The 8 Best Boating Life Vests

Updated May 03, 2017 by Johnny Woodard

8 Best Boating Life Vests
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Whenever you plan to spend a few hours boating, remember that a life jacket is a safety essential. When choosing for yourself and your family, consider its intended use. If you're purchasing a flotation device for a child or with a specific purpose in mind, like fishing, a specialty model is a wise choice. Otherwise, one of the one-size-fits-most options should be fine. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best boating life vest on Amazon.

8. MW Adult Ski Jacket

Four wide buckles lend the MW Adult Ski Jacket a secure fit, ensuring it won't fly off should you fall overboard or wipe out while water skiing. Approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, this model is made of a smooth nylon fabric that won't irritate the skin.
  • good price for the quality
  • buckles easily connect and release
  • rides up while you float
Brand MW Watersports
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Onyx General Purpose

Designed to fit most adults, the Onyx General Purpose is value priced, and ideal for public use aboard a large vessel. Adjustable straps accommodate chest sizes up to 60 inches, making this a true one-size-fits-most option.
  • doesn't impede swimming
  • soft foam contours to the body
  • rather bland appearance
Brand Kent
Model 3580
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. O'Neill Wetsuits Superlite

If you plan to spend hours on the water and range of motion is a priority, the high-end O'Neill Wetsuits Superlite is an excellent choice. Adjustable at numerous points, a secure and comfortable fit is all but certain with this sporty model.
  • quick-release buckles
  • coated polyester shell
  • sizes run a bit small
Brand O'Neill
Model 4723-CK4-3XL-P
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Body Glove Method

The Body Glove Method features a flexible neoprene lining and a heavy duty nylon exterior shell that make it a solid choice for use in kayaks and canoes. Oversized arm openings allow for free movement of the upper body when it is needed most.
  • high-quality foam
  • four rugged belts
  • strategically placed drain holes
Brand Body Glove
Model 14243-Blue-Large/Xlarge
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Stearns Adult General Purpose

The humble Stearns Adult General Purpose won't bowl you over with its appearance, but this well-made device is rugged and affordable. With a shell comprised of the same resilient nylon as more expensive models, it will stand up to the elements season after season.
  • three buckles make for easy fitting
  • durable webbed straps
  • available in two sizes
Brand Stearns
Model 2001
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Mustang Survival Lil' Legends

This Mustang Survival Lil' Legends is designed specifically for young children. Its innovative design keeps the head of a child above water even if he or she is not yet a competent swimmer. Loud and attractive colors make it impossible to lose track of your precious cargo.
  • cooling channeled back panel
  • heavy-duty grab strap
  • shaped for easy movement
Brand Mustang Survival
Model MV3255-258
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Flowt AK-1

Flowt AK-1 are a sound purchase for the responsible boat owner. You and your family might not use these flotation devices frequently, but they are great to have on hand for guests or as backups, and affordable enough to buy in bulk.
  • available in several sizes
  • coast guard approved design
  • clear storage bag included
Brand Flowt
Model OLJT
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. MTI Adventurewear Fisher

If fishing is your aquatic activity of choice, then strap on the MTI Adventurewear Fisher and stay safe while also enjoying handy access to your gear. This fashionable PVC-free jacket has four convenient front pockets for tackle and is available in three sizes.
  • d-rings for attaching gear
  • strength tested in 50 mph winds
  • adjustable side and shoulder straps
Brand MTI Adventurewear
Model MTI-709F-0GA23-P
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 03, 2017 by Johnny Woodard

Johnny Woodard fled the sweltering South and a career in journalism to pursue comedy and edit a popular comedy/sports website in Los Angeles.

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