Choosing the right vest can be difficult, that’s why I only stock vests that keep you on the surface of the water & protect your torso from heavy slams. The vest should be as snug as possible while remaining comfortable; remember, it will stretch out when it gets wet. Your life jacket should be snug — real snug. When you wear a properly fitted vest, it should be hard to breathe when you’re in it, think of your life jacket as a second skin. You don’t want any air between you and the jacket, because that air can cause bruised ribs when you take a fall. Also, consider that most jackets have a tendency to stretch when wet. When you take a plunge, you don’t want your jacket 3 inches off your shoulder and halfway up your face. Just keep in mind that a jacket may feel much more restricting in the store. “If it has a zipper on the front, you should have to stretch it to get it to zip up, it shouldn’t come together easily and zip up without any effort.