Kayak Life Vest


Our Choice Recommendation

Onyx Movevent Dynamic Vest-Orange-M/L (122200-200-040-14)
12,226 Reviews
Onyx Movevent Dynamic Vest-Orange-M/L (122200-200-040-14)
  • 200 denier nylon ripstop and nylon oxford
  • Mesh in lower back fits high back seats;
  • Shoulder adjustments with neoprene comfort pads

Do you often kayak or want to?

Are you looking for a life vest for kayaking?

Would you like to read about some kayak life vests before you buy one?

A kayak life vest is an essential item to have when you go kayaking. If you don’t have one and want to check out now, this article can help. We take a look at how a kayaking life vest is different from the regular ones, and what features you should look out for when buying one.

Read through our detailed review of some of the most popular kayak life vests that you can buy online. Check the features, see the price range and the pros and cons of each, before you make a choice.

Kayaking life vest

This is a type of personal floating device, or PFD, that is built specifically for paddling. This offer ensures you get the full range of arm and upper body motion while wearing the life vest.

Is it different from other life vests?

There are certain functions and features that are only found in the kayaking life jackets:

  • These usually come with very big arm holes.
  • They keep the bulk of floatation device away from shoulder and upper chest area.
  • Large arm holes for easy and full range of motion from arms and upper body.
  • Look for features such as pockets to store your gear, bright colour for better visibility, tabs to attach knife/whistle, reflective tape for better visibility, ventilation and so on.

7 of the best kayak life jackets on Amazon

Option #1

Amarine Made Boat Buoyancy Aid Sailing Kayak Fishing Life Jacket Vest

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Made of foam with detachable EPE foam plastics, the upper material is No products found.. The crotch strap prevents the jacket from getting pulled up. Multi-pockets let you store any gear for your trip. A universal adult sized jacket with adjustable chest size of up to 130 cm. This choice is ideal for person weighing less than 110 kg.


  • Oversized armholes for easy movement
  • Large pockets
  • Ample ventilation


  • Not the best construction.
  • No Coast Guard Approved label.
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Option #2

Boat Buoyancy Aid Sailing Kayak Fishing Life Jacket Vest Camouflage by Amarine Made

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No products found., the upper material in this life jacket is 600D MAX Waterproof Terylene Oxford. Crotch strap is designed to prevent it from moving up and pulling out. Large pockets will let you store your essentials easily. This option is a universal adult size with adjustable chest size of up to 130 cm. This offer is ideal for those weighing up to 110 kg.


  • Comfortable to get in and out of.
  • Easy to paddle in.
  • Lots of pockets.


  • No Coast Guard Approved label.
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Option #3

FLYDWV Fly Kayaking Water Suspension Life Jacket

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No products found.. Water surface buoyancy is 70N. The emergency whistle and easy-to-spot reflective stripes will come handy in times of emergency or night/low visibility. Multiple pockets make it convenient to store additional gear. Adjustable buckle design is comfortable and convenient.

Dimensions are approximately 50-70cm/19.6-27.5 inches height and 50-70cm/19.6-27.5 inches width.


  • Comfortable
  • Not bulky
  • Lots of pockets


  • No approval label.
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Option #4

Amarine Made Adjustable Size Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device for Boat Buoyancy Aid Sailing

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No products found.. Multiple pockets make it easier to store your gear for kayaking, fishing or other purpose. The lightweight foam has inner mesh lining that will keep you cool in warmer climate and also make it comfortable to wear for longer hours. This option also has a crotch strap that will prevent it from being pulled up and off. The jacket is of a universal adult size and will be ideal to fit someone who is up to 75 kg in weight.


  • Comfortable fit
  • Huge arm holes
  • Options to attach whistle
  • Adjusts well to size


  • None as yet
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Option #5

Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD

ONYX MoveVent Curve Paddle Sports Life Vest, X-Large/XX-Large,...

This kayak life vest is U.S. Coast Guard approved . It is made out of SOLAS grade reflective material that makes it easy to spot in low or no visibility areas. This offer also has 200-Denier nylon rip stop and nylon oxford material. There is mesh detailing in the lower back area for easy ventilation, as well as adjustable side belts to make it comfortable. The jacket also has floatation foam and bubble foam on the inner back, as well as neoprene pads for easy shoulder use.


  • Back net keeps foam above the seat
  • Very comfortable to move in
  • Great fit
  • Great for all body types


  • Front zip is difficult to use

Option #6

ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Onyx Movevent Dynamic Vest-Orange-M/L (122200-200-040-14)

This kayak life vest uses 200 denier nylon rip stop and nylon oxford material.  It also comes with a mesh on the lower back that will make it comfortable to fit in on high backed seats. The shoulder area has neoprene comfort pads that make it easy to move the shoulder area. This choice uses SOLAS grade reflective material for easy visibility in low/no visibility areas. The expandable zip pockets come with mesh drainage. This option also uses soft and lightweight floatation foam.


  • Comfortable mesh in the back
  • Easy on high back seats
  • Attached whistle


  • Bulky compared to others

Option #7

MTI Adventurewear Fisher Kayak Fishing PFD Life Jacket

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No products found.. It has a centre buckle closure and adjustable side and shoulder straps. You also get D-rings on the front and back for attaching gear. This offer has been USCG strength tested at 50 mph.


  • Cool
  • Lightweight
  • Ample storage


  • Poor design
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Do you always need to wear a kayak life jacket when kayaking?

A kayak life jacket is one of the most important safety gears that you can use when you are out in the water, and that can keep you safe in the face of any emergency. Some countries and states require you to have a kayak life jacket for each person on the kayak.

When is a kayak life vest absolutely necessary to have and why?

There are many reasons why you should absolutely have and wear a kayak life vest when you go out to kayak.

  • It is possible that you are not planning to really get inside the water, but in case of any emergency, you may have to get down in the water, or it is possible that you fall in the water. In such a situation, it is very important that you are wearing a kayak life vest.
  • It is not possible to wear your life vest once you hit the water, so, wearing it at all times will keep you safe, even if you unintentionally fall in the water.
  • In some cases, wearing a kayak life vest can also keep you safe against harsh cold water and prevent hypothermia.  

With so many options out there, make sure that you buy a kayak life vest after going through all its features and understanding which one will work best for you. And yes, make sure to wear it at all times while you are out on the water.

Additional Research:

Last update on 2022-09-26 at 11:27 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE, COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

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