5 Best Life Jackets For Toddlers in 2022

Summer means spending family time near the water. As a parent, you must ensure that your toddler is safe – whether you’re at the beach, pool, or lake. The best way to do that is by having them wear the best toddler life jacket you can buy.

With so many different types and styles of life jackets and life vests on the market, it can be tricky knowing which one will keep your toddler most safe and comfortable.

Thankfully, I have done the research and have shortlisted 7 US Coast Guard Approved personal flotation devices that will ensure your toddler’s safety.

1. Nemo Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket

The Nemo Stohlquist Infant PFD Life Jacket is the best toddler life hacket you can buy. It’s a comfortable and USCG type II rated compact vest that allows fantastic mobility and good ventilation.

This life jacket is specially designed for 1 to 2-year-old toddlers, so they can get the most from family activities while staying safe. It comes in three different sizes:

  • Small (8-30 lbs)
  • Medium (30-50 lbs)
  • Large (50-90 lbs)

Made of soft foam for maximum comfort, it comes with a convenient grab collar for easy retrieval of your toddler. The head support collar offers the security for them to play and be happy in the water.

The single quick-release front buckle provides added security and even has an adjustable crotch strap to fit any size. Durability of this toddler life vest is also great, and is apparent from the double stitching on the buckle attachment and crotch straps.

Pros:

  • Comfortable foam material
  • Convenient grab collar for easy retrieval
  • Head support collar offers security
  • Single quick release front buckle provides added security
  • Adjustable leg strap to fit any size

Cons:

  • crotch strap is not long enough to accommodate older, larger kids; if your toddler is older than 3 years of age, you may want to choose a life jacket from our Kids life jackets review.

2.  Lil’ Legends Mustang Toddler Life Jacket

The Lil’ Legends Mustang life jacket is perfect for toddlers between 30 and 50 pounds. It is made of soft and comfortable foam that will make your child feel safe and secure in the water. It also comes with a convenient grab strap, making it easy to grab your toddler if they fall overboard.

The head support collar is the most essential feature of the Lil’ Legends Mustang life jacket. This feature offers added security for your toddler, so they can play and enjoy themselves without worry.

The Lil’ Legends Mustang life jacket also has a single quick-release front buckle that provides added security while an adjustable ensures a snug and comfortable fit.

Pros:

  • Durable nylon shell
  • Convenient grab strap for easy retrieval
  • Adjustable leg strap for a snug and comfortable fit

Cons:

  • N/A

3. O’Neill Wake Waterski Toddler PFD

This Type II jacket is best for toddlers who love spending a lot of time on the water. If you sometimes wonder whether your child may be a fish, this is the best life jacket you can choose.

It is made of lightweight fluid foam neoprene panels that are designed to flip your kid onto their back immediately.

The USCG-approved life vest head support panel helps keep your toddler’s head above the water while they await rescue.

The O’Neill Wake Waterski Toddler PFD also comes with a single quick-release front buckle that provides added security. The adjustable crotch strap ensures a snug and comfortable fit, while the head support collar offers a snug fit for your child.

Pros:

  • Lightweight fluid foam neoprene panels
  • USCG-approved life vest head support panel
  • Single quick-release front buckle
  • Adjustable crotch strap

Cons:

  • quite bulky, especially when compared with the Nemo Stohlquist Infant PFD

4. Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket

The Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe life jacket is perfect for toddlers between 30 and 50 pounds. Type II certified, it is made of soft and comfortable foam that will make your child feel safe and secure in the water.

The head support collar is the Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe life jacket’s most essential feature. This feature offers added security for your child, so they can play and enjoy themselves without worry.

The Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe life jacket also has a single quick-release front buckle that provides added security.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable foam material
  • Head support collar offers security
  • Single quick release front buckle provides added security
  • Available in a range of bright colours
  • Oversized grab handle

Cons:

  • N/A

5. Stearns PFD 2000013194 Jacket

This Stearns Kids life vest is perfect for toddlers between 8 and 30 pounds. It is made of soft foam for maximum comfort and has an adjustable crotch strap for a snug and comfortable fit.

The adjustable buckle allows you to ensure a perfect fit for your toddler, and a bright green outer shell ensures maximum visibility. US Coast Guard Type II approved, it meets all legal requirements for complete peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable material
  • Large grab strap
  • Adjustable straps provide a snug and comfortable fit
  • Oversized head support collar for maximum comfort

Cons:

  • Many parents find the vest to be bulky
  • May not suit smaller toddlers

5 Types Of Children’s Life Jackets You Can Buy.

Not all kids’ life jackets are created equal. Make sure you buy one that is fit for purpose, and that you’re aware of its features and limitations.

Type I : Off-Shore Life Jackets

Off-shore life jackets are the most durable and provide the most flotation. They are designed for long periods of exposure in rough water, far from shore. They will turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.

Type II: Near-Shore Life Vests

Near-shore life jackets are less bulky than Type I vests and provide moderate flotation. They are designed for short periods of time in open water, near shore. They will also turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. Most toddler life jackets fall into this category.

Type III: Flotation Aids

Type III flotation aids are the most comfortable to wear and provide the least amount of flotation. They are designed for use in calm water, near shore. They will not turn an unconscious child face-up in the water, but they will help keep their head above water. Type III vest is by far the most common type of personal floatation device, and is widely available in a range of children’s sizes.

Type IV: Specialised Life Jackets

Specialised life jackets are designed for specific activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, or sailing. They provide flotation; some will turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.

Type V: Hybrid

Hybrid life jackets combine two or more different types of life jackets. They are designed for specific activities and provide flotation and some level of protection in rough water.

How Does A Life Jacket Protect Your Toddler?

A life vest protects your child in 3 important ways.

Buoyancy. A life vest will help keep your child’s head above water if they fall in, giving them a chance to catch their breath and swim to safety.

Visibility. A bright life vest will make it easier for you or rescuers to spot your child in the water.

Warmth. A life vest can help insulate your child against the cold, giving them a better chance of surviving if they fall into cold water.

Final Word About Best Toddler Life Jackets.

As you can see, many great life jackets for toddlers are available. I hope that my review has been useful in helping you choose the right one for your child.

– William Whycos