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The Best Life Vests Reviewed

Updated on May 1, 2013

It is no secret that majority of all boat-related accidents involve drowning, which transpired when people were left with no flotation device to keep them afloat. But these types of accidents can be avoided and all it takes are reliable life vests that ensure safety as well as comfort whenever we need it. A life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device or PFD, is an essential and basic necessity for boating, and is a must-have for any and all kinds of boats, from the biggest ships to the smallest fishing boats. Life vests are a guarantee that you stay afloat when you need to, and give you peace of mind whenever you brave the open waters.

When buying a life jacket, it is imperative that you pick one that best suits your need, and at the same time gives maximum comfort. It wouldn’t do you much good to be floating in a life jacket but feeling constricted and out of breath due to discomfort. There are several types of life jackets, designed to cater to different requirements for different situations. Off-shore life jackets, for example, provide greater buoyancy but they are also bulkier and more constrictive. Near-shore vests, on the other hand, are lighter and allow better movement, but are only well-suited in calm inland water. Before purchasing a life vest, keep in mind several things like what type of boat you will be using and how far off-shore or near-shore will you be travelling so you’ll be able to buy what life vest is just right for you.

Stearns Adult General Purpose Life Vest
Stearns Adult General Purpose Life Vest

Stearns Adult General Purpose Life Vest

If you are looking for a life jacket that can be used for all your boating activities, be it sailing in the open seas or participating in competitive kayaking in a rapid river, then the Stearns Adult General Purpose Life Vest is perfect for you. It has 3 adjustable belts, expertly designed to fit all shapes and sizes. Its durable Crosstech flotation foam provides the best possible buoyancy as well as comfort.  It is also type III US Coast Guard approved, offering you the assurance of a quality life vest straight from the US Coast Guards. Whether you’re boating leisurely or for sport, you can rest assured that the Stearns Adult General Purpose Life Vest will always keep your head above water. 

X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest - Blue & Black
X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest - Blue & Black

X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest - Blue & Black

The X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest provides comfort that is unparalleled in its value for price, as well as versatility that is unmatched in today’s market. Its universal adult 3-buckles guarantee it will fit any person over 90 lbs, or anyone having a 32” to 50” chest size. It’s made of smooth 200-denier nylon that gives you additional durability, without having to trade off quality comfort. It is ideal for water sports like water skiing, wake boarding, canoeing, and flat water boating so its good for an off-shore and near-shore safety. And with its US Coast Guard Type III approval, you can be sure that this life jacket is versatile enough to provide both safety and comfort at an affordable price.

Body Glove Method USCG Approved Nylon life jacket
Body Glove Method USCG Approved Nylon life jacket

Body Glove Method USCG Approved Nylon life jacket

The Body Glove Method USCG Approved Nylon Life Jacket is a great vest for personal quality safety and buoyancy. It features a super-duty nylon outer shell that provides added durability and toughness, while its 100-percent polyethylene foam flotation interior provides you with greater comfort than any other life vest. It is US Coast Guard approved, so you know you are getting superior quality. The oversized armholes and strategically placed drain holes ensure you with sufficient movement and space for even greater comfort. It also has 4 heavy-duty anatomically cut 1.5 inch belt buckles that are easily adjustable.  With the Body Glove Method Nylon Life Jacket, you won’t need to have to choose between safety and comfort between life jackets any longer.

Stearns Classic Series Life Vest
Stearns Classic Series Life Vest

Stearns Classic Series Life Vest

The Stearns Classic Series Life Vest, with its universal sizing, is a vest that is made to fit any size and gender. It’s made of 200-denier nylon shell, guaranteed to be extremely durable and flexible. It has four 1” wide adjustable belts with an easy-to-use side release that keeps you safe and intact. With its durable and lightweight Crosstech flotation foam, you are ensured of high buoyancy that is not uncomfortable at the very least. As an open-sided universal vest, it is specifically designed to fit a diverse range of sizes. It also has a deep neckline for a much snugger fit and better movement all around. The Stearns Classic Series Life Vest will surely meet all your needs for a price that is well within your means.

Stearns Extreme Paddlesports Vest
Stearns Extreme Paddlesports Vest

Stearns Extreme Paddlesports Vest

The Stearns Extreme Paddlesports Vest is the ideal life vest for the extreme water sports enthusiast. It combines the toughness designed to weather the most extreme water conditions with the comfort made for the lightest of water activities. Its adjustable side and shoulder straps make it easier to position the vest in any manner you see fit so that you are safely and securely strapped in at all times. It has the Stearns exclusive Arrow-Lock buckles for extreme durability. It has generously sized arm holes that helps increase your movement range, as well as soft polyester lining for maximum comfort.  It also has multiple pockets for all the necessities you may need in hand. With the Stearns Extremely Paddlesports Vest, no water sport is too extreme to handle.  


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    7 years ago

    I am a bass fisherman and fish off a bass boat with my son. I was survival swimmer when I was younger and weighed les. I am now 390 lbs and i need something to keep me afloat so my son rescue me if I fall off. We fish about 50-75 feet off shore. What can you recommend?


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