Fishing life jackets are an important piece of safety gear for anyone who enjoys spending time on the water. Whether you are fishing from a boat, kayak, or even just wading in the shallows, a good life jacket can help keep you safe in the event of a sudden dunking.
There are many different types and styles of fishing life jackets on the market, so it is important to choose one that is comfortable and will fit properly. You also want to make sure that the jacket you select is appropriate for the type of fishing you plan on doing. For example, if you will be fishing in rough waters or cold weather, you will need a more heavy-duty jacket than someone who plans on fishing in calm lakes or rivers.
When shopping for a fishing life jacket, pay close attention to the sizing information to ensure that you select a properly fitting garment. It is also important to read reviews of any life jacket you are considering purchasing to get an idea of how it performs in real-world conditions. By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to find the best possible life jacket for your needs.
Fishing Life Jackets # 1) Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
Product Summary: The Onyx Kayak Fishing vest is feature-rich but yet a great value! Designed with four different pocket designs and functions to hold your essential gear and keep you fishing longer. In addition to the zippered fleece-lined pockets and the zippered chest pocket, radios or pliers can slip down and clamp to the pocket/vest through the opening at the top of the pocket, to keep them easily accessible. The one-button push drop down tray pocket holds a small tackle box. The six adjustment straps can be adjusted up or down depending on your activity or the heights of the boat seat or kayak. The high back of the vest does not get in the way of the seats and has mesh for breathability. Universal size fits 30″-52″ chest. Oversize fits 45″-65″ chest. U.S. Coast Guard Approved.
A 5-Star Review: This seems to be a very nice PFD. They say this is a Level 3 Coast guard approved Life preserving jacket. According to the USCG, most people need at least 7-12 lbs of lift pressure from a floatation device to stay above water. The onyx says that is around 15lbs of lift pressure which exceeds the standard for the Level 3. That is good to know.
I will be using this PFD for Kayaking, and it will be perfect for every aspect of these adventures! I love all the pockets that is has. I also really like rubber band type of connection point on the left chest. This area can accommodate a lot of different ideas, and so I find it be extremely flexible in the use. This pfd even has a pocket on both sides that have felt lining in it. If you are like me, and enjoy kayaking even in cooler weather, the pockets will be a nice place to warm up the fingers a bit. This pfd seems so versatile in its use, I couldn’t imagine all the possibilities it would provide, but there are a few cons.
It seems that the zipper pulls are a flexible plastic. When I go to zip the pfd, I can feel the zipper pull bending under little pressure. This makes me believe that in a short amount of time it will break. The most concerning is that the actual component that forces the two sides of the zipper to join, also feels to be made of this plastic. That, to me, is unacceptable, and a corner that should not have been cut. Never, ever skimp on a zipper, as we all have too many struggles with zippers as it is. Additionally, for the price point, it should have been some type of strong aluminum, or a stainless stell, I don’t know. When you go to tighten this guy down, it does put pull on that zipper. I could be wrong and I’ll figure out as the months go by, how well that hols up.
Now, I am a BIG fan of double stitching and all aspects of pockets and compartments are single stitched. That may be perfectly fine, but it doesn’t appear that the zipper, which handles the pressure of keeping the jacket tight, does NOT have double stitching, or I can’t see it. However, as in one of my pictures, it does appear they made great effort to ensure a strong additional stitching was done where all of the nylon type straps connect to the vest. The vest can be a bit bulky, feeling like 2 inches thick in spots, but then again, you DO want to stay afloat. The design is nice, in that it allows you to move with freedom when paddling which is what I am looking for.
So all in all, it suits my needs. I wanted all the pockets for accessories, and I wanted the design to allow me to move freely. They have accomplished this. I am concerned of the build strength in the zipper, and hope it lasts longer than I am expecting. As it stands, I would certainly recommend the PFD!
A Critical Review: Researched and got this jacket as it had pockets necessary for radio and GPS plus taking notes. It had a good mesh and the works including warm pockets … but then came the critical flaws. There are many reviews with the good stuff you can read.
Life jackets are primarily designed to save lives – making it critical that they a) fit well and snug to float you and B) the harness/ fasteners must be strong enough for the rescue team to lift an unconscious person out of the water. Be it swimming pool, lake or open water – that function is basic.
This life jacket lacks that part. The only fastener is a zip which is not advisable to lift a person from – even a kayak spill. The zipper is tricky to put on as there is a very thick internal float where it comes together. The zipper gets stuck very often as it is poorly located and designed and pulls on the fabric every other time you try to put it on.
There is no secondary fall back – normally lifejackets have 3 binding straps in addition ot a zipper if there is one – this one has zero straps – so in case you fall in or get the zipper (which does not lock) loose or entangled, the jacket will be useless.
The fastener flaw makes this a critical no-go even for recreational use if you are a not a strong swimmer
Fishing Life Jackets # 2) NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)
Product Summary: The NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) has the fit and design inspired by their most popular life jacket with added features for open-water safety and convenience. It offers all of the organization and attachment points needed for your fishing accessories. The comfort simply can’t be beat. The NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) has the fit and design inspired by their most popular life jacket with added features for open-water safety and convenience. It offers all of the organization and attachment points needed for your fishing accessories. The comfort simply can’t be beat.
A 5-Star Review: This PFD was supper comfortable. It did not ride up and at times I didn’t even feel like I had anything on. I love all the pockets. So far it hasn’t gotten stained which is what I was worried about considering the bright color.
A Critical Review: Overall, very good PFD for kayak fishing. Comfortable, ez to adjust. Quality could be better as in workmanship, stitching etc. For example, one shoulder strap is sewn off kilter from the other. when both shoulder straps adjusted the same, one is positioned higher than the other. Doesn’t affect performance, just the crooked look gets noticed.
BIG CON: neither of the smaller front pockets will hold & zip close with IPhone-12 Pro Max, especially with a protective case on the phone. The phone will barely fit in the larger left pocket, but then this takes away from that pocket’s internal strap holders for lip balm, other small essentials to have in that pocket when fishing. Nor will those 2 right front pockets contain a 5w size VHF portable radio either. Also, no D-rings to attach gear leash retainers, instead fabric tabs with 2 holes. Not sure if these fabric tabs/holes will be good in the long run. Wish mfg added the D-Rings like their C-Vest Kayak PFD has.
Fishing Life Jackets # 3) JKSPORTS Fly FishingVest Fishing Safety Life Jacket for Swimming Sailing Boating Kayak Floating Multifunction Breathable Backpack for Men and Women KayakVest (Without Foam)
Product Summary: This fishing jacket looks more like an outdoor vest with total 11 zippered pockets and multi attachment Ladders and accessory loops on its front and wide reflectors on the back and shoulder. Underneath the exterior it’s a fully functional flotation device which is detachable for functioning as a shear fishing gear carrier. And this vest will fit almost any person due to webbed adjustable buckle straps. If your main priority is gear storage, this fishing vest is one of a kind. It’s great for fly fishing, kayak fishing, canoe fishing (pretty much any type of fishing).
A 5-Star Review: Fits well. So many pockets I forget where stuff is at. Comfortable. NO USCG approval stamp for use as a floatation device.
A Critical Review: This is listed as a “… Fly Fishing Vest , Fishing Safety Life Jacket…” I checked everywhere. There is NOTHING in this vest to suggest it would keep you afloat should you overboard. And that was my primary reason for buying it. This does NOT do what it suggests it’ll do. I suppose I should have figured that out on my own when the price was reasonable.
As a fishing vest it gained ONE STAR. Because it is what it says it is. It’s nearly like my other fly fishing vest I bought on Amazon.
Also, on the plus side, it was here earlier than I expected. I guess those guys and gals in China were working overtime when my order came in.
Fishing Life Jackets # 4) Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle – Manual Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD for Boating Fishing Sailing Kayaking Surfing Paddling Swimming – Adjustable Life Saving Vest
Product Summary: The Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle is a top quality life jacket that is perfect for anyone who loves spending time on the water. This life jacket is made from durable materials and is designed to keep you safe and comfortable while you are enjoying your time on the water. The life jacket comes with a whistle that you can use to alert others if you are in trouble, and it also has an adjustable strap that you can use to ensure a perfect fit.
A 5-Star Review: Nice and compact unlike old outdated life jacket! Doesn’t interfere with casting or reeling one in! Great item for water safety.
A Critical Review: This product is not really safe to wear for boating. If someone becomes unconscious while wearing this, it will not elevate their head above the water – they must be able to pull the cord for the vest to inflate. I’m not taking any chances.
Fishing Life Jackets # 5) Astral, Sturgeon Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring
Product Summary: The Astral Sturgeon life jacket is the perfect PFD for kayak fishing, recreation and touring. With its comfortable and secure fit, ample storage and superior buoyancy, the Sturgeon will keep you safe and comfortable on the water.
A 5-Star Review: This life jacket is perfect for fly fishing. The fit gives you plenty of clearance for casting and stripping line. I was a bit skeptical at first because of the center front pocket, however after taking it on several trips I can report that you don’t even notice you are wearing the jacket. It does not get in the way whatsoever, and is so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it. The front pocket is super convenient for holding extra flies, leaders, line, cell phone, and any other important items you need immediate access to. 100% recommend for anyone who likes to fly fish from a kayak or canoe.
Fishing Life Jackets # 6) Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)-Green-L
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) is made from a soft, thin back panel that provides the best fit and comfort when used with the tall seats/chairs found on today’s kayak fishing boats. The jacket has a full-length front zipper and a drawstring waist for a snug fit. The jacket also features a D-ring for attaching a safety whistle or light, and a reflective stripe for increased visibility in low light conditions.
A 5-Star Review: No dislikes great pockets
Fishing Life Jackets # 7) NRS Raku Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)
Product Summary: The NRS Raku Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) has a ventilated, thin-back that comfortably fits any kayak, raft or drift boat seat. The thin back design distributes the foam more broadly to reduce bulk and improve the fit. Anglers looking for a more traditionally designed jacket should choose the Raku.
A 5-Star Review: I struggled with an oversized PFD for way to long before I finally did my research and purchased this. Its comfortable. Just the right pockets for fishing gear. Not too bulky like my last PFD. Reasonable price for a quality product.
A Critical Review: It does what its supposed to do but its just too bulky… when leaning forward its in the way and I felt like I was constantly having to move it out of the way while fishing… I was disappointed.
Fishing Life Jackets # 8) Stohlquist Fisherman Adult Men’s Life Jacket – Excellent Cockpit Management, Dual Front-Mounted Pockets, Easy Mounts for Equipment – High Back for Kayak Seating | Small/Medium, Khaki
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Fisherman Adult Men’s Life Jacket is an excellent choice for cockpit management and dual front-mounted pockets. It is easy to mount and has a high back for kayak seating. This life jacket also has a small/medium size.
A 5-Star Review: For your information, I’m 5’9″ and around 160lb, bought a L/XL and it perfectly fits me. As it has a lot of adjustable parts, it will also fit people much bigger than I am.
Before using this, I used to wear a PFD with a fully padded back and it was really annoying because the backrest of the chair on my kayak kept pushing my PFD upward while I was paddling or fishing on it. But with the arrival of this one, all my pain disappeared. After paddling 7-8 miles and spending a few hours fishing, I felt really comfortable, the PFD wasn’t going anywhere, and there was no issue.
Do not buy a cheap one and come back and buy this one as I did, but just buy a good one at once to save your money and time.
I highly recommend this one and I don’t think it would be waste of money.
A Critical Review: Seemed great and was a clear winner for a PFD for a kayak but for fishing it fails for my use. I wanted a PFD that could hold my gear while walking rivers/streams in waders. But the pockets are too small to hold even the smallest of fishing containers.
Fishing Life Jackets # 9) Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket (PFD)
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Fisherman is a great lifejacket for those who love to fish. It is comfortable and has plenty of room for all of your fishing gear. The pockets are also great for holding your bait and tackle. The lifejacket also has a D-ring on the back for attaching your fishing line.
Fishing Life Jackets # 10) Astral, V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring
Product Summary: The Astral V–Eight is the perfect life jacket for kayak fishing, recreation and touring. It is comfortable and lightweight, yet still provides the safety and security you need while out on the water. The V–Eight has eight adjustable straps that ensure a snug and comfortable fit, while the large front pocket is great for storing essential gear. The bright red color ensures you will be visible in all conditions, and the reflective strips add an extra level of safety. The Astral V–Eight is a must–have for any kayaker who wants to stay safe and comfortable while out on the water.
A 5-Star Review: Who knew being safe could be so comfortable. Fits exactly as I hoped and holds me afloat very well.
Fishing Life Jackets # 11) Zeraty Adult Life Jacket Swim Vest Buoyancy Aid Jacket PFD for Fishing Sailing Surfing Boating Kayaking for Water Sports
Product Summary: The Zeraty Adult Life Jacket Swim Vest Buoyancy Aid Jacket PFD is a must-have for any water sports enthusiast. Whether you’re fishing, sailing, surfing, or kayaking, this life jacket will keep you safe and secure while you enjoy your time on the water. Made from durable materials, this life jacket is designed to last, and it comes with a variety of features that will make your time on the water more enjoyable. With plenty of storage for all of your gear, and a comfortable fit, the Zeraty Adult Life Jacket Swim Vest Buoyancy Aid Jacket PFD is the perfect choice for any water sports enthusiast.
A 5-Star Review: buenos dias mi hijo esta muy contento con este chaleco ya que es bastante comodo y le permite bastante movilidad cuando esta en su velero sunfish
A Critical Review: I wear it kayaking but it rides up and ends up around your throat
Fishing Life Jackets # 12) Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)-Mango-L
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) is a soft, thin back panel provides the best fit and comfort when used with the tall seats/chairs found on today’s kayak fishing boats.
A 5-Star Review: Got this for Xmas to replace my NRS Chinook Fishing PFD. Very comfortable to wear despite having slightly larger front flotation in the front than the NRS. I find the solid back of the vest more comfortable than the Chinook and the upper back floatation on the Chinook was always needing to be adjusted out of the way of the top of the kayak chair. Pockets and storage are good. The Chinook is an excellent fishing pfd but given the choice between that and the Stohlquist Keeper, I would choose the Keeper.
Fishing Life Jackets # 13) Lixada Fly Fishing Vest Adjustable Fishing Jacket Quick Dry Trout Fishing Gear Vest
Product Summary: Breathable Multi Pocket Vest This Lixada fly fishing vest is made of high quality polyester material, which is breathable and quick dry. It is adjustable and multi-pocket, very convenient for fishing. It will be a good partner when you go fishing.
A 5-Star Review: Decent quality for the price. Best feature is the floatation foam is removable so the vest can be used for wading/fishing not just as a life vest for fishing.
A Critical Review: Theres no foam to make it a life jacket …
Fishing Life Jackets # 14) Astral, E-Ronny Men’s PFD, Durable Life Jacket for Fishing, Touring, and Kayaking
Product Summary: Astral’s E-Ronny Men’s PFD is a durable life jacket designed for fishing, touring, and kayaking. It is made of breathable mesh and features a comfortable fit with adjustable straps. The E-Ronny also has a zippered front pocket for storage and is USCG approved.
A 5-Star Review: I wanted a bright orange color PFD for use in my fishing boat. I have another style PFD made by this company that I wear when I’m in my kayak, so I was confident in the quality and fit of this brand. A little pricey, but should perform well. I’m 5’6″ & 190 lbs. the medium/large size fit, but I wanted more room to layer clothing for when I’m out in the lake on cold days. So, I settled on the large/X-large size worked for what I needed.
Fishing Life Jackets # 15) Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)-Green-M
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD) is a soft, thin back panel provides the best fit and comfort when used with the tall seats/chairs found on today’s kayak fishing boats.
A 5-Star Review: I have been using this for several months now and I am extremely happy! It fits well, is extremely comfortable.
Fishing Life Jackets # 16) Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle – Manual Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD for Boating Fishing Sailing Kayaking Surfing Paddling Swimming – Adjustable Life Saving Vest
Product Summary: The Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle – Manual Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD is a top quality life jacket that is perfect for anyone who loves spending time in the water. This life jacket is made from high quality materials and is designed to keep you safe in the water. The life jacket comes with a whistle that you can use to signal for help if you are in trouble. The life jacket also has an adjustable strap that you can use to adjust the fit of the life jacket. This life jacket is perfect for anyone who loves spending time in the water and wants to stay safe.
A 5-Star Review: it really not long enough for a tall person
A Critical Review: Don’t buy from a 3rd party seller!! The product is heavy, the directions confusing, no way to test the product to make sure it works, said it came with a whistle and did not. Cost me to ship it back and they charged me a restocking fee!!! How ridiculous!! Your getting the product back so why are you charging me a restocking fee. Very frustrating!!
Fishing Life Jackets # 17) Astral Women’s Layla Life Jacket PFD for Whitewater, Sea, Touring Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and Fishing
Product Summary: Our founder introduced this style of PFD almost 20 years ago and we’ve found that no other design conforms to a curvy woman’s body better. The hinged princess seams, bust cups and super soft organic Kapok create a special fit just for women.
A 5-Star Review: Excellent and comfortable to wear for women.
A Critical Review: Squish me, no room for the girls!
Fishing Life Jackets # 18) Stohlquist Spinner Youth Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)
Product Summary: A simple, high mobility vest for kayak fishing, paddling, general boating and personal watercraft use. A simple, high mobility vest for kayak fishing, paddling, general boating and personal watercraft use.
Fishing Life Jackets # 19) Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket (PFD)-Gray-L
Product Summary: The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket is a top–of–the–line lifejacket designed for fishing enthusiasts. It is made of durable materials and features a comfortable, adjustable fit. The lifejacket has multiple pockets for storing tackle and other gear, and also has a built–in rod holder. The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket is sure to keep you safe and comfortable on your next fishing adventure.
A 5-Star Review: The PFD is fine and works well. I’d give the vest a 4 or 5 rating. I give Stohlquist Customer Support a zero. They don’t respond when you send them a message via their website. When you call direct, they have no clue where to forward your call. I tried finding out if the Stohlquist Squeeze Lock knife is compatible with this PFD. Absolutely no support what so ever. I won’t bother with any future Stohlquist products if their customer support can’t even help you out.
Fishing Life Jackets # 20) Astral, E-Linda Women’s PFD, Versatile Life Jacket for Kayaking, Touring, Fishing
Product Summary: The Astral E-Linda PFD is a versatile and comfortable life jacket that is perfect for a variety of activities on the water. The E-Linda features a women-specific design with a contoured fit that flatters your shape, and adjustable straps that ensure a comfortable and secure fit. The E-Linda is also equipped with a zippered front pocket for storing essentials, and reflective accents for added safety. Whether you’re kayaking, touring, fishing, or sailing, the Astral E-Linda PFD is an excellent choice for staying safe and comfortable on the water.
A 5-Star Review: Got this for my wife and she loves it.
Fishing Life Jackets # 21) Zeraty Life Jacket Adult Swim Vest Buoyancy Aid Swim Jackets Snorkel Vest for Fishing Sailing Surfing Boating Kayaking
Product Summary: Paddling The Zeraty Life Jacket is the perfect choice for a day out on the water. Whether you’re fishing, sailing, surfing, or just enjoying a day on the lake, this life jacket will keep you safe and comfortable. With its high-visibility design and comfortable fit, you’ll be able to enjoy your time on the water worry-free.
A 5-Star Review: This life vest is light and fits well!
Fishing Life Jackets # 22) Guide Gear Universal Adult Life Vest Jacket, Kayak Accessories, Fishing, Swim, Sailing, Type III
Product Summary: The Guide Gear water sports jacket for women and men is great for use during water sports such as water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and swimming. The life jacket for women and men has been designed for a comfortable fit, featuring 3 adjustable buckle belts. The polyethylene foam inserts are ultra-lightweight and keep you safe. The polyester shell is robust and durable for reliability during regular use. The Guide Gear water sports jacket for women and men is great for use during water sports such as water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and swimming. The life jacket for women and men has been designed for a comfortable fit, featuring 3 adjustable buckle belts. The polyethylene foam inserts are ultra-lightweight and keep you safe. The polyester shell is robust and durable for reliability during regular use.
Fishing Life Jackets # 23) Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle – Manual Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD for Boating Fishing Sailing Kayaking Surfing Paddling Swimming – Adjustable Life Saving Vest
Product Summary: This adult life jacket is the perfect way to stay safe while enjoying your favorite water activities. The manual version inflatable life jacket is easy to use and comes with a whistle for added safety. The life jacket is adjustable to fit most body sizes and is comfortable to wear. The life jacket is made from durable materials and is sure to last for many years.
A 5-Star Review: When I ordered this it did not say what size it was, only what weight it would support. It turns out to be a MED, so I suspect its medium. I could have used one that was longer. But, if I wear it loosely it looks like it will stay out of my way for casting and still be able to keep my head above water should I fall in on that 20 pound monster fish fight ! I’ll give it a go.
Fishing life jackets are an important part of keeping fishermen safe while they are out on the water. They provide floatation and support in the event of a fall into the water, and can help to keep fishermen warm in cold water conditions. While not all life jackets are required to be worn while fishing, it is always a good idea to wear one whenever possible.
If you need help finding the best life jackets to enjoy your favorite water activities, we have a few suggestions of our own. You can read all about them here>>