5 Best Life Jackets (Reviews Updated 2022)

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The life jacket has evolved since its invention in 1845 into a highly versatile safety bodywear and is now more commonly known as a Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Whether it’s to go out fishing, sailing, swimming, water skiing, kayaking, etc. having a good life jacket can ensure your survival in the case of an emergency.

A good life jacket should be comfortable, easily adjustable to accommodate different body sizes, should be lightweight, ensure a snug fit, and should provide enough buoyancy to support the wearer’s weight. Below, we save you the effort of scouting online for the product as we look through our list of top five life jackets, hence streamlining your choices.

Best Life Jackets

Here are our life jacket reviews.

1. ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Onyx Movevent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

The ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest stands as the ideal PFD for adults who want to engage in any water sporting activity. It is built from durable nylon, is designed to fit into a wide variety of boat types, and features a SOLAS reflective material for rescue support. It utilizes a lightweight, highly-buoyant floatation foam, is built for comfort, and enables maximum mobility to the wearer.

  • Lightweight, heavy-duty nylon exterior and floatation foam.
  • Yields impressive comfort and mobility.
  • Features rescue support.
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2. O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest

O'neill Men's Superlite Uscg Life Vest

This US Coast Guard Approved PFD is a multipurpose life jacket that is highly adaptable with a wide range of water sports. It boasts of a minimal design that allows for full mobility, a durable polyester shell for impact-resistance, and a lightweight PE floatation for impressive buoyancy.

  • Highly adaptable to different water sports.
  • Impact-resistant polyester exterior.
  • Lightweight and impressive buoyancy.
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3. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest (2)

The Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest comes with a durable nylon exterior and is designed to be easily adjustable to accommodate a wide range of body sizes, and both the male and female figure. Its open-sided design allows for unrestricted movement, comfort, and lightweight PE floatation foam to keep afloat easily.

  • Durable material composition.
  • Comfortable and allows unrestricted movement.
  • It is lightweight and easily adjustable to fit both men and women.
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4. Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

1onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

The Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest, just like its name, is a multipurpose boating vest for virtually all water sporting activities and fits well on both men and women. It comes with a lightweight, high-buoyancy floatation foam, large armholes for comfort and good mobility, and in a bright orange color for high visibility.

  • It fits both men and women perfectly.
  • It is lightweight and highly buoyant.
  • Ensures good mobility and visibility.
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5. ONYX Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket

Onyx Adult Universal Type 2 Uscg Approved Life Jacket


This universal Type 2 life jackets US Coast Guard Approved and takes safety up a notch. It is designed to keep an unconscious person’s face upwards and out of the water in the case of an accident. It comes with a durable nylon exterior, an adjustable belt for a tight fit, and is lightweight, making it easy to store.

  • Emphasizes safety and ensures the face is upwards.
  • Bright color aids visibility
  • It is durable, lightweight, and quite buoyant.
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Life Jackets Buying Guide

Life jackets are the number one safety gadget every boating and water sporting enthusiast must have on their boat. It has saved countless lives, from novice and veteran swimmers alike to victims of boating accidents, floods, and natural disasters.

Choosing the right life jacket is choosing your best chance for survival in the case of an emergency. It must be done carefully, and some considerations must be made, that we will now look at.

This buying guide takes a brief look through some of the qualities to look for when buying a life jacket so you can choose a unit that will be reliable to turn the odds in your favor should an emergency arise.


The first thing you want to look out for is the buoyancy rating on the life jacket. It is a measure of how much bodyweight the PFD can keep above the water surface. It is common sense to go for one that can support your body weight and more, which you should know beforehand.

 Body Fit

The ideal life jacket should give you a snug fit. It should hug your body but at the same time should not be too restrictive. Many life jackets come with adjustable straps and buckles to make them scalable to different body sizes. This feature also makes them highly adaptable to both the male and female figures as needed.

 Rescue Support

It’s always a great idea to go for a life jacket that makes it easy to rescue you in the case of an emergency. The color you choose is one of such qualities. Bright colors make you be easily spotted from away and save rescue operatives search time. Some life jackets also come with reflective panels to help reflect the sun’s rays or a searchlight back to rescue operatives in areas of poor visibility.

Floatation Medium

Life jackets come as either inflatable or with a solid floating medium like floatation foams. Inflatable life jackets are very lightweight and portable. You could be in a bad place, however, if the jacket gets punctured. Life jackets with solid floating mediums retain their forms and are much more impact-resistant than inflatable models. They are, however, less portable and take up more storage space.