Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests of 2021

Few water sports or outdoor pursuits are quite as exciting as kayaking. However, just like any other sport, unexpected accidents can arise while Kayak fishing. This is why it’s vital to always wear the best kayak fishing life vest you can. This will protect you, and the people you love, against mishaps. 

If you’re looking for a comfortable life vest that will also keep your gear organized, here are some great options. Read on to learn how you can choose the best life-preserving kayaking vest for your needs. 

10 Best Fishing PFDs Reviews

Bass Dash Strap Fishing Vest (Top Pick)

If you’re keen on multiple storage options in a vest, this is the best option on the market. It features 18 interior and exterior pockets, 13 of which are concealed by smooth zippers, and one rear pocket that’s hydration compatible.

It’s hard to find a vest this practical that’s also comfortable, efficient, and durable. Designed for the comfort of kayak anglers, the back of this vest offers maximum breathability with the mesh lining.

Even though the vest boasts multiple pockets, your shoulders will be kept comfortable by thick padding. This provides additional protection from the weight of your gear.

No matter your shape or size, you can fit comfortably into this vest. Adjustable shoulder and waist straps provide ample space for custom fitting. If you don’t want to deal with a heavy tackle box, this is the best option for you.

NRS Chinook Fishing PFD (Upgrade Pick)

This vest is so lightweight that you’ll likely forget that you’re wearing it at all. The mesh section on the lower back is designed for the seats in a kayak. Despite the cost, this kayak fishing life vest is an excellent investment that boasts exceptional durability. 

It features seven expandable pockets that are great for storing your phones, flies, and other accessories. It also has attachments for your tools and rod, and it’s an excellent choice for long hours on the water with maximum effectiveness. The floatation of this jacket is on its shoulders, and the fit is adjustable. 

The jacket fits true to size, so you won’t have to bother ordering a size up or down. If you’d like to layer more underneath, you’ll simply need to open the straps. This vest will provide excellent management and comfort while out on the water.

ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket, Tan (Best for Babies)

You’re going to love this vest if you’re a fishing enthusiast. It’s excellent value for money, and the pockets have multiple designs, all with different functions that’ll hold all your gear.

It’s very lightweight and designed for comfort; you’ll forget that you’ve got it on even outside the water. Your kayaking trip is going to be a lot of fun with this jacket on as it’s unique with its fleece-lined zipper pockets.

The vest has a top opening to hold any equipment firmly onto your vest, while remaining accessible. Comfort and breathability on your kayak are assured with the presence of a mesh back. Adjustment straps also allow you to loosen or tighten the jacket for a perfect fit.

The shoulder pads and the high back feature on the jacket are quite comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about it weighing you down.

Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket | Life Vest for Children

This life jacket for kids will keep your child safe on the water while they have fun on a fishing expedition. The U.S Coast Guard has tested and approved this jacket as a Type VIII floatation device on or near water. 

It’s made of a nylon shell, which provides additional longevity, and the beautiful designs on the jacket make it a fun option for kids. If your child is just learning how to swim, it’s a great confidence booster. This life jacket fits snugly, giving the wearer a feeling of added protection while out on the water and boosting self-assurance accordingly. 

While it may look bulky, the vest is actually quite comfortable. The design, which features safety buckles at the back, allows the wearer to play and move in the water freely. Just be aware – this design of safety buckles at the back makes the vest tricky for young wearers to get off on their own. While this is an excellent security feature, you’ll always need to remain on-hand to assist.

Astral Ronny Life Jacket 

This is the best fishing PFD for anyone looking for PVC-free attire. It’s boasts excellent breathability, and is the right choice for anybody that values comfort and staying cool while on the water. 

The back of the jacket is designed with foam and mesh. This will keep you cool even when rowing with increasingly power. If your kayak has taller seats, you don’t need to worry about the jacket feeling too bulky. The foam will always allow you to you sit comfortably.

Overall, this is a fine jacket that’s designed for safety. If you happen to capsize, the EPE foam inserts will keep you afloat. The buoyancy rating of this PFD is 16lbs, so it’s suitable for recreational trips.

The jacket is designed with adjustable side buckles that are perfect for big guys. Featuring a steam vent at the back, and multiple functional front pockets, this vest offers the ultimate convenience.

Lixada Fly Fishing Vest Breathable Padded Superior 209lb Bearing Life Safety Jacket 

At first glance, you can tell that this jacket is made for ultimate utility. It features multiple zipped pockets. At the front; you’ve got four front pockets and four spacious chest pockets. On the sides, the jacket has two large mesh pockets, and then last, you get one big back pocket. 

This jacket is made from extremely durable textile and EPE foam, which provides excellent buoyancy to the wearer. With a mesh lining the front and covering the back, you’re assured of excellent breathability with this jacket.

The sides of the jacket have been left conveniently open, which permits freedom of movement while paddling or casting. The adjustable shoulder and waist straps also allow you to create extra space in the jacket if needed.

Finally, this jacket features a D-ring at the lower back where you can attach a fishing net. The material is wear-resistant, and the vest itself dries quickly if your kayak capsizes. 

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack

This is an excellent vest that’s designed for kayak fishing. It is a sturdy jacket that’ll allow you to carry everything you need on the water with no hassle. With this jacket, you’ll be able to compartmentalize all your fishing equipment into the 17 interior and exterior pockets it provides.

The jacket is equipped with comfortable, adjustable shoulder straps that help you control the pressure of your gear for a long time. It’s the best fishing vest for ardent anglers, as the design is made to spread the weight of equipment and tools. 

The size of the vest shouldn’t cause concern, even if you’re on the bigger side. It fits most sizes with the adjustable shoulder and waist straps. The best thing about this vest is that the manufacturer offers a years’ warranty, which is quite the bargain.

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

The design of this vest is made to keep you comfortable and relaxed while fishing. It comes in a variety of eye-catching colors such as yellow, purple, aqua, and orange. The reflective material offers maximum visibility while on the water, and the design molds to the shape of your body.

This ensures that the vest moves with you and stays in place. It features comfortable shoulder straps made from neoprene pads. The loop at the base of the vest helps to keep the zipper in place, and the adjustable side belts allow you to create more room if you need to. 

It comes with a whistle attached for safety, and the back features bubble foam, which provides the wearer maximum comfort. For the money, this is an excellent PFD. It is durable, offers excellent buoyancy, and the loop at the back allows you to dry the vest conveniently after use.

O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest

This jacket tells you what it can do, and then delivers. It’s type III USCG approved nylon PFD that’s designed with a nylon outer to keep the jacket lightweight. It dries out pretty fast, which is excellent. Many jackets start to smell quite offensive if they don’t dry soon enough. 

The nylon material is durable and is sure to keep you comfortable. It doesn’t have any zip openings, opting instead for adjustable straps. These help add room in the jacket if you need it. With the wide arms, you’ll be able to paddle or move your upper body without restrictions. 

The jacket’s design is minimal, and the fitting is extra snug, so be careful to order one size up. The best thing about this vest is that you don’t have to worry about multiple zippers and compartments. The Delrin buckles will allow you to fasten or loosen the jacket quickly.

Airhead Trend Life Vest

If you embrace minimalism, this is the best fishing vest for you. It comes in a variety of trendy colors such as blue, green, hot pink and sky blue, and purple. There are no zippers on this jacket.

The usual pockets on many anglers’ jackets have been replaced by four quick-release and adjustable belts. The vest features a polyester shell and a Poly-E foam on the inside. It’s a Type III USCG approved jacket that features a stain and UV resistant 200-Denier polyester. 

If you can’t swim but would still like to enjoy water sports, this is an excellent starter jacket. With the correct size, it offers appropriate fit and maximum comfort for a bigger chested man or woman. It also fits the feminine frame very well and isn’t too bulky. The long straps are also handy when you want a little more room or breathability.

Essential Factors to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Fishing PFD

Whether you’re buying a kayak fishing life jacket as a beginner or you’re a veteran ocean kayak explorer, you must make sure that you choose a fishing kayak PFD that’s right for you. A PFD is an essential piece of fishing safety equipment. 

As long as your PFD fits well and is approved by the USCG, then anything else should be down to personal preference and unique needs. There are many vital factors that you need to carefully consider before you choose a vest, though. Take your time and carefully assess every quality of a potential purchase. 


If you’re an experienced angler, you know how important storage is. Even with a tackle box, you must have some of your equipment nearby.

A jacket with many pockets and loops for accessories will help you store things where you can reach them as soon as you need them. Nobody wants to be fumbling around while attempting to control a kayak.


It is vital to have a comfortable vest and will keep you mobile while fishing. Whether you’re rowing or fishing, a suitable jacket will ensure that your movements aren’t restricted.

If you’re keen on layering up, ensure that the jacket has enough room for all your underclothes. Otherwise, you may get too hot and uncomfortable. As a rule of the thumb, ensure your vest has loads of mesh as this will help cool you down. 


How you wear your vest is a critical decision. Some vests are worn once you make your way into the water. Alternatively, we have inflatable jackets, and vests with multiple storage options that must be organized before carefully climbing into your kayak.

Most of what you wear boils down to your personal preference and what works for your intentions. Whatever option you choose, ensure that it’s compatible with your reasons for taking a kayaking trip. 

For instance, if you’re a beginner, you may not need a jacket with lots of pockets. You’ll be relying on someone more experienced to show you the ropes, so there’s no need to pack your person with advanced hobbyist equipment.

When choosing a vest, it’s also vital to buy one that has bright, high contrast colors or reflective markings. This will make you easy to spot on the water. If you run into any trouble, especially in the fog, rain, or dim light, you’ll be relieved about this.

The Durability of the Vest

Kayaking vests are commonly made of materials such as PVC, Nylon, Kapok, and Gaia. When purchasing a jacket, seek one that performs well and is resistant to UV rays, weathering, heat, or chemicals. PVC and polyvinyl chloride foam are good examples of materials that provide these qualities. 

Buy a vest that’s made of durable material. If you’d like to know how durable a nylon vest is, ensure you know the denier. This is a number that measures how dense nylon is. If the number is high, then you know you’ve got a durable vest.

Your PFD is an item that could save your life in the event of a mishap. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that the one you’re buying is durable enough to last a prolonged period.

The Size of the Vest

It’s vital to ensure that the size of your vest is right. An appropriately-sized vest keep will not just keep you comfortable.  It will also ensure that your garment is more durable. Check the chest size of the jacket, as this will host the material that keeps you afloat in the event of an accident.

Your vest should have a snug-fitting and should be adjustable to help you tighten or loosen it until you’re comfortable. An excellent jacket will allow you to move around freely and not restrict vital movement. 

If you aren’t sure about your size, it’s best to buy a vest that offers a universal fit. These jackets are likely to fit a range of physiques. 

Should Be Coast Guard Approved

You must keep you and your loved ones safe on the water. To do this, you have to ensure that your life vest isn’t faulty and approved for use by the USCG. Sadly, many people drown every due to defective or ineffective life vests. 

The Coast Guard has approved vests that are safe to use. In addition to this, the vest that you choose should have been manufactured under the guidance of experts. It’s best to have peace of mind knowing that your purchase will not fail you if your kayak capsizes. These items only have one real job, but it’s a critical one.


Kayak fishing is growing in popularity amongst both men and women. This has led to a similar variety of options when it comes to PFDs. Experienced anglers know that there is no better way to stay safe on the water than by wearing a life vest. 

A PFD isn’t just wearable storage. It is required by law that you wear such an item to ensure safety in case of accidents.

At some point, no matter how skilled a kayaker you are, the inevitable will happen and your kayak will capsize. When this moment arises, it’s best to be ready and armed with the right safety gear.