As a parent, one of the most terrifying possibilities is the idea that your child could get into water and you won’t be able to reach them in time. A life jacket, while not a guarantee that your baby will be safe, does increase safety greatly.
They’re easy to slip on a wiggling toddler, and while they may not inspire confidence immediately, they can make the difference between baby noticing that she is submerged and struggling to find a safe place to hold on or obliging to the water and going with the flow.
Teaching kids to swim is not a life-saving measure until your child is confident and proficient in all water-related activities. These life jackets will help your child enjoy time in the water safely. The products are also big enough to carry everything your active toddler needs for their aquatic adventures.
And if your child loves swimming, learning before they enter school, because in most places it’s the law, can really help them enjoy the experience.
|O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest||Best Overall|
|Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest||Budget Pick|
|Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest||Upgrade Pick|
1. O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
- Trusted brand
- Soft and comfortable fabric
- Narrow shoulder straps
- Some reports it is not as durable as it should be
We recommend the O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest for safety-conscious parents looking for a lifejacket for their baby.
The O’Neill USCG Vest comes in two colors: Blue or Red. The USCG Vest will fit infants and toddlers between 20 to 40 lbs, though it most comfortably fits children with a chest size of 22 to 26 inches. It is designed to keep your baby upright on the water.
It is easy to wear and adjust thanks to the 2-way zipper that runs from the front of the vest to the back of the vest. There’s also an adjustable and removable crotch strap available.
2. Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest
- Keeps babies safe
- Adjustable to grow with baby
- Durable material
This infant life jacket is designed to keep babies safe in the water. It is an adjustable device that fits babies between 3 and 24 months. This baby life jacket is made of durable material.
Despite its quality, it is lightweight so that babies can swim comfortably. This is very great, especially when your baby is growing very fast. This baby life jacket will last until they are 24 months old.
This baby life jacket can be adjusted with a secure zipper in the center panel. The vest also has an adjustable crotch strap with a durable buckle. These features allow it to adjust from 3 to 25 pounds.
3. Stohlquist Kids Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest
- Fully adjustable and fits children up to 50 pounds
- So comfortable kids will forget they are wearing it
- Soft and pliable, but can hold up to 60 pounds
- Buoyant and helps child float in water
- Fully adjustable and extra large for safety
- Has a thicker lighter strap to hold it onto the child
- Stylish, bright and colorful
- Fits wide range of different chair styles
- Stays in place and does not obstruct the child's view
- Padding makes it very comfortable
- To install, you need to take your child's clothes off
- Can be a bit hot for hot weather
- Can be a bit hot for kid if he sweats
- Takes time to put on correctly
- Not sun-resistant
4. Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
This vented life jacket features a front zipper and easy access tie closures on the shoulders for a great fit. This Stearns vest is a little hard to find in the store and is only available online for the most part. They are some of the best infant life jackets on the market, however, so if you see one in a store, pick it up!
5. O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest
This is the perfect infant life jacket for your little one. It’s comfortable, durable, and comes with a guaranteed-to-stay-on vest design that won’t allow your little one to pop out when he or she gets fussy on the water.
Fits Most: The O’Neill Infant Life Jacket is fitted for babies with a weight of up to 30 pounds and a height of 30 to 35 inches.
Features: The O’Neill SuperLite USCG Life Vest is the perfect life jacket for your baby or toddler. It’s handy for boating trips, allowing your little one to have fun with the family while being protected from the threat of drowning. The durable construction is made to last through countless kids’ wear-and-tear and exposure to the sun’s rays.
6. Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Coast Guard Approved Life Vest
- U.S. Coast Guard approved
- No velcros or zippers
- Easily adjustable for infants of different sizes
- Built with durable materials
- May require frequent washing to stay in serviceable condition for infants
- It may be too bulky for smaller infants
Get the Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket if you are looking for a high quality U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for your child.
7. STEARNS 2000013889 PFD 5402 Hydro Infant Blue
- Not bulky
- Easy to put on
- Comfortable around the neck
- 100% Polyester with foam front
- Two harness slots
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Available in a range of sizes from 6 months to 2 years old
8. Airhead Infant's General Purpose Life Vest
Another option you could consider if you’re looking for an infant life jacket is the Airhead XI. It’s considered a general purpose life vest, so it’s great for snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
This life vest includes an extra flotation device that can be adjusted to keep the vest afloat. It’s made from a breathable nylon material so it won’t get you overly hot in sunny weather. Its 100% PVC-free and includes a durable adjustable buckle.
9. Salus Bijoux Baby Vest: Flotation Jacket
This wonderful baby vest for infants is made from 100% polyester.
It is lightweight and has fully adjustable straps and adjustable hook and loop closures. It’s safe to use no matter what the season is.
The easy to adjust design is another great thing about this baby life jacket.
10. Airhead Infant's Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex Life Vest
The inflatable vest is designed with panels to help protect the child’s head and face in case of a water landing.
The reflective panels are reflective enough to be visible for a sufficient amount of time in case of an emergency.
Much like the PFD vest, the model features a chest harness with a tether and a deck line tether.
11. RAVE Sports Infant Nylon Personal Flotation Device
If you are looking for one of the most durable infant life jackets, then I would recommend you checking the RaVe Sports. It is built with a high quality material and it features reflective material so that it can keep your baby safe during the day and at night. It is convenient for your baby’s daily use and perfect for swimming.
The RaVe sports life jacket comes with a safe and comfortable design. It is 2-shade, which means it is suitable for baby use between a size of 8 pound and 40 pound. There are up to 3 different adjustment points on the back. You can use it for children over 1 year old but it is more suitable for babies at 2 years old and under.
During the summer, when the weather is perfect for summer activities, many parents take their babies outdoors for swimming. Just like adults, babies need life jackets when they are in the water. If your cute baby falls into the water without a life jacket, he could face serious injuries. Also, without a life jacket, your baby could accidentally swallow a lot of water, which might kill him. Even if your baby is swimming in the shallow water, the risk of drowning is still there.
12. CWB Connelly Baby-Soft Infant Life Vest
- Has flotation pads in the shoulders
If you want a stylish yet protective life vest for your little one, the Connelly BabySoft is an excellent water safety choice. It’s US Coast Guard approved, which is nice and provides peace of mind.
It’s made of a durable material that’s both comfortable and buoyant. It also has flotation pads in the shoulders to ensure that your little one remains above the water.
13. Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest
- Easy to grab and strap on for parents
- Removable parts for washing
- Soft and cozy inside
- 10 bright colors to choose from
- Bright orange external color for high visibility
So you’re looking for a life jacket for your child and you’re not sure what to get. Fear not, the best life jackets for kids are the Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest.
It’s one of the only life jackets that are designed for babies that actually look good on them. The large armholes give your baby freedom of movement, and it’s pretty easy to get on and take off. It’s a little bit bulky, but nothing incredibly noticeable.
The Level Six Puffer vest for infants is built to keep your baby safe from sun, wind, and cold. It’s lightweight and cozy on the inside. The vest also comes with a crotch strap to make sure it stays on your child.
14. Airhead Treasure Life Vest
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Bright, colorful designs and patterns
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Higher price point
- No adjustable straps
The Airhead Treasure Life Vest has many of the features you may find on more expensive life jackets. There are bright, vibrant designs that would look great on any child. It also has a higher back for more security.
The design of this life jacket makes your child look like a superhero, which is just the extra motivation they need to be safe when they go near water.
The Airhead Treasure Life Vest has a built-in whistle that will come in handy if you ever need to call for help. There is also a quick-grab handle that will help you easily lift your child out of the water.
15. O'Brien Baby-Safe Infant Life Vest
- This life vest is recommended for children weighing up to 25 pounds.
It features a 3-snap crotch strap, which is stronger and safer than the 2-snap option. This makes a big difference when your child is a bit older (walking, running, climbing) and tends to try and unbuckle things.
Baby-Safe vests meet all U.S. Coast Guard safety standards for life jackets, but unlike adult life jackets, they use high-visibility material for added safety and visibility.
16. Full Throttle Infant/Child Nylon Vest
- Relaxed Fit
- Very Affordable
- Can Not Be Used Over a Life Jacket
- Snaps Are Going To Need To Be Stronger
The Full Throttle Infant/Child Nylon Vest is my pick for the best infant life jacket for the price.
The vest is made of a lightweight nylon fabric that can be a one-piece design for older children or converted to a zip-front vest for infants.
The vest also features a nylon crotch strap, double adjusters for an adjustable fit, a comfort front chest pad, and a soft foam back pad that is contoured for baby’s comfort.
17. Titop Professional Babies' Swim Vest
- D-ring tether attaches to adult's belt for swimming lessons
- Ideal use: swimming training (kids learn to float and swim )
- Size: M(age 2-4 years), L(age 4-7 years).
- The size of the neck must be measured with a tape measure because it is not specified in product description.
- Weight recommendation: 30-40 lbs. for the size M; 50-60 lbs. for the size L. For children over 4 yo, check with your pediatrician.
- It is designed for children who can't swim yet. It is extremely important to take your child for swim lessons for all kids.
18. Airhead Infant Life Vest
- Plenty of Pockets
- Excellent Adjustability
- Neck Support for Smaller Kids
- Hip Support for Smaller Kids
- Good Visibility
- Classified as a Type III PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
- Good Quality Material
- Affordable Price Tag
- Accurate Chest Size
- Safe In Fresh Water and Salt Water
The Airhead PFD infant life jacket isn’t the most comfortable product to wear and it’s nowhere near as comfortable as a traditional life vest. But after doing extensive research and reading multiple reviews, it’s the best bet when it comes to baby life jackets and I fully recommend it.
There are a ton of sizes available for those children who are in between sizes. The vest wings expand to make it more flexible for fitting larger or smaller sized kids. It’s best for kids aged 8 pounds to 35 pounds.
19. RAVE Sports Infant Neoprene Life Vest
- Great for toddlers up to 28 pounds
- Front zipper makes it easy to put on and take off
- Good selection of sizes (30 through 58)
- High-visibility colors make it easy to spot from afar
- Nylon construction is durable
- Vantage style construction makes it easy to adjust
- Some safety concerns
- Doesn’t float if it gets a hole in it
- Buckles are a little difficult to use
- No included crotch strap
The Rave Sports Infant Neoprene Life Vests are perfect for infants that don’t mind being confined. The vests come in six different sizes (30 through 58) so that the chubbiest kids can get a proper fit.
20. MW Infant Heads Up Life Jacket Vest PFD
- Good quality, can be used for both swimming and boating
- Universal fit so sizing is not a problem
- Comes with convenient shoulder straps
- Excellent ventilation to avoid overheating
- Durable and waterproof
- Stylish design
- Will float gently to the surface in case of submersion
- Require some adjustments for babies under 9 months old
- Padding is a little stiff
The MW heads up infant life jacket is a must-have for parents who want to ensure that their child is safe and protected at all times.
Thanks to the UV protection and sturdy polyester material, this baby vest will last you through many summer memories.
The shoulder straps are fully adjustable, so you won’t have to worry about getting the size wrong. It’s also extremely hard to put on your baby wrong as well, thanks to the universal coverage of the vest.
21. O'Neill Infant USCG Vest
- Highly responsive
- Allows for quick mobility
- Available in a Size 2
- Not recommended for anyone who has met the growth recommendations
- Too hot for warm weather
The O'Neill Pacific infant USCG life jacket is designed to keep kids safe without interfering with their movements. Featuring soft, form-fitting straps with Velcro closures and a front zipper, it ensures that kids won't feel locked in or uncomfortable.
One of the advantages of the USCG life jacket is that it offers more mobility than any other infant life jacket available. As long as it is sized appropriately, kids can move around easily while wearing this infant life jacket, even when it is fully-inflated.
The vest uses a front zip for easy access, and is available in a size 2.
22. Full Throttle Infant Hinged Rapid-Dry Flex-Back Life Jacket
- Safety is top-notch
- Designed in a vented fashion to keep your child cool in warmer waters
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Doesn’t have the adjustability of EN14063-1 Type IV
- Not approved for SOLAS (high seas) use
- Not a good choice for kids weighing more than 30 lbs
This Torrent Life Vest is the real deal. It’s designed for rough work, so it’s just right for running the boat to fishing spots. The flotation is second to none. Once you get going, it’s as comfortable as a big chair.
23. Full Throttle Unisex-Baby 142100-105-000-16 Rapid-Dry Life Vest-Infant
- Checked by the Coast Guard
- No breakaway clasp
For my best life jacket for an infant I am using the Full Throttle Unisex-Baby 142100-105-000-17 Rapid-Dry Life Vest-Infant, Pink/Turquoise. This life vest comes in a choice of colors. I like a bright colored vest because it makes my kids stand out more as they are usually very active in the water. I also like to get a vest that is Coast Guard approved because you want the best protection for your child. I love this life vest for its bright color, affordability and the fact it is Coast Guard approved.
24. CWB Connelly Infant Nylon Vest
- Nylon construction
- One pull front zip
- Front zipper
- Adjustable straps
- Adjustable crotch strap
- No buckle adjustment
- Can be too small for large kids/teens
CWB is on its game with the Connelly infant vest, especially for this price point. If you’re looking for a life vest that will get your little one as many seasons as possible but ease your wallet, this is the perfect fit.
This Connelly vest weighs almost nothing, is super adjustable, and will keep your child safe as long as he stays in a life vest rather than a PFD (Personal Flotation Device).
25. Hyperlite Wake Co Kid's Collective Type II PFD Coast Guard Approved Life Vest
- 6 different sizes available to fit younger children
- Good quality for the low price
- Designed for children less than 30 lbs.
- Can be a little restrictive for infants
- Rigid build can affect movement in the water
The Hyperlite Wake Co Kid's Collective Type II PFD is a true rescue PFD that is designed for infants and toddlers weighing less than 30 lbs.
This PFD has a sturdy, rigid build designed to provide maximum flotation and hold the child securely. The secureness allows parents to worry less about their child having fun in the water without interfering, as the PFD will keep them securely in place.
This PFD has multiple stability straps for securing the kiddo, and they can easily be adjusted with Velcro. The straps are also very comfortable.
26. Harmony Gear Infant PFD
- Other than the lack of re-positioning options for the crotch strap, the Harmony Gear PFD is a solid choice.
27. JKSPORTS Baby Floats
- Affordable Life Jacket for the Entire Family
- Adjustable Straps: fits 22 to 50 lbs. Tear Resistant Fabric
- Safety Vest Swimmers for Kids, Toddlers and Infants
- Arm Flaps For Hanging and Warming
- Unisex Baby Floats for Pool,Kids Life Jacket Compatible 20-30 Pounds Infant/Baby/Toddler
- Beginner Swimming Aid
- Not Suitable for all Breed Infants and Babies
- Not Adequate for Water Play.
The JK Sports Baby Floats for Pool,Kids Life Jacket is an affordable life jacket for infants, toddlers and kids up to 30 pounds that really helps save a life for kids 1 to 5 years old. It covers the entire baby from head to toe, no matter what they are doing, from breast-feeding to baby sea turtle.
This life jacket is built to help raise awareness that babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can drown in as little as one inch of water especially with the kitchen sink, bathtub or when they are younger than 1 year old. For infants who are in a deep sleep, they can easily drown and they may go still after just a few small gulps of water.
This life jacket is light and will not wear your baby down.
28. Full Throttle Infant/Toddler Nylon Water Sports Vest
This life vest is safe, reliable and very inexpensive. Full throttle has a quality product. The vest is constructed of nylon and the fabric is comfortable on the skin and the nylon should hold up for a few years.
The vest comes in six different sizes, ranging from 6 months (which is for a child up to 20 lbs) to sizes 4-8 (which is for children weighing 50-80 lbs).
The Full Throttle water vest is the right choice for your water recreation. The vest comes with two large flotation cushions which will help float the child.
- Comfortable, secure fit
- Excellent durable quality
If you want a simple yet effective life jacket for your infant where all the buckles are attached before you wear it, then the Crew Infant Life Jacket is perfect for you. It is 100% USCG approved for use on rivers and lakes, and it includes a five-point crotch strap for children to avoid riding up. The best thing about this PFD is that it is available in a number of colors so that you can find one that is suitable for you or for your child. This is an essential equipment to make sure that your child stays safe all the time.
30. Flowt Infant Type II or Child Type III Character Life Vest
- More durable than the typical flotation device
- Provides flotation and is suitable for swimming
- Highly visible
- Must be at least 12 lbs to wear
- Does not inflate instantly
- Must be at least 12 lbs to wear
The Flowt infant inflatable canoe life vest is a great option for both children and adults. Flowt is a US based company that has an impressive quality control process. This company makes some of the highest rated life jackets and is a great choice for safety. However, this is not a traditional “water wings” type of life jacket, but it is comfortable and most importantly difficult to take off the child. There is a strap that goes from the left shoulder across the chest and attaches to the right side. This will help the vest float your child but is also a safety feature.
31. STEARNS Antimicrobial Nylon Infant Vest
- Blue-colored is easy to spot in the water
- Adjustable straps
- Polypropylene material is unlikely to wear down over time
- Textured surface for easy gripping
- Durable nylon
- Machine washable in cold water, hang to dry; roll or hang to dry
- Snug fit; snaps onto your child to prevent accidental removal of the vest
- Trim but gives full range of movement
- While it is comfortable, I am not a fan of the nylon material since it is not as streamlined as polyester and more likely to snag on things (and require repairs).
If you looking for an infant life jacket that will fit your child snugly (but not uncomfortably so), you can’t go wrong with the M snug gear Infant PFD with grab loops. This PFD boasts of a full complement of adjustable straps that ensures a custom fit.
32. Mustang Survival Corp Lil' Legends 100 Infant Life Vest
- Plush and cushioned
- Safe and secure
- Long lasting
- Comfy and flexible
- Nylon construction
Small, 6-12 Months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do newborns need life jackets?
If you forget to bring a swim diaper or aren’t prepared to change it right away, you may want to reconsider taking the baby for a swim. That small hole in the diaper that seems uncommon enough to go unnoticed may expand pretty quickly as your baby moves and plays in the water.
As with all products on this list of best life jackets, you’ll want to be sure to read the label. Each product is different and some may not even accept Newborns. Naturally, this depends on the brand and the type of life jacket it is.
Keep in mind, you won’t need to buy all three of these items; however, if you are new to the baby stage and want to be prepared, then you can find great deals on all three.
What is the best life jacket for a 1 year old?
When it comes to life jackets for 1 year olds, it pays to go with a well-known brand that has good performance in the water. One of the most trusted brands in the business is the U.S. Coast Guard-approved company, Puddle Jumper.
With the Slip-On Sundress Infant Life Jacket, you are guaranteed that your little one will be saved from drowning in case of a mishap. The vest is available in two sizes: small and large. It is lightweight and comes with a 100% money back guarantee.
- No fussing with buckles
- Made from comfortable and safe material
- 12 designs to choose from
- Reasons to Get a Life Jacket For Toddlers
Can a 1 year old wear a life jacket?
Life vest fit varies greatly by brand and model, so you shouldn’t trust a general claim of a piece of clothing fitting a certain size group. Some babies might wear the same size life vest as an older child or adult.
Some parents and childcare centers have unique sizing charts for life jackets. Be sure you know your particular pool and center’s standards before purchasing a new life jacket.
How old does a baby have to be to wear a life jacket?
While most manufacturers state that only children weighing over 20 pounds should wear a life jacket, my general recommendation is that you can start wearing a life jacket once you can sit up on your own. At this stage (between 6-8 months) babies can support their own heads well enough to wear it comfortably, which is also the age at which most babies acquire the necessary motor skills to hold a paddle. And while your child may not be able to walk or stand unassisted yet, he is most likely already cruising around on his belly.
You want to give your kids the best possible protection when the boat is going through rough water. This article will look at the various considerations you should make before buying a life jacket for your child.
|O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest||Best Overall|
|Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest||Budget Pick|
|Level Six Puffer Baby Flotation Vest||Upgrade Pick|