whats with the side zip PFDs

the thick but tight fitting blocks in
front and back really work well by limiting hang-ups from obstructions…and stay on…just my $.01. Love em’…

But nice that there’s a choice…

Type V vs Type III
Type III is a flotation aid for use in clam water with a good chance of fast rescue. Calm water and fast rescue are very subjective. I have seen Type IIIs fastened by buckles and zippers in many locations and combinations.

Type V is a special use device. All rescue life jackets are type V, not all type 5 are rescue jackets. Typically rescue jackets do not have a center zip, but that is design driven and not about the designation.

Many Type III PFDs are designed to look like Type V PFDs for marketing purposes. When someone says " I want a whitewater PFD" or “Is that a whitewater PFD?” they are typically concerned with a Type III that looks like a Type V that the “pros” wear.