Best Fishing Life Vests

Best Fishing Life Vests

Which are the best fishing life vests to go with on your next water adventure? Read our guide for the top 10 recommendations by top anglers.

You need to have the right gear when you go fishing whether you are an expert or a novice. In this case, the best fishing life vest will come in handy as it helps protect you from danger. What’s more, it will not only keep you comfortable during your fishing adventure but also hold your tools. Fortunately, there are many fishing life vests on the market and this article will help you make an informed decision.

Best Fishing Life Vests

Here are some of the best fishing life vests;

1. NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

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NRS Chinook Fishing PFD is a US approved floatation device available in standard black, sleek charcoal, camouflage green and vibrant orange. This Coast Guard uses eight different adjustment points to provide a more customized fit. It therefore means that this fishing life vest can be layered over bulky winter coats or a t-shirt in hot and humid weather conditions.

Key Features

  • 5 lbs
  • Rod holder loops
  • Mesh lower back
  • Foam flotation
  • Eight adjustment points
  • Strobe holder loop
  • Front-entry design
  • Knife lash tab
  • Type iii flotation device
  • Rear D-ring for attaching the net
  • Coil tool retractor that helps attach tools

Pros

  • It features D-rings and a number of holder loops that helps attach tools
  • Front entry design and eight different adjustment points for a more customized fit and comfort

Cons

  • It falls on the higher side of the pricing spectrum compared to other fishing life vests

Verdict

The D-rings and holder loops makes this fishing life vest ideal for fly fishing or kayak fishing. Reaching for different tools would be easier without compromising on safety and security in this state-of-the-art type iii floating device.

2. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

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Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is a simple yet classic US Guard approved kayak PFD. It features a durable three-buckle design available in red and blue. It has a perfect fit and is super easy to wear and take off. This fishing vest is equally portable and lightweight, ideal for those long fishing adventures.

Key Features

  • US Coast Guard approved
  • Nylon build
  • Three-buckle design
  • Open-side construction

Pros

  • Is relatively affordable compared to its counterparts
  • It features a simple design for long-lasting durability and ease of use

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with sophisticated attachments and holder loops.

Verdict

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is US Coast Guard approved ideal for casual fishers looking for something functional and durable without necessarily digging deeper into their pockets. This fishing vest will keep you secure and safe with very few accessories that come with it.

3. Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device

Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device

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Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device is a high-end device available in cactus green. This floatation device is nylon build and features an oxford liner and Cordura shell that makes it durable, comfortable and breathable. It additionally features holder loops and zip compartments for ease of access. Plus, it also allows you to comfortably fit into different spaces.

Key Features

  • Easy to clean up
  • Nylon build
  • Open-side construction
  • Holder loops that allow you to comfortably attach different accessories
  • Neoprene cushioned shoulders
  • Cordura shell
  • Oxford liner

Pros

  • Has different loops for ease of access
  • This fishing vest has a comfortable design to provide maximum ventilation

Cons

  • Is fairly bulky and can possibly get heavier especially when you load your tools

Verdict

Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device is sturdy, best suited for professional fishers. This is your best bet when it comes to fishing vests if you are not satisfied with the tool safe of your current jacket. It equally works well on those long fishing trips owing to its comfortable design. However, it’s a bit bulky but you can solve this issue by simply attaching fewer tools. This fishing life vest can only be hand washed to avoid damaging the fabric.

4. Onyx Movement Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Onyx Movement Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

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Onyx Movement Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is versatile which makes it one of the best fishing life vests on the market. It’s available in purple, orange and yellow. It features a subtle yet unique color-pop design that makes it a professional and sleek fishing vest ideal for heavy duty fishing adventures.

The fishing vest additionally features comfort pads on the shoulder area made of neoprene and SOLAS grade reflective fabric which makes it perfect for comfort and safety.

Key Features

  • Zip assist loop
  • Nylon oxford
  • Type iii US Coast approved life jacket
  • Lower back mesh
  • Nylon fabric
  • Floatation foam build
  • Nylon ripstop
  • SOLAS grade reflective fabric
  • Lash tab
  • Shoulder adjustments
  • Expandable zipper pockets
  • Neoprene comfort shoulder pads

Pros

  • Features SOLAS reflective material for high visibility and safety
  • This fishing life vest features numerous zipper pockets, D-rings and holder loops for tool attachment

Cons

  • Has a complex build that novice fishermen can find too complicated

Verdict

Onyx Movement Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is best suited for both intermediate and expert fishermen looking for a life jacket that is heavily equipped. This fishing life vest can comfortably hold your tools. Th best thing about this vest is that its compact and lightweight, ideal for long fishing adventures on the lake.

5. Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility USCG Approved Life Jacket

Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility USCG Approved Life Jacket

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Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility USCG Approved Life Jacket is available in five different vibrant colors to provide maximum durability. It comes in a range of colors including white, red, purple, neon orange and yellow. This fishing life vest is available in both adults and kids’ version and both are Coast Guard approved. Tis typically means that it guarantees to keep you safe afloat in case of an emergency.

Hardcore Water Sports Jacket additionally features open sides for ventilation. This is to help ensure you stay cool especially when the temperatures rise.

Key Features

  • Adjustable straps
  • Opens sides to promote air flow
  • Coast Guard approved floatation device
  • Closed cell PE foam
  • Quick release buckles
  • Premium quality Cordura polyester fabric

Pros

  • Comes with quick release buckles and easy adjustments to provide a more customized fit
  • Top tier construction for a comfortable fit and durable build

Cons

  • Doesn’t have D-rings and holder loops for any tool attachment

Verdict

Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility USCG Approved Life Jacket is super comfortable, vibrant, durable and high-quality. It’s best suited for long fishing adventures since that’s when you need utmost comfortability. The only drawback of this fishing life vest is that it doesn’t have D-rings and holder loops for tools attachment. This means that you’ll need to carry them separately in a bag or box.

This fishing jacket is ideal for those looking for a fishing vest for safety and comfort as opposed to fishing utility.

6. O’Neill Men’s SuperLite USCG Life Vest

O’Neill Men’s SuperLite USCG Life Vest

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O’Neill Men’s SuperLite USCG Life Vest is a state-of-the-art fishing life vest. It’s available white, red, graphite and black. It features a cutting-edge design that typically makes it effective when it comes to floating. It’s equally less bulky and portable as compared to other fishing life vests. It features a polyester shell that can withstand all elements.

Key Features

  • Polyethylene foam
  • US Coast Guard approved type iii flotation device
  • Durable polyester shell
  • Less bulky design

Pros

  • Made with a lightweight and durable material to provide a long-lasting and comfortable fit.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have mesh pockets and holder loops for tool attachment

Verdict

The only drawback of the O’Neill Men’s SuperLite USCG Life Vest is that it doesn’t have holder loops and mesh pockets for tool attachment unlike its counterparts on the market. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that durability and effectiveness are compromised. This fishing life vest is best suited for fishermen looking for lightweight option that’s less bulky.

7. Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

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Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is not only durable but also highly visible. It features an assortment of pockets for storing tools. The drop-down, push button tray pocket allows for ease of access saving you the hassle that comes with zipper pockets or wet Velcro ineffectiveness.

Key Features

  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Padded shoulder straps for ultimate comfort
  • Closed pockets
  • Holder loops ideal for tool attachment
  • Sunglasses hook
  • Zipped design at the front that makes it easy to use
  • Fleece-lined zippered compartment

Pros

  • Has multiple compartments for ease of access and tool storage
  • It has shoulder strap padding for added comfort and long-lasting durability

Cons

  • Only available in one color

Verdict

Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is ideal for experienced fishermen since it allows them to easily access their fishing tools thanks to the drop-down push button tray pocket. It features numerous high-quality pockets for ease of storage. Plus, it can comfortably hold all the tools you need for a long fishing adventure.

8. Absolute Outdoor Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest

Absolute Outdoor Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest

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Absolute Outdoor Onyx Manual Inflatable Vest is US Coast Guard approved flotation device. It’s one of the best fishing life vests on the market. This flotation device is available in a range of colors including Real tree Max-5 color options, red and blue.

The jacket’s state-of-the-art lightweight composition and neoprene neckline makes it a perfect choice for long fishing adventures. The backup oral and manual inflation makes it a safe, fast and easy solution in case of any fishing emergencies.

Key Features

  • Backup oral and manual inflation
  • It inflates manually and comes with a handle that’s easy to access
  • Neoprene neckline provides added comfort
  • US Coast Guard approved life jacket
  • 300 denier polyester

Pros

  • Has two different inflation options which are handy in case of any fishing emergencies
  • The air mesh comfort pad and neoprene neckline provide a more customized and comfortable fit

Cons

  • Doesn’t have storage tool compartments

Verdict

Absolute Outdoor Onyx Manual Inflatable Vest is best suited for experienced swimmers who prefer wearing smaller and less bulky fishing life vests. This vest is compact and lightweight. It features a waist wrap and simple strap design that helps evenly distribute weight for an exquisite construction.

9. Airhead Type II Adult Keyhole

Airhead Type II Adult Keyhole

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Airhead Type II Adult Keyhole is one of the best fishing life vests on the market featuring a classic design. It comes with an adjustable belt strap that’s used to tighten the life vest on the neck. It’s available in an orange design for high visibility. It’s made with a nylon fabric for long-lasting durability and the design is generally lightweight and portable.

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Nylon fabric
  • Adjustable belt

Pros

  • Easy and simple to use
  • It features a lightweight construction for ease of wearing and transportation

Cons

  • Features a simplistic design that lacks storage compartments and additional adjustments

Verdict

Airhead Type II Adult Keyhole is a simple fishing life vest that’s best suited for a fishing adventure on the lake with a lot of people. Besides, you only need to load up the boat with the vests for ease of use and safety. It’s quite effective when it comes to ease of use for different levels of swimming and fishing experience although it doesn’t feature customizable adjustments and comfort pads.

10. O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket

O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket

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O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket is versatile and comes in five different visible and vibrant colors. This makes it one of the best fishing life vests on the market. You can choose from the different color options available including cyan, black, green, blue and red. What’s more, all these colors have eco-friendly alternatives to neoprene for breathability and enhanced comfort.

Key Features

  • Zip closure
  • Front hinge
  • Wide armholes
  • Two different adjustable belts
  • Biolite construction to provide eco-friendly comfort
  • US Coast Guard approved
  • PWC lanyard ring attachment

Pros

  • Features front hinge and wide armholes to allowing you to move with ease
  • It comes in a range of colors for wardrobe versatility

Cons

  • Lacks compartments and holder loops for tool attachment

Verdict

O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket is a high-end fishing life vest that provides a comfortable and sleek fit. It works perfectly well when it comes to keeping users afloat without additional bulk. This life vest is your best bet if you are looking for something comfortable and appealing for long fishing adventures.

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

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

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Astral V-Eight Life Jacket is the best fishing life vest on the market. It’s available in a range of colors including ocean blue, glacier blue, blue, orange and burnt orange among others. It’s design and composition strike a perfect balance between functionality, comfort and style. The best thing about this fishing life jacket is that its US Coast Guard approved which typically means your security and safety are guaranteed.

Key Features

  • EVA foam inserts
  • PVC free
  • Polypro webbing
  • PE foam inserts
  • Coated shell made of top-quality denier and ripstop nylon
  • The side buckles are adjustable
  • Polyester mesh liner
  • Type III PFD US Coast Guard approved
  • Self-locking teeth
  • Air escape system idea for breathability and ventilation

Pros

  • Is PVC free and eco-friendly
  • This fishing life vests features EVA and PE foam inserts for enhanced comfort
  • It features zipper pockets for ease of tool storage and access

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with holder loops for ease of access

Verdict

Astral V-Eight Life Jacket is the best fishing life vest for women. It’s super comfortable, lightweight and breathable without compromising on exquisite features like adjustability and storage. It’s best suited for all fishers from professionals to the novice.

12. Stearns Comfort Series Collared Angler Vest

Stearns Comfort Series Collared Angler Vest

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Stearns Comfort Series Collared Angler Vest is a high-end option for men and is highly breathable. It features wide armholes and full mesh back that helps promote air flow to keep you cool and dry on hot and humid conditions. They especially come in handy when the temperatures tend to rise. The collared neckline will keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Key Features

  • Collared neckline for enhanced comfort
  • Two different buckle adjustments
  • Zipped compartments
  • Wide armholes and full mesh back for ventilation and breathability

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • It features a lightweight and breathable design for temperature control and enhanced comfort
  • This fishing life vest features two adjustable buckles to provide a more customized fit

Cons

  • Lacks holder loops for tool attachment

Verdict

Stearns Comfort Series Collared Angler Vest is super comfortable and guarantees long-lasting durability which makes it one of the best fishing life vests on the market. It’s a favorite among professional anglers since it can comfortably hold a number of tools and other adjustment features without adding bulk. It’s subtle but has it all.

Best Fishing Life Vests – Buying Guide

The best fishing life vest is usually an investment. That’s why you need to choose one that suits your needs for a better fishing experience. It’s also important to put into consideration the drawbacks and benefits when looking for the best fishing life vests on the market.

Here are some of the features and qualities to look out for when shopping for the best fishing life vests on the market:

Safety

Safety is paramount when it comes to fishing life vests. Always go for fishing life vests that are US Coast Guard approved as they guarantee both safety and security. Fishing life vests that are not USCG approved can be hazardous especially when there’s an emergency. Save for the US Coast Guard approval, you can also look for fishing life vests uniquely designed to help turn the face upwards in case of an emergency.

Reflective Material

Another safety feature you should put into consideration is the SOLAS grade reflective material. The material provides high visibility to help prevent boat accidents or draw attention in the event of an emergency.

Adjustability

Lastly, always go for fishing life vests that are adjustable. Ensure the vest is adjustable in all the right places to provide a more comfortable fit and maximum safety. It should neither be too tight nor too loose.

Best Fishing Life Vests for Comfort

Comfort is always a given a looking for the best fishing life jacket on the market. It especially comes in handy on those long fishing adventures where you spend hours or even days in water. Biolite or Neoprene life jackets are the best when it comes to comfort. There are padding options as well for enhanced comfort in pressure areas such as the neck and shoulders. Biolite is an eco-friendlier version of the regular neoprene padding.

In addition, different breathable designs such as open sides and mesh back usually make fishing life vests more comfortable and better on hot and humid weather conditions. What’s more, they help keep the users cool and dry by wicking moisture away from the body.

Storing Tools

Fishing life vests come in a range of designs that allows fishers to store their handy tools on the vest. Here’s a round-up of some innovative methods that manufacturers use:

  • Zipper compartments
  • Holder loop
  • D-rings
  • Sunglasses loops
  • Drop-down push button tray

Consider getting a fishing life vest with a mesh drainage pocket since it tends to get wet during the trip. This way, you can put wet tools in the pocket to ventilate and drain properly.

Different Materials Used in Making Fishing Life Vests

Fishing life vests are usually made with different materials that’s why it’s important to be conversant with them as it helps you make an informed decision. Some of these materials include nylon, polyester, neoprene, Biolite, Polypro and mesh.

Conclusion

There are many top-quality flotation devices on the market in different features preferences and price range. Using the above buyers guide will help you make an informed decision when looking for the best fishing life vests.

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