

Each product containing ArcticShield will help keep you warm, but each offers a different level of warmth. So what works for you depends on how well your body endures the cold - this varies from person to person. Another factor to consider is what your activity level will be.

 


 

What is the ArcticShield Warmth Factor?

Arctic Shield Warmth Factor

The ArcticShield Warmth Factor is determined by the amount of ArcticShield technology constructed into each of our garments. The illustrations above show an example of where the ArcticShield thermal material is located for our light, warm, warmer, and warmest levels of heat retention. This will help determine which product is right for you and allow you to stay warm and comfortable in the outdoors longer.

In addition to our LIGHT level, we have categorized our three main levels of heat retention into the ArcticShield Warmth Factor to help you choose the right garment for your own comfort zone.*

WARM - Warmth Factor 1
Provides comfortable amount of warmth while exposed to cooler temperatures.

WARMER - Warmth Factor 2
Functional and versatile for a greater range of activities and variable conditions.

WARMEST - Warmth Factor 3
Keeps you warm during extended periods outdoors in the coldest weather conditions.

 


 

How does ArcticShield work?

• The heat-resistant thermal material captures up to 90% of body heat and returns it back to your body, keeping you warm and comfortable
• Prevents radiated body heat from escaping and external cold temperatures from penetrating
• Comfortable in cool 50 degree weather to temperatures far below zero
• No extensive layering required
• More effective than the thick, traditional insulations that merely slow body heat loss
• Is lightweight, windproof, and helps block moisture

 


 

What is X-System Technology and how does it work?

X-System, a new patented technology from Onyx, offers the most advanced, effective anti-odor technology to control your body odor. The nano-silver particles are permanently integrated into the fibers of the fabric to control human body odor by inhibiting growth of the source - bacteria.

NO BACTERIA = NO ODOR

How It Works:

• Resists body odor throughout the life of the garment
• Silver nano-particles DO NOT wash out
• DOES NOT have to be re-generated or re-activated

 


 

What are Inflatable Life Jackets and how do they work?

Inflatable life jackets rely on inflatable chambers that provide buoyancy when inflated. Uninflated, inflatable life jackets are less bulky than inherently buoyant life jackets. Inflatable Life Jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved. All inflatables contain a backup oral inflation tube (and also serves as a deflation tube)

Advantages of Inflatables:
Provides high visibility when inflated
Turns most wearers face-up faster than traditional life jackets
Will usually keep unconscious users face-up
Superior in-water performance

Disadvantages of Inflatables:
Not suitable for non-swimmers 
Requires more steps to deploy
Not approved for children under 16 years of age
Requires frequent inspection and maintenance
Not appropriate for activities such as personal watercraft use, tubing, sailboarding, whitewater rafting

Always read the owner's manual that comes with your inflatable life jacket before using.

 


 

Can I wear my inflatable life jacket (PFD) when ice fishing?

We DO NOT recommend wearing inflatable life jackets for ice fishing or on open water when the temperatures are below 40°F (4°C).

Oral inflation may be required in addition to manual inflation if chamber is not firm due to cold temperatures at or below 40°F (4°C). Inflation time using CO2 will be longer at these temperatures.

Never use in below freezing temperatures
unless worn partially inflated. At or below 40°F (4°C) inflation time with CO2 gas will be longer. Wearing a partially inflated PFD under these conditions will provide some initial buoyancy while the PFD fully inflates.

CAUTION: Do not fully inflate the PFD orally and then inflate with the CO2 cylinder. Repeated CO2 inflation after oral inflation will damage the PFD to the point that it will not hold air or float. Never inflate an inflatable PFD with a pump or air compressor.

 


 

Can I bring my Inflatable Life Jacket (IPFD) on a plane with me?

In regards to the CO2 cylinders for the inflatable life jackets, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) allows for the following: Small compressed gas cartridges (Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany the life vests and presented as one unit). This includes both carry-on and checked baggage.

You should always check with your airline's policy before your flight. For more information regarding rules and regulations on flights, please visit the website for the Transportation Safety Administration. http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items

 


 

What should I be looking for when trying to fit a life jacket for my child?

Children's PFDs are sized according to weight range and chest size. Weigh your child and measure their chest under the arms. Whenever possible, be sure to try the PFD on the child in the store. A PFD needs to fit comfortably snug. To check for a good fit, pick the child up by the shoulders of the PFD. If the PFD fits right, the child's chin and ears will not slip through.

To check for buoyancy of your PFD in the water, relax your body and let your head tilt back. Be aware, your PFD may not act the same in swift or rough water as in calm water. Children may also panic when they fall into water suddenly. This causes them to move their arms and legs violently, making it hard to float safely in a PFD. A PFD will keep a child afloat, but may not keep a struggling child face-up.

While some children in the 30-50 pound weight range who can swim may like the extra freedom of movement that a Flotation Aid (Type III PFD) provides, most children in this weight range, especially those who cannot swim, should wear a Near Shore Buoyant Vest (Type II PFD).

The "THINK SAFE" booklet, which is attached to every US Coast Guard approved device, has valuable information on types of flotation devices and how to fit a PFD. It is important to read the label on the PFD and test it in a controlled environment.

 


 

What is the right life jacket / PFD for the right activity?

PFDs come in a variety of shapes, colors, and materials. No matter which PFD you choose, be sure to get one that's right for you and the water conditions and activity you expect to encounter. Choosing the right PFD (Personal Flotation Device) is an important decision. Listed below are the various types of U.S. Coast Guard approvals and their uses. 

Most adults only need an extra 7 - 12 pounds of buoyancy to keep their heads above water. A PFD can give you that "extra lift" and it's made to keep you floating until help comes. But, a PFD is a personal flotation device and it's important to get the right one for you. Your weight isn't the only factor in finding out how much "extra lift" you need in water. Body fat, lung size, clothing and whether the water is rough or calm, all play a part in staying on-top. In general, the more physically fit you are, the more "lift" you need. 

Proper size and fit are important to the performance of a flotation device. Read the Label on your PFD to be sure it's made for people your weight and size. Test it in shallow water or a pool. Then in an emergency, don't panic... Relax, put your head back and let your PFD help you come out on top!

TYPE I - Off-Shore Life Jacket / minimum buoyancy requirement 22.0 lbs. 
Best for open, rough or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming.

Advantages: Floats you the best. Turns most unconscious wearers face-up in water. Highly visible colors.
Disadvantages: Bulky
Sizes: Two sizes to fit most children and adults

TYPE II - Near-Shore Buoyant Vest / minimum buoyancy requirement 15.5 lbs. 
Good for calm, inland water, or where there is good chance of fast rescue.

Advantages: Turns some unconscious wearers face-up in water. Less bulky, more comfortable than Off-Shore Life Jacket. 
Disadvantages: Not for long hours in rough water. Will not turn some unconscious wearers face-up in water. 
Sizes: Infant through adult

TYPE III - Flotation Aid / minimum buoyancy requirement 15.5 lbs. 
Good for calm, inland water, or where there is good chance of fast rescue.

Advantages: Generally the most comfortable type for continuous wear. Designed for general boating or the activity that is marked on the device. Available in many styles, including vests and flotation coats. 
Disadvantages: Wearer may have to tilt head back to avoid going face-down. In rough water, a wearer's face may often be covered by waves. Not for extended survival in rough water. 
Sizes: any individual sizes from small-child through adult.

TYPE IV - Throwable Device / minimum buoyancy requirement - Ring buoys 16.5 lbs., Boat cushions 18.0 lbs. 
Good for calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic, where help is always nearby.

Advantages: Can be thrown to someone, Good back-up to wearable PFD's. Some can be used as seat cushion. 
Disadvantages: Not for unconscious persons. Not for non-swimmers or children. Not for many hours in rough water.
Kinds:  Cushions, ring, and horseshoe buoys

TYPE V - Special Use Devices - Minimum buoyancy requirement 15.5 to 22.0 lbs. 
Only for special uses or conditions. See label for limits of use. Varieties include board-sailing vests, deck suits, work vests, hybrid PFD's and others.

Advantages: Made for specific activities, such as white-water rafting.

 


 

How many life jackets do I need onboard my boat?

The United States Coast Guard requires USCG-approved life jackets on all recreational boats. The number and type of life jacket needed depends on the number of passengers you will have aboard, the size and type of boat, and what water activity you will be doing.

IT IS REQUIRED to have one of the following life jackets for each person on board your boat:

• Off-Shore Life Jacket (Type I)
• Near-Shore Life Jacket (Type II)
• Flotation Aid (Type III)
• Special Use Device (Type V)


Federal regulations require all children 13 years old and younger to wear a life jacket unless they are inside an enclosed cabin. State laws vary in terms of age - check your state's boating safety office for your state's requirements.

Boats 16 feet or longer (not including canoes and kayaks) must also have a least one throwable device on boats (Type IV flotation cushions, ring buoys, etc).

 


 

How do I properly care for my life jacket / PFD?

Fabric fading can indicate loss of strength. Store in a dry, cool, dark well-ventilated place and also let it drip dry thoroughly before putting it away. Never dry your life jacket on a radiator, heater, or anyother direct heat source. A weathered PFD could tear easily, resulting in loss of flotation material. If faded, check strength or discontinue use.

Check your PFD often for rips, tears, and holes, and to see that seams, fabric straps, and hardware are okay. Give your PFD belts and tie tapes a quick, hard pull to make sure they are secure. There should be no signs of waterlogging, mildew odor, or shrinkage of the flotation foam.

Sunlight, chlorine, and weathering may cause colors to fade and/or bleed onto other surfaces.

Never alter your life jacket. If it doesn't fit, get a new one. An altered life jacket is no longer U.S. Coast Guard approved and may not save your life.

 


 

Are there flotation devices available for Dogs?

Yes. Even though dogs have plenty of natural buoyancy and many are good swimmers, dogs can get tired while in the water, and especially in cold water, their strength can get zapped. Flotation for your pet gives your dog a little extra lift and at the same time provides some hypothermia protection. If your dog is in rough water, that extra lift can help prevent the big gulps of water, too. Look for the flotation pet vests available on our web site. They come in a variety of sizes.