Top 11 Best Life Jackets 2018

What is Life Jacket?

Life jackets or life vests are the most important item you should take with you if going on a boat or flying over water. The soul purpose of a life jacket is to save your life. Although the human body is buoyant in water there are many times that a life vest can save your life such as if you are knocked unconscious, don’t know how to swim well, or your stranded in water for a long period.

Buying Guide

Life jackets or PFDs (personal floatation devices) come in a wide range of designs and sizes. You can find life vests categorized as small, medium, and large or they may be specifically for infants, child, or adult. In order for a life jacket to do its job it is very important to wear the life vest suited for your size. A 200 pound man is not going to get a lot of benefit from a baby life jacket.


Life vests are made out of different materials. Neoprene and nylon are very popular and easy to find. Some of them are inflatable while others contain a buoyant material inside the outer shell. You can also find them in two-strap design and three-strap life jackets. There are even available special dog-life-jackets.

Whether you are shopping for a fishing-life-jacket, sailing-life-jacket or other water sport-life-jacket you will want to make sure you have the right size and style for your need. There is a reason why many countries have laws requiring anyone in a boat have a PFD – they save lives. Wear your life jacket and enjoy the water.

Check out the 11 best life jackets in the market right now:

1. Stohlquist Fisherman PFD

Stohlquist Fisherman
Comfort and water safety with all the necessities, close at hand. Put to work, while you play, the FISHERMAN provides excellent cockpit management with places for the little things that could end up in your seat, or overboard. New features include an array of pockets with anchor-points, front zip entry closure, padded neoprene shoulders, plus new ultra-soft and Gaia flotation foam. Dual front-mounted tool pouch pockets have protective EVA stiffened outer shells to protect pocket contents when re-boarding the kayak from “over the rim”. EVA inner platform – is a fold-down work surface. Velour (hook & loop style) -inner lining attachment surface. Sized to fit small plastic lure boxes. Inside accessory pockets and stowage for tools. Like an angling vest, the FISHERMAN vest has mounting locations for tippets, retractor(s), nippers, leader-line, hemastats, and pliers.

>> Stohlquist-Fisherman-Personal-Floatation-Device




2. NRS Ninja PFD

The Ninja’s athletic design won’t interfere with paddling, rowing or swimming. Four side adjustments and two shoulder adjustments provide a custom fit. Great for boaters with short torsos, who may have a difficult time wearing more conventional life vests. Soft PVC-Free foam flotation panels are shaped for comfort. A floating front panel adjusts to your body’s shape and gives you a warm place to put your hands when it’s chilly. The side entry is secured by quick release buckles, making it easy to put on and take off. A front mesh pocket secured with a quick release buckle holds the essentials. The 500-denier Cordura shell wears like iron. Soft, stretchy fabric on the inside lets the Ninja PFD flex, and enhances breathability. One well placed lash tab holds your rescue knife. Design flotation: 16.5 lbs

>> NRS-Ninja-PFD-Personal-Floatation-Devices




3. NRS cVest Mesh Back PFD

NRS cVest Mesh Back
NRS cVest Mesh Back PFD for touring comfort, convenience and safety, the cVest can’t be beat. Photographers, naturalists and anyone who likes lots of pockets love it too! Six pockets, including one for a radio, provide lots of handy storage. An accessory lash tab and lanyard loops on the front, plus a beacon loop on the back, give you even more options for outfitting this vest. Flotation is concentrated up front and behind the shoulders, with a mesh lower back that lets you recline, relax and stay cool. Solas reflective tape on front and back provides outstanding low-light visibility. Eight adjustment points ensure a snug, secure fit. Large arm openings allow for unobstructed movement while paddling or rowing.

>> NRS-cVest-Mesh-Back-PFD




4. ONYX A/M-24 Deluxe Automatic Manual Inflatable Life Jacket

It provides comfort, safety and peace of mind, without knowing you have it on, until you may need it. It automatically inflates upon immersion in water or when the wearer pulls the “Jerk to Inflate” handle and also comes equipped with back-up oral inflation. Equipped with utility pockets for a spare CO2 cylinder, waterproof camera or other gear. Convertible from automatic/manual to manual only inflation. Heavy-duty 420 denier nylon ripstop and 400 denier.

>> ONYX-A/M-24-Deluxe-Automatic-Manual-Inflatable-Life-Jacket




5. Stohlquist Women’s Flo Life Jacket/PFD

Stohlquist Women's Flo
High performance economical equivalents of Stohlquist’s Cruiser vest featuring 400×200 denier ripstop outer shell and soft 210 denier inner liner. High back flotation fits comfortably above the seat backs found in today’s sit-on-top kayaks. Ultralight and ultra cool with open sides and mesh shoulders and back for ventilation. Cross-chest cinch harness for zero ride-up and built-in supportive inner cups. Large bellow pockets with drainage.

>> Stohlquist-Women’s-Flo-Life-Jacket/Personal-Floatation-Device




6. Stohlquist Men’s Ebb Life Jacket/PFD

Stohlquist Men's Ebb
The Ebb PFD features Stohlquist chest cinch-strap for a no ride-up fit. The mesh back clears higher seat backs in kayaks and canoes. Mesh back PFDs will help ensure the maximum comfort between seat back and your body. The back foam can be adjusted in position by adjusting the 8 adjustable straps. Stohlquist’s front cinch strap eliminates PFD ride-up.

>> Stohlquist-Men’s-Ebb-Life-Jacket/Personal-Floatation-Device




7. NRS Vapor PFD

NRS Vapor
The NRS Vapor PFD Entry and adjustment is easy. Just open the two side buckles, slip the jacket on and buckle up. Once adjusted, it fits right every time. The soft foam wraps around your body and moves with you for “I forgot I had it on” comfort. The action-cut design frees your arms for unrestricted paddling and rowing, and its light weight will never slow you down. The chest zipper opens a huge pocket that covers the front of the jacket. Behind the pocket is a roomy hand warmer pouch for chilly fingers. Also includes a lash tab for your knife and reflective piping for low-light visibility.

>> NRS-Vapor-PFD – Personal-Floatation-Device




8. O’Neill Wake Waterski Men’s Superlite USCG Vest

The soft and comfortable O’Neill Superlite flotation vest features closed cell PVC marine foam for optimal buoyancy while minimizing bulk, as well as a durable coated nylon shell that will hold up to years of heavy outdoor use. Quick release buckles make for easy on-and-off, and the vest is United States Coast Guard (USCG) certified.

>> O’Neill-Wake-Waterski-Men’s-Superlite-USCG-Vest




9. Body Glove Method USCG Approved Nylon Life Vest

Body Glove Method USCG
For safety and security, a Coast Guard approved PFD is necessary when boating or enjoying watersports. Help prevent accidental drowning with a comfortable, easy to wear nylon life jacket from Body Glove. USCG Approved Type III Nylon PFD. Super duty nylon outer shell in bright colors. Anatomically cut 100% PE faom flotation for maximum comfort. 4 heavy-duty 1.5 wide webbing belts with quick release buckles allow for an adjustable fit and easy fastening. Oversized arm holes allow freedom of movement and comfort. Strategically placed drain holes keep the vest from retaining water.

>> Body-Glove-Method-USCG-Approved-Nylon-Life-Vest




10. Coleman Company Stearns Comfort Series PFD

Carry your tackle, boat keys, or other gear with you in a Stearns Comfort Series Life Vest. A front pocket allows anglers and hunters quick access to their gear. The US Coast Guard approved life vest is designed to help cool you on a hot day, with mesh on the back and shoulders for radded ventilation. The large arm holes also add comfort to a day on the water, giving you more room to paddle, cast or aim. A zippered front and webbed adjustable buckle strap offers a custom fit. With a durable 200D nylon shell and tough Flotation Foam inside, you’re sure to be wearing it when you catch your limit more times than you can count.

>> Coleman-Company-Stearns-Comfort-Series-Personal-Floatation-Device




11. ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

ONYX MoveVent
A vest that conforms to your body like a glove, yet its innovative vented channels help to keep you cool while paddling. Soft, comfortable floation foam – a bubble foam – on inner back for added comfort. SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility. 200 denier nylon ripstop and nylon oxford.

>> ONYX-MoveVent-Dynamic-Paddle-Sports-Life-Vest