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Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid 50N


Fladen ‘s Classic Buoyancy Aid is an entry level buoyancy aid created for the leisure market, designed for a wide range of water activities, including dinghy sailing, kayaking, canoeing or any activity where the wearer may find themselves in the water.

The Classic is a straightforward no frills buoyancy aid and will suit the novice and expert enthusiast. This is an example of a simple piece of equipment, if properly maintained, that will last many years.

The Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid is rated from 40 Newtons to 50 Newtons depending on size. For more information on Newtons and ratings see our Technical Information at the end of this article.

The Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid in detail

The classic is a waist coat style buoyancy aid with a full zipper front. There are two large plastic safety clips with adjustable webbing straps. The upper strap is stitched to the front sides, whereas the lower strap has stitched loops that keep the webbing strap firmly in place around the midriff.

The sides are elasticated which allow for a snug fit without affecting the ability to move freely.

The inner part of the buoyancy aid has four separate foam flotation panels.

The buoyancy aid has a drawstring at the bottom which should be pulled tightly and tied when used. This further enhances the snug fit.

On the right front there is a plastic D-ring attached and stitched with webbing which could hold keys, a lanyard, camera or mobile, or anything similar. On the middle top there is a handy loop for drying or storing the buoyancy aid.

The safety label is large and clear and outlines that this garment is a buoyancy aid and not a lifejacket.

Also, the label states the following:

  • Make sure your buoyancy aid is the right size. The zipper and buckles should be closed and the ribbons be tied before use.
  • Do not use as a cushion.
  • Train yourself in the use of the device.
  • Teach the child [sic] to float in this buoyancy aid.
  • Full performance may not be achieved using waterproof clothing or in other circumstances
  • May not be suitable for persons with physical disabilities.
  • This buoyancy aid is intended for use by those who are competent swimmers and who are near to bank [sic] or shore, or who have help and means of rescue close at hand.
  • Not a lifejacket.

The classic comes in 4 sizes:

  • Small – Chest width 66-76cm – Weight 30-50kg – Buoyancy : 40 Newton
  • Medium – Chest width 76-99cm – Weight 50-70kg – Buoyancy : 45 Newton
  • Large – Chest width 99-112cm – Weight 70-90kg – Buoyancy : 50 Newton
  • Extra Large – Chest width > 112 cm – Weight > 90kg – Buoyancy : 50 Newton

From the size chart above the classic is a buoyancy aid that would suit a child or an adult, but as the label states it is imperative that the aid is the correct size for the wearer.

The Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid in Use

This is a fantastic entry level buoyancy aid suitable for a multitude of water sports where the wearer is likely to be submerged or immersed in the water. The price point should not deter the buyer: there are many many buoyancy aids on the market with identical certification that are three or four times the price, yet they conform to the same rigorous standards as this Fladen buoyancy aid.

The no frills, straightforward design with no pockets, extra colours, stitching or other additions makes for a fuss-free floatation device which will be attractive to novices and experts alike who do not need the extra non essential items. And it is available at a great price.

Its simplicity means that once the one central zipper is closed and the two plastic webbing straps are clasped, the lower drawstring tied the wearer is ready for fun, action and sport!

The whole purpose of a buoyancy aid is to keep the wearer buoyant. It is not designed to right a downward facing person in the water. It is designed for someone who is in and out of the water and who would benefit from a flotation device when undertaking their activity.

With its simplicity comes ease of maintenance – once used wash down with clean water and dry thoroughly. Store in a dry place.

Using the buoyancy aid was and continues to be a pleasure for me purely as a result of its simplicity. Easy to don with no added straps this buoyancy aid is a favourite in my watersports kit.


There is little to criticise about this product – if you want pockets, or adjustable shoulder straps then Fladen do have a range of other flotation devices that fit this criteria, but if you are looking for a certificated piece of equipment that will serve you for many seasons at an unbeatable price then the Classic is the buoyancy aid to buy.

The Classic comes in a variety of colours and are all priced the same.

Buy now at

Technical Details

Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid 50N – Black – SKU: 22-721. Sizes: S M L XL

Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid 50N – Lime – SKU: 22-741. Sizes: S M L XL

Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid 50N – Lime – SKU: 22-761. Sizes: S M L XL

Newtons. Buoyancy force = weight of object in empty space − weight of object immersed in fluid. The final result would be measured in Newtons. A Newton is a unit in which buoyancy is measured. Therefore : 150 N (Newton) is approx 15 kg or approx 15 Litres.

The Fladen Classic Buoyancy Aid conforms to 89/686/EEC, EN ISO – 12402-5:2006, EN ISO 12402-5/A1:2010, and CE (Cert NO. DK-0200-PPE-03202)

It is important that you pick the correct CE Category to suit your type of activity and experience.
Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids are tested and rated to specific European Standards and split into CE categories. These are the universal criteria that define each product and the environment they are suitable for. These are split into four CE categories: 275N, 150N, 100N and 50N.

275 Newton
150 Newton
Inflatable/Air Foam 
100 Newton
FOAM Buoyancy Aid
50 Newton
FOAM Buoyancy Aid
(including RIBs)
(including RIBs)
Dinghy Sailing
(including RIBs)
Mainly used for active surface watersports eg:
Dinghy Sailing
Kite Surfing
Swimmers and Non-swimmers in Inshore & Coastal watersOnly suitable for competent swimmers
A high performance device for offshore and severe conditions, when maximum protection is required or where heavy waterproof clothing is worn.For use in all but the most severe conditionsThey give a reasonable assurance of safety from drowning in relatively calm watersSheltered water use where help is close at hand.
They give improved assurance of safety from drowning to people who are not capable of helping themselves.They give reasonable assurance of safety from drowning, to people not fully capable of helping themselves.They give a reasonable assurance of safety from drowning in relatively calm watersSheltered water use where help is close at hand.
While they cannot be guaranteed to self-right an unconscious user wearing heavy waterproofs, the buoyancy they provide should ensure they will, in the great majority of cases.May not immediately self-right an unconscious user wearing heavy waterproof clothing. Equivalent performance to previous BSI Approved Lifejackets. Not guaranteed to self-right an unconscious user wearing waterproof clothing and should not be expected to protect the airway of an unconscious person in rough water.Only provides support to conscious people who can help themselves.
 EN 399 (ISO 12402-2) EN 396 (ISO 1240-3) EN 395 (ISO 12402-4) EN 393 (ISO 12402-5)