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Kent Safety Products celebrates 60th anniversary

Life-jacket manufacturer Kent Safety Products is celebrating 60 years of safety on or near the water.
Kent Safety Products makes life jackets and full-immersion suits.

Kent Safety Products makes life jackets and full-immersion suits.

Life-jacket manufacturer Kent Safety Products is celebrating 60 years of safety on or near the water.

The brand is part of the Absolute Outdoor family of products. It was founded in 1957 as Kent Sporting Goods Company and the business entered the safety product market when it purchased Eagle Rubber Products, which made inflatable life belts and rafts for the U.S. military. In 1959, Kent acquired Ben-Sun Products Company to expand into the U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device market.

By the early 1980s, Kent was a leader in the Type I and II commercial lifejacket market. For the next 25 years, the company expanded into recreational boating products, acquiring Connelly, HO Sports, Liquid Force and O’Brien.

Kent entered into a strategic alliance with Absolute Outdoor in 2008. This added watersports and recreation brands like Full Throttle and Onyx to the company’s roster.

In 2012, Kent Safety Products was formed to give the company a firmer position in the commercial marine market. The company increased its product offerings beyond commercial fishing and shipping to include oil and gas, public safety and construction.

Today, one of Kent’s most popular items is its Rogue fishing vest. Kent partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and collaborated with commercial fishermen to create a compact lifejacket. Kent is also involved with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and National Safety Congress.

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