If your family loves water sports, swimming, paddle boarding, or even fishing, you’ll know that it is essential for young ones to wear life jackets near bodies of water. Kids can be cheeky and playful, and this makes them more prone to falling into the water. Teaching your child to wear a life jacket from a young age is the best way to make sure your little one stays safe–no matter how cheeky they get!
If you are searching for the best infant life jackets, keep reading for a comprehensive review of 6 of the best baby life jackets on the market.
Top 4 Best Baby Life Jacket – Comparison
Our Top Picks: The Best Life Jackets for Kids
Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket
When you take your kids swimming, you want them to be as comfortable as possible so that they can focus on having fun and learning to swim. Any restrictive clothing will fail to offer the comfort a baby needs. The Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket addresses this issue, offering a comfortable, yet affordable design for your child to swim safely and happily.
The Stohlquist life jacket is an excellent choice for children who are just getting used to being in and around the water. Its sturdy design ensures that babies are safe even in the strong currents of lakes and pools, and the buoyancy is enough to keep them floating safely without drifting off in odd directions.
This US coast guard approved type of toddler life jacket keeps your baby’s head in the forward-facing position. It also has a grab handle to pull the baby out of the water easily, plus a crotch strap to ensure that your baby does not slip out of the life vest.
The Stohlquist infant life jacket is comfortable in the water. The material is soft form, thus offering your baby maximum comfort. The large arm holes prevent chaffing.
This jacket has a single quick-release buckle that offers additional security to your baby. The crotch straps fit any size. It is also durable due to the box stitch buckle attachment, thus providing you with years of use as your child grows.
Full Arm Mobility
The full arm mobility on this infant life jacket ensures that your child is not restricted when trying to play or swim in the water.
This life jacket has a double collar that offers head and neck support while still ensuring that the child has full mobility.
- Grab collar for added safety in emergencies
- Adjustable crotch strap for security
- Full arm mobility
- Comfortably fits infants under 30 pounds
- Open back for breathability and sitting on chairs
- Adjustable strong straps that won’t twist or tangle
- Doesn’t flip the child over when they are face down – meant to be used under adult supervision only
O’Neill Wetsuits Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest
The O’Neill infant wet-suit is an approved flotation device perfect for your young one as they play in the water. It fits snugly and is not bulky, making it easier for your child to wear and remove it. It also offers full mobility as your child plays in the water. It is a Type III U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device that your child can use when you take them for water skiing, tubing, and swimming sessions.
The wetsuit is comfortable yet durable due to the coated polyester outer shell. It is also fitted with heavy-duty belts that you can use to adjust for the perfect fit. The seams are also super strong, with overlock stitches to keep your baby safe.
This O’Neill infant life jacket has quick-release buckles. These safety buckles make it easy to get your child in and out of the wetsuit as you can fasten them easily.
This infant life jacket allows your child to rest their head back as they float with assistance, and has a grab strap to hold on to your baby or pull them in the case of emergency.
Your baby can use the life jacket until they are 50 pounds as it is coast guard rated 30 lbs -50 lbs. As for the chest size, this life vest fits chest size up to 24 inches. You may need to measure your child before you purchase this wetsuit just in case it is too tight-fitting.
- Great quality
- Has collar loop to help you pull the baby with one hand
- Has a backrest for head support
- It is USCG safety certified
- Bulky as compared to other options
Stearns PFD Type II Infant Life Jacket
The Stearns infant classic series has a high-quality life vest that your baby can use when swimming, boating, and tubing. It is a U.S. coast guard approved Type II PFD, and your baby can wear it when in a yacht, whilst doing watercraft, and also for tow sports activities.
Stearns infant life vest is specially designed to fit a child between 30-50 pounds. It has a contoured float above the neck to help your baby float in a face-up position.
Stearns infant life jacket has a grab strap that you can use to move your child from the water. This brightly colored reflective life jacket makes it easy for you to spot your child and rescue them when need be.
Adjustable Chest Straps
This vest has two adjustable chest straps and a padded crotch strap made from hydroprene material that ensures a secure non-slip fit when your child is in the water.
This infant life jacket is made from durable polyester, nylon, and PE flotation foam; therefore, your young one can use it for many years until they’ve outgrown it.
- Great for floating babies on their backs
- Padded crotch strap
- Keeps baby’s head above the water
- Bulky design
Salus Bijoux Baby Vest
Salus Bijoux baby vest is made for little ones weighing 9-25 pounds with a 12-18 inch chest size. This baby life vest is a Best New Safety Product winner at the Canadian Safe Boating Awards. You can adjust the mesh and harness that keeps your baby secure and comfortable.
Salus Bijoux life jackets for babies are designed with a Dry-Lex Aerospacer liner for temperature control, water drainage, and breatheability. This life vest also has a mesh back so that your baby can lie with it in a baby carrier or on a blanket. It has a great fit and is comfortable for your baby.
This Salus Bijoux baby vest has a grab strap at the collar that you can use to pull or lift the baby with. The adjustable shoulder buckles offer your baby quick and easy access to the vest. The large open armholes in this life vest prevent chaffing or restriction as the baby plays in the water.
The front design of this life vest ensures the baby turns face-up if they happen to shift into a forward-facing position. This colorful life vest has a three-piece collar design that cradles a baby’s head at the centre of the collar, offering your child security and comfort as they play in the water.
- Flips your child to a face-up position
- Comfortable collar
- Not bulky
- Has a grab strap
- Pricey compared to others
Oceans 7 US Coast Guard Approved Infant Life Jacket
This is a USCG-approved type II infant life vest that is designed to keep your child secure in the water. The infant size fits babies from 8-25 pounds. If your infant is on the chubby side, you can use the toddler size for your baby’s comfort.
This vest has passed the highest testing standards and is safe for your infant or child. It is available in different sizes to suit every child.
This life vest is constructed with durable nylon and thick EPE flotation foam.
When fastened, the life vest stays in place and does not rise above a child’s head while they swim. The open side design allows your child to swim or play in the water without feeling restricted. There are three adjustable straps long enough to secure your child comfortably.
- Lasts longer
- Crotch strap is not padded
Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper
Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper jackets are USCG-approved life jackets for infants. You can swim peacefully knowing that your child will be safely playing in the water because of its quality safety features. Let’s look at some of them.
The jacket offers head and neck support that fits like a pillow, thus offering your baby the comfort they deserve as they learn to swim. Stearns life jacket for infants is made from a soft material that your baby will enjoy wearing in and out of the water.
The side buckles and zippered back offer easy access for your baby to get in and out while ensuring their safety in wearing it.
This vest has a grab handle that you can use to pull your child from the water when necessary. The pillow-like head support ensures your child is always in the face-up flotation position. It is safe to use on boats; thus, you do not have to carry different types of life jackets for your baby. The leg straps fitted in this life jacket ensure your infant won’t slip into the water.
- Made from Hydroprene material
- Safe for babies under 30 pounds
- Two leg straps for safety
- Not appropriate for babies that want to swim on their bellies
Factors to consider when buying an infant life vest
Here are some important things to think about the next time you go to purchase your baby a life jacket:
It is essential to know the size of your infant when choosing a life vest. You may love buying slightly bigger clothes that your child can grow into, but measurements matter a lot more when it comes to a personal flotation device.
Infant life jackets must fit comfortably, not too big or small. If the life jacket is too loose, your infant might slide out of it when in the water. If it is too tight, they will feel uncomfortable and restricted in the water. If your child can fit two fingers between the life jacket and their chest, that is perfect.
Straps are very important. A crotch strap will ensure your baby doesn’t slip out when you pull them using the grab strap. The best infant life vest will come with sturdy and secure straps to keep the jacket firmly in place, no matter the activity.
Coast Guard Approved
Look for the safety indicator that shows it is a US coast guard approved life jacket. This means that it has been tested and proven safe for your young one.
If it is US coast guard approved, you will find this information on the inside of the life jacket. The information will also state whether it is approved for recreational, personal, or commercial use.
Decoding Infant Life Jacket Types
Type I is an offshore life jacket, best used in areas where a quick rescue is unlikely. Example: open ocean waters and rough seas.
A type I life jacket is designed to keep your face up in the water in case you become unconscious. It also has good buoyancy.
Best for near-shore water activities, this type is safe for general boating activities in calm waters where you can be saved quickly in case of an emergency.
Type II life jackets may (not guaranteed) flip a person or baby into the face-up position if they become unconscious.
Type III life jackets are less bulky, therefore less buoyant, and should be used in calm inland water only. These can be worn for an extended period.
A personal flotation device VS a life jacket
You may have wondered if there is a difference between a personal flotation device (PFD) and a life jacket. The key difference is that a life jacket will turn a person from a face-down to a face-up position, while the PFD will not. You can use either a life jacket or a PFD with your infants and toddlers as long as they are within an arm’s reach.
Ensure your baby is safe in the water by using the best infant life vest for your child that fits them properly. Buckle all the straps so that your child won’t slip. A life vest that is comfortable and secure will add to your child’s happy experiences in the water as they learn to swim.
While infant life jackets are designed with safety in mind, it is important to remember that they are just one small part of being safe in the water. Never leave your infant without adult supervision near a pool or any place where there is accessible water. Stay within reach of your baby for added peace of mind. Happy swimming!
Table of Contents
- Top 4 Best Baby Life Jacket – Comparison
- Our Top Picks: The Best Life Jackets for Kids
- Factors to consider when buying an infant life vest
- Decoding Infant Life Jacket Types
- In conclusion