Don’t Even Think About Getting On The Water Without One of These Lifejackets

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From seasoned swimmers to those who are less confident of their skills in the water, a lifejacket is not only a great idea to have on hand when spending the day on a lake or river, in the ocean or by a pool, but it’s a necessity. Bulky, hot and uncomfortable, lifejackets are often tossed to the side, a move that can have tragic consequences. But with new, lightweight materials and designs for specific water activities, there’s no excuse to ever be without a lifejacket.

According to the CDC, between 2005 and 2014, there were more than 3,500 unintentional drowning deaths each year in the United States. That doesn’t include boating-related deaths, which account for an average of 332 deaths annually. Several steps are involved with water safety, including never swimming alone, taking swimming lessons, keeping up to date on CPR certifications and more, but one of the most straightforward steps to follow is always wearing a lifejacket when boating or learning to swim.

When it comes to lifejackets and life vests, not all options are created equal. The Boat US site includes a helpful list of the type of lifejackets available and what kind of personal floatation device is necessary depending on the activity.
We’ve included three lifejackets on our list that all provide different features.

The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest has a short torso and fits snug to the body for easy wearability when paddling, whether being used in a canoe, on a kayak or while paddleboarding.

The Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest is a great backup lifejacket when unsure of the exact size or activity the person wearing it will be engaged in, from boating to kayaking, to fishing.

Children’s water safety is the most crucial of all age groups, with no lifejacket acting as a replacement for being within arms reach at all times of a child who is playing in or near water. The Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket is a safe option with a fun design for children who are learning to swim, but even children who have taken swimming lessons and are wearing their Stearns lifejacket should never under any circumstances be left alone in or near water.

Find out more about these three lifejackets below.


1. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest comfortably fits close to wearers while providing vented channels and a sculpted foam design that makes swimming and paddling easy.

Pros: The MoveVent is ideal for use when paddling, whether in a canoe or kayak. The life vest fits like a glove and can be easily adjusted at the belt and shoulders with neoprene comfort pads. The Mesh inScuplted design provides a close fit that means your vest won’t get in the way while paddling. The MoveVent has added features for convenience and safety, including reflective material for high visibility, an attached safety whistle, a drying loop on the back, and an expanded mesh pocket with a zippered closure. The mesh ventilation means users will stay cool while wearing the MoveVent without having to jump in the water.

Cons: Some customers noted that they wish the pocket were larger.

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Image courtesy of Amazon


2. Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

The Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest is the perfect lifejacket to use when looking for an item for a variety of activities and people.

Pros: The Onyx is an excellent option for anyone who lives near a lake or river and wants to have extra lifejackets that can be used by visitors. The adjustable belt and strap keep the vest from riding up, and the large armholes make the jacket usable by people of various sizes. The jacket comes in four bright colors, including a very patriotic American flag design, and the jacket is designed to fit adults with a 30” – 52” chest who weigh more than 90 lbs.

Cons: Many customers reported that the Onyx runs small.

Onyx General Purpose Boating Vest

Image courtesy of Amazon


3. Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket

Approved by the US Coast Guard, the Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket features a variety of fun designs and a functional and secure fit with an adjustable buckle.

Pros: The Stearns is designed for children weighing 30 to 50 pounds. Perfect for using while learning to swim, the jacket has a durable nylon shell and an adjustable belt buckle that provides for a custom fit and freedom of movement. Customers report that the jacket dries quickly.

Cons: Although the jacket description says it can be used for boating, most parents recommend a much larger lifejacket for children in case they are thrown from a boat as the Stearns isn’t designed for children to float on their back.

Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket

Image courtesy of Amazon