Nothing’s more fun than going on a family vacation, especially if you have toddlers. It’s time to let them be curious and explore the world. Taking them on a boating adventure or swimming will be amazing. Your toddlers can learn a lot and it’s great for their motoric sensors. Sadly, some parents are just too afraid to take their toddlers to the water. If only they know of the best life jackets for toddlers! The babies can stay safe and you as a parent can have peace of mind.
Getting them the best life jackets for toddlers learning to swim should be the number one priority. On the list below, we’ll show you the best life jackets for toddlers so that you can focus on enjoying the moment with the whole family. And for extra comfort during the water adventure, we recommend getting your little ones the best water shoes for toddlers.
How to Choose the Best Life Jackets for Toddlers
It’s not that hard to find the best life jackets for toddlers. There are tons of options to choose from. However, even though there are many life jackets from different brands, not all of them are built with the best quality. Especially if this is your first time buying life jackets for your child, first you need to understand what makes a life jacket great. Don’t worry! On the list below, we share tips on how to pick the right life jackets for your toddlers and the most crucial things to consider.
First and foremost is the life jacket’s type. There are five different categories of life jackets and you have to pick one that best suits the environment. The higher the number, the higher the buoyancy. If you take your toddlers to a swimming pool, type-I to type-III jackets will handle it perfectly. But if it’s more like an adventure to the lake or to the beach with slightly rough conditions, you need type-IV or type-V life jackets. The best life jackets for toddlers should always have US Coast Guard certification.
Once you’ve picked the right type, it’s time to consider the fitting. The best jackets for babies offer a snug fit and will stay in place even when your babies move a lot. Always check the brand’s size guidelines. You don’t want to buy a life jacket that’s too big or too small. However, it’s even better if the jacket offers an all-size adjustment feature. This way, you can custom the jacket to go one size up or one size down.
The best life jackets for toddlers come in three different designs. The first one is the inherently buoyant life jacket. This kind of life jacket is made of floatable foam or neoprene. The best thing about this design is that it’s the most durable. Secondly, there’s an inflatable life jacket. It requires less space to store. However, it also requires more maintenance. And last but not least, the hybrid life jacket. It’s made of a combination of buoyant material and an inflatable chamber. It’s ideal for extended wear.
Even though it’s not essential, extra features can also help to enhance your toddler’s experience when in the water. The best life jackets for babies offer the most features and better safety. The more straps the jacket has, the better it is for your child’s safety. Also, don’t forget about ventilation since it can provide better airflow.
Planning to take your dogs on a water adventure too? Check out our list of the best life jackets for dogs next!
Is it illegal if your toddler do not wear a life jacket?
Generally speaking, yes. But it all depends on the water activities. In most states, children under 13 years old are required to wear a life vest while a vessel is underway. This will protect your toddlers from getting exposed to any risk in a boat on the water.
Should a toddler wear a life jacket at the beach?
While it’s not mandatory, it’s a wise choice to put on a life jacket for your toddlers. This way, they can play freely in the water and you’ll have more peace of mind.
When a child’s life jacket is not in use where should it be kept?
Once the holiday season is done, your child won’t likely wear the life jackets for a long time. You should store all those life jackets in a cool dry area with enough ventilation if you want them to last longer.
Airhead Infant’s Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex
With 25+ years of watersports products experience, Airhead has become one of the most trusted brands in the industry. Nobody doubts the quality since this brand has a great track record. This brand produces excellent-quality products for adults, youth, and babies. Airhead Infant’s Gnar Kwik-Dry NeoLite Flex is one of the latest releases and it’s one of the best life jackets for babies. With the supportive headrest, it will keep infants face-up in the water.
It’s not wrong if we say it’s the best life jacket for infant. This life jacket is packed with so many features to make your baby feel comfortable in the water. The NeoLite shell provides better breathability, and it’s also more flexible with improved quick-drying technology. Your baby will be happy playing in the water for hours because it’s very comfy to wear.
What We Love
A comfy life jacket with improved quick-drying technology.
- Zipper closure, body belt & crotch strap for safety
- Kwik-Dry NeoLite
- No cover over the zipper under the chin
HeySplash Swim Vest Flotation Device with Survival Whistle
Introduce your little ones to the wonderful world of watersports. HeySplash Swim Vest Flotation Device with Survival Whistle is one of the best life jackets for babies and it’s made with the best safety, quality and meant for endless fun. Your child’s safety should always be the first concern. This is where the HeySplash life jacket will help you ease the burden. It combines comfort, flexibility, and safety for all toddlers.
This is a versatile life jacket. Not only is it one of the best life jackets for toddlers in pool, but your child can also wear it for boating, water skiing, tubing, and many other child-friendly water activities. This life jacket is made of SBR Neoprene and EPE foam for better durability and buoyancy.
What We Love
A secure life jacket with a playful design.
- Built-in survival whistle
- Large armhole for maximum movements
- Reinforced safety buckle
- Double safety protection
- The straps aren’t that sturdy
O’Neill Wetsuits Child Reactor Life Vest
Looking for the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim? O’Neill Wetsuits Child Reactor Life Vest is the perfect answer for that. This USCG-approved life jacket is the perfect choice if your child is learning to swim for the first time. The simple design makes it easy to put it on and off anytime. This way, it offers more flexibility.
The segmented foam core and anatomical flex points, which allow your toddlers to move freely. They can swim and explore around freely without feeling like something is holding them back. It’s also designed with a minimum bulk design that allows for full mobility. That’s why it’s the best life jacket for infant who’s learning how to swim. It also features expansion panels that enable a comfortable fit.
What We Love
A flexible life jacket that allows full mobility.
- Quick Release Safety Buckles
- Heavy Duty Front Zipper
- Anatomical Flex Points
- Segmented Foam Core
- Only features a single crotch strap
PROTAURI Swim Aid Training Float Vest
PROTAURI Swim Aid Training Float Vest comes with a unique design and adjustable safety crotch straps to keep the vest stay in place. The release buckles are extra-strong, which makes them even more durable. This is the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim because it’s made of neoprene and EPE foam inner, making it light, compact, and durable.
The good thing about this life vest is the quick-drying technology. You don’t have to deal with a wet vest issue since the vest will dry up quickly as soon as you get it out of the water. We know that PROTAURI Swim Aid Training Float Vest is one of the best life jackets for toddlers because it’s ideal for toddlers who love spending their holidays on the beach, in the swimming pool, and at the water park.
What We Love
A uniquely designed life made of high-quality materials.
- Adjustable safety straps
- Extra-strong buckle
- Complies with CE European Standard
- No warranty
SportStuff Children’s Stars and Stripes Life Jacket
Are you a proud American or a big fan of anything American? SportStuff Children’s Stars and Stripes Life Jacket is the perfect life jacket to get for your little ones. Not only does it keep your toddlers afloat, but it can also make them be the center of attention, thanks to the jacket’s super cool design! So far, it’s one of the best life jackets for babies. It’s made for patriotic fun every holiday season.
This USA-themed life jacket is made of a soft and strain-resistant 200-denier polyester shell with Poly-E flotation inside. The best thing about the SportStuff Children’s Stars and Stripes Life Jacket is its UV resistance. Even when your toddlers wear it on a hot day every day, the colors will stay bold and never fade. It’s one of the best life jackets for toddlers because it’s super cool and safe.
What We Love
A lightweight life vest with a patriotic design.
- UV and stain resistant
- Lightweight Poly-E flotation inside
- 3 body belts with side release buckles
- Might cause abrasion around the neck area
Zeraty Swim Vest
Not many brands offer UV protection technology on their life vests. The Zeraty Swim Vest is definitely the best life jacket for infant as it features UV50+ to protect your little baby from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Also equipped with top-quality neoprene material, it provides the warmth children need when they’re in the water. Neoprene material also offers better buoyancy so that toddlers can have more confidence, especially if it’s their first time swimming.
Zeraty Swim Vest is the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim. It’s suitable to wear on the beach, at the waterpark and also in the pool. It’s perfect for the summer holidays and helping your children to build confidence in the water and learning to swim. And with the bright festive design, your child will look much more adorable.
What We Love
A top-quality life jacket with UV protection.
- UV50+ protection
- Excellent buoyancy
- Neoprene material
- The webbing isn’t that strong
O’Neill Infant Superlite Life Vest
Every watersports enthusiast knows that O’Neill has never stopped producing top-quality personal flotation devices for all ages. This brand has been around for half a century and it’s still going strong and never stops innovating. O’Neill Infant Superlite Life Vest is one of the best life jackets for toddlers in pool learning to swim. With the strategic seam placement, it won’t limit your child’s movement. They can just play freely in the water.
This excellent life jacket will keep your little ones safe and keep their heads above water. O’Neill Infant Superlite Life Vest is the best life jacket for infant as it also offers neck support. It’s designed to fit snug for your child’s safety. This life jacket is so great because it’s constructed of anatomically cut lightweight polyethylene from flotation with a durable polyester outer shell. That’s why it’s soft, yet durable.
What We Love
A great life jacket that feels soft yet durable.
- Heavy-duty webbing
- Strategic Seam Placement
- Mesh for Drainage
- Behind-Neck Safety Loop
- A little too bulky
Stohlquist Life Jacket
Stohlquist Life Jacket is the perfect life jacket your toddlers will be happy to wear. With the unique wrap-around foam, it allows for maximum comfort and mobility. It’s not wrong if we say that it’s the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim. Coming with fully adjustable straps and an easy entry front zipper with security buckles, this life jacket provides a snug and secure fit for all toddlers.
Stohlquist has been one of the leaders in personal flotation device design for almost 50 years. The maximum comfort and great mobility will make children only want to wear this instead of other life jackets. That’s why the Stohlquist Life Jacket is still one of the best life jackets for toddlers to this date. The comfortability is unmatched.
What We Love
A comfy life jacket that provides a snug fit.
- Padded head support
- Wide neck opening
- Highly visible colors
- Large grab handle
- The strap that goes between legs isn’t long enough
Airhead Treasure Life Vest
Of course, all toddlers will love to wear this adorable life jacket. Airhead Treasure Life Vest is an infant-specific personal flotation device to keep your little ones safe when playing in the water. It’s equipped with a buckle closure, zipper, and a crotch strap to ensure safety. The best part is that it features a massive headrest to make sure your child will always have their face up when in the water.
Airhead has been in the industry for more than 25 years. It’s one of the most legendary brands in the watersports world. Your family’s fun has always been Airhead’s top priority. Airhead Treasure Life Vest is so far one of the best life jackets for babies. It’s made to be soft and durable at the same time. And with a lightweight Poly-E floatation, it won’t feel like a burden even after wearing it for hours.
What We Love
A beautifully-designed life jacket with a huge headrest.
- Comfy crotch strap
- Some toddlers may not like wearing the headrest
Splash About Go Splash Swim Vest
Look at this cute travel swim vest. If your child wears it, they will look even more adorable. Get ready to be the center of attention! We’d say Splash About Go Splash Swim Vest is one of the best life jackets for toddlers because not only does it have high-quality and durable material, but it’s also super soft. The soft binding helps to prevent chafing. It’s the perfect swim vest for toddlers learning to swim.
It’s time to leave all those bulky vests behind. Splash About Go Splash Swim Vest is designed to be lightweight and ultra-compact. The vest is constructed of slim floats that lay flat, meaning it won’t take up much space when you store it in the suitcase. This is the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim and it’s ideal for the summer holidays!
What We Love
A thin and lightweight life jacket with great buoyancy.
- Allows free movement of arms and legs
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- High-quality YKK zip
- No strap on the bottom
Gogokids Swim Vest
Gogokids Swim Vest an excellent life jacket that wraps around the child’s torso and keeps arms free for swimming. It’s currently one of the best life jackets for toddlers in pool learning to swim. Made of top-quality neoprene material, it’s very compact, lightweight, and able to provide warmth and great buoyancy. This way, your little one will be more confident when learning to swim.
With the adjustable chest strap and quick-release buckles, it ensures a snug fit and better security. There’s also an adjustable crotch strap to keep the jacket in place when your child is moving a lot. Also, you don’t need to worry when your baby is out of reach. There’s a convenient grab handle, so it’s easy to take them out of the water. With a balance between comfort and safety, it’s still one of the best life jackets for toddlers available on the market.
What We Love
A wrap-around life jacket with great comfortability.
- Top-quality neoprene
- CE Certified
- UPF50+ sun protection
- The size runs small, need to order one size up
Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
If it’s the first time your child swims, sometimes all you need is a simple life vest that gets the job done. You don’t really need to buy a fancy life jacket as they’re just starting out. You just need an affordable and functional life jacket. Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest is one of the best life jackets for babies who are just learning to swim. This classic life jacket comes with all the essential features to keep them safe and also, it won’t break the bank.
Priced at just under 20 USD, the value is unbeatable. Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest really offers the bang for your bucks. That’s why we think it’s the best life jacket for infant. It’s perfect for introducing little swimmers to the water and let them gain confidence little by little.
What We Love
A classic life jacket without the hefty price tag.
- Durable nylon shell
- Leg strap & grab handle for extra safety
- PE flotation foam
- The foam is too thick around the neck area
Speedo Swim Flotation Classic Life Vest
It should come as no surprise that the Speedo Swim Flotation Classic Life Vest sits on top of the list of the best life jackets for toddlers. This excellent life jacket is packed with all the latest features and the most sophisticated technology to keep your little ones safe while having fun in the water. And the best thing is its design. With a unique and adorable design, your little one will love to wear it all day.
Speedo Swim Flotation Classic Life Vest is constructed of soft and durable neoprene material for better buoyancy and warmth. This life vest will help your child build confidence when learning to swim. Also, with UV50+ protection, your little baby will be protected against the harmful UVA and UVB rays when it’s too bright outside. It makes sense why it’s currently the best life jacket for toddler learning to swim.
What We Love
A soft life jacket with durable material and a pretty design.
- Full front zipper for easy on and off
- UV50+ protection
- Adjustable buckle strap
- Soft neoprene
- The strap through the legs can be bothersome