Best Life Jackets – Reviews and Recommendations

Summer time activities on the water are great fun but can be dangerous. Safety must be a priority. Whether you’re swimming, boating, water skiing, or jet skiing, water sports are a great way to stay cool and spend time with family. With so many best life jackets, which one is the best for you? We have searched and compared over 50 life jackets to narrow the choice for you. We considered fit, comfort, drying time, safety, and even looks.

We at 2kreviews want to help you make the best choice and help you save money and time. We make the shopping process more convenient for you. Our goal at 2KReviews is to simplify the shopping process.

The List Of Best Life Jackets

Best Choice

 
 
ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Life Vest
  • Mesh in lower back fits high back seats
  • Shoulder adjustments with neoprene comfort pads
  • SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility
  • Expandable zippered pockets with mesh drainage
  • Heavy duty nylon fabric; soft, lightweight flotation foam
  • Attached whistle for safety
  • Zip assist loop at zipper base U.S. Coast Guard Approved Type III Life Jacket / Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Best Budget Choice

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest
  • Mesh, Neoprene, Polyester
  • USCG Approved Personal Flotation Device
  • Segmented Foam Core And Anatomical Flex Points Allow Unrestricted Movement
  • Quick Release Safety Buckles And Heavy Duty Front Zipper
  • Minimal Bulk Design Allows Full Mobility, While Expansion Panels Enable a Comfortable
    Fit

 

O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest
  • Mesh, Neoprene, Polyester
  • USCG Approved Personal Flotation Device
  • Segmented Foam Core And Anatomical Flex Points Allow Unrestricted Movement
  • Quick Release Safety Buckles And Heavy Duty Front Zipper
  • Minimal Bulk Design Allows Full Mobility, While Expansion Panels Enable a Comfortable
    Fit

 

O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest
  • Designed to fit women for comfort and color
  • 1.5mm Neoprene outer for comfortable fit
  • Zip closure and 2 belts for security
  • Multiple hinge point on front & back
  • Zippered Front Closure
  • Coast Guard approved

 

 

 

O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket
  • Designed to fit women for comfort and color
  • 1.5mm Neoprene outer for comfortable fit
  • Zip closure and 2 belts for security
  • Multiple hinge point on front & back
  • Zippered Front Closure
  • Coast Guard approved

 

 

 

 

What to look for in a quality life jacket?

Coast Guard Approved

The first thing you must consider is, “what are you going to use the life jacket for?” Is it for a life jacket in a boat?  Are you going to use it for Watersports?  Or, are you going to use it for simply Swimming in a lake or at the beach?

For this review, we will look at life jackets that are best for water sports. First and foremost, you want to look for a quality life jacket that is Coast Guard approved type III. Type III PFDs — Flotation aids: For general boating or specialized activity that is marked on the device (such as water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, hunting etc.). These devices are best for calm inland waters or where there is a good chance for fast rescue. This should be found on a label attached to the life jacket. All the ones we are recommending our Coast Guard approved type III.

Fit

How the jacket fits should be very important to you. A comfortable fitting life jacket will make it easier to wear and to swim effectively. You will want it to fit snug but not constrictive. You will want it snug enough that it will not slide up over your head while you are n the water or falling off your skis. Some life jackets are made for smaller frame people and some for larger frame people. All of them are adjustable but some will only fit comfortably a small frame person or a large frame person, depending on size right. You will find life jackets for adults, women, youth, children and infants. 

You can fit the life jacket by loosening all the straps and putting it on. Fasten it and then tighten the straps so the jacket is snug at every strap. Tug upwards on the jacket to see if it will slide up over your head. If it does it is too loose. Move your arms like you would swimming in the water making sure it is fit properly and you have free motion. 

Material

Mesh, neoprene, polyester, zippers, straps and foam are the materials that make up the life jacket. Heavy duty nylon, neoprene and mesh are the most common. How they are sewn and stitched makes the difference in the quality of the jacket. The quality of the nylon and neoprene used also will determine how long the jacket will hold up and last. Neoprene is a material used in the better life jackets. Neoprene will give greater buoyancy and offers a bit more comfort. It is able to provide more warmth in colder water because it tends to hold in the body heat a bit better. 

Some life jackets have reflective material that helps you get spotted better, especially when the sun is starting to set. 

Another way you can determine the quality of a life jacket is by the types of fasteners used. Wheter they use nylon fasteners or zippers. Check out the fasteners, some are hard to use and break very easily. Metal fasteners are heavy and can hurt if they flop and hit you on the head or arm. We recommend heavy duty nylon fasteners and zippers. 

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