20 Best Kayak Life Jackets

20 Best Life Vests For Kayaking
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    You may have engaged in several adventures in the past, but there are also a few you wouldn’t like to forget early. Kayaking is one of those iconic adventures you would love to experience over and over again. 

    From the sight of the glassy stretch of water, down to the excitement you get when you get in your kayak, with your paddle in your hand to begin the funfair, it’s usually a beautiful experience altogether.

    It takes some intentional and thoughtful preparation to get on the water. Whether you choose to go on an adventure-touring or you sign up for a class, essential kayaking gear has to be put in place for safe paddling. 

    You will need a coast guard approved Kayak life vest, sometimes referred to as Personal Floatation Device (PFD) that fits properly. Coast guards have observed over the years that the reason why some people get drowned in kayak related accidents were largely because they weren’t wearing a life jacket. 

    Therefore, the essence of a good quality life vest can never be overlooked. In as much as you know what to look for, choosing the best floatation device becomes an easy task.

    A PFD is an important piece of kayaking gear that provides more buoyancy and ensures that you are kept afloat in water. So, every kayaker, stand up paddle boarder and canoer cannot go wrong in water when they have a life vest on. 

    Basically, we are going to deliberate more on kayak life vests. Here are a few vital features to look out for when shopping for PFDs.

    • Ventilation

    This is a very essential feature for paddlers in hot regions. Go for a floatation device that has built-in vents which enables body heat to escape easily and a wide armholes life vest can also be a plus as it allows free airflow that aids cooling effect.

    • Tabs

    Accessories like whistle, knife, strobes and the likes are deemed to be part of what you will need on the water. These accessories are to be attached to several tabs, check to see how many they are and where they are placed on the life vest.

    • Pockets

    Depending on what suits you, you may want to contemplate the location of the pockets and their sizes. It is common for standard non-inflatable devices to have their pockets placed in the front.

    • Fishing Features

    If you enjoy fishing, you are more likely to prefer PFDs that come with multiple tool hangers, a drop-down pocket to keep baits safely and many hooks where you can fasten a rod.

    • Reflective Tape

    Reflective tape on PFDs is meant to improve visibility, especially in the dark.

    • Color

    Bright beautiful Colors can be something you may want to consider; women are more attracted to bright Colors than the male folks. Moreover, a bright Color life vest increases visibility.

    To get the best value for your money, we have compiled a list of the 20 best kayak life vests that you should consider on your next shopping trip.

    1. The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Life Vest

    The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic vest

    It is a U.S Coast Guard approved vest, designed with heavy-duty nylon fabrics to resist tears and punctures, and a sculpted flexible foam that fits your body and stays in place when paddling. It comes in multiple Colors of yellow, orange, aqua and purple.

    It is available in dual sizing, mesh ventilation panels on the front and in the lower back of the vest promising to keep you cool, expandable zippered pockets, six adjustable straps to tighten up the vest for a cozy fit, SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility, mesh back panel to accommodate canoe or kayak seats and shoulders adjustment made with neoprene comfort pads.

    Kayak features

    • Lash tab: to attach accessories like a whistle, river knife, strobes, and other important items
    • Heavy-duty front zipper: to prevent vest ride-up.
    • Wide armholes: allows freedom of movement for any paddling activities.
    • Expandable zippered storage pocket: to keep other valuable items for safe and easy reach.
    • High back foam: designed to readily accommodate high back kayak seats.
    • Lower mesh back: for comfort and cooling effect.


    • Material: 200-Denier Nylon
    • Weight: 1lb.
    • Buoyancy: 15.5 lbs.
    • Chest Sizing
      • X-Large/2X-Large: 44″-56″
      • X-Small/Small: 28″-36″
      • Medium/Large: 36″-44″


    • Not suitable for those on the bigger size.

    2. Stohlquist Trekker Life Jacket

    Stohlquist Trekker Life Jacket

    It is a type III PFD that comes with ventilated back pads, has open sides and adjustable shoulder pads for comfort. This 16 lbs sea level buoyancy vest has a zipper, coupled with a grip tab on the front of the vest to make zipping easier.

    Durability is assured as the Stohlquist Trekker Life Jacket has its exterior made of 500 denier Cordura Nylon and has a lining made of 200 denier Oxford Nylon. It is very easy to maintain, while you hand wash it tends to retain its lightweight and strength over time. If you’re reading this guide, you probably love kayaking, and are looking or a way to keep yourself safe in the water. Read our in-depth review of the 21 best inflatable kayaks.

     Kayak features

    • A four-way accessory lash tab on the back.
    • Two large zippered front pockets: for storing items
    • A high mounted back panel: to prevent the vest from riding up your neck during paddling
    • Opened sides: for additional ventilation during the hot sweaty day
    • A crossed-chest cinch harness: that ensures that the vest doesn’t ride up as you glide through the water
    • Adjustable straps


    • Weight: 1.7lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16lbs
    • Material: 200-Denier Oxford; 500-Denier Cordura


    • It runs small

    3. Colman Comfort Series Life Vest

    Colman Comfort Series Life Vest

    You wouldn’t want to go kayaking in the heat of summer with a bulky PFD with no ventilation. The Coleman Comfort Series life vest is specifically designed for hot weather. It keeps you cool in the hot summer, the large armholes and shoulder mesh come together to form a great cooling system.

    It is US Coast Guard approved PFD and most importantly, can accommodate adults weighing 90 pounds. To ensure that it fits perfectly, it comes with a zipper front along with webbing adjustments. For durability, the exterior is made with 200 denier nylon and on the inside is the PE foam which contributes more to its floatation.

    Kayak Features

    • Two front pockets: grants quick and easy access to your items and also help to keep these necessities safe.
    • Large armholes for free paddling
    • Mesh on the back as well as the shoulder are ventilation
    • An adjustable buckle strap: this makes the life vest a snug piece of device.


    • Weight: 1.63lb.
    • Buoyancy: 15lbs.
    • Material: PE foam, 200-Denier


    • No adjustable shoulder strap
    • It is a bulky piece of equipment

    4. NRS Vapor Life Vest

    NRS Vapor Life Vest

    NRC vapor is a Type III vest designed specifically for your comfort and approved by USCG. This lightweight vest fits comfortably on your body and sometimes makes you want to check if you still have it on.

    It is made with soft foam which gives your body superior comfort. Has wide armholes that enable free movement for all shapes of kayakers. Although it is primarily designed for paddle activities, the device has become a good whitewater rafting PFD for most users and has proven to hold up well for fishing and other similar sports.

    You can simply slip into the vest by placing it over your head and secure it by adjusting the side straps to fit perfectly.

    Kayak Features

    • A large front pocket: serve as a cover to the front of the vest, secure by a zipper
    • A front lash tab: for easy access to other accessories, you will need on the water
    • A hand-warmer pouch: located right behind the pocket
    • Padded shoulder straps
    • A reflective NRS logo to improve visibility


    • Weight: 1.85lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16.5lbs.
    • Material: 200-Denier Nylon


    • Many users complain about the lengthy straps
    • Some say the over-head design can be difficult sometimes.

    5. Astral V-Eight Life Vest

    Astral V-Eight Life Vest

    If you are planning to go on an energetic kayaking trip, the Astral V-eight life vest is a good option for you. It was particularly designed for enthusiastic rafters and kayakers, enabling them to be more active in what they know how to do best.

    Users make it their great pick for warmer weather because it has open sides which allows warmer air to escape while allowing fresh cooler air in. To ensure a perfect fit, it has six adjustable straps (two on the shoulders and two on each side).

    It is a Type III vest, fully secure with a self-locking Vision Teeth tough zipper, quick release waist belt, a high back panel and a few pockets too. The straps on both sides and the shoulders make sure that there won’t be a hindrance to your chosen paddling style.

     Kayak Features

    • Fully ventilated: the airspace system helps to maintain a comfortable temperature
    • Adjustable straps: to fit perfectly
    • A pair of handy pockets


    • Weight: 1.35 lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16 lbs.
    • Material: 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon, Polyester


    • The PFD feels a little bulkier than it looks
    • The few available pockets are not positioned well on the vest.

    6. Body Glove Phantom Life Vest

    Body Glove Phantom Life Vest

    The manufacturer of this life vest succeeded in merging three great qualities to come up with a device like this. The combination of comfort, durability and a touch of style made the Phantom life vest the choice of many kayakers.

    It is a type III USCG approval vest. Its durability and comfort come from the Yamamoto Neoprene and PVC foam in which it is built. It has wide armholes which increase mobility while paddling, its advanced air foam technology along with the soft PVC foam on the front makes it well ventilated giving you maximum comfort during your entire adventure on the water.

    It comes with concealed back straps which help to shed water from the PFD and also guarantee your security on water, the front features 1.5-inches belts which is also supported by the zipper.

    Kayak Features

    • Heavy-duty buckles with quick release are placed on the front, which assures your protection all day long
    • Maximum ventilation for a warm day, keeping you snug and cozy
    • Lumbar protection pad: to increase flexibility


    • Material: Yamamoto Neoprene
    • Weight: 2 lbs
    • Sizing: Small – XX-large


    • No handy pockets
    • Tall users say it’s a bit too short for them

    7. NRS cVest Back PFD

    NRS cVest Back PFD

    The NRS cVest PFD is designed in the grandeur of style that you don’t get to see in an everyday life jacket. The manufacturers were intentional in building it, with kayaking fully on their minds. 

    This is why many users make it their best gear. It is specially made for active water adventurers, sea kayakers and those that love kayak fishing. The life vest is a USCG approved Type III. Users testify of its comfortability and how they sometimes forget they still have it on when kayaking. 

    It is styled with a mesh on the lower back to fit in on your kayak seat back and with the open sides, you have a full range of motion when paddling.

    Its grandeur of unique style is in its multiple storage spaces and using the 6 adjustment points you can customize the fit irrespective of your size.

    Kayak Features

    • It has 4 huge pockets where you can keep your handy items
    • It comes with 4 D-rings where you can clip your whistle and other accessories
    • This PFD comes in two high-visibility Colors of red and lime-green
    • 3M reflective accents: serves as additional visibility on the water
    • It is highly durable


    • Weight: 2 lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16.5 lbs.
    • Material: 400-Denier Nylon
    • Sizing: Extra Small – XX-Large


    • Its multiple pockets are not waterproof

    8. Stohlquist Edge Kayak Life jacket

    Stohlquist Edge Kayak Lifejacket

    Stohlquist designed this life jacket to fit users comfortably. The edge is seen as the most versatile PFDs from the manufacturer, specifically built for those who find interest in multi-use skills for active whitewater paddling, sailing and touring.

    The Type III PFD is crafted with an innovation known to be Graded Sizing which allows paddler size to fit perfectly with the foam body of the life jacket. Unlike other PFDs that can be customized to fit with straps, it rather gives optimal comfort as the beveled foam edges contour to the shape of your body.

    It comes with mesh sides for optimal ventilation, large armholes for unparalleled mobility, front waist buckle closure, adjustable padded shoulders straps, offset front-zip entry and 4 side pulls. All of these features come together to aid maximum comfort.

    Kayak Features

    • Spacious front pocket for secure storage of essentials and easy reach
    • 3M reflective accents for increased visibility
    • Rightly placed centered lash tab for secure attachment of accessories


    • Buoyancy: 15 lbs. (SM/MD)

    16 lbs. (LG/XL)

    17 lbs. (XXL)

    • Weight: 1.2lbs
    • Material: 200-Denier Oxford, 240D Mini-Ripstop Nylon


    • Sizes run a bit small
    • Women seem not to find it suitable

    9. NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket

    The NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket is designed for kayak fishing, fly fishing and extended tours. It is built to make kayakers more active on the water and the comfort they get when gliding is second to none.

    This Type III PFD is the best-selling life jacket that comes with all the vital attachment points needed for your handy fishing accessories. It is seen as a versatile piece of device because it fits perfectly even when worn over your regular clothes.

    It is sculpted from the soft PlushFit foam that conforms to your body conveniently, the mesh lower back fits well on a high-back kayak seat and gives more ventilation in warm weather, the adjustment points allow you to customize the fit in a way that gives comfort and security, and the multiple storage spaces allow for secure safekeeping of all needed items.

    Kayak Features

    • Lash tabs: for holding fishing accessories like rod and knife
    • It comes with two large zippered pockets
    • Has two accessory pockets along with hook-and-loop closures
    • Reflective accents and front strobe holder loop for visibility
    • A handy tool holder pocket where line cutters, pliers, and other relevant accessories can be easily reached.


    • Average Weight: 2.15 lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16.5 lbs.
    • Material: 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon
    • Sizing: X-Small – XX-Large


    • High price tag

    10. Stohlquist Rocker Personal Floatation Device

    Stohlquist Rocker Personal Floatation Device

    If you are looking for a low-profile life jacket for long days on the water, then Stohlquist Rocker is your best match. Its Graded Sizing technology allows for a more appropriate fit for every kayaker (men and women), irrespective of their size.

    It is a Type III PFD, and many SUP paddlers and whitewater boaters have made Stohlquist Rocker their best choice because of the comfort it gives and more importantly the way the Ergonomic Wrapture shaped torso wraps around their body.

    This piece of kayak gear features a front waist closure, cross-chest cinch harness that helps to give a perfect fit, adjustable padded and self-tensioning shoulders for free mobility on water, a handy front pocket with internal organization and ventilated lumbar pad for comfort.

    Kayak Features

    • A Gripp-loc interior non-slip panel that impede ride-up
    • The ventilated lumbar pad makes great airspace for air circulation
    • 3M reflective accents that improve visibility
    • Expandable mesh pocket and a large pocket for secure storage of items
    • Also comes with an offset front-zip entry along with a zipper grab tab
    • A D-ring to attach your whistle, Chapstick and key


    • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 16 lbs 8oz
    • Material: 500/400-Denier Nylon (outer shell), 200D Nylon (Inner Liner)


    • Difficulty in adjusting the PFD to fit

    11. Hardcore Life Vest

    Hardcore Life Vest

    The manufacturer noticed how worrisome most parents can be when they are on the water with their kids and teens therefore, Hardcore designed this PFD to keep parents’ minds at rest. The hardcore life vest is considered the most versatile youth jacket you can find around. 

    It is ideal for a variety of water activities like boating, waterskiing, tubing, fishing and most importantly, kayaking. It’s a US Coast Guard approved Typed Ill flotation device that one can customize the fit for adults, youth and kids that are 90 lbs+. 

    Kids that weigh 30-50 lbs are meant to get a child adjustable vest, and the youth life jacket is suitable for kids that weigh between 50 and 90 lbs. Basically made for comfort and durability.

    Sculpted from high quality polyester Cordura fabrics and features open sides for free airflow, adjustable straps as well as quick release buckle for security.

    Kayak Features

    • 1-inch adjustable straps where you can choose loose or tight fit to conform to body shape
    • Quick-release buckle which gives optimal safety during kayaking
    • Comes in cool, classic marine Color
    • Has open sides for paddle mobility


    • Weight: 0.6 lbs
    • Sizing: Youth (50-90 lbs.), Child (30-50 lbs.
    • Material: Polyester Cordura


    • Pretty short for taller teens

    12. Kokatat OutFit Tour Life Vest

    Kokatat OutFit Tour Life Vest

    Kokatat OutFit Tour Life Jacket is made for those who like to paddle long on open water, and users tend to find safety and comfort in this multi-function touring flotation device.

    It is USCG approved and features a tough outer shell and foam panel, adjustable side mesh, full-length front zipper for entry, padded adjustable shoulders, concealed and visible pockets, and large armholes.

    Kayak Features

    • Wide armholes and deep-cut neck opening for unrestricted paddling
    • Pockets: dual-zippered front pocket and a concealed pocket behind the entry zipper
    • SOLAS reflective tape: for maximum visibility in low light, a reflective tape is placed on the front and back of the life vest
    • It has padded adjustable shoulders alongside Hypalon Grip panels
    • It comes with fully adjustable stretch mesh side panels for free air circulation
    • An adjustable waist belt to customize the fit


    • Material: Outer Shell 500D Cordura

                             Inner Shell 200D Foam

    • Buoyancy: 16.5 lbs.


    • No back mesh

    13. O’Brien Traditional Life Vest

    O’Brien Traditional Life Vest

    O’Brien Traditional Life Vest is recommended for anyone who intends to shop for an eco-friendly PFD. O’Brien designed this traditional life vest for water sports like boating.

    It is a Type III US Coast Guard and Transport Canada approved life jacket; the outer shell is made with neoprene for all day comfort on the water. It’s a piece of gear that would make every water sport worth falling in love with. 

    It’s breathable and dries quickly due to its Biolite construction. It is lightweight, eco-conscious, and has 2-Buckle and zipper for entry. Neoprene expands when it is wet but this PFD is meant to snug and fits fairly when it is dry.

    Kayak Features

    • Large armholes and front hinge for free paddling
    • Zippered front closure and 2 adjustable belts to keep you safe
    • A PWC lanyard attachment ring that prevents the lanyard from disturbing you


    • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
    • Material: Biolite, Foam
    • Sizing: X-Small – X-Large
    • Men’s Sizes: 3XL(52″-56″)
    • 2XL(48″-52″)                  
    • L (40″-44″)            
    • M (36″-40″)                  
    • S (32″-36″)                  
    • XS (28″-32″)


    • It runs small

    14. The Kokatat Leviathan Fishing Kayak Life Jacket

    The Kokatat Leviathan Fishing Kayak Life Jacket

    Kokatat has been known for making gear for active paddlers for decades and creating a piece of equipment like Leviathan is proof that the manufacturer has the comfort, safety and functionality of kayakers in mind.

    It is a Type 70 Transport Canada and Type III USCG approved. The interior is made of foam, molded for a relaxed fit on the paddler’s body. The design was created to improve comfort when kayaking.

    It comes with multiple adjustment systems (4 on the sides and 2 on the shoulders), a plethora of pockets (2 hand warmers, 8 zippered and 4 mesh), D-rings and a full-length front zipper as its entry system. 

    Kayak Features

    • It has a hypo-allergenic mesh back and shoulders to accommodate kayak high back seat for comfort
    • Multiple adjustment points to customize the fit to your body size
    • Lots of pockets: 8 zippered and 4 mesh pockets to secure your accessories and other items and 2 handy handwarmers for chilly days
    • Mesh shoulder and back for air circulation


    • Buoyancy: 17.33lbs
    • Material: 100-Denier Polyester, Ariaprene (Mesh)


    • There is no reflective tape

    15. Onyx Curve MoveVent Paddle Sports PFD

    Onyx Curve MoveVent Paddle Sports PFD

    The Onyx Curve Movement Paddle Sports PFD is designed primarily for users who are enthusiastic about kayaking, stand up paddling and canoeing. It is built to perfectly conform to all body types using the adjustable shoulder, waist and side strap.

    Combining the USCG/Transport Canada Approval, it implies that the life jacket can be worn in Canadian and United State waters. It features soft-lightweight flotation foam, ventilation panels in the front and back, mesh back lower to accommodate kayak back seats and a heavy-duty front zipper that helps to prevent ride up. It is a low profile and custom fit PFD.

    Kayak Features

    • Side adjustment points allow you to customize the fit for your comfort
    • The wide armholes and slim shoulder straps give free paddling motion
    • Ventilated mesh in the front and back of the vest keep you cozy and cool
    • The sculpted flexible design relaxes on your body, with fewer restrictions to paddling in a kayak
    • SOLAS grade reflective tape gives additional visibility on the water


    • Material:200-Denier Nylon
    • Weight: ‎1.2 lbs.
    • Sizing: X-Small/Small – 28″-36″
        • Medium/Large – 36″-44″
        •  X-Large/2X-Large – 44″-56″


    • There is no pocket
    • It is too short-waisted

    16. O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest

    O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest

    O’Neill Men’s Superlite Life Vest is designed to be affordable by all lovers of water sports like water skiing, boating and tubing. It is one life jacket that is pocket-friendly and yet functions like other high price tags PFDs.

    This Type III life USCG approved life vest has its outer shell made with heavy-duty nylon which makes it water resistant, and the interior part is contoured with foam to conform to the user’s torso. It features quick-release Delrin buckles, several webbing belts and drain holes that keep it from retaining water.

    Kayak Features

    • The Delrin buckles allow you to adjust the gear to fit perfectly with your body and as such fasten it.
    • It has 4 heavy-duty 1.5 wide webbing belt
    • It is also coated with nylon on the outside for maximum comfort


    • Weight: 1.6 lbs
    • Size: Small-XXXX Large


    • The vest runs small

    17. Absolute Outdoor Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket

    Absolute Outdoor Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket

    Onyx is known for making amazing gear, and the Absolute Outdoor Inflatable Life Jacket is like the cherry on top for many active swimmers. It is built for a certain group of users, meaning that it is not suitable for every dick and harry.

    The life jacket is one gear that is worth owning if you are a skilled swimmer and yet enthusiastic about water sports like boating and kayak fishing.

    Unlike many PFDs that you get to see in the market, it is crafted in a different style. In warm weather, its lightweight, slim designs keep you cool, plus you can wear it all day long on water as the soft neoprene neckline offers the comfort to do so.

    It is a Type V USCG approved PFD with Type III performance; it has a T-cord with which you can inflate the vest manually or allow it to inflate automatically upon immersion in water. It is crafted from durable fabrics that resist tears and punctures.

    Kayak Features

    • Its reflective piping gives greater visibility
    • The soft neoprene neckline provides comfort all day when boating or kayak fishing
    • Comes with a stretchable flex-back insert
    • It provides a wide range of motion and movement
    • Its low-profile design keeps you cool


    • Weight: 1.6 lbs.
    • Buoyancy: 22.5 lbs
    • Material: Nylon, Neoprene


    • Not suitable for all

    18. NRS Women's Shenook Fishing Life Jacket

    NRS Women's Shenook Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)

    NRS made this PFD specifically to fit female anglers. Because men and women are shaped differently, the manufacturer sculpted Plushfit foam panels to fit the female body of various shapes. 

    Moreover, a great choice of kayak fishing life vest should come in shapes that are a better fit for your body and possess all expected features. NRS Shenook is a Type III USCG approved, plus it comes in female-form-fitting design. 

    It features multiple adjustment points, 2 accessory pockets, 1-tool holder, 2-large zippered pockets, 1-rod holder and shoulder strap keepers.

    A bulky, clammy and heavy PFD should never be an option when you have a piece of equipment that not only makes you more effective on water but also has all attachment points for your fishing tools.

    Kayak Features

    • Comfort and security: the multiple adjustment points allow you to customize the fit to your preferences
    • Multiple pockets: zippered pockets and accessory pockets with hook and loop. A tool holder pocket that offers quick access to your fishing accessories
    • A reflective accent
    • Front strobe holder and a knife lash tab
    • The mesh lower-back gives room for ventilation


    • Weight: 1 lb
    • Buoyancy: 16.5 lbs
    • Material: 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon
    • Size: X-Small -X-Large

    19. The NRS Odyssey Life Jacket

    The NRS Odyssey Life Jacket

    The NRS Odyssey life jacket is purposely designed for kayakers whose adventure of paddling is mostly on the sea. NRS Odyssey is your best bet for touring and sea kayaking.

    This Type III, medium profile PFD has all the features needed for safety on open water. It comes with a full back panel that fits comfortably in the kayak seats and has a paddler cut that aids maximum range of motion.

    It has multiple adjustment points (4 on the sides, 2 on the shoulder and 1 around the waist) to customize the fit, a front zippered entry point and 4 front pocket options.

    Kayak Features

    • Multiple pockets: it has dual entry pockets designed to fit VHF radios and large zippered pockets that offer many storage options
    • Multiple D-rings and 3-lash tabs provide ample attachment points
    • 3M reflective patches on the upper back for visibility
    • It also has a cool flow system that maximizes ventilation


    • Buoyancy: 16.5lbs.
    • Size: Medium
    • Material: 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon

    20. NRS Ninja Kayak Life Jacket (PFD)

    NRS Ninja Kayak Life Jacket (PFD)

    NRS designed this low-profile jacket for athletic performance. It is built for paddlers of all persuasions thereby enhancing the user’s watercraft skills. It is suitable for adults who are not too tall and teens who have outgrown youth PFDs.

    It is a Type III USCG approved PFD, meaning that your safety is guaranteed. It has all its flotation directed into a smaller surface area so that users can have maximum range of motion when paddling. It is crafted from soft foam panels that are shaped to give you optimal comfort

    It features a side buckle, 6 adjustment points (4 on the sides and 2 on the shoulders), 1 front pocket, 1 lash tab and mesh shoulder straps.

    Kayak Features

    • Complete ventilation: the inner panels and the mesh shoulder straps provide free air circulation
    • Wide range of motion: the jacket is sculpted from soft PVC-free foam panels that are shaped for mobility and comfort
    • The 6 adjustment points and the side entry are meant to customize fit to your body
    • Pocket: it has a clamshell pocket with internal organization and dual entry zippers


    • Weight: 1 lb.
    • Buoyancy: 16.5 lbs.
    • Material: 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon (outer fabric), 200-Denier Nylon (Lining)
    • Size: ‎S/M


    • Not suitable for taller adults

    Best kayak Life Vest for Kids: Astral Otter 2.0 Kid's Life Jacket

    Best kayak Life Vest for Kids

    A life vest is always a requirement for every kid who is planning to be on water. Astral Otter Kid’s Life Jacket is carefully designed to meet the average safety standard flotation capacity. This is one kids PFD that is ideal for sailing, whitewater and SUP.

    The Type III USCG life vest is made from organic Kapok foam, which gives kids maximum comfort. It comes with front entry, easily reached pockets, adjustable straps, and the back quick-grab handle makes for easy rescue. The bright Color enables you to spot your kid easily, this makes Otter 2.0 most parents and kids’ choice of gear.


    • Front entry alongside with 3-kid-friendly buckles
    • Pockets: 2 front pockets made with YKK non-corrosive zippers
    • Reachable side adjustment points to customize fit to the infant body
    • Flotection design: to protect delicate torso parts, the kids’ ribs and organs
    • Padded shoulder and body straps help to hold the PFD in place


    • Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
    • Buoyancy: 11.5 lbs.
    • Material: Organic Kapok & polyethene (foam), Outer Fabric
    • 200 x 400-Denier Ripstop Nylon (Outer Fabric), 200-Denier lightweight Nylon (Lining Fabric)
    • Fits Weight Ranges: 50 – 90 lbs.

    Do I need a life vest to kayak?

    It is important to have buoyancy fitted gear with you so that when the kayak capsizes it can be easily re-boarded. It is not enough to wear any life vest, always wear a PFD designed for kayaking. More often than not, people find ways to circumnavigate laws than to protect themselves.

    You should be aware that 70% of boating fatality accidents result from drowning and 85% of them are not wearing life jackets. In other words, to your preparedness, experience and knowledge, you will always need a life vest to kayak because even the toughest swimmer still needs this piece of gear to fight fierce currents and cold.

    Do you have to wear a life vest when kayaking?

    The essence of wearing a life vest when kayaking cannot be over-emphasized. The US Coast Guard has proven that 85% of those who drown in kayak related accidents do not have a life jacket on. Therefore, before you go kayaking ensure that you wear a kayak designed PFD as it is the most effective gear, plus it works only when you wear it.

    Over the years it has been observed that if you have your life vest on, you are more likely to survive peradventure if anything goes wrong on the water. Although anyone can drown regardless of years of swimming experience, age and skills, the fact remains that a PFD will still give you the chance to survive before rescue arrives.

    When it comes to safety on the water, money should never be an excuse. Buy the best kayak PFD that perfectly resonates with what you intend to do before your next kayak adventure.

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