Best Life Jackets for Kayaking Reviews

If you are into kayaking, or have experienced kayaking ever in your life you know how fun it can be. Autumn will be here soon, the best time for kayaking depending on your region. So if you have plans for kayaking you better start preparing now. And the second (after the kayak itself, of course) and the most important step is to get the best life jackets for kayaking  – designed specifically for kayaking.

Even if you have no plans but want to try out something new on water, kayaking is great option and if you are well prepared, you are guaranteed to have fun. Grab a life jacket, be safe and have all the fun in the water.

We will help you to choose between the countless jackets available in the market, based on our own experiences with kayaking. We hope that it helps you to find the best life jackets for kayak fishing and similar activities.

5 Best Life Jackets for Kayaking of 2017

Product Model Product Description


ONYX MoveVent Dynamic
Paddle Sports Life Vest
USCG Approved
Jacket Type: Type III
Material Type: Nylon
Sport Type: Kayak Fishing.
Pros:
Great freedom of movement.
Very cool and comfortable.
Great fit.
Cons:
Only one pocket.


ONYX MoveVent Torsion
Paddle Sports Life Vest
USCG Approved
Jacket Type: Type III
Material Type: Nylon
Sport Type: Kayak Fishing, Boating, Trolling Motors etc.
Pros:
Great freedom of movement.
Great airflow and comfortability.
2 Large pockets allow greater storage options.
Cons:
May ride up the back.


Astral Buoyancy V-Eight
Life Jacket
USCG Approved
Jacket Type: Type III
Material Type:
Sport Type: Kayak Fishing, Boating, Trolling Motors etc.
Pros:
Airescape® technology for great airflow.
Great mobility and comfort.
Two pockets for storage.
Very cheap.
Cons:
No lower back protection.


Stohlquist Fisherman Personal
Floatation Device
USCG Approved
Jacket Type: Type III
Material Type: Nylon
Sport Type: Kayak Fishing.
Pros:
Array of pockets.
Mounting locations for necessary tools.
Huge number of features.
Cons:
High priced.
The pockets individually have little storage.


ONYX Kayak Fishing
Life Jacket
USCG Approved
Jacket Type: Type III
Material Type: Nylon
Sport Type: Kayak Fishing.
Pros:
Large number of options.
Cheap.
4 differently designed pockets.
Cons:
The materials are of moderate quality.
Only two size option.

ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Best Buy

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ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

A vest that conforms to your body like a glove, yet its innovative vented channels help to keep you cool while paddling. Soft, comfortable floation foam - a bubble foam - on inner back for added comfort. SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility.

The ONYX Dynamic Paddle Life Vests are specially made to make kayaking comfortable even on hot weather. It has vented channels to keep the airflow going and keep you cool while paddling. Even the tight fit of the vest will not make you sweaty from heat at all!

The design is flexible and contoured to provide greater fit and comfort. The lower back has a mesh portion that will work with high back seats and even ‘sit on top kayaks’. The front has a zipped entry with adjustable side belts made of neoprene. Also neoprene shoulder pads make it fit perfectly. It has one large pocket that gives a lot of storage space. Extreme visibility due to reflective materials. The design allows you plenty of freedom of movement, which is necessary for paddling. Works great for kayaking, canoeing or any kind of paddling.


ONYX MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Life Vest

Runner-up

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ONYX MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Life Vest

Bubble foam on inner back for added comfort; mesh in lower back fits high back seats. Expandable zippered pockets with mesh drainage SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility

Another great product from ONYX MoveVent, this one improves upon the previous product for a little more price. Like the previous product it is highly compact, great and comfortable fit. The innovative vented channels to keep you cool while paddling, with a drying loop on the back. This one has two large zipped pockets! You will be able to store almost anything you might need while kayaking.

The materials are high quality, heavy-duty nylon fabric on the outer side; the inner part has bubble foam, which provides great comfort. The lower back has mesh to fit in high back seats of kayaks. SOLAS grade reflective materials will make the wearer very visible on water and increase chances of safety. Large armholes allow great freedom of movement. Comes in three sizes. Features an emergency whistle.


Astral Buoyancy V-Eight Life Jacket

Best Price

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Astral Buoyancy V-Eight Life Jacket

Mesh back makes for a great fit for high seat backs. Pre-shaped foam in front and back make this a great fit for men and women Large front pocket plus one interior storage sleeve. Quick Access Knife Tab. Reflective Trim

This one is a very cool looking and stylish life jacket suited for any kind of water based recreational activities such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing or sailing. It has a very compact design so it is quite transportable and convenient while touring.

Features ergonomic Airescape® technology, an innovative and revolutionary design to keep steady airflow and prevent heat buildup, keep a comfortable core temperature even in hot weather. This technology is described as ‘the world’s first breathable PFD’. The product is extremely lightweight and easy to move on. Allows great mobility required for kayaking. The back has mesh to fit high back seats. The inner front and back has pre shaped foam for greater fit and comfort. A large pocket at front and one interior storage sleeve makes storing necessary items very easy. The price is a bit high, but the quality is top notch.


Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device

Array of Pockets

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Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device

High-back flotation rides above back rest. Neoprene padded shoulders and lower back waistband and open sides for ventilation. Hand wash soap and water.

Stohlquist strikes again! Honestly, they seem to have at least one great product for every water-based necessities out there. This one is no exception. Designed for comfort, convenience and safety, its chock full of handy features to accommodate your recreational activities. The high quality nylon construction in the outer part gives it high durability, and the inside has ultra-soft Gaia foam for flotation and comfort. They best part about this jacket is the number of pockets and storage options it offers.

Almost any kind of tool you can think of that might be necessary for kayaking; it has a place for it. The pockets also have anchor points and protective EVA stiffened outer shells that protect the contents of the pocket. The compact design makes it possible to store it in small plastic boxes, so its great for touring.  It has mounting locations for tippets, retractors, nippers, leader-line, hemostats, and pliers.


ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket, Tan

Many Options

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ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

Essential gear and keep you fishing longer. Zippered fleece-lined pockets and the zippered chest pocket, radios or pliers can slip down and clamp to the pocket. One-button push drop down tray pocket holds a small tackle box

Another product from ONYX on this list, a unique one this time. This product is made specifically for kayak fishing purposes. It has four different pockets to allow storage for all the necessary tools for kayak fishing. It has large number of features but for a very low price! The pockets have different functions for more workability and convenience. There is a one-button push drop down pocket holding a small tackle box to keep things of spontaneous necessity. Also a lash tab to hold things like knife, whistle, fly-fishing tippets, sunscreen, keys or similar things.

The product has six adjustable straps with bidirectional adjustment option for any situation and height of the boat. The high mesh back is great for the high back seats and breathability. Features drainage system to quickly dry the vest when not in water. Two size option, Oversize and Universal. Some tools like whistle etc. are included with the product. An amazing product considering how cheap it is!


What Makes Kayaking Different

Just like any water activity, safety is your foremost priority here, even more so in kayaking, since it involves paddling small boats in mid water. In fact it’s a requirement by law, to take necessary safety measures prior kayaking. But for the similar nature of it, many people mistake kayaking for canoeing. Kayaking is unique due to the distinct way of sitting and paddling involved, so the safety measures will be different.

Why you need a Kayak Life Jacket

As always the best safety measure against water based mishaps are life jackets. You should always wear a life jacket for kayaking. People have been using traditional life jackets or PFDs for kayaking, but nowadays, special kayaking jackets are on the market, and for good reasons. Because of the requirements and circumstances of kayaking, normal life jackets are not sufficient for it. The bulky build of the traditional life jacket will be counterproductive for kayaking. Also, watercrafts used for kayaking, namely kayaks, are very narrow boats, where you won’t have space to keep anything. So, kayaking jackets are often made with several pockets for better storage. If you are kayaking in summer time, you will need reflective material on your jacket for visibility, since you are probably going to be kayaking in early morning or afternoon. To find the best life jackets for kayaking you need to keep these points in mind.

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Mark Foley
 

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