Keen on trying watersports, but you’re not a good swimmer? Fret not! We’ve compiled a list of the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim so you can enjoy a good time on the water with your family and friends. Now, it’s time to face your fears and try the things you’ve always wanted to for so long.
Have the best life jackets for adults to keep you afloat. As time goes by, you’ll get better at swimming and gain more confidence. There will be a time where a life jacket is no longer a necessity for you.
But for those who can’t swim, a life jacket is a necessity and a must when you go out on the water. With the life jacket on, you won’t miss out on the fun as you would if you keep worrying about your own safety.
Are you planning to go kayaking? We recommend getting the best life jacket for kayaking instead. We also have a list of the best life jackets for fishing which comes in many pockets to store your fishing gear.
How to Choose the Best Life Jackets for Adults
There are so many options when it comes to the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim. From the most affordable to the most expensive. From the simplest and the most minimalist to the most advanced that offers plenty of features. You won’t have a hard time picking a life jacket that best suits your need. However, if you’re a beginner, you may not know the parameter to what makes a life jacket is great. Here are some of them:
Fit & Adjustment
Some of the best jackets for adults come in different sizes, while some others have advanced adjustment features that they can cover all sizes. Make sure you get one that fits you well. A life jacket that’s too small or too big may still keep you afloat, but it won’t feel comfortable to wear you’ll spend your time stressing about the uncomfortable you feel instead of focusing on the activities.
If you’re looking for a life jacket for your kids, it’s best to find one that fits their measurement well. Don’t buy something that you hope they can grow up in. For instance, smaller kids should have their own life jackets designed for toddlers.
Even though all the best life jackets for adults have some sets of standard features, some brands offer more. If you’re a beginner, these extra features are necessary to increase the safety level. Pick a life jacket that has a brighter color or even a glow-in-the-dark feature. Also, the quicker it is to dry the better. And you should opt for a life jacket that’s water-resistant as well as corrosion-resistant so that it will last for years. And last but not least, the larger the buckle and snaps the easier it is for you to take it off.
Another important aspect when it comes to the best life jackets for adults is the materials. Many life jackets were made off cotton or other slow drying-fabrics. But as the industry got more advanced, now most life jackets have much better materials. Nylon and neoprene are two of the most common materials for modern life jackets. Nylon is usually less expensive and lighter, while neoprene provides better comfort.
Life jackets come in different models and designs. Some are very basic and bulky, some are minimalist and simple, and some others are stylish. While there’s no right or wrong when it comes to a life jacket, always pick the one that best suits your style and needs.
What’s the difference between a life jacket and a life vest?
Even though a life jacket and a life vest might sound like a different thing, they’re actually the same. You can use these two names interchangeably.
What is the lifespan of a life jacket?
You would be surprised that a life jacket can actually last up to 10 years. The better the life jacket’s quality, the longer it will last. A life jacket is a great investment if you love watersports because not only it will save you from drowning, but it’s also maintenance-free.
Do life jackets actually work?
Yes! As long as you buy a life jacket that already meets the safety standard. The jacket will keep you afloat in case of an accident. Data suggest that life jackets are still the best way to stay safe when you’re on the water.
Bluestorm Gear Cirrus
Every watersports enthusiast wants the best life jackets for adults that are simple but offer the most safety features. Bluestorm Gear Cirrus is perfect for that. This is the one for you if you don’t like anything that takes up so much space. This inflatable life jacket is designed to be lightweight, stylish, and comfortable. The ergonomic collar and mesh upper back are great for all-day comfort.
Even though the Bluestorm Gear Cirrus looks simple and minimalist, it’s a US coast guard-approved type-V with type III performance. This life jacket will inflate automatically upon water immersion by utilizing the replaceable CO2 cylinder. However, you can still inflate it manually by pulling the cord or using the backup oral inflation tube.
What We Love
A simple and life jacket with advanced safety features.
- Inflates automatically
- Accessory attachment
- It doesn’t stretch
Zeraty Life Jacket Swim Vest
Looking for the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim that offer maximum comfort? Zeraty Life Jacket Swim Vest is the answer. With the large armholes, it allows maximum movement. This life jacket gives beginners the confidence to learn to swim and play in the water. This life jacket isn’t one size fits all. Zeraty really pays close attention to comfort, all the life jackets are designed to be safe and comfortable. There are three different sizes to accommodate a wide range of body types.
Zeraty Life Jacket Swim Vest is made of high-quality nylon for optimum softness and comfortable fit. Not only does nylon make it comfortable to wear, but it also makes the life jacket lightweight. The best thing about this life jacket is its versatility. Whether you’re a big fan of surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, or kayaking, it’s always super comfy to wear.
What We Love
A versatile life jacket with maximum comfort.
- Snorkel-safe design
- High profile cut-away arms
- Adjustable belt
- Secure fit
- The strap adjustment process can be complicated
Mustang Survival – M.I.T. 100
If you’ve been in the watersports world for many years, you know Mustang is one of the most excellent brands you can rely on. The latest release from Mustang is the Mustang Survival – M.I.T. 100. It’s easily one of the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim because this life jacket has an automatic inflate upon water immersion feature. This way, beginners won’t have to worry about inflating the jacket manually.
Even though Mustang Survival – M.I.T. 100 is more into the premium category, the investment will pay off. By buying a high-quality life jacket, you won’t have to deal with any technical problem. The jacket will also last for years, which means you’ll save more money in the long run.
What We Love
An excellent quality life jacket with advanced inflatable technology.
- Automatically inflates upon water immersion
- USCG Approved
- 1.5x regular foam PFDs
- The premium price
Airhead GNAR Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex
Are you tired of seeing the same basic-looking life jacket? Well, finally we have something different in our list of the best life jackets for adults. Airhead GNAR Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex gives you the best of both worlds. It’s both functional and fashionable at the same time. Why not look stylish even when you’re doing watersports?
Not only does Airhead GNAR Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex have a cool design, but it’s also packed with plenty of safety features. This life jacket is constructed with quick-dry neo lite. The material also offers UV protection as well as stain-resistance which makes it the ideal life jacket for watersports.
What We Love
A stylish life jacket with advanced safety features.
- Two adjustable belts
- UV protection
- Doesn’t get heavy wet
- It’s quite thick
Eyson Classic Camouflage
If you think the criteria of the best life jackets for adults are ease of use and fast inflation, then Eyson Classic Camouflage is your perfect choice. This life jacket can inflate in approximately 3 to 5 seconds once you pull off the inflation handle cord.
Besides its fast inflation, Eyson Classic Camouflage is designed to be ultra-convenient and comfortable to wear. It provides you with the best comfort, safety, and most importantly, peace of mind. Even when you’re out on the water in the dark, you’ll still be safe. There’s a well-made reflector that offers you greater visibility.
What We Love
A simple and lightweight life jacket made of durable fabric.
- SOLAS Approved 3M Reflectors
- Universal size
- Doesn’t have the US Coast Guard certified tag
XGEAR Adult Vest Water Sports
XGEAR Adult Vest Water Sports is an excellent life jacket that’s well-made. It’s made of durable nylon oxford fabric with soft PVF foam for great flotation and lightweight EPE foam for maximum comfort. And since it comes with extremely solid quick-release buckles, it’s easy to clip and unclip whenever you need to.
The best thing about the XGEAR Adult Vest Water Sports is that it comes with a free survival whistle. And last but not least, the interior pocket with velcro will provide good protection for your valuables. This life jacket is perfect for many kinds of water activities. It’s perfect for swimming, surfing, water skiing, tubing, and kayaking. By the way, if you’re planning to go kayaking, check out these kayak compasses. They are helpful to navigate you back safely to the shore.
What We Love
The perfect life jacket for various water activities.
- Coast Guard-approved
- Comes with a whistle
- Pocket storage with velcro
- Shorter than the standard life jackets
O’Neill Assault USCG Life Vest
O’Neill always sets a new standard for excellence in design and technology for all watersports enthusiasts. With the latest release, O’Neill tries to bring the best and the most value to the table. O’Neill Assault USCG Life Vest is a USCG-approved personal flotation device that’s made of the most advanced materials. This life jacket is made of NytroLite foam that’s three times lighter, more buoyant, and absorbs much less water than the regular life vests made of PVC foam.
O’Neill Assault USCG Life Vest is the perfect fit for those who are performance-oriented. It’s one of the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim. The low-back lumbar pad provides the extra support you need in your core and it will increase your performance level. The anatomical flex points also enable unrestricted movement so that you can move freely and lightly.
What We Love
A sophisticated life jacket with a minimalist design.
- Unrestricted movement
- Snug fit
- NytroLite Foam
- The size runs smaller than the standard
OMOUBOI Inflatable Vest
Sometimes all you need is a life jacket that just gets the job done. You don’t need expensive life jackets with too many fancy features because you’re still at the beginning of the journey. In that case, OMOUBOI Inflatable Vest is one of the best life jackets for adults who are just starting their watersports hobby. This life jacket meets safety standards and is affordable for most consumers.
OMOUBOI Inflatable Vest is a basic life jacket with fast inflation and deflation. You only need about ten seconds to fill up the vest and then you’re good to go! We love this life vest because it provides a better experience and comfort at such a low price. For beginners like you, OMOUBOI definitely offers the bang for your bucks.
What We Love
A functional life jacket with the best price to value.
- Portable & easy to store
- High-density PVC
- Fast inflation & deflation
- The parts around the neck are too thick for some
Eyson Basic Automatic Life Jacket
Eyson has spent years providing the market with the most sophisticated innovation. The latest and greatest product from Eyson is the Eyson Basic Automatic Life Jacket. It’s a slick and reliable life jacket for beginners and professionals. By wearing this advanced life jacket, you can just focus on enjoying the moment with your family or friends. There’s no better time than when you’re mind is completely free of worries.
Eyson Basic Automatic Life Jacket offers a fast inflate feature and it will inflate in 3 seconds when submerged in water. It’s also equipped with a backup oral inflation tube on the left of the jacket to add extra safety. Besides, it’s just so simple and light that you won’t even realize that you have it on.
What We Love
A lightweight life jacket that feels like you wear nothing.
- Durable cover material
- Extra fastener
- Quick-release buckle
- Rescue strap
- Not Coast Guard-approved
Onyx General Purpose Vest
When it’s your first time trying watersports, you may not know what you actually need. So, instead of wasting your money on expensive life jackets that are specifically designed for one activity, buying a general-purpose life jacket may seem like a much better idea. At this point, you need the best jackets for adults who can’t swim because all you need is something to keep you afloat.
Onyx General Purpose Vest is a family life jacket that features classic open-sided styling and it’s suitable for all water activities. The affordable price makes it easy for you if someday you decide to upgrade because you don’t spend too much money. The good thing about this life jacket is that it’s already US Coast Guard approved, despite the low price.
What We Love
A classic life jacket at an entry-level price.
- Open-sided styling
- Soft poly-twill inner liner
- Bright color for better visibility
- The straps are short
O’Neill Wetsuits Reactor
As we mentioned previously, this brand is one of the legends when it comes to safety products. This is the quality you can always trust. O’Neill keeps proving that the brand deserves the crown. With the O’Neill Wetsuits Reactor, it tries to offer an even better life jacket with lots of improvements. This USCG-approved personal flotation device is perfect for wake sports, tubing, swimming, waterskiing.
O’Neill Wetsuits Reactor is built differently. It’s one of the best life jackets for adults. Not many manufacturers can offer such an advanced design and technology. The segmented foam core and anatomical flex points will allow you to move freely as well as allowing full mobility. And with the expansion panel, it enables a comfortable fit.
What We Love
A flagship life jacket with advanced technology.
- Heavy-duty front zipper
- Segmented foam core
- Expansion panels for better comfort
- Quite bulky
Stearns Watersport Classic Series Vest
Enjoy the bright sunny day on the water and wear the Stearns Watersport Classic Series Vest. With webbed straps, a durable 200D nylon shell as well as PE foam inside, it feels comfortable even when you wear it for hours. This life jacket is designed for everyday watersports which means it’s suitable for beginners like you. It’s easily one of the best life jackets for adults who can’t swim because it’s quick to inflate.
Stearns Watersport Classic Series Vest is already US Coast Guard-approved, so you don’t have to worry about its quality. You’ll stay safe and afloat when you’re on the water wearing this vest. The open-sided design and four adjustable buckles offer better breathability. This way, you won’t feel like something is pushing you back.
What We Love
An affordable classic life jacket with essential features.
- Durable 200D nylon shell
- 4 adjustable buckles
- Open-sided design
- Doesn’t have a crotch belt
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic
It should come as no surprise that Onyx MoveVent Dynamic comes on top of the list among all the best life jackets for adults. This is a well-designed life jacket that’s packed with plenty of useful features. This jacket features a sculpted flexible foam design that conforms to your body and stays in place when you’re on the water. Also, it’s already U.S. Coast Guard approved and Transport Canada approved, which means the quality and safety level are undeniably excellent.
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic is designed using heavy-duty nylon fabric to resist punctures and tears. The heavy-duty zipper also helps to prevent the jacket rise up while the large armholes provide you with more freedom of movement. This manufacturer really pays close attention to your comfort. With the high back mesh, it keeps you cool and comfortable.
What We Love
A flexible life jacket that’s packed with useful features.
- SOLAS grade reflective material
- Lash tab
- High back mesh
- Large storage pocket
- No waist strap