Best Infant Life Jackets

Infant Life Jackets - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Infant Life Jackets buying guide

Do you want to introduce the fun of the water bodies to your toddlers but are concerned about their safety? Stop worrying. Infant life jackets are here to the rescue.

These jackets are light in weight and prevent your kids from drowning. However, while selecting a particular variant, you have to look into certain elements.

Gathering information on these elements can consume a lot of your valuable time. You may even end with the incorrect details and facts.

On the contrary, a comprehensive buying guide provides all the information at a single stop. You can quickly skim through it and funnel down the best jacket for your loved ones.

So, without any further delay, let us start with a brief introduction and then move deeper into the guide.

What are the Infant Life Jackets? Why do you need them?

Dear passengers, fasten your seat belts and pay attention to the safety instructions carefully. There are four exits in this entire aircraft and one on each wing. Whenever the oxygen level drops, this oxygen mask pops out.

If the plane has to do an emergency landing on water bodies, make sure you grab the safety jackets kept under your seat and inflate it before moving out.

These words sound familiar, and why not, these lines are always spoken whenever you board an aircraft. Now you must be wondering what are these lines doing here?

We will be discussing it in a few minutes because it's somewhat similar to the life jackets mentioned here.

Yes, you heard it right! Today you will get a sneak into the details of the infant life jackets. These jackets are life saviors for your toddlers in emergency cases while water sports or any other place where danger surrounds them.

USCG Classification of Infant Life Jackets

All Infant life jackets are classified under different types by the United States Coast guard (USCG). They have dissected the variants depending on the kind of activity they are suitable for and the level of protection they offer to your tiny eye candies.

Since a life jacket is the only thing that will save your infant at the time of emergency, opting for the right one is crucial. Before you buy one for them, look at the different types, and then opt for the suitable one.

  1. Type I

The jackets falling under this category are designed for use while going out in the vast open water body. These jackets can sustain for a long time and have excellent levels of buoyancy.

Since the rescue team can get delayed to reach the location, these jackets are designed to turn your babies around and keep their face up towards the sky so that they can breathe even if unconscious.

  1. Type II

These types of jackets are suitable for recreational water activities. These vests are manufactured using buoyant materials and provide buoyancy if your infants get into trouble and come in contact with water.

If you plan fishing or kayaking in calm water with your toddlers around, the jackets under this category are the ones that they will need.

  1. Type III

Where rescuing kids isn't difficult and can be done in minutes, these jackets are ideal for those areas. These vests are less bulky than the type I and type II jackets but are suitable for water sports where you are taking along your little ones.

These jackets can also be inflated but don't have any feature that faces them up. This drawback of not being able to face them up makes it a not so desirable option.

  1. Type IV

If you have seen a lifebuoy at a swimming pool, you will know where these safety gears are used. Your infants cannot wear these as vests because they are thrown.

They are shaped as a ring or a horseshoe and can be thrown inside the water to rescue anyone who accidentally falls.

  1. Type V

The jackets under this category are designed for specific activities, including whitewater rafting, paddling, and deck-suits.

They are supposed to be worn throughout the activity and meet all the USCG standards. These are buoyant and inflatable but don't turn your kid's face up.

Types of Infant Life Jackets

Listed below are the three significant types of infant life jackets predominant in the jacket's industry. These have their advantages and disadvantages, which you should know before purchasing one.

Thus, examine all in-depth and then pick out the one you find suitable for your little bundle of joy and worthy of investing in.

Standard jackets

These jackets are made out of foam, which is an excellent buoyancy providing material. Your toddlers start floating the moment they dive inside water. These jackets fall under the type III of USCG certification.


  • These jackets don't require much maintenance and care, unlike others.
  • You can put it on your babies effortlessly and don't have to inflate or tie it somewhere to float.
  • It can be used in every water sport and is incredibly versatile.
  • There are pockets in these jackets to keep emergency tools and other small essentials.


  • Standard jackets are a bit bulky and restrict your kids' movements.
  • They might feel uncomfortable on hot sunny days while wearing them as these jackets absorb heat and get warm.

Inflatable Jackets

These jackets have to be inflated before you let your child go into the water. There are two variants of these inflatable vests: manual and automatic.

The automatic inflatable jackets get inflated by themselves the moment they come in contact with water. However, for extra security, these jackets have a tube for manual inflation or a pulling cord.

The manual inflatable jackets have to be manually inflated by either blowing air into the tube or pulling a cord.

However, you should not opt for this jacket because an inflatable jacket is not recommended for kids.

Also, these jackets include a gas cylinder filled with carbon dioxide. This cylinder should be replaced after every use to have access to a good life jacket.


  • These jackets are very comfortable to wear and offer your kids freedom of movement.
  • If they wear these jackets on a hot day, they won't feel hot as these jackets cover a small area of their body and allow ventilation.


  • The first drawback is that you need to inflate this jacket before taking your child on a cruise.
  • These jackets require a lot of maintenance as they risk getting punctured, and their cylinders also have to be replaced.

Hybrid Jackets

These jackets strike the right balance between the standard and inflatable jackets. These life vests provide a fair amount of buoyancy without inflating them, but you need to inflate them to increase their efficiency. These jackets are excellent as they give your child the freedom to use it either way.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Infant Life jacket

Apart from the types of jackets and their labelings, many other crucial aspects are considered before purchasing any jacket. Searching for those key features, understanding them, and sorting them out is a tiring task.

To cut short the tedious process and present you with a better solution, we have brought you this buying guide to find the best infant life jackets for your cuties. This guide treasures all the secrets about these jackets, which are decoded step by step.

So, without wasting any time, refer to every section in this guide and get a clear picture of the excellent life jacket. This guide will save you both time and money and provide you with the best life jacket for infants effortlessly.

Right Fit

A life jacket is an essential safety gear while going for water sports or any other activity where a blanket of danger covers you.

It has to have a snuggly fit and should provide comfort while protecting your children from every possible harm at the same time. There should not be any hindrance while moving, or it should not choke them.

Hence, to provide a comfortable and safe outing experience to your infants, opting for the right fit jacket is essential. Infant life jackets feature a wide variety of sizes that suit children of all age groups and their baby pooch.

To invest in a snug and comfortable jacket, look at the section below to understand what size fits you and your child accurately.

  1. Fitting for infants, children, and kids

Their weight decides the appropriate jackets for these three categories. The jackets for infants weigh a minimum of 8 pounds to 30 pounds. Simultaneously, those for kids weigh around 50 to 90 pounds while children weigh approximately 30 to 50 pounds.

  1. Fitting for dogs

Who has made this notion that only humans can enjoy ship cruises and not animals? There are variants available for dogs also, and they are sized by weight. However, you also need to focus on the back length and their shoulder's height before opting for one.


Infant life jackets are made of three materials that have their properties. These materials are well-known in the jacket making and water sports industries and have their pros and cons.

To invest in the excellent jacket made from the best material that suits your infants' activity and the place's environment, search for the perfect fabric. These materials are mentioned below so that it becomes effortless for you to conclude.

  1. Nylon and Polyester

Both these materials are synthetic materials that are made in laboratories. These materials are incredibly lightweight and durable and impart the same characteristics to your child's life jacket.

Besides, they make the jacket water-resistant and thus increase their lifespan. Jackets made of these materials are affordable and pay off the investments.

Nylon made jackets get damaged over time and are not so comfortable while floating in the water. Despite innumerable straps and buckles, the jacket slides up, which makes swimming and movement difficult.

  1. Neoprene

This material is a rubber derivative and hence stretches to give your infants a snug fit. The buoyancy offered by the jackets made from this material is outstanding and helps them float in the water effortlessly.

This material is also used in wet suits and is highly water-resistant. Neoprene jackets adapt to their body shape over time and get much more comfortable.


The floatation of these life jackets or their buoyancy refers to its ability to keep your infant's chin above the water level so that he doesn't drown. While searching for the perfect jacket, floatation plays a vital role because the primary purpose of this jacket is to keep him safe.

But before you opt for one, you need to consider your infant's body weight, lung size, and the weight of the clothing. When combined, these factors give you a range of the amount of buoyancy he would require to stay afloat.

Besides, consider the water condition he will be using these jackets in. He would need jackets with different buoyancy levels in rough and calm waters.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of infant life jackets is a crucial factor that can impact your decision. Since every life jacket has a weight limitation beyond which it becomes inefficient, it is essential to choose the right one before hitting the waters.

The different variants of these jackets support different weights and are ideal for use by others as well. You will find different life vests for kids and even dogs.

Hence, before selecting a vest, ensure that the weight capacity of that vest supports your child's weight. If you opt for the unsuitable one, he might end in danger.


You will be delighted to know that infant life jackets have pockets in them, unlike ordinary jackets, making them stand apart. These pockets help your kids carry tiny essentials with them while onboard.

These jackets feature pockets of all shapes and sizes inside which they can store essential emergency tools, snack bars, keys, penknives, and many other objects.

You can also search for variants with the easiest and efficient closure system to secure the pockets. These closure systems help them keep their objects safe while they are on the move.


When life jackets are discussed, color holds a significant role. A life jacket should be highly visible from a distance, and that is possible only when it is vibrantly colored.

Infant life jackets feature a wide range of fluorescent colors that reflect the light falling on them. This reflective property enables others to know about your kids' presence in that vicinity and spot them quickly.

If you opt for one, search for yellow, orange, and red shades because these three colors are visible from a very long distance and shine bright when light falls.

Other Important Considerations

There are some other important considerations other than the ones listed above. Let's have a glance at these factors before you proceed further.

  1. Ventilation

If you indulge your kids in any water activity in the summer months, especially when it is too hot outside, sweating is bound to happen.

This sweat and moisture make them uncomfortable while outside. To let this heat escape and cool down their body, these life jackets have excellent ventilation.

The materials they are made of are highly breathable, allowing maximum ventilation and air circulation inside their vest. This is the reason why these vests are so preferred.

  1. Fishing features

Infant life jackets have many fishing features in them, starting from tool hangers to rod loops. These jackets also have pockets that drop down when opened and serve as a table where they can playfully work with the fish baits and lures.

If you want your children to have an effortless and enjoyable cruise in the water body, make sure that you search for these fishing features in their jacket.

  1. Lash points

Compass, whistles, and other small tools like knives are significant while stepping into the vast open water. These equipment enable you to track your way, make emergency calls, and cut the fishing lines or self-defense.

To equip your children with these essentials, search for jackets for infants with lash points and gear loops to store these small tools.

  1. Mesh Panels

This feature in these jackets aid in ventilation. Mesh is a highly breathable material and contributes to keeping your kids dry and comfortable even when it's all humid and hot outside.

  1. Reflective Tape

The most important of all these jackets have reflective tapes, reflecting the light falling on them. They shine and make others aware of your toddlers' presence.

These jackets' feature is the excellent one, for it enables others to spot them even when it's dark.

How To get the right Fit for Infant Life Jackets?

Follow the steps listed below to get the right fit for the infant life jackets. Ensure that they fit your kid well before making any purchase.

  1. Loosen the straps and open the buckles of the jacket that you shortlisted.
  1. Make your child wear it, stretch his arms in all directions, and mimic the actions that he will do onboard. See if the jacket stays at the level of the chin or moves up. If it moves up, then consider going for a size smaller as the size you chose is too large for him.
  1. Fasten all the straps and close the buckles and check if he is comfortable or feels choked.
  1. Lay more emphasis on the crotch strap because they provide maximum protection and secure your child.

Extra Tips to Note

  1. Let your child try the jacket while wearing the same clothes he would be wearing while doing the activity to get the best fit.
  1. If you have a private house pool, ensure that you practically check the jacket on your child and its buoyancy.
  1. Look for jackets with more straps so that it's easy for you to regulate the fit according to your infant's convenience.


  1. What is the best type for the kids?

Type II is the best type as it provides adequate support to your kid's head and promotes face-up flotation.

  1. My son is one year old. Are these jackets appropriate for him?

Yes, these jackets are fabricated explicitly for infants are relatively light. They offer full comfort and buoyancy so that your kids can enjoy safely in the water.

  1. What color should I choose while buying a life jacket for my kid?

Typically, all the variants have bright colors, and this depends on your personal choice. Brighter color allows the rescue teams to spot the kid in case of emergencies quickly.

Final Verdict

Infant life jackets present a simple yet effective way to add extra protection to your kids when dealing with water bodies. They are light in weight and quite comfortable.

In this guide, you will find all the necessary information that will aid you in the selection process. Analyze the pointers and make an informed purchase for your loved ones. / - © Copyright 2020