Best Life Jacket 2020 : Experts Reviews and Buying Guide

Facts about life jackets

Life jackets are always considered as the most important things while thinking of water sports. And even if you are a professional, it is required that you wear the life jacket according to needs. There are several things regarding choosing the best and most suitable life jacket that you should know as a buyer. And this is what we are going to cover here.

Life jackets are the most essential things to invest on while planning for water adventure and boating. There are numerous cases where the survivors only managed to save their lives due to the life jackets and the figures are really satisfying about how useful and beneficial the life jackets can be for saving your life.

So, stop defining whether you need life jackets, or not. If you are heading towards the water, it is required that you wear them all time while you are in the water.

And in case you are not aware, the USCG (US Coast Guards) has already created some norms that you should be fulfilled if you are planning for the water adventure. So, be sure to invest in a good quality life jacket that fits you perfectly and offers adequate safety to your life. And in if you are looking to buy the life jacket for the first time and want to know more about them, we will suggest you to go through the article completely and get the best life jacket for yourself.

Best value for money Life Jacket

With lots of options available in the market and numerous brands availability, life jackets can be a tough product to choose from. However, if you have a list of recommended products in a defined price range, you will be able to find an ideal life jacket that is in your budget and offers the best value for your money. we cover a detail guide about different sports life jacket for example :  watersportssailing, and fishing, as well as dogsinfants, and non-swimmers.

  • Best Cheap Life Jackets

#1. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

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Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is a perfect choice for the users who are looking to invest their money in a lightweight, easy to manage, and highly reliable life jacket for them. The bright color options and highly reliable design makes the Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest a great product for water sports enthusiasts.

Along with the design and performance, the Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is also extremely lightweight. This lightweight construction makes it one of the most efficient and reliable life vests in an affordable price range.

One thing that we loved the most about the Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is the perfect design of the vest. The vest is designed for free-moving and you won’t feel restricted while using it for prolonged hours.

The only thing that you need to care for while purchasing a new Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest for yourself is the size. The size may run smaller than usual and if you are looking to buy this, you should buy a size larger than you usually use.

In other words, if you are looking for a vest that can be used to fulfill your occasional thirst for water sports and does not want to spend too much money on it, the Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest would be an excellent choice to go with. Try your hands on it, and you will be more than satisfied by the performance of the Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest.

Pros

  • USCG approved
  • Easy to wear
  • Great material quality

Cons

  • Runs smaller in size

What it is for?

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is great for occasional water sport enthusiasts. Especially those users who are looking for a reliable life vest that can easily save lives but still don’t want to spend too much money on it.

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#2. Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket

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Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket is another great choice for the users who are looking to buy a highly efficient and amazingly designed jacket for them. Apart from being affordable and easy to use, the Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket also offers great usability that enhances the overall value of the product.

As the jacket is approved by the USC and is made up of the standards and safety norms from them, you can completely rely on it for the near-shore water adventures.

Also, they are not as bulky and hard to manage as the many other jackets available in the market The adjustment straps help the users to make them fit as per their needs and if you are looking for the best value for money, the Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket would be an ideal life jacket to go with. The perfect design and bright reflective coating make it easily visible from a distance.

In other words, if you are looking for reliable performance and decent fit, you should go with Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket. Believe us; you are not going to be disappointed with the results.

Pros

  • Amazing usability
  • Reliable and highly efficient design
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • None so far

What it is for?

This life jacket is an ideal choice for those users who are looking for a reliable and extremely easy to use life jacket for them. With easy to use design and perfect usability, this is a worthy choice for all the buyers who are looking for an affordable and reliable life jacket for them.

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Best Mid-range life jackets

#1. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

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For those buyers who are looking for a reliable and highly efficient life jacket that is easier to use. The zip assist loop, along with many other positives makes the OynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest an ideal buy for the users. The reliable design and excellent performance make the OynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest an excellent choice for the price.

Although there are many things that make OynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest an ideal buy, the thing we loved the most is the perfect design of the jacket. The perfect design along with lightweight construction makes the OynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest a great buy for the users with a limited budget.

IN all, if you were looking to invest your money in a reliable and great looking life jacket that worth the money and easier to maintain, theOynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest would be an excellent choice to make.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Best-in-class build quality
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Color may fade with time

What it is for?

Those buyers who love having a great-looking a unique life vest for them will find OynxMoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest a perfect buy.

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#2. Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest

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Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest is another excellent choice for the buyers who are looking to buy a highly reliable and great looking vest without compromising with usability. The perfect design and easy to make adjustments make the Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest a worthy choice for the buyers.

Available in a wide range of colors, the Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest offers a great range to the buyers. Especially those who are looking to buy a perfect life jacket that suits their needs and color preferences.

Another great thing about the Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest is the perfect build quality. Made up with durable Nylon fabric, this is one of the most comfortable and perfect fitted life jackets in the price range. So, if you are looking for a mid-ranged life jacket that has the perfect build and usability, the Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest would be an excellent product to go with. Try your hands on this one and you won’t have to regret your decision.

Pros

  • Easy to use and manage
  • USCG Certified
  • Perfect fit

Cons

  • None so far

What it is for?

Hardcore Water Sports Adult Life Jacket Vest is an ideal deal for all those buyers who are looking to buy a highly durable and lightweight life jacket for them that can be used for a variety of sports.

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Best premium life jackets

#1. Stohlquist Fit Adult PFD 4 Pack Coast Guard Approved Universal

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Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket is an excellent choice for the buyers who are looking for a perfect fit and highly reliable life jacket for them. Along with the design and performance, the Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket offers great design hacks that make it an ideal choice for the users who are looking for a perfect fit and reliable life jacket for them. The excellent performance of Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket makes it an obvious choice for the users who are looking for the best value for their money and want to have perfect safety for their family.

The first thing that we loved about the Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket is the perfect design. The cleverly designed adjustment straps, great cut, and reliable material quality all make it an ideal choice for the buyers who are after quality and prefer safety and usability over price.

Another great thing about the Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket is the great fit. The Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket is available in a medium, large, extra-large, and universal size. So, you won’t have to worry about fit and comfort by choosing it over other life jackets available in the market.

In other words, if you are an easy to use, perfect fit life jacket, you should once try your hands on Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket.

Pros

  • Perfect fit
  • Amazing value for money
  • Reliable build quality

Cons

  • None so far

What it is for?

Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket is an exciting deal for all those buyers who prefer buying the best and most suitable product for them without worrying about the price. The great usability of the Stohlquist Fit Universal life jacket makes it an ideal deal for all the buyers who are looking to go with the best.

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#2. O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest

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O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest is a great choice for those buyers who aren’t too keen to invest their money repeatedly on life jackets. It is an ideal choice for buyers who want to buy a solid and reliable jacket that can be used for a wide range of water sports.

The first major thing that we loved about the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest is the build quality of the product. Whether it is about the material, comfort, or usability,you aren’t going to find any flaw in the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest.

Also, the amazing usability of the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest makes it a worthy choice for the users who are looking to buy their first-ever life jacket and want to buy a reliable one for them.

Pros

  • Amazing build quality
  • Perfect fit
  • Highly quality components used

Cons

  • Expensive

What it is for?

O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest is a great choice for those users who are looking for a durable life jacket that can be used for a variety of sports without much maintenance and usability issues.

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Things that matter the most

Let’s talk about the most important thing first, the fit. The first thing that you should be looking for while purchasing a new and more suitable life jacket is the size. Make sure that the jacket you are planning to buy perfectly fits your body and is easier to manage when if you are in the water. By getting the best fit, you can be assured that in case of any emergency, you can use the life jacket without any issue. An oversized or undersized life jacket may fulfill your budget constraint, but it is not going to be useful in case of an emergency.

So, instead of buying the life jackets blindly, we will suggest you to keep the weight and height in mind so that you can buy the most efficient one for yourself.

  • Size

The first thing to keep in mind while purchasing a life jacket is the size. Both the adults and kids’ life jackets are available in different sizes. And they all are divided into categories according to the weight of the user. So, if you are looking to buy a life jacket that fits perfectly and is according to your weight, by doing so, you will be able to choose the most efficient life jacket for yourself that has the ability to save your life in danger.

Child Life Jacket Sizes

Size Weight
Infant/Toddler8-30 lbs
Child30-50 lbs
Youth50-90 lbs

Adult Life Jacket Sizes

Size Fits Chest
Extra Small28-32"
Small23-36"
Medium36-40"
Large40-44"
X Large44-48"
XX Large48-52"
XXX Large52-56"
  • Kit/Material

Another important thing to look at while purchasing a new life jacket is the material with which the jacket is made. There are two popular choices among the buyers, Nylon and Neoprene. Though both have their pros and cons, Nylon life jackets are considered as a more efficient and usable choice for water sports enthusiasts. This is a completely personal choice, and you may find the neoprene jackets more efficient than the nylon ones. So, just go through both of them, know their pros and cons, and then choose the most suitable one out of them.

  • Safety Standards

Another important thing to keep in mind while purchasing a new and efficient life jacket issafety standards. Like the USCG, your local authorities may also have invoked some safety guidelines that youshould keep in mind while purchasing the life jackets. Be sure that the jacket you are planning to buy follows all the safety guidelines and easier to use. By doing so you will be able to choose capable enough to save your life in case of any emergency.

Different types of Life Jackets that you can buy

Like many other sports accessories and life-saving equipment, life jackets are also available in different types. And the most common category for differentiating them from each other is to have a look at the guidelines suggested by the US coast guard.

The life jackets can be broadly divided into five major categories according to their design and usability.  Let’s discuss them in brief and at the end of the section, you will be able to know which one of them would be the right choice for your next water adventure.

ImagePros Cons
Best flotation;
turns people face-up;
high visibility
Bulky
Can turn unconscious people face-up;
less bulky than Type I
Might not turn knocked-out people face up
Most comfortable;
Many styles
May have to tilt head back; not for long periods in water
Can be tossedNo good for unconscious, children, or non-swimmers
Convenient for specific activitiesMore suited to cool climates
  • Type 1: Off-Shore Life Jacket

The first type of life jacket is used for almost every off-shore water adventure. The brilliant design and highly durable design make it one of the most widely used life jackets by the users who are willing to have an all-purpose life jacket for all water sports adventure. The jacket provides best-in-class floatation and provides better visibility for the rescue teams. These jackets help the users to keep the face-up and be safe in the water.

  • Type 2: Near-Shore Buoyancy Vest

The next type of life jacket is the Type 2. They are perfect for the near-shore activities and if you are looking to buy a reliable jacket that is easier to use and provides a better fit than the Type 1 jackets. Additionally, this jacket has the ability to help people face upwards while they are in the water. These jackets are meant for the non-swimmers or those users who are not too confident about their swimming skills.

  • Type 3: Floatation aid

The third type of life jacket as floatation aid jacket. The perfect design, minimal efforts to use and many others are the plus points for this jacket. The third type of jacket offers the most efficient results for those users who know swimming quite well and are looking for a piece of extra safety equipment for them while they are in water. These jackets are extremely lightweight and are great from professionals.

  • Type 4: Throwable device

The next type of life-saving equipment on our list is the throwable ones. And they do not actually fall under category of life jackets, but they are worth considering for saving the lives. The round inflatable tire-shaped devices are great for the rescue team to pull the person drowning at a distance. IT is essential to keep these devices handy in the boat. So be sure that you keep them handy while planning for water adventure.

  • Type 5: Specialty Use device

The last one on the list is the Specialty use devices. These devices are more of multipurpose life jackets that can be used for a variety of sports, including water sports. They are great for the users who are looking for a multipurpose jacket that can be used in a variety of sports.

How to care for life jackets

Apart from having a great quality life jacket for yourself, it is essential that you take good care of the jackets. By doing this and follow simple care instructions, you can make your life jackets serve you for many years. Here, we will be talking about the basic washing and storage instructions that will help you keep the jackets in their best conditions for a longer period of time.

  • Washing care

First of all, let’s talk about washing care. No matter what brand of life jackets you use, the life jackets are meant for the hand wash. Regardless of the fact that how good the quality of the jacket or the material it is made up with, they are not meant for the machine wash.

  • Do not ever tumble dry your jackets

Another common mistake that most users often do is tumble dry their life jackets after using them. This is a big NO as it can severely damage the structure and quality of the life jacket. So, just drip off fry the life jackets whenever needed.

  • Use the recommended wash care

Apart from the above-listed instructions, if your life jacket comes with some washing care instructions, we will suggest you to follow those instructions as they are. By this, you can be assured of getting the most reliable care.