Best Life Jackets For Kayak Fishing – (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Kayak fishing a great outdoor water sport. You get to relax at the same time exercise. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is a necessity to all humans. However, safety when kayak fishing is often overlooked especially for those who are more experienced.

It should, however, be your number one priority before anything else. Safety is something a life jacket is guaranteed to provide. The best life jackets for kayak fishing should provide comfort, safety, and convenience. They’re however not the same. All you need to do is choose the best one for you.

best life jackets for kayak fishing

Life Jackets For Kayak Fishing Comparison Table

Best Life Jackets For Kayak Fishing Reviews in 2022

With all these considerations in mind, it will be pretty easy to land on the best lifejacket. I have compiled a list of top ten best lifejackets for kayak fishing that all kayakers out there will appreciate.

1. NRS Chinook Mesh Back Fishing PFD Review

The features of this NRS Chinook life jacket will knock you off your seat or should I say kayak? It’s been made for use for extended periods of time.

This Chinook jacket has 7 front pockets meant for everything from small tackle boxes to tippets.

This makes it perfect for kayak fishing, fly fishing, and extended tours. The mesh on the lower back of the jacket is a great fit. Its soft PlushFIT foam floatation conforms to your body giving you ultimate comfort. With the roomy front-entry design, you can customize your desired fit. It also provides ventilation on warm days.


  • ​Designed with7 front pockets to store small tackle
  • ​Suits fly fishing and kayak fishing
  • ​Has a mesh lower back with ventilations
  • ​Features Soft PlushFIT foam flotation that conforms with you
  • ​Available in different sizes and colors


  • ​ Users say it is bulky and uncomfortable

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2. Stearns Child Watersport Classic Series Vest

If you want to train your child in the art of kayaking, this Stearns Child Watersport vest will ensure your child enjoys watersport activities.

This life vest is meant for children that weigh 30-50lbs. This falls in the range of any sized kid. With the durable ​nylon construction over PE foam, your kid will enjoy using this vest for a very long time.

It has a secure 1inch webbing which ensures your child’s comfort. This closed sided prioritizes your child’s safety. It comes with a leg strap that helps the vest stay in place even in water.


  • Perfect for kids from 30-50 lbs
  • Designed with a durable nylon construction
  • Has a leg strap to keep the vest in place
  • Features an adjustable crotch strap and two large armholes to facilitate faster movement
  • Has adjustable chest belts


  • Doesn’t suit toddlers

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3. Stormr Strykr Bib Review

If you live in super cold areas or just looking for a multi-sport lifejacket, this Stormr Strykr Jacket is for you.

It’s made from 100% Polyester with an exterior shell. This makes it warm throughout your expedition as it’s water-repellent.

It comes with an interior cell phone pocket, two chest gear pockets and two interior mesh gear pockets for convenience. It has a fleece-lined interior and extended interior collar to be able to withstand the harshest weather conditions. Its two-way adjustable hood allows you to customize it according to your needs. For durability, the zipper is made from non-corrosive splash.


  • Warm and comfortable
  • Withstands harsh weather and working environments
  • Has an abrasion resistant material in high contrast areas
  • The jacket is durable
  • Designed with fleece lined waterproof exterior pockets


  • Stiff around the neck

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4. Stohlquist Men’s Trekker Lifejacket

If you’re searching for a life jacket that will snugly fit your torso, this Stohlquist Trekker life jacket is perfect for the job.

The back side of the lifejacket has a half floatation/half cool mesh. This makes it fit comfortably above the seat backs found in today’s rec-tour and sit-on-top boats.

It features a front zipper entry pocket you can use to store your necessities. Its adjustable shoulders and cross-chest cinch harness guarantees safety for you. With its ventilated shoulder and back pad, you will remain cool even when the weather’s hot. It comes with hand wash soap and water.


  • Has a front zipper entry
  • The padded shoulders are adjustable
  • Features roomy zippered pockets
  • The back is designed with floatation/half cool mesh


  • The shoulder straps are not comfortable because they itch

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5. NRS Ninja PFD

The top life jackets for kayak fishing shouldn’t interfere with your activities. One of them is the NRS Ninja PFD life jacket. With it, water sports are guaranteed to be enjoyable.

The Ninja athletic design won’t interfere with paddling, rowing or swimming.

This makes it perfect for boaters with short torsos who have a hard time wearing more conventional life vests. The soft PVC-free foam floatation panel is shaped for comfort, 4 side adjustments and 2 shoulder adjustments provide for a customized fit. A floating front panel adjusts to your body shape giving you a warm place to put your hands when it gets chilly.


  • Perfect for rowing, swimming and paddling
  • Provides users with a custom fit
  • Designed with comfortable and soft PVC-free foam floatation
  • Has a floating panel that conforms to your body
  • It is lightweight


  • It rides up a lot hence floating on your chin

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6. MTI Adventurewear Calcutta Kayak Fishing Angler PFD Lifejacket

To save a little money, you can get a lifejacket that’s so versatile it can fit everyone in your family. This MTI Calcutta Kayak life jacket is among them.

It universally fits anyone with a 30-52inch size chest. Its 3buckle front closure, 4-side adjustments and padded adjustable shoulder straps make this possible.

It also comes with specific fishing features like generous pockets that offer ample room for your fishing necessities. Additional features like reflective trim, hook resistant shell fabric and hat hanger loop are for your convenience aboard your kayak.


  • Has three fishing pockets to keep your necessities
  • Designed with a reflective trim
  • Hook resistant shell fabric
  • Perfect for fishing and paddle sports
  • Designed with front buckle closure and side and shoulder adjustments


  • It is too small

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Things To Consider When Buying ​ Best Life jackets for Kayak Fishing

A life jacket is a very essential component that you should carry when you are going for fishing to avoid accidents. It is advisable to choose the best jacket to save your life in incidents of accidents on the water. Here are a few considerations you should think about when buying a life jacket or tactical accessories belt for kayak fishing.

Color And Design

There are so many accidents that have taken place simply because the person could not be spotted. When you are picking a lifejacket for kayaking, you should ensure that it is visible from far. Select a jacket with a bright color so that it will be easy to save you.


There is not single kayaking life jacket that can suit all users, however, you can get some universal models if you are not sure of the size especially if you are buying it for a friend. They are designed in different sizes to suit different users. You should pick a jacket that gives you a nice and comfortable fit. The jackets are available in different sizes such as small, medium and large sizes.


Even with life jackets, there are still so many cases of people drowning because of poor jacket functionality. To be on the safe side, you should look for life jackets that are approved by Coast-Guard because they are very safe and reliable.

Adjustments Jackets

These are life jackets that provide a lot of versatility, and they are easy to adjust for a custom fit. The jackets are designed to fit all people regardless of their body size or shape. When you fit an adjustment jacket well, it allows you to float on water in cases of accidents and this keeps you very safe.

Age And Gender

These are other important things that you should also consider. There are jackets that are designed depending on the age of the user.  For instance, if you are taking kids for a kayak fishing trip, you should ensure you have life jackets that will suit their age as well as provide a comfortable fit.

Final Verdict

Never ever go out to any water body without a lifejacket. All of the above discussed have been tried and tested to make sure you’re safe, and you feel safe when you go kayak fishing.

You need to consider the size of the lifejacket. Don’t go for a large one when you’re relatively small it will be puffy and uncomfortable. Also, consider how lightweight the life jacket is as it will determine your movement aboard your kayak.

Lifejackets are very versatile. You can use them for a range of activities like canoeing and swimming. Don’t put your life on the line. Get a life jacket as soon as you can.

Barry Robinson

Hi. This is Barry J. Robinson. I love to fishing, kayaking and blogging. I start fishing & kayaking when I was at the age of 18. I love to write about my fishing & kayaking review and parts review. Regularly writing about fishing and kayaking for various magazines, newspapers and websites.

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