- The jacket has to fulfill the following functions: Tare the diver under water (the air chamber within the jacket can be filled (buoyancy) or emptied (dwonforce) with fine apportioning in order to reach the balance in the desired depth), safe swimming position on the water surface, space for accessories, attachment of tubes, e.g. the octopus.
- Nylon with coating (e.g. polyurethan), different materials for belts, etc.
- Here, the advice of an expert is essential. Basically, it depends on where and how you would like to dive, what suit you use in what kind of water. Moreover, a color adjustment to the rest of the gear is often desired.
- Certainly, there are jackets that can be used in every surrounding. One has to be aware of the fact that, the diver rotates and moves around an air bubble with the jacket. The question is, how and where the air bladder shall be positioned best (in some jackets, the blatter can be distributed on several small rooms).
- Basically, there are 3 types known: The stabilising jacket (all small rooms are connected to each other, the buoyancy follows the highest point), the multiset jacket (this jacket is adjustable to nearly every wetsuit), the backpack jacket (this is the underwater photographer’s choice. One can wear it as a backpack and there are no small rooms in the chest nor in the collateral area, which allows a higher liberty of the arms).
- The most important criterion is the correct fit. It should be thight enough without hurting. It should be comfortable in wearing bottles and not make them shift (do test the jacket with bottels when purchasing!). It should be easy to use (inflator and fast blow-off should be reachable in every position), straps for the attament of the bottles should be easily operated (this often gets forgotten).
- Do check all the fasteners visually. If they are worn out or brittle, replace them. Check if the air chamber is still leakproof. It is best to blow it and leave it like this overnight. If a lot of air got lost, you will first have to check the wave tube (porose, brittle, etc.). Afterwards, you should test the inflator by putting it in a waterbath (is there any air leaking from it?). If still any damage could not be found, put the entire jacket into the watherbath in order to proof if there is any leakage. This would have to be fixed with sealant. With a round needle, you can put back the loose seam to its right position, etc. If you are not sure concerning the repair, please do not hesitate to contact an expert.