Spending time in the water with your child is a great bonding experience. Teaching children to swim can be a lot of fun and is a good way to make some lasting memories. However, if your child is not a strong swimmer, you will need to make sure they are as safe as possible.
Picking out the best life jackets for child is sure to provide you with peace of mind. And a wide range of life jackets has been created especially for kids of all ages.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best Life Jackets for Kids and find the perfect ones for your family…
- Top 10 Best Life Jackets For Kids In 2021 Reviews
- 1 Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest – Best Toddler Life Jacket for Lake
- 2 Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Children
- 3 Full Throttle Child Water Buddies Life Vest – Best Life Jacket for Toddler on Boat
- 4 O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest
- 5 Speedo Child Personal Life Jacket – Best Life Jacket for Toddler Learning to Swim
- 6 AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest – Best Life Jackets for Toddler
- 7 O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest – Best Life Jacket for Toddler at the Beach
- 8 SwimWays Sea Squirts Fin Friends Life Jacket
- 9 Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest – Best Infant Life Jackets for Boating
- 10 Mustang Survival Lil’ Legends 100 Flotation Vest – Best Life Jackets for Infant
- Best Life Jackets For Kids Buying Guide
- So, What Are Best Life Jackets For Kids?
Top 10 Best Life Jackets For Kids In 2021 Reviews
1 Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest – Best Toddler Life Jacket for Lake
Trying to make sure that your child is visible while they are swimming is often a bit of a challenge. Of course, you will want to give them the space they need to have fun in the water and gain extra confidence. However, it is important to make sure that you can keep an eye on them just in case they need assistance.
Bright and bold…
The bright green design of the Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest helps to make it especially visible. There is a large grab strap on the top that you can use to haul your child upright if they fall forwards. However, this is unlikely to happen thanks to the five flotation pads that are set into the life jacket.
One large flotation pad is set into the back of the life jacket, and there is one on either side. The remaining two pads are set into the front of the life jacket to help make it especially buoyant. These pads can be removed one by one if desired as your child’s swimming skills improve.
Built to last…
Two secure straps run over the check of the life jacket to hold it firmly in place. There is also a standard crotch strap that runs between the legs. All the straps are side and webbed to make them especially durable.
- Set with thick padded straps.
- Features a durable nylon shell.
- Designed to be highly visible.
- Suitable for children weighing 30-50 pounds.
- Boasts five flotation panels.
- A bit on the bulky side.
2 Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Children
Making sure that young children are safe when they have fun in the water can be a nerve-wracking experience. Of course, you will want your child to have as much fun as possible. However, it is important to make sure that they are absolutely safe while they splash around.
Fortunately, the Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Children has been created with safety firmly in mind. Although this model may look rather simple at first, it provides an impressive amount of buoyancy to keep your kid afloat.
This type II flotation device provides an impressive seven pound six ounce sea buoyancy level. It has been designed for children weighing between eight pounds and thirty pounds. If your child is especially young, you are sure to appreciate the large grab strap on the top.
The bright and bold design makes this life jacket highly visible. The strong zipper on the front is accompanied by a matching buckle that runs across the front. Extra stability is also supplied by the large and fully adjustable crotch strap.
- Available in a wide range of colors.
- Features a wide neck opening.
- Set with a large grab handle.
- Made of durable 200-denier nylon oxford material.
- Boasts a quick release buckle.
- The zipper at the neck may chafe.
3 Full Throttle Child Water Buddies Life Vest – Best Life Jacket for Toddler on Boat
Kids are sure to love the bright and bold dinosaur print on this life jacket. This bright and bold jacket is sure to encourage them to take to the water. This is ideal for kids who are reluctant to wear a life jacket.
Safe and secure…
The two waist belts that are built into the design help to keep the life jacket firmly in place. There is also a leg strap that is attached to the bottom of the life jacket. The fact that this model is US Coast Guard Approved is also sure to give you confidence.
If dinosaurs are not to your child’s taste, you will also find five other designs to choose from. Each of these designs is especially bright and bold. In addition to adding extra fun to splashing around, these designs help to make this life jacket especially visible.
But, there’s a catch…
Take should be taken when selecting the right size as they tend to be smaller than average. The front of this life jacket tends to tip forward, which may give you cause for concern. Fortunately, if this happens, you can easily set your child upright thanks to the large grab handle at the top.
- Set with a large grab handle.
- Available in six cool designs.
- US Coast Guard Approved.
- Type III floatation device.
- Features a durable leg strap.
- Sizes tend to run small.
- The vest tends to tip forwards.
4 O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest
Your child is sure to feel all grown up in this professional looking life jacket. Unlike models made for younger children, this life jacket does not come with a grab strip or crotch strap. However, security is provided by the two buckles that strap across the chest.
Let’s take a closer look…
The O’Neill Child Reactor USCG Life Vest is set with a special segmented core combined with additional flex points. These help to provide your child with pure freedom of movement. They will be able to have the mobility they need to move through the water while enjoying plenty of support.
The full-length zipper that runs down the front of this life jacket makes it easy to put on and take off. This zipper is especially strong and durable. The life jacket has been created in bright colors to deliver optimum visibility.
It should be noted that this life vest does not come with a collar. As this is a type 3 PFD, it is not suitable for boating and other offshore activities. However, if your child wants to splash around in the pool, this model is an excellent option.
- USCG Approved Personal Flotation Device.
- Set with quick release safety buckles.
- Boasts a relaxed fit.
- Available in three cool color combinations.
- Features a heavy-duty zipper.
- Not suitable for offshore activities.
- Tends to be rather heavy when wet.
5 Speedo Child Personal Life Jacket – Best Life Jacket for Toddler Learning to Swim
With its three large adjustable straps, the Speedo Child Personal Life Jacket promises to provide pure security. Two chest straps are accompanied by a matching crotch strap. All of the straps are fully adjustable to provide your child with the support they need.
This Type III life jacket makes it easy for your child to move through the water. This life jacket has also been designed to be especially easy to put on. However, you can be sure it will stay firmly in place.
Want to know the best part?
The Speedo Child Personal Life Jacket comes complete with an integrated neck pillow. This has been designed to support your child’s head while they are in the water. The durable nylon outer shell is combined with a soft polyester lining for enhanced comfort.
There are several different designs to choose from that have been created to appeal to both boys and girls. Convincing your kid to let you slip this model over their head is sure to be a breeze. In fact, this life jacket is so cool and comfortable that you might find your child wants to keep it on.
- Boasts a bright and bold design.
- Suitable for swimmers of all levels.
- USCG-approved Type II.
- Features an integrated neck pillow.
- Set with dual leg straps.
- The leg straps are a little short.
6 AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest – Best Life Jackets for Toddler
Toddlers are likely to be attracted to the bright and bold design of this life jacket. The AIRHEAD Wicked Kwik-Dry Neolite Vest boasts a bright pink design that makes it especially attractive. This is likely to make it much easier to convince your child to put on their life jacket.
But is it just a pretty face?
This USCG approved Type III life jacket comes with a wide range of safety features to provide peace of mind. A large and durable zipper runs all the way down the front to hold the life jacket together. It is further held in place by a pair of straps that fasten across the chest.
These straps are accompanied by a long and wide crotch strap. All of these straps are easy to adjust to ensure the perfect fit. However, this life vest is designed to be especially light and pliable thanks to the PVC foam front.
A little uncomfortable…
It should be noted that the neck and zipper on this model come rather close to the head. This is a common feature of most infant life jackets. However, some children are likely to find that this is a little uncomfortable.
- Fits children weighing 30-50 pounds.
- USCG approved Type III.
- Set with a crotch strap.
- Features quick release buckles.
- Boasts a large grab strap.
- The neck and zipper come close to the head.
7 O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest – Best Life Jacket for Toddler at the Beach
While life jackets are designed to provide your child with extra protection, they tend to be rather bulky. This means that they can restrict your child’s movements in the water. Trying to persuade a young child to wear a traditional life jacket can be quite difficult.
So what’s the solution?
The O’Brien Child Neoprene Life Vest features a special BioLite outer shell. This helps to make this life vest much lighter than usual. The slim design helps to deliver unrestricted movement and as much comfort as possible.
Children are sure to be drawn to the bright blue and yellow design of this vest. This helps to make it highly visible for enhanced security. A large grab strap has also been attached to the top of this life vest.
Safe and sound…
Slipping your child into this life jacket will be easy as a zipper runs all the way down the front. You can hold it in place with the fully adjustable straps that buckle at the front. A third strap is designed to run between your child’s legs to prevent this life jacket from slipping.
- Fits children weighing 30-50 pounds.
- USCG Approved.
- Made of highly breathable material.
- Boasts a BioLite outer shell.
- Designed to be highly visible.
- Sizes tend to run rather small.
8 SwimWays Sea Squirts Fin Friends Life Jacket
Kids are sure to have fun in this cool life jacket. The SwimWays Sea Squirts Fin Friends Life Jacket boasts a blue design with a cute and friendly shark logo. The look is completed by a fun, flexible fin that is attached to the back.
Fun in the sun…
Your child is sure to have a lot of fun pretending to be a shark as they learn to swim. This fin is especially flexible and will not get in the way as they move through the water. You can also use this fin as a handhold while teaching your child new swimming skills.
Two safety straps are secured over the chest to help hold this life jacket firmly in place. Another strap also runs between the legs. This model is suitable for children weighing 30 to fifty pounds and provides plenty of space for them to grow.
Keep an eye out…
The only downside is that the blue colors of this life vest are not highly visible. It is likely to blend in with the background of the pool or the sea. However, while your child is swimming, the fin will stand out of the water to make it easier to spot.
- Set with two adjustable waist belts.
- US Coast Guard approved.
- Boasts a flexible fin.
- Comes complete with a crotch strap.
- Boasts a low profile for enhanced mobility.
- Not very visible.
9 Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest – Best Infant Life Jackets for Boating
Taking your child boating is sure to be an experience they will always remember. Of course, you will want to make sure that your child wears a life jacket so that they are safe. As the name suggests, the Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest has been created especially for boat trips.
But there’s more…
There will be no chance of this life jacket riding up thanks to the three adjustable chest straps. The Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest also boasts especially large armholes. These are designed to provide enhanced comfort as well as freedom of movement.
The open sided design of this life jacket helps to provide it from being too bulky. However, you can be sure that it will provide your child with plenty of buoyancy in the water. Still, you might be less than impressed by the absence of a grab strap and crotch strap.
One for the whole family…
This model is available in different sizes that are designed to fit children of all ages. There is also a matching version that has been created especially for adults. This means that the whole family can go boating in these smart matching life jackets.
- Available in several cool designs.
- Set with three adjustable chest straps.
- Boasts large armholes.
- Bright colors for enhanced visibility.
- Features an open sided design.
- Does not feature a crotch strap.
10 Mustang Survival Lil’ Legends 100 Flotation Vest – Best Life Jackets for Infant
If your little one is ready to take to the water, you will want to provide them with plenty of encouragement. However, this is sure to be a rather worrying time for any parent. While you want your child to have fun and learn to swim, you also need to be sure that they are safe.
Strapping your child in the Mustang Survival Lil’ Legends 100 Flotation Vest is sure to give you plenty of confidence. This durable and sturdy life jacket is US Coast Guard Type II Approved. It helps to provide your child with extra buoyancy and stability without restricting their movements.
Want to know the best part?
The especially large and wide neck pillow provides your child’s head with plenty of support. This means that you will not have to worry about their head falling back into the water. This neck pillow is also set with a large grab strap at the top.
This special life jacket uses segmented AirSoft floatation foam. The mobility panels have been specially shaped to hug the contours of your child’s body for unrestricted movement. There is also a Cooling Channeled Back Interior Panel to prevent your child from overheating on a sunny day.
- Heavy-duty grab strap.
- Set with a ventilated mesh back.
- Cooling-channeled interior back panel.
- Type II US Coast Guard Approved.
- Features special cooling channels.
- Tends to run a little small.
Choosing a life jacket for your little one is not something you should take lightly. While most models look rather similar, they can vary widely in terms of quality and features. Here are some important factors to bear in mind when checking out the best life jackets for kids.
- The US Coast Guard Logo
This special logo proves that the life jacket meets the necessary safety requirements. In order to receive this logo, life jackets and other swimming aids have to undergo strict testing. If the product you have set your sights on does not carry this logo, it might be best to keep looking.
- The Perfect Fit
Life jackets that are designed for kids are made based on weight. This should help to make finding the perfect fit rather simple. However, it is important to make sure that it is not too big and stick to the weight restrictions.
- Safety Straps
The safety straps on the life vest are designed to hold it firmly in place while your child swims. There should be at least one strap across the chest and ideally a crotch strap. If your child is especially young, a grab strap at the top is sure to be useful.
- Bright and Bold
Children are typically drawn to bright colors, and a life jacket with a bright design is likely to appeal to them. Brightly colored life jackets also help to make them especially visible in the swimming pool and ocean. Colors such as bright yellow, red, and orange stand out especially well against the water.
- Choosing the Right Type
It is important to understand that different types of life jackets have been created for different purposes and activities. The type should be clearly indicated so that you can choose the right model. There are five different types with Type I providing the most support for emergency situations and Type V being suitable for strong swimmers.
- Head Support
If your child is not a strong swimmer, it is important to make sure that their head is supported. The life jacket should come complete with a neck pillow that helps to cradle the head. Make sure that this neck pillow of the Best Life Jackets for Kids is fully padded and will not cut into the neck while swimming.
- Quick Dry
If the life jacket retains water, it is likely to become affected by mold and mildew. However, this will quickly ruin the design and give the life jacket an unpleasant look and smell. But, this can be prevented by choosing a model that utilizes quick drying material.
When choosing the best life jackets for kids, safety is sure to be the most important consideration. In this respect, the…
…is a real winner. This mighty model is US Coast Guard Approved and provides more than seven pounds of sea buoyancy.
In addition to strong zippers and straps, this model comes complete with an enhanced grab strap. This strap is extra wide to allow you to get a firm grip. The low back and sides of this model also provide your child with the mobility they need while they learn to swim.