Top 5 Best Life Jacket For Kayak Fishing 2019

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Wondering why you will have to buy one of the best life jackets for kayak fishing? Here is what you need to know about them.

Kayak fishing has been the most exciting adventure for most of the adventure seekers. But the fact is that when people are seeking for some thrilling adventures, they should stay safe as risking life is never a good idea for anyone of us. In addition to the safety essentials you also need to stay equipped for certain circumstances and tasks that are a part of kayak fishing ventures.

We’ll be keeping these few things in mind and will help you sort out some of the best fishing life vests that you may wear to keep you and your belongings safe when you are on your kayak fishing adventure.

Most Important Things And Features To Consider When Buying The Best Life Jacket For Kayak Fishing

To compare and sort out the best options and find the best fishing PFD vest we may have to make a checklist against which we may compare and decide whether or not a life jacket is perfect for you to use and complies with the kayak fishing requirements as well.

So here are the points you must never forget to notice and compare about the available life jackets for kaya fishing:

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The Adjustable Size

The first thing you will be noticing about the life jackets or kayak PFD is the size and type of the vest you are looking at. Make sure to know if the size is adjustable with the help of straps and Velcro tapes or buckles and strings. Such jackets are the best as they provide a reasonable fit to a wide range of body shapes and sizes.

Though PFDs may also be categorized on the basis of the gender of the wearer for whom they are good to wear on. They might come separately offering special design and features for men and women.

Weight, Comfort Level, And Padding

These vests are usually medium to lightweight to support buoyancy and easy usage. The shoulder area, front and back side is padded with lightweight yet sturdy padded cushions for safety and comfort. You need to see if it offer enough safety features to avoid injuries in case of an accident or mishap.


Mostly the PFDs are made up of high-quality water resistant or repellent material that may not soak in water and will keep itself lightweight and dry out quickly.

Look For The Pfd Mechanism

PFD mechanism may or may not be a part of a kayak life jackets as some come inflated already. In fact, if you need more convenience you may go for the vest having the PFD mechanism that assures easier use and a reliable way to save yourself in case if you have to face boat capsizing and other accidents. Such a mechanism helps you keep floating and the jacket becomes the personal floatation device with the help of the specialized mechanism to avoid life-threatening situations.

Quality Of Materials, Design, And Durability

The quality, durability, and tear-free materials used in the making of life jackets or PFD s are some of the most important things to notice. Make sure the jackets are designed to offer maximum safety and will not leave you with problems by not inflating on time or getting apart when you need it.

Accessory Organizing Pockets

The PFDs or the kayak fishing life jackets of various styles come with a range of accessory holders and pockets to help you keep your gadgets safe from getting damaged or lost in the water. You may prefer the one that offers the most reasonable options for you to consider as per your needs.

Top 5 Best Life Jacket For Kayak Fishing:

The following are some of the best life jacket options for kayak fishing that you can surely try out and enjoy the adventure in a worry-free manner.

Onyx is a fashionable jacket that comes with 4 different pockets to keep your important things, allowing you have more fun on your fishing expedition. It also comes with a lash tab to ensure your sunscreen, fishing tippets, whistle, knife and other smaller stuff are properly in place. ONYX Kayak jacket is US coast guard approved, which means it has passed through the necessary safety measures to keep you safe.

The vest is made of high-quality material, providing comfort to your body when outdoors. It’s also very easy to put on and pull out. Don’t worry about the size because the vest has a universal size for all types of individuals. Overall, ONYX Kayak is durable and designed with high-quality materials to give you great value for your money.


  • Moderately priced
  • Lightweight and provides free movement
  • Comes with 4 different pockets to keep some of your items
  • Designed with foam padding for more comfort
  • Ergonomically designed for stylish individuals


  • It may not be a perfect fit for some individuals due to its universal size
  • The zipper closure does not have buckles

If you want a perfectly fitting life jacket that provides ultimate comfort when paddling or touring in your boat, this Women’s life jacket will be ideal for you. The Cruiser is designed specifically for women as it comes with supportive inner cups, shortened torso, and enough pockets to keep some of your smaller belongings while sailing, fishing, or kayaking.

Stohlquist comes with lower-back waistband and padded shoulders to give you utmost comfort in a cold environment. If you prefer a compactly sized life jacket with good adjustments and cutouts to cushion your body when kayaking, you will certainly love this life jacket.

Unlike some other life jackets with a universal size, Stohlquist provides different sizing options for different sizes of individuals, giving you the freedom to choose what really fits you. Although the life jacket does not come with a rescue belt, it has other protective features that keep you safe during your kayaking and fishing adventure.


  • It has nicely padded shoulders
  • The strong zippers are easy to pull
  • It’s very durable and quite affordable
  • Designed stylishly for classic women


  • Doesn’t come with rescue belt
  • Doesn’t provide enough space for side adjustments

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Here is another high-quality life jacket from the Stohlquist brand. Although compact, it is designed with a lot of storage space for ease of access and better comfort. Stohlquist has an offset zip entry from waist buckle, 4 side pulls, and adjustable shoulder to help you maintain proper balance and keep you safe on the water.

You will also love its ergonomic design and finely shaped torso for women who want to stay fashionable while kayaking or having other adventurous trips. Stohlquist is also the US safeguard approved vest designed for utmost safety. The safety vest is lightweight, durable, comfortable, and won’t disrupt your paddling. If you need a lifejacket for sailing, paddling, or hiking, you will surely love the safety features and overall comfort this properly designed life jacket provides.


  • Very comfortable and easy to pull over
  • Lightweight and helps you stay at ease when paddling
  • Comes with enough pockets to keep your little stuff
  • It is designed with soft padding to cushion the effect of falls
  • Very affordable compared to some other life jackets in its class


  • A bit shorter at the torso area for taller individuals

Chinook is surely a force to reckon with in the life jacket industry. With 4.7 out of 5 point ratings from hundreds of Amazon customers, there is no doubt this life jacket has all the features to keep you safe and comfortable.

It is ideal for extended tours, fly fishing, and kayak fishing. The manufacturer placed more emphasis on comfort and safety, which explains why the vest has a soft foam padding that conforms to the body and a D-ring for hooking your net for safety. Other great features of the life jacket include knife lash tab, rod holder loops, 8 adjustment points, and a spacious entry design that provides more comfort when fishing.

Chinook PFD is very lightweight but thick enough to protect you from harsh cold weather conditions. Overall, the life jacket is a great bargain for the money, considering its alluring features.


  • Comes with a foam padding that protects the body from heavy fall
  • Enough pockets to keep your smaller items
  • Very lightweight and comfortable
  • Ergonomic and durable design
  • Good zippers and adjustable straps


  • The life jacket doesn’t have a reflexive material for night paddling

Stohlquist men’s jacket is a broader version of the female jacket from the same brand. It comes with all the good features of the female version. This life jacket is designed with Neoprene padded waistband to give you more comfort when paddling, hiking, or fishing. With 8 point adjustable straps, you have a plethora of adjustability options to give you the most comfortable fit when fishing or kayaking.

Stohlquist Men’s life jacket is lightweight and designed with nylon outer shell for better comfort. Moreover, the perfect design keeps it out of your way when paddling or sailing on the boat.

You will also love the padded shoulder straps and the entry pockets it comes with. It’s also a very good insulator and protects you from the extremely cold weather. The quality materials used in its design means you can have this vest for a very long time and enjoy its long-term benefits.


  • Compact life jacket, but large enough to provide great comfort and utility
  • Comes with adjustable straps to give you superior fit
  • Designed with padded foam for safety and protection against harsh weather
  • Affordable durable for extended use


  • The button at the front pocket is a bit difficult to open


Q: Are you required to wear a life jacket while kayaking?

A: Yes. While kayaking you may have to face an accident throwing you or someone else in the water. This may cause serious issues. When you have a life jacket, serious consequences can be avoided.

Q: Do life jackets have an expiry?

A: Sometimes it’s a yes and sometimes it’s a No. Some lifejackets wear and tear easily whereas some have a longer life. The frequency of usage and the durability of the materials determine if they will serve for a longer time or lesser.

Q: For how long does a life jacket last?

A: If you have a durable lifejacket with lesser wear and tear and damages were done to it, it can last up to or more than 10 years or so. Though you may need to inspect it off and on for safety reasons.

Q: Can a life jacket serve to save life underwater?

A: Putting a lifejacket on takes some time so it is better you keep it on while kayaking, boating or leisure fishing, etc. in emergency situation putting a life jacket underwater may not a be a good option because it takes time and may not help you push the water pressure off your body if you are deep under the water.

Q: What are the different types of lifejackets we can use?

A: There are different types of lifejacket materials and designs. You can find, lifejackets with an outer waterproof material, sturdy material, and different materials inside like foam lifejackets, inflated life jackets and hybrid lifejackets depending on the materials used inside and the outside.

Q: In which category the kayaking life jackets come in?

A: Life jackets used by kayakers and boaters are the TYPE I, II, and III PFDs which are usually worn by the boaters or others on the boat.

Q: Is there a chance of drowning when wearing a life jacket during kayaking and what percentage survive?

A: A life jacket saves a life from getting caught by the waves and fast currents of water. According to the Coast Guard statistics, 78% of those engaged in fatal boating were drowned in the sea whereas 84% out of these were not wearing a life jacket determining that if they had considered wearing it on could have saved their lives.

Q: Can we swim with a life jacket on?

A: If the life jacket is fitted, well strapped and closed with your body than you can swim with your legs and arms with some effort. In case if it is too bulky you may find it hard swimming in fussy waters because it may hinder your arm movement and pushing force due to its buoyant nature.

Q: ​Which is the best way to find a life jacket for kayaking?

A: For kayaking, you need well-fitted, easy to put on life jackets that are not too bulky. You may consider self-inflating life jackets but make sure the ones that are reliable to serve their function upon need. It is better to find a sturdy, reliable and lightweight life jacket if you are planning to take it on kayaking.

Concluding our thoughts about the best life jacket for kayak fishing, we can say that having an adjustable, comfortable, durable PSF life jacket would be the best and the essential necessity you need to keep with you for going on a kayak fishing adventure.

This offers safety and convenience and peace of mind so that you enjoy more and worry less as you go through the best adventure times with your friends and family members. For your help, we have listed some of the best kayak PFD 2018 options for you to compare and choose the one that fits your needs without wasting your time and money.

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I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.