What is the best life jacket for women?
As summer rolls on and temperatures continue to hit record highs around the world, a popular way to cool off and have fun is to jump in the water. But there are many dangers in the water, and it’s frighteningly easy to suddenly find yourself in danger. Don’t take any risks. Always wear a life jacket.
The best life jacket for women is the Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports CGA Life Jacket. It’s highly breathable so you can feel comfortable when out on the water for long periods of time.
What to know before buying a women’s life jacket
Types of life jackets for women
There are four types of life jackets and an additional type of personal flotation device.
- Type I the jackets are intended for use on the high seas and especially in rough or stormy waters. They have very high buoyancy, usually 20-35 pounds, to keep you floating for long periods of time. This type is not often available to the general public and is most commonly found on commercial vessels.
- Type II jackets are the most basic, usually intended for short-term or emergency use. They have at least 15 pounds of buoyancy.
- Type III jackets are more advanced and are generally used for water sports in lakes or on the shore of an ocean. They are more comfortable and feature-rich than Type II jackets, but won’t help you float better, as they share the same buoyancy.
- Type IV are not vests at all, but disposable flotation devices such as pads, tubes and rings.
- V-Type Jackets are a special class mostly used by Coast Guard rescue teams, so you can’t buy one. They have the same high buoyancy as Type I jackets.
Most life jackets are unisex, although a handful caters to women with more chest room. Finding the right fit is usually as simple as measuring your chest and choosing the appropriate size from the jacket’s size chart.
Keep in mind that a lifejacket is supposed to fit snugly and should not be able to move. If you’re squeezing a jacket tight and it moves around, you need a size smaller.
What to Look for in a Quality Women’s Life Jacket
Coast Guard Approval
The best life jackets are officially approved and recognized as effective personal flotation devices by the Coast Guard. If a jacket is Coast Guard approved, it is clearly and explicitly stated in the product description. If you don’t see approval, don’t buy the jacket.
If an accident happens late and the sunlight fades or disappears, having reflective areas on a lifejacket can be as important to your rescue as the buoyancy of the jacket. If there’s any chance you’ll be out on the water at night, make sure you have some.
How much you can expect to spend on a women’s life jacket
They can cost as little as $10 or as much as $150. Type II jackets cost the least, usually no more than $50. Type III jackets usually start between $30 and $40 and get more expensive the more comfortable and feature rich they are.
Women’s Life Jacket FAQs
Do I need a life jacket with more buoyancy the heavier I weigh?
A. Not necessarily. It doesn’t matter if your body weight comes from fat or muscle, even a life jacket with 15 pounds of buoyancy should suffice. If you’re still worried, you can always use a life jacket with 20-25 pounds of buoyancy.
How long does a life jacket last?
A. Life jackets are built to be tough and last for years, but you still need to maintain them. It’s as simple as rinsing them thoroughly after each trip and storing them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Do that and the average life jacket should last at least five years.
What is the best women’s life jacket to buy?
Women’s life jacket top
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports CGA Life Jacket
What do you want to know: If you’re more on the water than on land, it’s hard to beat this jacket.
What you will love: The lower back is fully mesh to increase breathability, and there are multiple adjustment points so you can be sure it will fit perfectly. It has several reflective strips and a safety whistle is attached for emergencies. It comes in four colors.
What you should consider: A few consumers found the whistle to be lacking. Those with particularly large chests may find the vest uncomfortable.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Women’s life jacket top for the money
Airhead Type II Keyhole Life Jacket
What do you want to know: This basic life jacket is a great choice for occasional trips.
What you will love: Having buoyancy only forward ensures that an unconscious person will float face up. The adult size fits 30-52 inch chests and the oversized size fits 50-60 inch chests. It is available in the classic orange or American flag colors.
What you should consider: It is not intended for prolonged use, but rather for emergencies or short durations. Some customers have found it rubbed uncomfortably on their necks.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Jacket
What do you want to know: This is another great jacket for those who like to be on the water.
What you will love: It is available in several sizes and has two straps to adjust the fit on the abdomen. It has a small loop for attaching safety items such as knives and whistles.
What you should consider: A few buyers had trouble keeping it from riding up in the back. Others have suggested women order a size up for more room on the chest.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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