13 best kayak life jackets for all paddlers (2021) | heavy.com
This minimalist option is intended to be an affordable, and reliable option for paddlers who don’t require any personal storage. The large armholes allow for excellent range of motion, and the mesh back and front accents ensure you catch whatever breeze there is to offer on hotter days
The 200 denier nylon outer shell is built tough, so you can plan on owning this PFD for many seasons of paddling. With sizing for the whole family and several color options to choose from, there’s bound to be a MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD for you
This is a particularly low profile PFD built with Astral’s Thin-Vent back, so although it’s not a high-baked design, it’s still compatible with tall seatbacks. The material of the back and the mesh section that runs down the length of the spine is furthermore effectively breathable, so keeping cool is made easier during the highest heat of the season
Two flip-down pockets act as a working platform when opened and feature an impressive storage capacity for their low profile. A tool organizer and several attachment points for additional gear are also integrated. The Ronny Fisher has employed a lot of practical storage into the vest front without making it feel too cluttered, creating a both streamlined and highly equipped PFD
Most notable of all, the Ronny Fisher has a built-in waterproof hood in the top of the jacket, so you can deploy it for rain coverage in the event of a sudden downpour. The hood is furthermore bright yellow for greater visibility in the event of a search and rescue scenario where you need to call attention to yourself!
If you’re a recreational paddler seeking a life jacket that puts comfort over everything, the Linda Life Jacket is a great go-to that furthermore provides you with a nice pocket schematic for easy access to your essential on the water items
A super thin foam and mesh back-panel paired with a mesh liner mean this PFD won’t overheat you during those sweltering hot days. Built from a 200 Denier high tenacity nylon shell and liner and PolyPro webbing, and equipped with heavy-duty hardware and zippers with Self Locking Vislon Teeth, the Linda Life Jacket is engineered to last for many seasons of paddling
This is a high-back flotation design that’s engineered not to interfere with the way you contact your seat, while the lower portion is mesh for enhanced ventilation. Reflective accents are integrated throughout the PFD for improved visibility while two simple zippered pockets provide you with some storage for your essential items and gear
Best of all, the 400-denier ripstop nylon shell is an absolute workhorse of a fabric that can handle some heavy abuse, so plan on owning this PFD for quite a few years. There is a wide selection of sizing and colors to choose from, so you can choose the perfect fit and aesthetic for you
The Stohlquist Edge PFD is a super versatile option of life vest that excels in virtually every on the water scenario that’s perfect for kayakers who also sail, SUP, and raft to name a few potential applications
This is a particularly liberating PFD designed with huge arm holes, mesh side panels and low profile shoulder straps for an excellent overall range of motion. There is foam present on the lower back of the vest, but the Edge is so streamlined it won’t disturb you paddling from even high-backed seats
One large top-loading front pocket provides ample gear storage and drains if submerged, and an external attachment point for a tool, whistle, camera or item of your choosing is also present, totaling to some pretty impressive storage considering the streamlined design here
This high-backed PFD is built with a durable 240D ripstop shell and a 200D Oxford liner for rock-solid durability, as well as a mesh back section for improved ventilation. It’s a great design for kayakers, but sportsmen and women fishing from any style watercraft will find this is a highly versatile option that’s a great choice of angling companion.
The large zippered pockets operate as fold-down work platforms when unzipped, and a nice array of external attachment points and tool mounts add further organization potential. The Piseas provides a great balance of features vs. minimalist design – enabling adequate gear capacity without making you feel cluttered or overstuffed
A cross-chest cinch harness keeps the PFD from riding up and furthermore allows you to really cinch it down tight to your frame if you want to be particularly streamlined. Stohlquist has engineered the Piseas to provide you with the best of both worlds – a relaxed or form-fit
This is a fishing PFD geared towards seated paddlers that utilizes a high-back design for eliminating interference with your sitting position – but that doesn’t mean stand-up anglers won’t love it for applications outside of their kayak. It’s a full-feature vest that has integrated all the best features while somehow maintaining a profile that doesn’t feel too cumbersome
The Lure Angler integrates mindfully designed zippered pockets for tackle and larger gear storage, stretch mesh pockets for tinier items, and an envelope pocket for a VHF or GPS unit – all oriented in a brilliant schematic for easy access and utilization. There are furthermore hyperon tab and D-ring attachment points for externally securing tools and gear, and even a built-in rod holder
Old Town has truly hit all the bases here if you’re a fisherman who likes to have all their tools and toys on hand, or alternatively just a gear-laden paddler! Wilderness guides might be a fan of this vest as well for its extensive array of organized storage.
A rugged 240D ripstop nylon construction makes sure you get your money’s worth when it comes to lifespan while Old Town’s signature AirComfort System generates excellent breathability and overall comfort. Old Town sent me a Lure Angler Life Jacket to field test just last year, and I paddle in mine on even the hottest summer days without feeling overheated
This is a medium profile life jacket with 16.5 pounds of flotation – so it’s not quite as streamlined and slim as many of the other PFDs listed here. In turn, the Chinook provides some pretty impressive buoyancy, making it a solid choice for kayakers braving potentially dangerous conditions, like whitewater
Two large, zippered pockets with extensive internal organization can house more cumbersome tools and gear, while two smaller accessory pockets with hook-and-loop closure stash your tinier items. An additional tool holder pocket provides fast and easy access to pliers, nippers and other essential gear anglers, in particular, might want to have on hand
When it comes to comfort, six adjustment points (and a variety of sizing) enable a truly custom fit while the mesh lower-back allows for excellent ventilation on warm days. NRS has engineered a winner here that’s well worth the cost when you consider the added features and expected lifespan
While this option is not available in larger sizing nor in an array of colors – if you think it’s a fit for your frame and paddling style you’d be silly not to jump all over this high-quality, budget option! Extrasport has built a full feature angling PFD here at less than half of the cost of most of the competition!
This PFD features a 7-pocket fishing vest configuration for extensive organization and storage – so if pouches and pockets are your preference, you’ll be a fan of this one. Integrated hypalon shoulder attachment points are present for additional tools storage, and a D-ring for killswitch attachment (if riding in a motorboat) is also included
Although it’s quite inexpensive, the 240D rip-stop nylon construction ensures this life vest won’t quit on you as soon as the price tag might suggest. Scotchlite reflective shoulders are furthermore integrated for added safety – a wise included feature for solo kayak fishing purposes
A neoprene-covered adjustable waist belt and Extrasport’s exclusive RetroGlide fit system furthermore enable a highly customized fit and great overall comfort, so assuming the limited sizing is suitable for you, you won’t have to settle for a mediocre fit
A mesh lower back, sides, and shoulders provide you with adequate ventilation and an excellent range of motion while wearing this option, so offshore anglers, fly fishermen, photographers and birdwatchers alike will enjoy the liberating design