Best Life jackets for kayaking 2023

Best Life jackets for kayaking 2023 | Review And Details

Just like every other aspect choosing a high-quality PFD jacket is equally important. There are so many intricate details that need to be kept in mind before making a final purchase decision. A kayaking jacket is also known as PFD, and it provides safety while kayaking in deep turbulent water. Here, we are going to discuss kayak jackets along with trending PFDs in the market.

Best Life jackets for kayaking 2023

Types of Kayak Jackets:

Here are types of Kayak Jackets that you can choose for yourself:

Inflatable jacket:

These life jackets offer buoyancy to the user. There are usually two types of inflatable kayak jackets: manual and automatic. Manual inflatable jackets are filled with air when the user pulls a cord to be inflated. In contrast, the automatic once fills up with air once a person touches the surface of the water.


It is a buoyant PFD made from natural material. Usually, manufacturers use foam to make this jacket to keep the user’s body floating above the water in an emergency.


Hybrid PFDs are the most recent innovative solution. Such jackets both have an inflation system along with an inherently buoyant material. Hybrid PFDs give the users the best of both worlds.

Features to look out for a while buying PFD:

Here are some aspects to keep in mind before purchasing the life jacket:

Type 1 Jackets:

These Kayaking jackets are manufactured to use in extreme conditions. With high levels of buoyancy, the lifesaving jacket is meant to be worn while moving through oceans. Another great feature of this jacket is that it ensures users remains face-up even in rough waters and large waves.

Type 2 Jackets:

Such jackets provide medium buoyancy in calm water. It is ideally used in the water near the shores and inland water. The jacket is ideal for an emergency. Besides that, these PFDs are perfect for both kids and adults.

Type 3 Jacket:

This type of jacket is designed to offer lesser bulk than the former ones. Such PFDs are ideal for near-shore activities where the chance of swift rescue is higher. A wide range of sizes is available in these jackets.

Type 4 Jackets:

These jackets are only meant for US coast guards and are not easily found in the market. The activities that require the usage of such jackets are white water, deck suits, and paddling vests.


Always keenly observe the material of the jacket before investing your money. This kayak apparel comes in various material choices, such as nylon, polyester, and neoprene. The inside of inherently buoyant jackets contains closed-cell foam that provides floatation over water in an emergency situation.


The kayaking jacket comes in different colors. However, opt for the jacket with bright color as it increases the visibility in the water. Some manufacturers also add reflective strips in the jacket’s design that enhances visibilities in low light condition.


Pockets can be handy when it comes to PFDs. Cellphones have become a must-have in today’s time; pockets can be a handy accessory for keeping the phone away from water in a rescue situation.

Our product of recommendation

Our product of recommendation

NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket (PFD)

The US-made life jacket is cutting edge and look stylish. The product is available in three attractive colors. When it comes to the sizes, the vessel comes in extra small till extra-large size, making it excellent for overweight individuals. Bypassing multiple quality assurance tests, the life jacket ensures your safety in the current filled offshore waters.

7 Best Life Jackets For Kayaking

#1: NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket (PFD)

NRS Ninja has been known for making high-quality flotation jackets. These kayak apparel come in different sizes as one size do not fit everyone. Besides that, you can also choose from multiple colors available. When it comes to the weight of the life vest, it is estimated to be about sixteen pounds.

NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket

If you get sweaty, these vests are perfect for you because it contains highly breathable meshy cloth. This fabrication also absorbs body fluids and keeps you always ventilated. Users can adjust the jacket as per their body type with the six different adjustment points designed in the vessel. NRS knows the worth of your money; therefore, the Kayak Lifejacket is highly affordable. If you like to carry a lot of stuff with you during the water trips, the Ninja PFD jacket gives you ample room with clamshell pockets. Besides that, the dual entry zippers keep you comfortable in taking the vest off and wearing it. All in all, this unisex jacket model is all that you need for your next kayak voyage.


  • It is a unisex kayak jacket suitable for both kids and adults.
  • It is highly affordable
  • It comes with ventilating mesh


  • The size of the vest is too generous for small frame individuals

#2: Onyx Classic Mesh life jacket 

Onyx Classic Mesh life jacket is a more flexible and less restrictive life vest option in the market. The vest shoulder details keep the user cool and composed even during the sweltering heat of the sun.  The outer shell is constructed with nylon that keeps the jacket in shape and resists water to its potential. The vest comes with three adjustable belts that keep the user’s body comfortable during kayaking and can be adjusted as per the body frame. Besides that, the jacket comes with one large clam shell pocket that gives you enough room to store your belongings without any hassle. The interior of the vessel contains lightweight foam with high flotation liability.

Onyx Classic Mesh life jacket 2022

The ergonomic design of the Onyx Mesh keeps you sweat-free and protects you by contouring on the body. It is perfect for both men and women and comes in sizes suitable for different age groups. The price range of the life jacket is also considerably cheaper than others on the list.


  • It is a very lightweight jacket.
  • It is cheaper than others on the list.
  • The jacket comes with a great snug fit.


  • Although the life jacket is a best-buy kayak product, many complained about wrong size charts and that the vest is about two sizes smaller than the quotes size details.

#3: Outdoor Fly Fishing Jacket Vest, for Kayaking Sailing Boating Water Sports

The fly-fishing life jacket is famous for several reasons: its high quality and low price. The jacket is crafted with premium quality ripstop polyester fabric that increases the life span of the vessel. Inside the vessel is a layer of EPE high buoyancy foam that keeps the user floating on the water during an emergency. The zippers are sewn inside so that the user take the vest on and off without added hassle. For optimum convenience, their roomy pockets are stitched on the front.

Outdoor Fly Fishing Jacket Vest 2022

Along with it, two side mesh pockets are best for keeping mobile. In fact, as per our experience, this vest comes with the most significant number of pockets. There are reflective panels at the shoulders that enhance the visibility in low lights and emergencies. The price is also very competitive and becomes a plus point for the customers. There are several color options available in the vest that would help you in making your mind.


  • The vest comes with eleven pockets located in different areas
  • It contains closed-cell foam that increases buoyancy and flotation rate
  • The jacket can bear over 90 kg weight of users


  • It is slightly expensive than the others

#4: Seachoice Life Vest, Type II Personal Flotation Device – USCG Approved – Multiple Sizes and Colors

This is one size fits all. The life jacket has a basic design and is known for saving many lives. The Type 2 life vest passed every conducted quality assurance test. When it comes to overall weight, it is only 0.75 pounds. The chest is designed to be 30 to 53 inches for people with varying body frames for the chest measurement. The dimension of the life vest is twenty by twelve by 4″. The manufacturer has made sure that the vests can be worn by both females and males. The only factor that we did not like is that the kayaking jacket is not suitable for kids.

Seachoice Life Vest Type II Personal Flotation Device

When it comes to the manufacturer, it is one of the finest kayaking gear production companies. By far, Seachoice has made many happy customers that are committed to buying gear from them. From life vests to boats, you can find a large variety of products made by Seachoice.


  • It is light in weight and does not cause discomfort in the wearers
  • It is a unisex life jacket that works well for both females and males
  • It is cheaper in the price range


  • It is not suitable for kids or teenagers

#5: NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket (PFD)

The US-made life jacket is cutting edge and look stylish. The product is available in three attractive colors. When it comes to the sizes, the vessel comes in extra small till extra-large size, making it excellent for overweight individuals. Bypassing multiple quality assurance tests, the life jacket ensures your safety in the current filled offshore waters. The foam interior contours according to your body type and keeps you ventilated throughout the day. For added convenience, the vest comes with two large pockets sewn at the front. Another good thing about this jacket is that it comes with a tool-holding pocket situated diagonally. Undoubtedly, it is an excellent life jacket with high demands in the market. When it comes to the price range, it can be slightly expensive than others on the list. It is also very light in weight, making it easy for the customers to carry it for long hours without getting uncomfortable. The product was first rolled out in 2018, and ever since, it has been in good books.

NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket 2022


  • It contains an ergonomic design
  • It is perfect for people with a large frame
  • The jacket fits perfectly


  • A few of the customers complained regarding the wrong size charts

#6: Airhead Type II Keyhole Life Jacket | Multiple Colors Available

It is a type 2 kayaking lifejacket. The jacket comes in two different patterns that provide basic floatation to the users. The jacket is perfect for every age group individual. Customers usually prefer purchasing the bright orange color in the life vest. It enhances visibility in low light conditions. It is a very lightweight alternative that is loved by both kids and adults. A good thing about this life vest is that it comes with a warranty that ensures proper product replacement in case of damage. The lower price of the jacket is another reason many customers are drawn towards it, and it has high demand in the market. The life jacket ensures that the user remains face-up even in the deep water with currents. Overall, the jacket is made with nylon and contains air pockets that keep the body ventilated even in intense heat.

Airhead Type Keyhole Life Jacket 2022


  • It is cheaper in price
  • It is a Type 2 life jacket that keeps the user floating
  • It comes in high visibility color


  • Some users complained regarding the quality of the life jacket

#7: Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation, Fishing and Touring Kayaking

The PE and EVA foam built keeps the user afloat even in the current water. The buoyancy rate of the kayak jacket is sixteen pounds. For perfect contour, the vessel comes with side buckles that are fitted perfectly. Astral known the worth of your health, therefore the jacket is made from non-toxic PVC material. There are vent ports at the front and back of the jacket that allows a high breathability rate. Besides that, the mesh work also absorbs body fluids effectively while keeping the person comfortable. The vest comes in three different sizes and 2 attractive colors for the customers. The paddling inside the life jacket can contour well on the chest and works effectively.

Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation, Fishing and Touring Kayaking


  • It comes with an effective airescape system.
  • The jacket offers a 16lb buoyancy rate.
  • It is lightweight.


  • It is expensive.

Our product of recommendation:

Although all the products we have sourced in this review are high quality and the best in the kayaking gears market. The life jacket that we prefer the most is the NRS Chinook Fishing kayak, as it contains unique features and is made of high quality. The price range of the life jacket 2023 is also highly affordable.


Kayak life jackets is a must-have as water activities tend to be very unpredictable. This article has mentioned seven good kayak life jackets that every kayaker must have before starting the trip. Read our handy buying guide that we have formulated for the newbies if you are new to kayaking.

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