5 Best Life Jackets for Non-Swimmers (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Every water activity requires safety measures to be put into place and more so if you are a non-swimmer. Choosing a life jacket must be done carefully, as you are totally dependent on it for your survival while in water. A good life jacket must first yield enough buoyancy before other factors are considered.

Below, we review our top five selected life jackets for non-swimmers based on their features to help you make the right choice.

Best Life Jackets for Non-Swimmers

Here are our non-swimmer life jacket reviews.

1. Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

This US Coast Guard Approved PFD is the ideal life jacket for non-swimmers and boasts of impressive reviews. It comes with adjustable straps for easy size scalability, and a lightweight floatation foam for maximum buoyancy. Its large armholes allow for comfort and mobility, and bright color options for improved visibility, great for supervision.

  • Yields very comfortable, snug fit.
  • It is lightweight and highly buoyant.
  • It allows for unrestricted movement and high visibility.
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2. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest (2)

The Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is a USCG Approved life jacket great for swimming. It comes with a soft, polyester exterior with durable foam for high buoyancy. Its three-buckle design makes it highly adaptable to a wide range of body sizes and shapes.

  • Soft nylon and polyester exterior for comfort.
  • High buoyancy.
  • Fits both men and women and different body sizes.
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3. ONYX Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket

Onyx Adult Universal Type 2 Uscg Approved Life Jacket

This USCG Approved life vest is built to emphasize beginner safety. Its design ensures the wearer’s face is always upwards and out of the water, even when unconscious. It is made from very lightweight, durable nylon, making it easy to store, and is adjustable to ensure a secure fit.

  • Designed to keep the wearer’s face above the water level.
  • It is lightweight, highly portable, and highly storable.
  • It is made from durable nylon and is easily adjustable.
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4. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket

Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket Life Vest For Children

This US Coast Guard Approved PFD ensures we don’t leave the kids out of the swimming fun. It is built from lightweight, durable nylon, and is designed to hoist your little one in a snug fit. It comes with playful designs for a fun experience, and yields superb buoyancy to give your kid confidence to learn how to swim.

  • It is lightweight and durable.
  • It is highly buoyant and emphasizes safety.
  • Ensures a snug fit with a multi-point lift.
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5. Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Snorkel Vest

Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Snorkel Vest Portable Life Jacket For Swimming Safety

The Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Snorkel Vest is an inflatable PFD great for both beginner and intermediate swimmers. It is designed for quick inflation and deflation and provides high buoyancy. It is also very lightweight and portable, is puncture-resistant, and is easily adjustable to fit most body sizes.

  • Quick inflation and deflation.
  • Yields high buoyancy.
  • It is very lightweight and portable.
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Life Jackets for Non-Swimmers Buying Guide

Every expert swimmer you see also started as a beginner. Learning how to swim should entail putting in place various safety precautions, the most important being a reliable life jacket.

Choosing the right life jacket pools together a set of considerations we will now look at.

Our buying guide reviews the best life jackets for non-swimmers on the market, giving you a basis to compare them and go with the best product your money can buy.


The most important factor to consider when choosing a life jacket for a non-swimmer is its buoyancy rating. Unlike life jackets for advanced swimmers, all the floatation is up to the PFD. As a beginner, you are totally dependent on the life jacket to stay afloat.

When choosing a life jacket, you should go with one that can support your weight and keep your mouth and nose above the water level at all times. No extra effort should be required to stay afloat, and you should make sure to test it in calm water, say a pool, before going to a larger water body.

USCG label

Remember, it’s your safety we’re talking, so you want some guarantee. As a beginner swimmer, always go for a life jacket with the USCG label. Nothing should be left to chance. Professional swimmers can find their way out of a fix should an emergency arise, but not you.

The USCG Approved label means the product has been tested and to reach the recommended standard as designed by federal regulations in weight, reliability, buoyancy, impact-resistance, etc.


As a beginner, you should never swim unsupervised. A lifeguard or professional swimmer should be around to keep a close eye on you as you play in the water.

Choosing bright colors for a life jacket is the best way to go as you will easily stand out and remain under the radar of your supervisor. In the case of any mishap, help can get to you quickly.