If you love fishing enough, you would know that a life jacket is not any ordinary fishing gear; it’s a lifesaver. A fishing adventure will take you near deep waters, and there is always a risk. A good life jacket for fishing will safeguard you from any potential dangers.
You might be a professional swimmer but guess what accidents can happen. A little bit of safety never goes overboard. A good fishing life jacket will always keep you safe and protected.
The times have changed and so have the modern day life jackets. The best kind of life jackets provides you with ample storage to keep your fishing gears. They also safeguard you from drowning. Some life jackets even come with inflatable designs i.e.; the jackets inflate as soon as it touches the water.
You could also visit the store yourself and choose the best life jackets for your fishing adventure. But it requires a lot of research and time. For your ease, we have compiled a list of 10 best life jackets for fishing available in the market. Fishing is a fun adventure. It’s high time you make it a safe one.
Here are the ten best life jackets for fishing we have compiled for you:
Best Life Jacket For Fishing in 2019 [Top 10 Reviews]
Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device is one of the best built PFDs available in the market. The outer shell is of heavy-duty Cordura, and the inner lining is of softer oxford.The Stohlquist Fisherman has some excellent features like front zip entry closure, padded shoulders made of neoprene and flotation foam.
The fabric used is 500 denier Cordura and 200 denier oxford liner. The neoprene padded shoulders provide natural comfort. The jacket has a lower back waistband and its sides open for ventilation. The inner platform is of Ethylene-Vinyl-Acetate.
Diving into its features, the buoyancy is of 16.5 lbs. It will not only keep you afloat but also helps you store a lot of fishing gears. The surface is a fold down. The jacket is sized to fit tackle boxes. There are accessory pockets present for fishing gear storage like compact radios.
As an additional feature, it has a velcro loop surface which can stick fly blocks on them. Its chest panel has an elastic loop for a whistle and torchlight.
The Fisherman is available two distinct colors, namely cactus green, and bright yellow.
- Large accessible pockets
- Tough build quality
- Additional features
- Good value for money
- Some users found it to be bulky.
The NRS Chinook Fishing Life jacket is one of the best fishing life jackets available in the market. It is specially designed for the true lovers of fishing. It provides ample storage for you to keep your fishing gears. The jacket has an integrated rod holder.
Let us dive into its features. It has 16.5 lbs level of buoyancy floatation. The floatation is up to the shoulder level; hence it is quite efficient for kayak fishing as well. It has a drain hole so the pockets can be dried if the water levels rise.
The Chinook has front zip entry and seven various sized pockets. There are also eight adjustment points for your comfort.
Furthermore, the NRS Chinook Fishing Life jacket is designed with anglers in mind. The 7 The jacket is highly recommended for kayak fishing, fly fishing, bass fishing, ice fishing, and other water sports.
Other exciting features include coil tool retractor, rod holder loops, net attachment D-rings, strobe holder loops, and attachment loops. Multiple sized pockets can contain many fishing gears like tackle boxes. Soft Plush FIT foam brings in extra support for the anglers.
It has an outstanding rating of 4.9/5 on Amazon based on 280 user review.It is available in four stylish colors, namely black, green, orange, and charcoal.
- Comfort and snug fit
- Has a drain hole
- Ample storage options
- Has Soft Plush foam
- Bulky and heavy
Next on the list is the Onyx Kayak Fishing Vest. Onyx is a popular brand in fishing gears and apparels. Onyx Kayak Fishing Vest is Level 3 United States Coast Guard approved life jacket.
The Onyx has many exciting features. It has zippered fleece-lined pockets, and you can easily slide the radios or pliers to the pocket. It has paddle specific foam design.there are six adjustments straps and pockets for essential gear.
Moreover, there is also a lash tab which helps to hold a knife, whistle, etc. It can also be used to hold keys, sunscreen, or flying fish tippets. The push drop-down button also contains a small tackle box.
Similarly, It provides 15lbs of lift pressure. It has hand pockets that help you keep warm in chilly weather. The only downside is that the zipper is made of plastic. However, the plastic used is heavy duty. As the name suggests, this jacket is specially designed but not limited to kayak fishing.
It has a sound system of drainage which keeps the jacket dry when not used. Overall it can be assured that the Onyx kayak fishing life jacket keeps you safe in style.
- Level 3 coast guard approved
- Extra pockets for storage
- Pockets work as hand warmers for chilly weather
- No extra buckle
- Plastic zipper
Kylebooker Fly Fishing Vest is the ideal fishing vest for someone who wants more than just a fishing jacket. It is a versatile jacket adjustable one size fit all size.
Let’s talk about its build quality. This is a light jacket made with light mesh fabric. Lightweight, water-resistant nylon is used along with breathable mesh. The jacket is lightweight and standing all day in tough mountain rivers won’t be a problem.
The presence of an adjustable shoulder and waist belt makes it fit all people of all size. There are six adjustments straps which makes the vest a snug fit. The jacket is comfortable, lightweight, and portable.
The mesh lining at the back makes it more breathable.Multiple pockets are used to store fishing gears and equipment. There are zippered pockets on the front and a large mesh pocket at the back. The mesh pocket can hold extra fishing gears, an additional piece of clothing or even snacks.
- Deeper pockets, large mesh pocket at back
- Lightweight and breathable
- Adjustable straps make a comfortable fit
- Stylish design
- Poor quality of the zipper
- Some users have questioned the build quality
Astral Ronny Life Jacket PFD is one true name in this list of best life jackets for fishing. It is USCG Type III approved and has a buoyancy level of 16lbs. The back panel is made up of super thin foam and mesh, which makes the jacket more breathable. It is quite lightweight and weighs around only 1.02 lbs.
One of the most astounding features of the Astral is that it is an eco-friendly life jacket. It is entirely free of toxic PVC(Polyvinyl Chloride). It is made of recyclable scraps; hence, anyone conscious about their Carbon emissions should not look anywhere further.
Furthermore, The fiber used here is 200 Denier High Tenacity Nylon and PolyPro webbing. The zippers have a self-locking vision. It has multiple pockets at the front and mesh liner at the back. The liner is breathable and provides maximum comfort.
It has a mesh back panel made up of foam. It is quite lightweight, weighing around 11.02 lbs.
The Ronny is used while fishing, touring, kayaking, and for other recreation as well.
- Well placed pockets
- Comfortable fit
- Excellent for Kayak fishing
- Some users found it to be bulky
If you are in search of a good fishing life jacket with excellent features and stylish design, then Amarine-made Fly Fishing Vest Pack might be the one for you. The appearance of the jacket is quite striking. It looks more like an outdoor jacket than a regular fishing life jacket.
Digging into its features, It is made with premium textile and Expanded Polyethylene foam (EPF). The EPE foam is replaceable and has a premium ripstop Polyester shell. It has a maximum bearing of 95 kgs /209.44 lbs. The size of the jacket is 55 x 50 cm /21.65 x 19.68in.
Additional features include four zipped front pockets and two sides mesh pockets. It also has a large back pocket. The fabric used in the mesh is quite breathable. Open sides give you more flexibility while kayaking, casting, or aiming in water.
There are multi webbed adjustable buckle straps for a universal custom fit.The jacket is available in four other colors: grey, green, red, and blue.
- Universal adult size
- Reflectors on the back give a sense of safety
- Replaceable EPE foam
- Lightweight and accessible
- Best life jacket for fly fishing
- Some users complain of the zipper quality
- USCG not approved
The classic Stearns Comfort Series provides a convenient, breathable design with a unique style. Two large zippered front pockets provide enough space to keep a large tackle. They also act as a hand warmer on chilly days. The mesh fabric on the shoulders gives added ventilation.
There is Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) floatation foam covered by 200D nylon oxford shell. There are two adjustable 1-in(2.54-cm) webbed straps. Flexible neoprene collar prevents chafing and makes the jacket more breathable. The design on the Stearns jacket is US Coast Guard approved.
The colors on the jacket are subdued, and the design is not that stylish. Also, there are no alternative colors besides the classic green. Hence, people who are conscious about their style might have to look for a better alternative.
- Good for kayak fishing
- Deep pockets act as hand warmers
- Great design and a good fit
- Some users complain about the quality control
Vgeby Kayaking Fishing Life Jacket offers one of the best features in the lineup. The material used here is high-quality Nylon, Taslon. The size of the jacket is the universal adult size. The jacket has a height of approx 50-70cm/19.6-27.5’’ and the width of approx 50-70cm/19.6-27.5’’. The total package weight of the jacket is approx 550g.
High-quality buoyancy foam makes you float effortlessly on the surface. There are multiple pockets for storage of fishing tools, gears, and tackles. This jacket has two front pockets, two zippered pouches, and a back zippered pouch. The zipper is designed to provide more safeguard in case of emergencies.
The buckles in the jacket are quite durable. It can be adjusted based on your size and requirements.The jacket offers a unique survival design. It comes with a whistle and reflective strap to face any emergency, especially during the night time.
Vgeby is perfect for fishing, kayak fishing, sailing, surfing, or any other water sports. The Vgeby comes with an exclusive 180 days warranty period. Users can return their product if they are not satisfied.
- Universal adult size
- Removable floatation panel
- Great for kayak fishing
- Deep storage Pockets
- Some users complained of poor quality control
- Poor Zipper quality
The Osprey is another excellent addition to the list of best life jackets for fishing. It offers high-performance comfort of a classic PFD. Extraports unique Baja Back design offers style with substance.
Furthermore, there are seven expandable gear pockets for storage of all your necessary fishing gears. Adjustable mesh shoulder and side straps give you an easy adjustment. There are shell casing holder and multiple attachment points as well.
On the other hand, the Osprey offers seven pockets for your gears and tools. The design floatation is of 16 lbs.the fabric used in this jacket is that of 300 Denier ripstop nylon. United States Coast Guard certifies it as type III. The sizes in offer are XS/S(33-39),M/L(40-45), XL/XXL(46-56). The jacket weighs 6oz.it is only available in two colors khaki and black.
It has a bold military look. It features a thin lower back section to accommodate canoe and kayak seat backs. The front zip has two additional buckles for a comfort fit. 70 % of users in Amazon have rated it five stars, and 84% of them have said that it is fit as expected.
- Unique Baja Back design
- Tough military look
- Best life jacket for kayak fishing
- UGCS approved type III
- Pockets not large as expected
- A little snug
A lot of anglers have storage as their priority. But if you need something extra light and comfy, then this manual inflatable vest from Onyx might be your best choice. To put it simply, the absolute outdoor Onyx m-24 is just a lightweight harness attached to your waist belt.
It has a back strap and two chest straps. Inside the right strap of the jacket, there is compressed carbon dioxide. The vest will instantly inflate by pulling the T- handle at the bottom of the strap.
However it is only one-time use, and the CO2 cartridge must be replaced after use.
This jacket is a united states coast guard approved floatation device. The minimum buoyancy is of 22 lbs. It is a United States coast guard approved type V Jacket with a type III performance. Soft neoprene collar and 300 denier polyester is the material used.
To conclude, the Onyx m-24 is a niche design. Anglers who want maximum storage for their fishing gears should avoid this jacket. On the other hand, kayak fishers who wish agility and comfort for a long fishing day should consider this jacket as their option.
- Compact size
- Inflatable vest
- Best suited for kayak fishing
- Extra lightweight
- No storage options
- CO2 cartridge has to be replaced after use
Guidelines for buying a life jacket for fishing
The Price might be the most crucial factor for you in selecting the best life jacket for fishing. There are various options in different budget range in the compiled list above.
Buoyancy or the buoyant force is the force exerted on an object that is entirely or partially immersed in water. The buoyancy level is vital in deciding the best life jacket for fishing or other purposes.
Durability is another factor that is essential in choosing the best life jacket for you. The best life jackets are the ones that are united states coast guard (UGCG) approved. The type III rating is considered the best.
The two different types of materials commonly used in the making of life jackets are Nylon and neoprene. Nylon is less expensive and is a light material that makes it comfortable for anglers to paddle and aim their reel.
On the other hand, neoprene is more costly and provides a comfortable snug fit. The Buoyancy level is also higher in neoprene.
Size and comfort
It might be the most expensive life jacket in the world, but if it doesn’t make you comfortable and doesn’t fit you properly, then there is no point in buying it. Hence, the size and comfort must be given utmost priority while purchasing life jackets for fishing or any other water sports.
My overview on buying the best life jacket for fishing
It’s an arduous task to choose from the above life jackets as the best one for fishing. They are all competent and have their stand out points.
But if you ask me to choose one, I would tell you to go with Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device. It’s a little bulkier but provides maximum performance if you don’t mind a little weight. It has a tough built and gives you the best value for your money.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about storage options and want a life jacket that is compact and safe, then I recommend the Absolute Outdoor Onyx M24 Manual inflatable vest.