Kayak Fishing Life Jackets for Ultimate Paddling Protection

Kayak fishing life jackets are an important safety item for any kayak angler. There are many different types and brands of kayak fishing life jackets on the market, so it is important to do some research before purchasing one.

Kayak fishing life jackets come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. Some are designed specifically for fishing, while others are more general purpose. It is important to find a life jacket that fits well and is comfortable to wear while paddling and fishing. Most kayak fishing life jackets have a variety of pockets and attachments for holding tackle, lures, and other gear. Many also have reflective panels or piping for added safety when paddling in low-light conditions.

When choosing a kayak fishing life jacket, it is important to consider the type of kayaking you will be doing most often. If you plan on mostly river or lake kayaking, a less expensive inflatable life jacket may be sufficient. For ocean or whitewater kayaking, however, a more expensive and durable non-inflatable life jacket is necessary. No matter what type of kayak fishing you plan on doing, always Wear your life jacket!

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 1) Astral, Sturgeon Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Astral, Sturgeon Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring by Store Astral Store

Product Summary: The Astral Sturgeon is the perfect life jacket for kayak fishing, recreation and touring. It is comfortable and stylish, with a design that allows for a full range of motion. The Sturgeon also has a fishing rod holder and a storage pocket for your tackle.

A 5-Star Review: Fits great. Love the pockets for my phone and camera. Highly recommend.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 2) Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket by Store Onyx Store

Product Summary: This Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is perfect for any fishing enthusiast. It is designed to provide maximum comfort and safety while out on the water. The jacket is made from durable materials and features a front zip closure, adjustable straps, and a comfortable fit. It also has multiple pockets for storing all of your fishing gear.

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

Thus returned

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 3) NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket (PFD)

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket (PFD) by Store NRS Store

Product Summary: The NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket (PFD) – The NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak PFD is the world’s best-selling lifejacket for kayak anglers offering all of the organization and attachment points needed for your fishing accessories. Not only is it designed to make you more effective on the water, the comfort simply can’t be beat.

A 5-Star Review: I ordered NRS Chinook Fishing PFD (Red, XS/M). I’m 5’5″ and 145 lbs and the size fits me perfectly. I can move my hands forward and backward without any constraints or restrictions. I can turn around my upper body on the sides and didn’t feel any constraints or restrictions as well. I think I should be able to row and fish without any problems.

I also tested the safety it will provide me just in case I fall over from the kayak into the water. I did my testing in a swimming pool. I did the test from three possible positions from which I could fall from the kayak and into the water i.e., sitting, kneeling and standing positions. The possible falls that I did were: 1) falling on my side; 2) falling backward with back of the head into the water; and 3) falling forward face down into the water.

1) falling on my side – after the fall on the water and not moving, my upper body slowly turned upside with my face facing the sky. This will allow me to be able to regain consciousness and breath if it so happens I fall on side and losing consciousness.
2) falling backward with back of the head into the water – after the fall, my body assumed a straight position. My lower body, from the waist down to my feet started to float upward and my body assumed a semi-supine position and my face facing the sky. This will allow me to be able to regain consciousness and breath if it so happens I fall on side and losing consciousness.
3) falling forward face down into the water – after the fall, my body assumed a straight position. My lower body, from the waist down to my feet started to float upward and my body assumed an upside-down position with my face facing and into the water. If I fell down into this position and lost my consciousness, there’s a probably that I might drown since my face is in the water. My body turned downside-up i.e., my face is facing the sky, only if I raise my head up. When I raised my head, my upper body turned to the side and up facing the sky allowing me to breath. Hopefully something can be done better in the PFD in case somebody fall face down into the water and lost consciousness.

Overall, the PFD did its job ( as long as you don’t lose consciousness during the fall 🙂 )

A Critical Review: Love the NRS brand and their Chinook PFD specifically. When trying to replace my current L/XL I decided to purchase another L/XL. Who knew they changed their chest dimensions at some point and now the L/XL is too large. Went from 38”-46” to 42”-52”. Nowhere in the product description was there a size chart, so I had no reason to suspect this. Returned.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 4) Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Old Town Lure Angler Men’s PFD / Life Jacket

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Old Town Lure Angler Men's PFD / Life Jacket by Store Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Store

Product Summary: Old Town Canoes & Kayaks’ Old Town Lure Angler Men’s PFD / Life Jacket is a great choice for anglers looking for a reliable and comfortable life jacket. This PFD is designed with fishing in mind, with plenty of storage for tackle and gear, and a comfortable, adjustable fit. The Old Town Lure Angler PFD is a great choice for any angler looking for a safe and comfortable life jacket.

A 5-Star Review: I really love this PFD so far for my kayak fishing and touring adventures. It’s pretty comfortable and seems to fit as expected. It’s not overly bulky but provides decent storage. In fact, you’re probably not doing it right if you need more storage options than this provides haha. My only gripe is the top straps need a bit more velcro as they flop around a bit if you’re not the exact size to keep them at the exact length. I am keeping my eye on the single stitched storage compartments, especially at the bottom of the pocket, as I know other designs always seem to slowly come apart at these areas. Also, please be aware this is only a Type III PFD which is not guaranteed to keep your face out of the water if you are unconscious. Read up on the different PFD types and usage before making your purchase decision. For me, this was fine for inshore and slightly offshore where rescue was fairly quick or when paddling with a buddy. Never trust the inflatable type PFD’s to auto inflate…so this was a great option to know it would keep me reasonably safe. Function over form I always say…but this one looks great too.

Update: This lifejacket only has one tiny little plastic ring to attach nippers/forceps, etc. It really needs a better/stronger shoulder loop and chest loop to attach your VHF radio.

A Critical Review: It look nice,it is very comfortable,but I tried it in the water ,and it doesn’t matter what position I was example :on my back, side ,up right or upside-down, upside down it didn’t turn me over results I would have drown./Up right, it plunged me in to the water face down and I would have drown and die,/Chest up and motionless this jacket set my body straight and face back forward in to the water, conclusion, this is a death PFD if you pass out in the water, and very unsafe, I believe a life savings would be the primary goal of this PFD ,but is not doing it!!!!! ,this PDF will do everything it can to sink your mouth ,nose and half of your head in to the water ! if you are not in control of your self! This is very scary, I was exited at first Like everyone else, but tell everyone else to do this test and you will see.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 5) Wilderness Systems Fisher Kayaking Life Jacket – Easy Access Zippered Pockets Zippered Pockets – USCG Approved PFD – UL Type 3 Paddle Sports Life Vest – Gray

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Wilderness Systems Fisher Kayaking Life Jacket - Easy Access Zippered Pockets Zippered Pockets - USCG Approved PFD - UL Type 3 Paddle Sports Life Vest - Gray by Store Wilderness Systems Store

Product Summary: The Wildy Fisher is a high-back fishing kayak that was designed with expert anglers in mind. The Thin Vent back design provides the best fit and function for high-back fishing kayaks, while loads of storage will keep your tackle well organized and at your fingertips. Exclusive features include a storable rain hood, tool organizer and beverage pocket, as well as a color scheme unique to Wilderness Systems.

A 5-Star Review: I like everything about this other than the sheer bulk of the padding. I bought the Wilderness Systems vest in hopes that it would be compatible with my kayak skirt as well. However, the wide padding on the front of the vest makes it challenging to use both at the same time. Good construction and plenty of pockets, sturdy plastic zipper. Love that the colors match my boat and other WS accessories.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 6) Astral, E-Ronny Men’s PFD, Durable Life Jacket for Fishing, Touring, and Kayaking

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Astral, E-Ronny Men’s PFD, Durable Life Jacket for Fishing, Touring, and Kayaking by Store Astral Store

Product Summary: Experience maximum comfort and functionality with the UL and bluesign-approved Astral E-Ronny Men’s Life Jacket. Perfect for kayaking, fishing, and touring, the sustainably designed E-Ronny uses eco-friendly Gaia and PE foam inserts for easy floatation in water. The design incorporates the Thin-Vent Back, compatible with all seats for comfort in boating activities. The E-Ronny Life Jacket is lined with durable 200 Denier High Tenacity Nylon and uses long-lasting heavy-duty acetal closures. The lightweight vest–just 1.02 lbs–supports up to 16 lb buoyancy in the water, with USCG Type III Approval.

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.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 7) Astral, V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets: Astral, V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation and Touring by Store Astral Store

Product Summary: The Astral VEight is a versatile and comfortable life jacket that is perfect for kayak fishing, recreation, and touring. It is made of durable materials and features eight adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit. The jacket also has a large front pocket that is perfect for storing gear, and a mesh back panel that helps keep you cool and comfortable on hot days.

A 5-Star Review: Who knew being safe could be so comfortable. Fits exactly as I hoped and holds me afloat very well.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 8) JKSPORTS Fly Fishing Vest 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.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 9) Astral, E-Linda Women’s PFD, Versatile Life Jacket for Kayaking, Touring, Fishing

Product Summary: The Astral E-Linda Women’s PFD is a versatile life jacket that is perfect for kayaking, touring, fishing, and more. This life jacket is made with a comfortable and breathable design that will keep you cool and comfortable all day long. The E-Linda also features a convenient front zip entry, adjustable straps, and multiple pockets for all of your gear.

A 5-Star Review: Got this for my wife and she loves it.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 10) Zeraty Adult Life Jacket Swim Vest Buoyancy Aid Jacket PFD for Fishing Sailing Surfing Boating Kayaking for Water Sports

Product Summary: Looking for a reliable and comfortable life jacket? Look no further than the Zeraty Adult Life Jacket Swim Vest! This buoyancy aid jacket is perfect for fishing, sailing, surfing, boating, and kayaking, and is ideal for water sports. Made from high-quality materials, it is durable and comfortable to wear. With its adjustable straps, it is easy to get the perfect fit. The jacket also comes with a handy storage pouch, perfect for holding your keys, phone, and other small items.

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

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 11) Taruor Fishing Vest,Outdoor Breathable Padded Fly Fishing Vest Superior 209lb Bearing Jacket for Swimming Sailing Waistcoat Kayak Boating

Product Summary: Hunting The Tarouor Fishing Vest is an outdoor breathable padded fly fishing vest that is superior in design and quality. It is made of high-quality materials that can support up to 209 pounds, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, and hunting. The vest also has a comfortable fit that allows you to move freely and safely while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities.

A 5-Star Review: Fit me perfectly, even while sitting in a kayak, has lots of pockets to put this and that in them . I’m 6 foot by the way if that helps you decide on this product.

A Critical Review: The vest seems to be ok quality, however as far a saftey on the water goes I have concerns. There don’t seem to be any certifications as far as a life vest is concerned. If you want a fishing vest with an obnoxious amout of padding they ide recommend this. I wouldn’t trust it as my pfd on the water though.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 12) Zeraty Adult Swim Jacket for Fishing Sailing Surfing Boating Kayaking for Water Sports

Product Summary:] Looking for a swim jacket that will keep you safe and comfortable in the water? Look no further than the Zeraty Adult Swim Jacket! This jacket is specifically designed for water sports like fishing, sailing, surfing, and kayaking, and it features a number of safety and comfort features that will help you enjoy your time in the water. The Zeraty Adult Swim Jacket is made from a durable, water-resistant material that will keep you dry and comfortable in the water. The jacket also features a number of safety features, including reflective strips that will help you stay visible in the water, and an attached hood that will help keep you warm and dry. The Zeraty Adult Swim Jacket also features a number of pockets that are perfect for storing your essential gear, and it even comes with a convenient carry bag so you can take it with you on the go.

A 5-Star Review: Exactly the same product as sold in big box stores but at 1/2 their price

A Critical Review: Received the vests today and was a bit surprised about the quality. We initially purchased the red and decided to exchange it for the orange to match our bags. The red was very good quality and all looks in order. These have spots and random “dirt or stains” on them. The fabric was also a bit shabby compared to the red. Some stitches are way off line. We don’t want to return them just yet since we needed them for an upcoming kayak trip. This definitely is a quality control issue. We hope they hold up for a day trip or they’re going back to seller.
UPDATE: Fabric started to rip away from stitch after single use. See photo. RETURNED.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 13) 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!

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 14) Astral BlueJacket Life Jacket PFD for Sea, Whitewater, Fishing, and Touring Kayaking

Product Summary: This sea kayaking-inspired life jacket combines incredible fit, lightweight construction, ample organized storage space and a great selection of technical features. Its versatility allows this jacket to perform on river, lake or sea. Measure your chest and find your size.

A 5-Star Review: Very well constructed and functional. Large under arm area for paddling.

Kayak Fishing Life Jackets # 15) Mustang Survival Kayak Life Jacket for Adults – Khimera Dual Flotation, PFD for Watersports, Fishing, and Paddleboarding

Product Summary: The Khimera Dual Flotation Life Jacket from Mustang Survival is a reliable and comfortable personal flotation device (PFD) designed for watersports, fishing, and paddleboarding. This PFD features dual flotation for added safety and security while on the water, as well as a comfortable and adjustable fit to ensure a comfortable experience. Additionally, this PFD features reflective piping and bright colors for added visibility, and also includes a whistle for emergency signaling.

A 5-Star Review: Comfortable. I feel secure wearing it.


If you’re an avid fisherman who loves spending time on the water, you know that a good life jacket is an essential piece of gear. But with so many different styles and types of life jackets on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve created this list to help you choose the best kayak fishing life jacket for your needs. So whether you’re new to kayak fishing or a seasoned pro, make sure you have the best life jacket for your next adventure.

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>>

About the author, Liya James

Hi, I am Liya!! I first traveled the globe when I was four months old when we immigrated to the United States from Indonesia, and I have been roaming the world every chance I get ever since. I've been to 15 countries and counting. I am passionate about experiencing new cultures and sharing my adventures with others. I believe that travel is the best education, and I am excited to continue learning and sharing these adventures with you.

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