Whether paddleboarding, boating or jet skiing, stay safe on the water with one of these great adult life jackets.
Best UK life jackets 2022 from Helly Hensen, Seasafe and Peak UK
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but this does not affect our editorial judgement.
On the water ? There is one cardinal rule: don’t skimp on your security features. It’s worth spending the time and money to invest in something that could literally save your life. Life vest? At the top of the list.
There’s a lot to consider when buying the right safety gear – from satellite devices and electronic gear to simpler products like rafts, buoyancy aids and life jackets should the worst happen. and find yourself in the water.
It’s the latter that we’re looking at here, taking a closer look at some of the best life jackets on the market today and looking at what you should consider when evaluating which type of jacket is right for you.
What should I look for in a life jacket?
There will be a number of different things to consider when considering life jackets, including the type of vessel you are traveling in and the type of activity you are doing. All life jackets must comply with industry and legal standards (ISO 12402-3) and have a whistle, light and a harness to attach a clip to.
If you are sailing away from more congested waters into wilder and more rugged territory, or if you are sailing and kayaking at night, for example, you really need to pay close attention to some of these aspects that will increase your chances of survival and be found should all go wrong.
If you kayak, canoe, or generally participate in more casual coastal water sports, we’ve also included traditional, lightweight buoyancy aids as well as offshore and commercial-grade sailing jackets here.
Here are some life jacket options to consider.
Helly Hansen Sailsafe Inflatable Race
Designed for the offshore sailor, this example from renowned sailing and outdoor brand Helly Hansen features a lightweight, flexible design, integrated deck harness and emergency light.
The unique patented design is built with weight and freedom of movement in mind – and acts as an extremely comfortable lifejacket for general coastal activities as well as coastal and offshore sailing.
Lalizas Alpha Inflatable 170N
Offered as a no-frills lifejacket for everyday use, this is an affordable option in traditional red, which eschews high-tech and sleek design for something a little more tried and tested.
That still means it works well in most circumstances – the inflation system is automatic (with a mouthpiece for manual inflation) and it also comes with a stainless steel D-ring for attaching harnesses and lines. security.
Seasafe I-Safe Recreational Life Jacket
We liked this lifejacket for its customization options – the addition of interchangeable covers to change the look of the jacket, which is nice.
Ordering the standard configuration gives you a whistle, padding and crotch strap for added security, but optional extras include additional harness loops, flares, spray hoods and a fitted SOLAS light.
Baltic Fishfarmer 165n Life Jacket
If you’re looking for your life jacket to provide class-leading durability and strength at sea, you could do a lot worse than look at commercial life jackets.
This option from renowned ocean safety manufacturer Baltic offers an outer PVC cover to ensure it remains resistant to oil, UV rays, mildew and other elements that degrade the quality of a lifejacket over time. It comes with reflective patches, an attachment for a balaclava and a mount for a VHF radio.
Helly Hansen Rider Vest
A truly affordable option for those of us who want to get out on the water in our kayaks, this life jacket has been specifically designed for dull and light coastal watersports.
It offers soft foam comfort and an easy front zipper which means it is very simple to wear, space saving and very stable. We liked that it comes with a flared pocket, and the price is also very reasonable.
Keep in mind that this is a buoyancy aid for low-risk water sports, rather than a full-featured, life-saving lifejacket in more critical or dangerous environments.
Crewsaver Crewfit 165N Sport Life Jacket
This is a good intermediate life jacket, suitable for recreational and occasional boating.
Priced quite competitively, the jacket features a lightweight design, making it one of the most compact units available on the market today.
Its unique bladder shape and construction is designed to ensure the wearer floats “face up” in the water if they fall overboard – especially vital if they happen to be unconscious.
Explorer Peak UK
It was designed purely for sea kayaking and kayak touring, and we liked its dynamic approach, unique design, and huge storage and pocket space.
Two large pockets are found on the front of the jacket, and the radio, flare and hydration spaces on the jacket are also incredibly useful when kayaking on the ocean for an extended period of time.
Features a tough polyester ripstop and is now available in a range of different sizes.