Today is all about helping you to find the best baby life jacket to guarantee total safety when you’re in or near water with your little one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a boating holiday or a quick soak in the pool, it’s crucial that your jacket can provide the safety and peace of mind you need.
We’ve spent countless hours researching the features that go into creating the most effective products on the market as well as comparing brands and models to present you with all of the information you could ever need on these items as well as a top five list of the best options. There’s no need to go anywhere else to find a life jacket to keep your baby safe. We’ve got everything you need right here.
How Did We Pick the Best Baby Life Jacket?
The main aim of our articles is to make the buying process for our readers as simple, comfortable and effective as possible.
Every review we create is the result of an intricate study of the market, and customer feedback analysis. You’ll always get an honest final verdict. Only after endless hours of research, and once we’re satisfied that we’ve found the best products, do we then add them to our review list for your consideration.
We hope that you enjoy your purchase. If you found this article useful — please share it with your friends. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more of the best online product reviews.
Why It is Better?
- Why Do You Need a Baby Life Jacket?
- How to Pick the Right Baby Life Jacket
- Top 5 Best Baby Life Jackets
- 1. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket
- 2. Body Glove Dinosaur Swim Life Jacket
- 3. Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
- 4. Gogokids Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket
- 5. Dark Lightning Kids Life Vest
- Types of Baby Life Jackets
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need a Baby Life Jacket?
We’ll start off by saying that if you’re planning any aquatic adventures involving the use of a boat, then the majority of locations require a life jacket to be worn by anyone aged 13 and under by law. This makes them a non-negotiable purchase if you fall into this category.
Though they vary massively from model to model (as we’ll later discuss), at the basis of their design lies the fact that they’re a floatation device designed to ensure that your baby is going to be safe in the water and unable to drown due to being kept constantly afloat.
They’re perhaps not the first item you’d think of buying when shopping for other products like a travel stroller or baby sunglasses for your infant’s holiday, but if you’re spending time in the water, then they’re arguably the most important of all of them.
All it takes is for one slight mishap when you’re enjoying some leisurely relaxation with your child in the pool and they can ingest enough water within a mere period of several seconds to drown. Any risk of this happening can be completely eliminated with the use of an infant life jacket.
In instances where you’re spending time on a boat, even if we take the law element out of the equation, then the addition of a jacket like this offers guaranteed security in case an emergency were to happen out on the water in a situation that would otherwise have been fatal.
On every front, it simply makes sense to have one of these devices at your disposal. As a baby can’t effectively tread water until they’ve developed further, this is also going to be the only way that they can safely enjoy being in the pool or any other body of water with you for the time being, too.
How to Pick the Right Baby Life Jacket
Comparison shopping is an absolute must if you want to find the most optimal baby life jacket to suit the individual requirements and circumstances of your child. Whether you’re searching for an outdoor baby swing or a baby wipe dispenser, paying due diligence to the design features on offer is crucial for finding something safe and efficient. This principle is no different when searching for an effective life jacket, either.
In this section, we’re going to present you with all of the areas to consider when browsing through the many life jacket options on the market to ensure that you’re getting the best value and level of safety for your hard earned money.
- What category of jacket is it? There are five main categories of life jacket available, so you need to ensure that your chosen model is relevant for the situation you’ll be using it in. We’ll provide more details about these categories shortly, but this is a massively important detail to focus on. Though the majority of infant floatation devices sold on the market only belong to the categories that are relevant to the typical use and scenarios of most families, it’s still worth reading the specifications extensively to avoid wasting your money due to buying an incompatible product.
- How secure is it? This is the most important question of all. Your infant life vest needs to fasten securely enough that there’s absolutely zero risk of it coming off when your child is in the water. As such, look at the fastening mechanisms of your intended product intensely before making a purchase decision. Some of the best options feature multiple fastening solutions to provide an all-encompassing approach to safety. The more avenues you have to secure the jacket in place and the higher the quality of them, the safer your child will be.
- Sizing: As per any infant product like a baby bike trailer or bib, not all options will fit the same, and since you can’t effectively secure a life vest if it doesn’t fit around your child’s body snugly, you’ve got to get this part right to provide the right level of safety for your baby. Luckily, most jackets of this variety have adjustable strapping and fixtures to ensure that they can accommodate your little one straight out of the box. If your desired option comes in fixed sizes, then pay very close attention to the measurements to ensure the best fit.
- How visible is it? High visibility is a must if you want to maximise safety and your baby’s chances of survival should a worst case scenario ever occur. Ideally, the coloring on the vest needs to be incredibly bright and ideally have integrated reflective strips as well. Remember that this is a life saving safety device as opposed to a fashion accessory like a baby sun hat. If you like a particular pattern but it doesn’t meet the above criteria, then the jacket simply isn’t suitable for emergency situations.
- Does it have USCG and CE approval? If your intended option doesn’t come packing CE certification and approval from the US Coast Guard, then this should immediately serve as an enormous red flag that the product might not have been stringently tested or proven safe. This doesn’t mean to say that anything lacking these supportive accreditations isn’t going to work at all, but you’ll need to perform some serious homework to be sure that it’s safe (user reviews would be a good starting point) if it doesn’t have these all-important stamps of approval in place.
- Does it have a recovery handle? Also known as recovery loops, these useful features include a large loop attached to the jacket, which makes it super easy to control your baby in the water when they’re wearing an infant life vest. It simply allows for a greater degree of protection at all times. They’re also great in emergency situations because they allow rescuers to access your child more rapidly, and considering that every second counts in a scenario like this, that’s good to know.
- Fast drying: Try to go for a life vest product that’s fast drying so that you’re not constantly having to drag around a dripping item of clothing and getting other items wet in the process. It’s also not good for your baby’s skin if they’re having to constantly put on an already damp vest when they enter the water. Damp fabric can house all sorts of nasty bacteria and lead to infections and skin irritation. The faster the product dries out, the better, so that it doesn’t serve as a breeding ground for these unwanted and potentially harmful elements.
- Brands: Big brand names can provide massive reassurance when it comes to shopping for anything baby related from the best beach stuff for babies to an effective baby bottle. Well-known brands are widely used for a reason. When it comes to optimum baby life vests here is a list of some of the manufacturers that are currently producing some of the highest quality options on the market: Stohlquist, Airhead, Mustang, O’Neill, Stearns, Body Glove, Dark Lightning, and Gogokids. Any product purchased from one of the above manufacturers will be sure to meet your utmost satisfaction requirements.
Top 5 Best Baby Life Jackets
In this section, we’re going to highlight what we feel are the best options on the market for effective infant life vests after spending countless hours comparing different models. We’re confident that you won’t find a better list anywhere. All of the below items are featured for being strong in a particular area while also offering a great all-around safety solution too. None of them will disappoint your expectations.
1. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket Review
We Don’t Like
This product ticks all of the boxes whether it’s safety, plenty of design variety, comfort, and even Coast Guard support. It offers everything you could ever need for total peace of mind when your infant is in the water and does it all for a great price tag. There are an enormous number of different designs to ensure that the jacket is visible from a distance and they’re all colorful enough that your child will absolutely love them. It’ll feel like they’re being given a toy!
The simple design easily secures into place to offer an excellent level of safety when your baby is first learning how to swim and navigate water. The soft material won’t irritate your baby’s skin and it even meets the appropriate regulations to allow it to be used on boats. The only real criticism is that it’s a very minimalistic design, which might put some people off if they want something a little more robust.
2. Body Glove Dinosaur Swim Life Jacket Review
We Don’t Like
Design variety is massively important for a couple of reasons. The first and most important is that an eye catching design makes for highly visible baby life jackets that can be seen from an enormous distance away. The second is that your child will find them more interesting and enjoy using them. This comfortable all nylon vest wraps fully around your baby’s body and clips at the back to provide maximum security while the integrated arm bands allow them to float freely in the water without losing any stability. They’ll feel completely secure with it on.
What makes this option stand out most is the massive variety of designs that all make use of every component of the jacket, massively enhancing the fun factor while ensuring that they’re visible enough to see from afar. The price is certainly higher than some of the other simplistic designs on offer, but the attention to pattern detail and functionality more than justify it.
3. Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest Review
We Don’t Like
If you want a vest that’ll provide you with optimum peace of mind at all times while you and your little one are in the water, this is absolutely going to be the most effective option for your money. It’s not as expensive as some of the other listed items, either. This is quite possibly the best baby life jacket for anyone who wants to safely introduce their baby to the water in either a swimming pool or larger body of water too thanks to the Coast Guard approved status it carries.
Coming in a couple of different color varieties is a bonus as it caters for both boys and girls effectively and the massively secure front locking mechanism makes for total peace of mind at all times. It’ll also snugly roll up and fit into your baby backpack carrier for storage. A negative is the fact that the block color might not be as noticeable in an emergency as some other alternative product designs. Still, there’s a lot of value on offer here for the low price point and premium construction.
4. Gogokids Kids Swim Vest Life Jacket Review
We Don’t Like
For an incredibly comfortable, highly supportive jacket that’ll provide as much security as it will total relaxation in the water to put your baby at ease, this is definitely the right product to meet those ends due to its super functional multi point support frame. With an eye catching pattern design, multiple locking points for maximum security, and a harness that keeps your baby supported and in place from underneath, you’re not going to spend a moment worrying when your infant is snugly in place inside this jacket and enjoying the water.
Because there are no integrated arm bands, your child can float while having the freedom of movement they need to successfully swim through the water unimpeded, which will improve muscular development. Though it’s a little more expensive than other options, the included guarantee helps to establish this as a top level winning choice for those who want a high level of comfort for their child on top of excellent safety.
5. Dark Lightning Kids Life Vest Review
We Don’t Like
Whether you’re shopping for a life vest or browsing through infant bicycle carriers, sometimes it can make all the difference in the world when you can get what you want out of a product without having to pay an enormous price tag in the process. That’s precisely what this excellent choice from Dark Lightning will allow you to do as it has been engineered as a high quality floatation device for infants that comes packing a massively competitive price tag.
Mainly intended for use with children weighing between 30-50 lbs., this makes it effective for heavier infants and will remain useful as they grow. There’s an included 1 year warranty and the secure strap based locking mechanism makes for maximum risk reduction. The massive array of designs make for high visibility that your child will love and the incredibly low price means you’ll love it, too. There’s not much not to like here other than the somewhat “thin” looking locking strap and clamp.
Types of Baby Life Jackets
As we mentioned earlier in the post, there are several different categories of life jacket for your child with each one being designed for a specific purpose. We’ll now summarise what they are so that you’ve got the total peace of mind you need to be confident that you’re making the right choice for your baby.
- Type I: Category one jackets are designed for extreme emergency situations and are typically only found on larger boats. They are very big, bulky, and cumbersome. It’s very unlikely that you’d find a baby option belonging to this category outside of a commercially-engineered boat.
- Type II: These varieties offer excellent support but are designed for more casual pool or ocean use. They’re similar in design to category one options but aren’t quite as robust while still being entirely safe.
- Type III: These varieties are typically for adults and don’t have the same degree of head and neck support as the category above (type II.) They’re intended for use in situations where a swift rescue would be likely to occur.
- Type IV: Category IV options are mobile floatation devices that aren’t worn on the body (like a ring.) You typically won’t need this type of model unless it was for fun or entertainment in conjunction with a category two or similar product.
- Type V: Jackets belonging to this category are designed for very specific circumstances like jet skiing and would almost never be used with a baby or young child.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we’re going to present you with the five most frequently asked questions about these products in conjunction with the most effective answers. This will help you to fully determine which infant life vest will work best for your child.
Even if you keep hold of your baby, certain states and countries require one to be worn by law if you’re on a boat. Even if you aren’t, then it’s still sensible to ensure that your infant has an effective form of water protection.
Should your footing become compromised and you lose control of your baby in the water, it only takes a few seconds for them to ingest enough water to drown. For that reason, a jacket should always be worn.
Realistically, the only time it’s safe to take them off is when your infant is relaxing in their baby beach tent or indoors, completely away from the water.
There is no predetermined life span for an infant safety vest of this nature and the rule of thumb is that provided that the foam hasn’t started to become brittle, then you can make effective use of the jacket indefinitely.
Every infant product on the market caters for a slightly different body type regardless of whether it’s a baby travel system or a life jacket.
One model can be suitable whereas another might not be. Extensive research before purchase is key to ensure that your chosen model fits effectively.
The answer might be never. It’s certainly safe to say that one must be worn up until age 13, but even capable swimmers should wear them into adulthood when out in the open ocean or large bodies of water.
There is never a guarantee of safety at any point in open water, therefore any risk should always be reduced with the use of a safety floatation device like this.
Yes, this is critical to ensure that no rashes occur on your child’s skin and that no bacteria can build up which could prove to be incredibly harmful to your baby. Always clean your jacket in between uses.
Now that you’ve reached the end of today’s post, you should feel completely confident about making the most impactful choice possible when it comes to selecting an appropriate life jacket for your baby.
This can seem like a daunting task at first considering the function that the item is designed to fulfil, but simply by using the information we provided in the “how to pick” section, you’ve got everything you need to perform effective comparison shopping.
Water safety is a must. The consequences of a mere few seconds of submersion can be catastrophic for your little one. Combat any risk by selecting one of the products from our top five list now for total peace of mind next time you’re out in the water with your infant.