Top 10 Best Life Vests in Reviews

Since their invention in 1854, life jackets have saved many lives. During that time, they were very simple vest made from cork; however, they’ve come made strides since then. They’re now well-known as a life vest or Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Whether you on a fishing kayak, cruise, canal boat, a life vest is an essential gear that you should carry with you, so that it can keep you afloat in the event of an accident. And that not the end, it will keep you safe and comfortable for long on water.

So, what’re the best life vest to consider? We’re here to answer that question. Unlike traditional life jackets, new options are flexible and lightweight. Several types that suit different activities and can now provide a full range of maneuverability. That said, here are the top 10 best life vests to check out in reviews. Read through the post, we’re confident that you’ll find the appropriate choice.

#10. TRC Recreation USCG 23 – 24 Inch Super-Soft & Comfortable Vinyl-Coated Foam Life Vest

If you’re looking for a gear to build your child’s confidence as they learn how to swim, TRC Recreation life vest is an ideal option to buy for them. Also, it’s the best attire for helping your child to adapt to the habit of wearing a PFD in water. It’s made from a vinyl-coated foam material that offers superior comfort and super-softness. It fits children with a chest size of between 23 – 24-inches. When your child wears it, you should snugly fit into his or her body to enhance safety while learning how to swim. For assurance, this life vest is backed by US Coast Guard approval. As a fact, it’s one of the used jacket in major water theme parks and even resorts.

What We Like

  • Helps kids build confidence as they learn how to swim
  • Fully approved by US Coast Guard for safety
  • Made from soft and comfortable material
  • It fits snugly into the kids’ body

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sizing issues for children around 50 pounds

#9. SportsStuff Type III USCG Approved Soft Stain & UV Resistant Children's Stars & Stripes Life Jacket

Are you planning to go to the beach this summer? Brace yourself with the best life jacket. Your kids now can confidently accompany you in your adventure because they’ll brace themselves with SportsStuff stars & Stripes life vest. Besides, they’ve fully undergone through UL MQ6009 certification and has become US Coast Guard approved Type II life vest. It features three body belts with side release buckles for a snug fit. Be rest assured; your children will stay safe while having fun with water. As a parent, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your child is safe.

What We Like

  • Built with UV-resistant and robust material to enhance durability
  • It’s USCG approved type III for guaranteed safety
  • The designed with safe and secured buckles
  • Made lightweight for higher buoyancy

What We Didn’t Like

  • It sometimes runs extremely small

#8. PROTAURI Age 1 – 9 Years/50N Toddlers Swimming Aid Flotation Swimwear Vest Life Jacket

PROTAURI life jacket helps kids to learn how to swim and have fun while in water. It keeps their arms to move freely on water and learn the right swimming strokes. It features a unique design that ensures the float vest stays in place and increase the safety of the unit. Besides, the release buckles are very strong, and you don’t have to worry about damaging easily. This vest is made from EPE foam inner and neoprene outer material that last and makes drying quite easily. Additionally, this kit is compact, lightweight and durable, thus making it suitable for on the go needs. Children can put on this float vest at the swimming pool, beach, boat, Water Park, etc.

What We Like

  • The release buckles are extra-strong for additional safety
  • It’s compact and lightweight to suit on the go needs
  • This life vest complies with CE European standard
  • Can dry very quickly and very easy to pack

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s still a new brand in the market

#7. Body Glove USCG-Approved 4 Heavy-Duty Polyethylene Foam Flotation Nylon Life Vest

Body Glove Method life jacket is a lifesaver gear that keeps you afloat and comfortable for a long time in the water. And for guaranteed safety, it’s fully approved by Coast Guard; you can use them with great confidence. Besides, it is 100 percent PE foam flotation that ensures it offers maximum comfort. Additionally, it comes with oversize armholes that are strategically placed. On top of that, it’s made with super-duty nylon outer shell that guarantees durability. What’s more, it’s USCG approved for assured quality on materials, zippers and buckles.

What We Like

  • Made from 100% PE foam flotation for max comfort
  • Constructed with buckles for easy handling
  • Has a durable super-duty nylon outer shell
  • It’s USCG approved for quality assurance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only suitable for large individuals

#6. Stohlquist Waterware PVC-Free Convenient Grab Handle Soft Life Jacket Guard Approved

Finally, here comes a 30 – 50 pounds PFD that your little angel will be excited to wear. It has an exceptional wrap around foam that is thinner on the side and back to offer maximum mobility and comfort. Also, it features fully adjustable straps and effortless entry zipper with security buckle that allows for secure and snug fit. Moreover, the double collar cradles the child’s head while in water. Even better, the convenient grab handle is designed to stay open while in water to make rescue easy breezy. Finally, it has large armholes to prevent chaffing.

What We Like

  • Built with a curved side panel foam for easy & secure fit
  • Has an open back for seat comfort and breathability
  • Comes with easy care instruction for the gear
  • It has a zippered front for easy on and off

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s a bit bulky

#5. STEARNS Antimicrobial Protection US Coast Guard-approved Nylon Youth Life Vest

Are you looking for a durable and comfortable life vest? Look no further than Stearns life vest. This unit is designed from high-grade nylon materials and PE foam that are durable to allow you to use for some many seasons to come. Its outer shell is covered with antimicrobial protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria and odors. With the closed side vest design, you will always remain comfortable and allows for greater mobility. The three adjustable chest belts will enable it to be worn by youth with different chest size because they ensure a perfect fit. Finally, it only weighs 12.8 ounces making it easier to carry it from your home place to the lake or river.

What We Like

  • Made from breathable materials to avoid sweating
  • Can be used by kids since it keeps them floating
  • Comes in highly visible colors to keep you safer
  • Has a dry ring for storage and drying purposes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Hard to open for younger kids

#4. O'Brien Medium Coast-Guard Approved 1.5mm Neoprene Outer Neo Life Vest (Purple)

Adult women can now play out in the water with O’Brien life jacket since it keeps them all safe. This life jacket is made from high-grade neoprene materials that are long-lasting and strong. It only weighs 1.7 pounds; thus, you won’t feel its weight on your body or while carrying it from one place to another. Whether you are wakeboarding, waterskiing or jet skiing, you rest assured to enjoy your day out on the lake since it made from breathable materials to avoid sweating. Regardless of the kind of activity that you are performing, the wide arms allow you to move around without any restrictions freely. The two adjustable belts will enable you to customize it for a perfect fit.

What We Like

  • Has zipper to allows you to keep any required items while out
  • The Biolite technology prevents the vest from being bulky
  • Available in different colors and patterns to choose from
  • Made durable from high-quality fabric and design

What We Didn’t Like

  • It gets very heavy when wet

#3. Stohlquist Waterware 4 Pack Coast Guard Approved Universal Fit Adult PFD (Red)

As you go out fishing every day, Stohlquist Waterware life vest will always keep you comfortable. This wear has three different buckles in which the upper buckle reduces ride up whereas the lower buckle ensures a perfect fit. All the edges have a rounded foam, and the sides are well wrapped to ensure that you are comfortable all day long. Moreover, it has a thinner profile to reduce any interference on the seatback. With only a weight of 7lbs, you can easily carry from place to place and does not take much storage space. The box-stitched strap sleeves and buckle attachment are well designed to ensure longevity.

What We Like

  • The cutaway arms are well designed to ensure free movement
  • Comes with a carry bag for storage and transport purposes
  • Has a hanging loop to ensure easy drying and storage
  • The mesh top on the bag ensures free air circulation

What We Didn’t Like

  • A bit heavier compared to other models

#2. O'NEILL Wetsuits USCG Approved Coated Nylon Outer Delrin Buckles Superlite Life Vest

You can now explore outdoors in a new way with this comfortable life vest from O’Neill wetsuits. This unit is designed from high-quality nylon materials that are well known for their durability and comfort. The 1.5 wide webbing belts are designed from heavy-duty materials that last longer. With the quick-release Delrin buckles, you can easily adjust it to ensure that it perfectly suits you and allows for quick fastening. Besides, it is available in 8 different colors to choose from depending on your likes. It only weighs 1.4 pounds making it easier to carry from one place without feeling its weight, thus keeps you comfortable while fishing.

What We Like

  • Designed from high-quality, durable materials
  • Lightweight to keep you comfortable while fishing
  • Dries off quickly after washing, skiing or tubing
  • Has a wide arm opening to ensure a perfect fit

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lacks zip closure for securing your accessories

#1. Onyx High Foam Back Breathable Mesh Comfortable Neoprene Kayak Fishing Life Jacket (Tan)

If you are looking for a more lightweight life vest, then you got it all right with Onyx life vest. It is equipped with six adjustment straps that enable you to customize this wear to ensure a perfect fit. With four different pocket designs, you can hold your essential gear while out fishing to let to you fish for more extended periods. The one-button push drop down tray pocket has two elastic straps that allow you to hold smaller items such as boxes. Additionally, the 2 inch woven flexible attachment points can be used to keep things that are frequently accessed or needed. You can also hold bigger accessories such as radio or long nose pliers using the largemouth cargo pocket.

What We Like

  • The lash tab is used to hold smaller accessories like a knife
  • All the pockets are well zippered to keep your items safer
  • Has a breathable lower mesh back for proper ventilation
  • Well-padded shoulder pads to keep you comfortable

What We Didn’t Like

  • The zippers are of plastic materials

Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Life Vest


Life vest come in either one or two choices; there’re those that come with regular sizes and universal fit. In such a circumstance, you’ll have to check on the manufacturer’s recommendations to know the size that will fit you. Besides, if it’s a gear for kids, you’d want to consider a strap between the legs to offer a secure fit.


There’re two types of materials that you ought to consider, namely, nylon and neoprene material. Nylon is not the common material on the market, but it’s known for its lightweight. If you’re an athlete in need of one for your activity, this is the best option to buy. Moreover, it’s cheap but not the best quality. The latter has higher floating ratings than nylon material and will offer you a better fit as well. It can also stretch a little bit and has a better heat retention strength.

Weight Capacity

The other obvious aspect to consider is the weight support. Of course, each life vest comes with a specific amount of weight that it can hold before submerging into the water. Most models have the potential to keep a wide range of weight since they come with various sizes; however, it’s fundamental to confirm that your weight will be supported before you can pay for one. The vice versa is also true if you opt for higher-weight capacity support beyond your weight, it’ll become bulky and at long last affects your mobility.


Last but not least is the buoyancy. This factor is the main aim of having a life vest. The gears should offer you sufficient buoyancy so that it can keep your chin and even your mouth above water. For instance, if it’s adults’ kit, they should be at least 12 pounds of buoyancy to keep them afloat.


Life vests are now flexible, light and come in different colors and styles, so, be sure to find the model that meet all your needs. These models are ideal for use while having fun in water environments. They come, and various sizes and you wouldn’t miss your fit from the above selection. Even better, we have not forgotten about the kids; there are a couple of sizes that fit them flawlessly. What’s only required of you is to read this review carefully and pick the option that meets your needs. Enjoy a safe ride even in the deep sea using one of the above gears!

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