We’re sure you’ve seen (or even used) these pants before. Not only are they incredibly useful in tricky situations, flotation pants are lightweight, waterproof, and super easy to clean. Basically a good all-rounder for anyone who works on water.
But you might also be wondering how they actually work. And what type of weather conditions they’re best suited to. Well, here’s the brief low down.
Keeping things water tight
The first thing to know is that flotation pants need to be water resistant to work properly. Pretty obvious, right?
This all depends on the trouser material. Keeping an eye out for things like PVC and heavy-duty oilskin will ensure you get a decent pair. After that, the next feature to focus on is buoyancy.
Special cell foam (usually in the joints) is what helps you float on water. It’s important to choose a buoyancy that isn’t too restrictive, to make sure you can still move and work when you’re on land.
However, this will depend on the nature of your job, the sea conditions and your weight:
- 50N – 11lbs/5kg
- 60N – 13.5lbs/6.1kg
- 70N – 16lbs/7.3kg
- 80N – 18lbs/8.2kg
Generally 1kg is equivalent to 10N of buoyancy.
It also makes sense that the buoyancy you choose is directly related to the environment you’re working in:
- 50N – sheltered waters with access to help close by
- 100N – calm waters, but suited to potentially waiting in water for rescue
- 150N – coastal and in-shore
- 275N – off-shore and extreme weather
All these points are important to keep in mind before choosing the right flotation pants.
Making sure you’ve found the right flotation pants
It’s a good idea to test your flotation pants, even if you’ve ordered them online. You can quickly check Stormline’s return policy if that helps.
The reason we recommend this is so you’re confident you have the right size and buoyancy for you. Stuff to think about include:
- Can you move around easily?
- How much effort, if any, do you need to stay afloat?
- Do you need to adjust your straps and buckles before going out to sea?
All these questions will help prevent any accidents or discomfort on the job. But if you ever do find yourself in a dangerous situations and don’t have access to flotation pants, there are a few things you can do.
Want to see a pair of flotation pants in action? Look no further than one of our favourite Stormline videos of Regan:
If you have anymore questions about flotation pants, or have your own tips to share, get in touch with us on Twitter.