Lightweight goes heavy-duty

 Life jackets are really important, but let’s face it: style-wise, they don’t bring out the best in us. Or do they? Sail Racing asked us to help them create two modern, functional designs that people would actually enjoy wearing.

Sail Racing needed a new range of life jackets that matched the level of innovation in their high-tech sailing gear. At Above, many of us love watersports, and sailing in particular, making this project a perfect match.

We wanted to design something new and fresh, reflecting the DNA of the Sail Racing brand. While style factor was important, the life jackets had to perform in extremely tough conditions, without feeling clumsy or awkward.

We focused on innovation, exploring ways to improve every aspect of the products. For this, we drew inspiration from other adventure sports – such as climbing – but also looked at general trends in material and sportswear.

For the 50 KTS, we aimed for a high-tech, low-bulk solution with a flexible feel. With the SR-40, we took a different design approach, using lightweight materials and built-in buoyancy to create a product that blended in perfectly with other sailing gear.

Lightweight but heavy-duty, the 50 KTS life vest features automatic inflation. At a certain water pressure, a built-in carbonic cartridge fires, inflating the vest in a matter of seconds. A tube connected to the inflatable lung also allows for manual inflation.

Unlike traditional life vests, the SR-40 has small pieces of buoyancy material embedded inside the garment. With its thin water-resistant outer fabric and streamlined cut, the SR-40 looks and feels more like an insulated vest than a floatation device.


Less bulk
Forget those awkward neon-coloured contraptions with their 80’s vibes. Instead, say hello to a life jacket that’s sleek, tough and lightweight, with instantaneous auto-inflation.


More peace of mind
We pared the design down to the essentials, without losing any performance or durability. The results: a life jacket that is there for you when you need it – and easy to forget about when you don’t.

To create the new 50 KTS collection, we collaborated with some of the best high-speed sailors in the world.
— Henric Vikestam, head of Sail Racing Design and Production

About Sail Racing
Sail Racing is a Swedish company dedicated to developing innovative, functional gear to meet the most demanding sailing and offshore conditions. With a tight-knit crew comprised of industrial designers, pattern constructors and material experts – and experienced sailors at the helms of their test teams – their success has resulted in an official partnership with Oracle Team USA, two-time winner of the 35th America’s Cup.


  • Portfolio planning
  • Product design 
  • CMF