Innovation That Matters

Life jacket shirt auto-inflates when users hit the water

Work & Lifestyle

The Aegis Lifeshirt automatically inflates when the wearer falls into the water, and is more comfortable than traditional life jackets.

More than 370,000 people die each year from drowning, according to the World Health Organisation. Over 84 percent of boating fatalities in the US occur when floatation devices are not being worn. But many people, particularly children, refuse to wear life jackets or personal floatation devices, because they are bulky, uncomfortable or unfashionable.

But one company is looking to change the way people perceive life jackets. The Lifeshirt is a new lightweight floatation shirt from Orlando-based Aegis Safety Products, which inflates only when the user needs it.


The Lifeshirt automatically inflates on submersion or under manual activation. It is especially convenient for use in water sports, as it will auto-inflate if someone falls unexpectedly into water, and deflate when the wearer is above the water line. A carbon dioxide-activated inflation expands around the upper body and neck to keep users’ head above water. Much like regular life jackets, they also include an oral inflation valve on the right shoulder.

The product was recently chosen as a finalist for the Ipso Brandnew startup awards in Germany. What other bulky safety devices need an update?



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