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Life vests that will help keep you safe while on the water

Safety in the water.
Safety in the water. (diGital Sennin via Unsplash /)

For many water sports in the country, life vests are required, and for good reason. People die every year from coast to coast in accidents that would have ended differently with proper life preservers. But what is the best choice for you and your family? We narrowed down some options.

Your little one needs this.
Your little one needs this. (Amazon/)

Don’t ever mess around with your child’s life. You know that as well as we do. This vest has a zipper and clips around the waste to keep it snug. A safety belt goes between your child’s legs to ensure it won’t slip up over his or her head. It’s U.S. Coast Guard approved, and rated for children between 30 and 50 pounds. The ergonomic design eases movement so your little one will be more likely to play in the water and forget it’s even on.

Stay safe. Don’t overheat.
Stay safe. Don’t overheat. (Amazon/)

Not all life vests are made equally, and this one is particularly designed for paddle sports. A mesh below the back means you can fit in the vest and in a kayak or canoe seat. Shoulder adjustments come with neoprene comfort pads. Expandable zippered pockets also come with mesh drainage. Do the sports you love, but be safe while you’re out there.

Keep your jacket close.
Keep your jacket close. (Amazon/)

This vest looks intense for good reason. It has four buckles clipped around the front allowing you to adjust to any body size and shape. The U.S. Coast Guard approved of the vest. It also has closed cell marine foam and a coated nylon outer shell. If you plan on going fast on a jet ski, boat, or skis, consider this vest your new best friend.

Wear only what you need.
Wear only what you need. (Amazon/)

Depending on your activity, sometimes you can’t wear a bulky life jacket. We get that. In those cases, consider this inflatable one. It automatically inflates when immersed in water or if you pull on the handle to force it to inflate. It has a soft neoprene neckline and stretchable back insert. The Coast Guard certifies it as a type V jacket.


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