Kent Celebrates 60 Years of Commercial Safety
Kent, the world's leading life jacket manufacturer, is celebrating 60 years of keeping generations of workers safe on and near the water. The renowned brand is part of the Absolute Outdoor family of companies.
Founded in 1957 as Kent Sporting Goods Company, the business entered the safety product market with the purchase of Eagle Rubber Products, which made inflatable life belts and life rafts for the US Army and Navy. In 1959, Kent acquired Ben-Sun Products Company to expand into the USCG approved PFD market.
By the early 1980s, Kent led the Type I and II commercial kapok vest market globally. For the next 25 years, it expanded rapidly into recreational boating products. Notable brands acquired during this phase were Connelly, HO Sports, Liquid Force and O'Brien.
Kent entered a strategic alliance with Absolute Outdoor, Inc. in 2008. This tactical move added well-known water sports and outdoor recreation brands such as Full Throttle and Onyx to its growing portfolio.
In 2012, the company deepened its commitment to the commercial marine market by forming Kent Safety Products. With a renewed focus, it globally expanded and strengthened its product offerings beyond the commercial fishing and shipping sectors to oil and gas, public safety and construction.
Today, Kent Safety Products' dedication to on-water and shoreside safety is evident in its rugged and reliable products. The Rogue fishing vest is one notable example of the company's innovation. It partnered with The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and collaborated with commercial fishermen to create a comfortable life jacket that doesn't interfere with work, isn't an entanglement hazard and provides impact resistance. The resulting design was a functional deck vest that earned Kent a NIOSH Science Award, the Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award in the Technology category, in 2016.
Committed to advancing the industry, the company is actively involved in NIOSH, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and National Safety Congress. Drawing on its rich 60-year heritage, Kent continues to protect workers with a wide selection of life jackets, immersion suits, work vests, high-visibility ANSI gear, throwable devices, rainwear and related equipment.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.