To select the best kayak life jacket, you’ve to go through a bunch of products that make it difficult to think which one is the best.
Therefore, we’ve created a list of the best kayaking life jackets to remove your problems. You have to simply go through these products, check the size availability, and get the one that suits you.
Why Trust Us?
Because we have some of the best researchers and experts in the industry who check the depth and reviews of a product before recommending it to us. Therefore, our research and judgment are the best from others.
Top 5 Best Kayak Life Jacket – In-Depth Review
Now, we’ll drive you to the top 5 best kayaking life jackets available on the market. Look at these in-depth reviews, select your best one, and buy it. This procedure is as easy as eating a burger.
|Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest||
|Body Glove Method USCG||
|STEARNS Youth Boating Vest||
|Hardcore Water Sports Youth Jacket||
|O’Brien Traditional Neo Life Men’s Vest||
Onyx is a Sauk Rapids, Minnesota outdoor brand under the supervision of Absolute Outdoor company. Also, the brand ensures to provide its customers safe, durable, comfortable, and user-friendly products.
Further, you’ll get to know that Onyx only crafts life jackets that meet U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada safety standards.
The Onyx MoveVent has a carving design with an integral nylon sheath. These features will lead to relaxation and provide you with strength at the same time.
Also, you’ll see unified mesh ventilation in the jacket’s front and back that enables breathability.
All in all, it consists of a lash tab to attach gears like a river knife, whistle, etc. Thus, its wide armholes will give you the flexibility to paddle efficiently.
Finally, it comes with storage pockets and Solas grade material that improves visibility in emergencies.
One more thing, it only weighs 1.6 pounds, and its total dimensions are 21″ x 19″ x 4″ (L x H x W).
Body Glove® by twin brothers Bill and Bob is in the business since 1953. They ensure to craft the best kayaking PFD since the startup.
As a matter of fact, you may wonder what the “Body Glove” term means? It means that their products fit in the body as a glove fits in hand.
Further, the Body Glove life jacket consists of a mixture of solid nylon exterior and polyester interior. This combination allows you to feel comfortable and safer while paddling.
One other thing, these vests come with oversized armholes. It’ll provide your body with the ultimate freedom during any water sports.
After that, with its four quick-lock buckles, you can easily adjust its size according to your chest.
This U.S. Coast Guard certified life vest only weighs 1.27 pounds and its total dimensions are 19″ x 13″ x 6″. More importantly, you can also select your favorite color from five available options.
In the late 1920s, William P. Hilger felt a climate change in Central Minnesota and realized to start a water sports brand. Since then, Stearns is in the business of creating the best life vests for kayaking.
Moreover, the USCG-approved youth life vest comes with a robust nylon construction to give you maximum protection.
Further, it features a polythene flotation foam that provides a comfortable floating experience.
You’ll see an open-sided design with integrated adjustable buckles for a comfortable kayaking journey. Besides kayaking, the maker states that you can use it for boating, tubing, and swimming.
As its name suggests, the brand focus on creating this life jacket for youth weighing 50 to 90 pounds with a chest width of 26″ to 29″.
At last, the 3007 model only weighs 1.48 pounds, and its all dimensions are 15.3″ x 14.6″ x 3.3″.
Suppose you want the best kayaking life vest adjustable for the entire family. Then, buying Hardcore Water Sports Youth Jacket will be an act of greatness.
Further, it lies in type III of life vests with a USCG certification. It means that you’ll experience a secure flotation in case of any emergency.
Moreover, with a secure 1″ webbing, you’ll also get an open-sided adjustment setting. These settings will give a comfortable journey without body itching.
At last, the maker states that it is the best fit for kids weighing 30-50 lbs and youth weighing 50-90 lbs.
One more thing, the hardcore jacket consists of all bright colours, so the rescue team can easily spot you in the water. Of course, your kids will feel comfortable in these jackets because it only weighs 0.64 Pounds.
Unlike the previous item, the O’Brien is also the best Men’s Vest available in the market. Moreover, its Hinged Design enables the flexibility of doing tasks like paddling in a superior manner.
Above all, it consists of Bio-Lite neoprene construction. So, you can wear it for the whole day.
The O’Brien Neo Life Vest features a Zipper for fast wear with front and back-sided buckles for a snug fit. Further, it is USCG certified, so you don’t have to worry about your safety in the water.
All in all, you can select your favourite colour from three ultra-bright colours. Also, the brand gives the choice of choosing the best fit size according to your weight and chest width.
Lastly, you can attach the vest with your kayak attachments because of its D-ring.
Note: Neoprene gets wide when wet. Therefore, you’ve to keep a snug fit while wearing it in dry conditions.
Factors to Remember Before Buying the Best Kayak Life Jacket – A Complete Buying Guide
Nowadays, every brand and maker states that they prepare the best ones.
But who knows?
To ensure that you don’t make any mistake while buying a Personal Floating Device (PFD). You’ll have to consider some factors while buying a life jacket or PFD.
Above all, the factors include material quality, the right size for your body, storage, and many others.
One more thing, if you want to get the best kayak life jacket, keep reading this buying guide from the industry experts.
Importance of a Life jacket/PFD
You’ll need to wear a life jacket to prevent any mishaps. Suppose your kayak accidentally faces any problem or breaks down unconsciously. In that case, you find yourself in water(drowning) because of the accident.
In fact, no brand offers these guarantees that this won’t happen. Because you may be driving in high-pressure water where the kayak feels unstable, and it breaks into pieces.
Imagine if someone from your family faces this issue, and also he/she doesn’t know how to swim. Then, there will be a high chance of drowning.
So, to protect yourself and your loved ones from facing any serious problem. Wear the best kayak life jacket all the time.
Always Wear Your Jacket:
We’ve observed that many people have jackets on their boats, but they don’t wear them.
Imagine if you get separated from your kayak not wearing the jacket. Then you’ll lose the jacket with the boat too. And it’s a universal truth that accidents happen in a matter of a second.
So, a severe accident will not give you a chance to wear a jacket.
Therefore, we recommend you always wear the best kayak life jacket to prevent any damage.
We know that safety is your number one priority while crushing through the water. So, we recommend not to take these concerns lightly.
Thus, only buy the best kayak life vest that has the following certifications.
- U.S. Coast Guard
- International Standards
- Commercial Standards
- European Standards
Further, we’ve divided life vests into five subcategories, each of which has different features.
The five common types of Kayak life jackets:
Kayak jackets have five major types. To ensure which one suits you, read the below passage to confirm.
The makers design these life jackets for tricky situations like rough water or oceans because these are the places where rescue teams may take time to rescue you.
This reason makes offshore the best PFD for a kayak.
However, these are the best, but you can’t buy them. Because these are the heaviest, and you may not find it comfortable while paddling.
Therefore, the brands don’t sell it to the public and are only available to rescue teams.
Near-shore Buoyancy PFD:
Nowadays, most rescue teams use near-shore PFD/ life vests during emergencies in calm waters(still lakes) because these are the same quality as offshore vests.
In fact, they’re less bulky than offshore. But still, it doesn’t meet the level of comfort a paddler needs.
So, like the offshore, you can’t buy a near-shore PFD too.
A flotation vest is the type you’re looking for. And every expert of the field states it a must-have PFD on every boat.
Moreover, with its wide armholes and less flotation bulk, you’ll find it handy while paddling and casting.
You can also call it a subcategory of near-shore PFD. Because it is perfect for places where you think rescue will be fast to arrive.
There’s a high chance that you’ve seen these PFDs in movies and are familiar with them.
A Throwable PFD is the type of ring/tube you can throw to anyone who’s learning swimming or having trouble in the water. In fact, most users know these as backup device.
Further, many people buy these to learn to swim. Therefore, we don’t recommend these for kayaking.
Of course, if you’ve small kids who want to learn swimming, then you can go with a throw-able device.
As their name suggests, the brands design these PFDs for particular actions. In fact, you’ll find some vests for kayaking as well. But, other ones are for activities like windsurfing, water skiing, rafting, etc.
Therefore, make sure that the one you buy provides you with the flexibility to use it for kayaking.
PFD For Kids:
Generally speaking, if you’re going to buy a PFD for a kid. Then you must check his/her weight instead of measuring the size of the chest.
Further, the kid’s PFDs have three labels, infant, child, or youth.
So, we’ve included a weight guide for your children. Use this guide to buy the best kayak life jacket for your kids.
- Infant: 8-30 pounds
- Child: 30-50 pounds
- Youth: 50-90 pounds
The size and comfort you’ll experience while kayaking goes line by line. Meanwhile, you’ll get to know that most life jackets consist of two sizes – small/medium and medium/large.
However, you can adjust the size according to your chest. But you may find it challenging to choose the right size from the initial two choices.
Therefore, to overcome this issue, many brands include a size chart with their vests. Simply check the size our your chest and jacket, then buy it.
On the other hand, if you want to buy the right-sized life jacket? Then, you can also compare the other brand’s jackets size with the one that you preferred.
Another best practice is to read the reviews of the people who already purchased. So, in this way, you’ll get enough idea of the size and the jacket too.
The best kayak life vest consists of robust material with a higher thickness(denier) to give you the best floating experience.
Moreover, there are only four materials that most manufacturers use to craft PFDs. These include Nylon, Gaia, PVC, and Kapok.
You’ll find every other life jacket made from Nylon and PVC, while Gaia and Kapok are still newbies in the world of kayaking.
In fact, most people rely on the first two because they are flames, sun, and chemical resistant.
Further, Gaia is known for its environment-friendly and lightweight feature. Meanwhile, you may find Kapok more durable and buoyant, but it can catch flames. So, experts don’t recommend it.
At last, you should have to check the denier of Nylon, which shows the material’s density. And as previously discussed, the higher the denier, the firmer your life jacket will be.
We know that kayaking is all about having a long day out sitting in the same position.
So to ensure a comfortable and safe journey, you’ve to wear a customizable kayak jacket.
Moreover, adjusting the front and sides are two primary elements of adjustable jackets. In fact, you can change its overall fitting by customizing these two parts.
Storage or pockets come in handy when you have to carry a lot of gears on the journey. So if you are that kind of person, then you must have to buy the one with lots of pockets.
You might be thinking, what does colour have to do with a life jacket?
But it’s possible you may not know that a bright colour improves visibility. So, if you face any problem, the rescue teams will quickly rescue you.
It gets difficult for you and for us as well to select the best ones from the whole jungle of products. Therefore, you came here to have a sneak peek of what we recommend.
Further, we ensure that you’ll not get disappointed with our selected products.
If you still have conclusions about selecting the best one from these five, don’t worry. We are here to assist you again.
Above all, we’ll leave with our top recommendation from these five best life vests for kayaking.
Also, the one we’re recommending, in the end, is our ultimate choice.
In the end, we came to the point that Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is the best kayak life jacket from other ones. Because it’s lightweight, contains zipper, pocket and its more secure than other ones.
Now, we recommend only select the one that suits your preferences and budget and meets the quality that a kayak needs.
We really appreciate your effort to come up till the end, and we want to thank you for trusting us.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Do I really need a Life jacket for kayaking?
Yes, because it can save your life in water if your boat or kayak faces any mishaps like breaking or a hit by water stones.
What type of jacket do people use for kayaking?
Usually, people use Type III and Type V of life jackets for kayaking.
What type of jacket do I need for rough waters?
Most rescue teams use type I of the best kayak life jacket for rescuing people in rough and calm waters.