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Wear & Care Inflatable PFD Maintenance

Bluestorm™ inflatables have a long history of quality and engineering that meets or exceeds U.S. Coast Guard approval. Each inflatable life jacket’s air chamber is inflated and tested for leaks before it leaves our factory. We use U.S. manufactured Halkey Roberts® inflator mechanisms that are also tested to meet or exceed the standards, as stated by U.S. Coast Guard. 


It is important to remember that you are responsible for the care and maintenance of your Bluestorm™ inflatable PFD to keep it safely performing when needed. Please remember to read the instruction manual included with your inflatable PFD for proper care and maintenance.

How Often to Inspect Your Inflatable PFD and What Steps Need to Be Taken

It is recommended you replace the water-sensing element each year. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends you test the automatic inflation system in water at the beginning of each season as part of your inflatable PFD’s maintenance. 

  • Remove CO2 cylinder and yellow bobbin (auto only) before performing inspection.
  • Visually inspect the device for abrasion, rips, tears, and punctures. Inspect outer shell fabric by pinching the fabric. Fabric should not fray or tear. Devices with fabric, which is faded, torn or deteriorated should be removed from service and replaced.
  • Perform leakage test: Orally inflate the chamber until firm. Let stand overnight. If loss of air occurs (becomes less firm) repeat the procedure the following day to validate the result. If a leak occurs, remove the life jacket from service and replace the device.
  • Confirm oral inflation valve is properly functioning: Inflate the device and hold the oral inflation valve underwater. If bubbles appear, repeat the procedure to validate the result. If a leak occurs, remove the life jacket from service and replace the device.
  • Inspect yellow bobbin (auto only): White, water-soluble substance should be intact with no signs of cracks or breaks. Replace bobbin if the manufacture date is listed as more than three years prior to today’s date.
  • Inspect CO2 cylinder: If there is a hole in the piercing face, or cylinder is rusted, or corroded, replace the cylinder.
  • 1F & 3F models (bayonet style CO2): Inspect sensor ring. If broken, replace the cylinder.
  • Follow repacking and re-arming instructions.

Periodically during the boating season

Light-to-moderate users should inspect and perform beginning-of-season maintenance on their inflatable PFD every two to three months. Frequent users, or those in particularly humid climates, should inspect and perform maintenance on their inflatable PFD on a more frequent basis.

Before each water outing you should

  • Remove CO2 cylinder and yellow bobbin (auto only) before performing maintenance.
  • Visually inspect the device for abrasion, rips, tears, and punctures. Devices with fabric that is faded, torn or deteriorated should be replaced.
  • Inspect yellow bobbin (auto only). White, water-soluble substance should be intact with no signs of cracks or breaks. Replace bobbin if the manufacture date is listed as more than three years prior to today’s date.
  • Inspect the CO2 cylinder. If there is a hole in the piercing face or cylinder is rusted or corroded, replace the cylinder.
  • 1F & 3F models (bayonet style CO2): Inspect sensor ring. If broken, replace the cylinder.
  • Follow repacking and re-arming instructions.

Cleaning Instructions: How to Clean Your Inflatable Life Jacket

Remove the CO2 cylinder and if an automatic device, remove yellow bobbin. Hand wash the cylinder in warm soapy water, using mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with clear water. Hang dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. Ensure the life jacket is completely dry before re-arming, repacking or stowing away. 


Do NOT machine wash or dry, commercial dry-clean or use solvent-based cleaners or bleach on your inflatable PFD as part of your maintenance schedule.

Storage Instructions: Where should I store my life jacket when not in use?

Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Remove the CO2 cylinder and automatic bobbin when stored for long periods of time. (Follow beginning-of-season inspection and maintenance for your inflatable PFD before returning to service after storage.)

Want to know more about Bluestorm™ inflatable life jackets? Check out our FAQ page for more information.