Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

Jeff
| Last Updated February 22, 2021

It is better to be safe than sorry.

No matter how good you are at kayaking, there is always a risk of mishaps happening at any time. Well, all you need are kayak fishing life vests to eliminate risks of water accidents.

The good news is that it can be a source of extra storage for some of your gear as well. Check out our list of the finest Kayak fishing life vests that will definitely keep you comfortable, safe, and organized while out on the water.

Comparison Chart of the Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Inner mesh lining adds comfort and coolness
  • Universal - one size fits all
  • Multi-pockets can hold nearly all marine equipment
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  • Can be cinched using six adjustment straps
  • Can accomodate high seats thanks to high foam back
  • Pockets designed to hold auxiliary gear
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  • Best for the Money
  • Front, side, and back pockets to accommodate gear
  • Open sides allow for paddling when needed
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  • Mesh lower back for ventilation
  • Tool holder pocket allows you to carry tools
  • Two large zipper pockets able to fit tackle
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  • Crotch strap prevents jacket from being pulled up and off
  • Multi-pockets are able to house extra gear
  • Chest is adjustable up to 130cm
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Are Life Vests Important While Kayak Fishing?

Life vests are not only a requirement of the law, but they are quite essential to avoid any potential accident. Obviously, they act as a life-saver if you fall into the water by saving you from drowning. It is always better to have this safety gear each time you get ready for your adventure.

Wearing life vest could save your life. (Source)

Some people also wear these vests to do away with all boxes and bags altogether. These can easily stuff your gadgets without feeling any heavier. Another important reason is that they come in handy in scenarios like shock and unconsciousness as they keep you afloat until the rescue.

Overall, whether you are a professional in fishing or kayaking or a beginner, you must take all safety measures and stay on the right side of the law.

How to Choose a Life Vest For Your Next Kayak Fishing Outing

With the plethora of available options, getting the right life vest can be a bit challenging. Therefore, before investing in one, you must consider a few features. Here, we have gathered a couple of features that you must examine while making a purchase.

Let’s discuss them one by one!

Premium Construction

The foremost thing to consider is the material the vest is composed of. Generally, life vests are manufactured from polyester and nylon. Polyester vests tend to be lightweight, plus they are quite sturdy. They are relatively a lot more comfortable, no matter how much weight you are carrying.

Meanwhile, you will find nylon vests as well, which are ideally known for their durability. They are, however, relatively bulkier.

Pockets

The next feature to consider is the array of pockets. A great set of pockets lets you organize all your fishing accessories easily. It all comes down to your needs and preferences. Different manufacturers design vests with ideal sets of pockets to meet your needs efficiently.

Fit

A majority of the life vests come with a similar design. However, you will find a minor difference in the material or design upon looking closely. You are suggested to pick a vest with large armholes so you can make paddling moves easily.

Amarine Life Jacket

Ventilation

It might get exhausting being on a kayak all day long, especially because fishing requires patience. A life vest might cause discomfort since there is an extra layer of clothing. Therefore, it is suggested to choose a vest with meshwork at the back to enjoy fishing with ease and comfort.

Quick Take | Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests

Just looking for the top three best kayak fishing life vests? Here they are:

  1. Amarine Life Jacket
  2. ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
  3. Lixada Fly Fishing Vest

Review of the Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests

A reliable kayak fishing vest offers you comfort on the water. Hopefully, you are now well-aware of all the major features that must not be overlooked while making a purchase. Next, we have a detailed review of some of the top-rated models that are definitely worth the investment.

Let’s get started!

Best Overall:
Amarine Life Jacket

PROS

  • Suitable for tons of applications
  • Universal size to fit every adult easily
  • Number of pockets to accommodate your stuff
  • Lightweight and therefore, comfortable to wear
  • Composed of high-end nylon to mark durability

CONS

  • Only recommended for adults up to 75kg

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have appreciated the quality and lightweight design of this vest. They report it is very easy to wear and does not intervene in your comfort on the water. Moreover, the pockets have enough capacity to easily hold a lot of stuff for you. This vest is amazingly versatile and suits your needs very well.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

Amarine Made has everything you are looking for in a life jacket. It is designed with nylon to make it a lightweight model. You will find various pockets to accommodate all your stuff during adventures. The adjustable size easily fits adults. Moreover, there is a beautiful mesh-work on the back for comfort in hot weather.  

Who Will Use This Most

This life jacket is ideally designed to meet the expectations of any fisherman. It can be used even in hot weather conditions, thanks to the mesh-work. You can wear it all day long without any inconvenience and breathing issues. Moreover, the great capacity lets you carry lots of stuff in a single go.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary life jacket with remarkable features, this model tends to last in the long run. It is lightweight plus extremely comfortable to wear. With this jacket, you can continue fishing or adventures on a kayak without any worry. All in all, it is probably the best you can find on the market.

PROS

  • Mesh-work design to allow breathing
  • Available in a universal size for easy fit
  • Large pockets with enough storage capacity
  • Reliable construction to serve you in the long run
  • Neoprene shoulder pads for comfortable wearing

CONS

  • Relatively bulkier than other models
  • Lack of any secondary safety closure other than zippers

What Recent Buyers Report

This vest is highly popular among customers for its impressive storage capacity. Users report that the material and design are top-notch, plus it is very comfortable to wear all day long. The vest offers ventilation and keeps you cool in hot weather. Moreover, you won't find any difficulty in getting the perfect fit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Backed by several features, this Onyx life jacket is manufactured from high-end materials. The 4-pocket zipped design easily accommodates your gear and fishing accessories. With the 6 adjustable straps, you can easily adjust the vest according to your height and activity. Finally, the meshwork on the back portion enhances the breathability.

Who Will Use This Most

The universal fit of this vest makes it suitable for all adults. Since there are adjustable straps, you can easily make it fit according to your height and activity. This can be employed by fishermen to carry accessories and spend their time on the water all day with maximum comfort.

Bottom Line

A great life jacket that is rich in features, this model is known for its versatility and durability. It is perfect for everyday use and offers maximum storage for your fishing accessories. Honestly, you won’t find a better deal on the market.

Best for the Money:
Lixada Fly Fishing Vest

PROS

  • Comfortable design to avoid inconvenience
  • Various pockets with a generous storage capacity
  • Remarkable mesh-work for improved breathability
  • Surely the most pocket-friendly option on the market
  • Made from premium textile to serve you in the long run

CONS

  • Not suitable for every adult
  • Quality could use some improvement

What Recent Buyers Report

This fly fishing vest has marked its position on the market with fine quality and a reasonable price tag. According to customers, it offers comfortable wearing, regardless of extreme weather conditions. There is enough room to hold the stuff, plus you can choose from a range of colors according to your taste.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Another great fishing vest on the list, this model from Lixada, is composed of premium quality polyester to last long. There are 4 large chest pockets and multiple other storage spaces on the sides and front to carry maximum fishing accessories. It has a nice mesh-work on the back to keep you cool in hot conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

It is surely the go-to choice for those on a tight budget. The enormous storage capacity makes it highly suitable for fishermen to carry all the accessories in a single go. Although it is ideally designed for people having up to 95kg weight, the universal size can easily fit most of the adults out there.

Bottom Line

In case you can’t afford to spend too much on a single vest, then you should definitely consider this product. It comes with amazing storage capacity and tends to endure extreme conditions for a long time. Overall, it is reliable and versatile enough to live up to your expectations.

PROS

  • A comfortable design with soft foam
  • Mesh-work on the back for proper ventilation
  • Adjustable straps for perfect fit and easy wearing
  • Multiple pockets to easily hold your fishing gadgets
  • Suitable for any kayak or raft seat, making it versatile

CONS

  • Not suitable for active use

What Recent Buyers Report

For this vest, the buyers’ reports have all been positive. They report that there is no question about the quality and durability of this vest. You can easily wear it all day long without feeling any discomfort. It fits almost every adult, and the great storage capacity lets you carry lots of fishing accessories with you.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The NRS Chinook fishing vest mainly stands out to us for exhibiting a tremendous set of features. It is made from superior materials and known for its low weight. There are multiple large and small pockets in addition to loops. The incredible mesh-work on the back provides ventilation in hot conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

With the incorporation of 6 adjustable straps, this vest fits almost every adult. You just need to adjust it according to your height, and you are good to go. The comfortable design makes it suitable for rafting and kayaking. Moreover, the exceptional storage capacity eliminates the need for a separate box for your accessories.

Bottom Line

If comfort is your priority, then this is the right vest for you. It has enough storage space, plus the construction is top-notch. You can always rely on this product to improve your overall experience on the water, regardless of any weather conditions.

PROS

  • Universal fit for every adult
  • Impressive storage space to carry your stuff
  • Highly recommended for tons of applications
  • Waterproof design to endure tough conditions
  • Quality construction to make it a reliable option

CONS

  • Fit is not fantastic
  • Not the most comfortable vest

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like our above-reviewed models, this vest has gained exceptional ratings from its customers. They really admire the construction and appearance of this model. The storage capacity is commendable, plus it allows easy wearing. Moreover, the versatility of this vest has enhanced the confidence of many new customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This life jacket from Amarine Made makes its way to our list for featuring a durable build and attractive design. It incorporates soft foam for a comfortable experience. Moreover, a great set of pockets enhances its versatility. Finally, there is a crotch-strap as well to avoid any inconvenience during the task.   

Who Will Use This Most

With an appealing appearance, this life jacket is perfect for those who need to keep up their style game. Its universal size easily fits almost any adult weighing less than 110kg. Moreover, the generous storage capacity makes this gorgeous vest ideal to use during sailing, fishing, and kayaking.

Bottom Line

The camouflage life jacket vest is one of the finest vests on the market. It has everything you are looking for. Whether we talk about the durability or the comfort level, this product won’t do you wrong. What else could you want?

What Makes a Life Vest Great For Kayak Fishing

A life vest is essential for anyone who loves to take part in water activities like kayaking, recreational boating, and surfing. The confusion is that among so many options, which one should you opt for?

Well, you are in luck. Read on to know about prominent attributes that combine to make a life vest perfect for kayak fishing.

Adjustable Belts

A vest with adjustable straps is extremely versatile as they allow proper fitting and customization according to the size of the body. Moreover, these belts let you tighten the vest in case of emergency as a freely flying jacket could be more dangerous.

Universal Fit

Vests designed with a universal fit can be employed by a wide range of people with different body shapes. In case you don't know the size or intend to use a vest among several people, then a vest with a universal fit would do you fine.

Generous Storage Capacity

Having a vest with multiple pockets in addition to accessory loops is usually considered ideal when you are fishing from a kayak. The reason is that these pockets not only hold the stuff for you but also give easy access to tools in the hour of need.

Durable

Getting a durable vest always pays off in the long run. You can either go for nylon or PVC material. Both of them perform exceptionally.

Conclusion

Innovation has made manufacturers put more effort into creating comfortable and slim fit fishing vests. All the reviewed models in this buying guide promise to deliver safety and convenience to the users. They are stable, versatile, and masterfully designed to meet safety concerns. Try to find a fit according to your body to enjoy all water activities to the fullest.

People Also Ask

Fishing vests have come a long way. They are arguably a necessity for a long day on the water. This section intends to clear some common doubts of the people regarding kayak fishing life vests. Therefore, we will try to answer some of the frequently asked queries to help them get the best of the product.

What is a Life Vest?

A life vest is basically a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) that works by keeping your head above the surface of the water, wherever you go for any water sport. It is ideally designed for different boating activities and water conditions. Consider them extremely important to avoid any accident or mishap during your adventures.

How Much is a Life Vest? 

Life vests are available in a range of prices. You can easily find a reliable vest from $100 to $150. The final decision entirely depends on your taste and preferences. If you are looking for a vest that is equally comfortable and durable, then you have to pay a little more to get the best model on the market.

Are Life Vests Required on Kayaks?

Yes, it is a requirement to wear life jackets on kayaks. This is intended to protect the wearers from any potential risk of shock or drowning if they fall into the water. The safety gear is considered a must by law for anyone who gets in the water on a kayak. 

Do Adults Have to Wear Life Jackets in a Kayak?

Laws regarding PFD for adults vary from state to state. Therefore, you must know the laws where you intend to paddle. However, some states strictly follow the law of wearing a life jacket on a kayak. Similarly, it is compulsory for anyone under age 13 to wear a life jacket whenever on a kayak.

What is the Difference Between Life Jacket and Life Vest?

A life jacket and life vest might seem similar; however, they are not. A life vest is designed for water-based activities, but it is unable to offer as much buoyancy as a life jacket. It offers more movement as compared to a life jacket and does not require inflation as well.

How Do You Size a Life Vest?

A life vest must fit you perfectly, and therefore, you should size it correctly. Firstly, choose the right vest based on your chest size and put it on. Tighten all the straps and then pull the vest up from the shoulder straps to check if it fits completely. Finally, try some paddling moves to ensure there is no inconvenience.

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Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.