8 Best Life Jackets for Toddlers and Infants (2020 Reviews)

Is water adventure your preference among the other outing options? You may be skeptical on whether to opt for it or not especially if you have small toddlers. However, you just need to remember that responsible boating will begin with a quality life jacket.

Infant life jackets come in different designs, features but at the end of the day, all you need is to ensure your kid is safe, secure and comfy and; is having fun in the water.

We have highlighted our Top 8 Best Life Jackets for Toddlers which we recommend as these will maximize comfort and safety to your baby while in the water.


Best Life Jackets for Toddlers and Infants Reviews

1. Salus Bijoux Baby Vest

Best for Summer

The safety of your toddler is of great concern while boating. This is the life jacket that will make boating much fun with your baby especially during summer seasons.

Its design is of great deal; its meshed back ensures that strong heat is managed as well as you can comfortably lay down and nap your baby in a carrier or on a blanket with this PFD.

The short front enhances comfort to the baby as no disturbance is on the cheeks and neck.  It features a three-piece collar design with extra floatation attached on the sides that helps to cradle the baby’s head in the center thus enhancing comfort and safety to your baby.

There is a Dry-Lex Aero spacer liner that controls temperature and the air circulation. If your kid weighs between 9 and 25 pounds, this will perfectly fit aided by the four straps while keeping your angel as much comfy and secure as possible.

Although this Vest is not USCG approved, you can trust this company’s life jacket as it has won the Canadian Safe Boating Award (CASBA) for offering excellent safety products. With this life jacket, be assured that the safety and comfort of your little angel are taken care of.


  • Can fit tiny kids
  • Available in multiple appealing colors
  • Gives the kid all the mobility it needs
  • Has a handle to pull the baby out of the water in case of emergencies


  • Not approved by US Coast Guard
  • It is a pricey life jacket but worth every penny

2. Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest

Best for Pool

This is a must-have if you want your little angel to have pleasure in the water while ensuring his/her safety. It is approved for kids ranging between 30 to 50 lbs.

It is a type II Personal Floatation Device (PFD) offering head floatation such that the baby floats face up thus improved floatation ability for kids who can’t swim. The bright color of its material enables safety visibility as you can easily spot your baby in the water.

There is a grap handle at the top which act as a rescue handle to pull the kid out of the water plus also assist in storage, as one can just hang it on the wall. The three straps adjust and comfortably place the baby into place; two straps at the chest and one padded crotch strap between the legs.

A heavy-duty zipper at the front and the bucklers, which are a bit harder for the kid to unsnap on his/her own guarantees the baby’s safety.

Putting it on and off is as easy as pie, has a wide head hole that inhibits suffocation and four drainage holes at the lower side.

It is US coast guard approved, made of durable polyester and smooth nylon thus be assured of the safety of your young one.


  • The straps have a good adjustment range
  • Has a heavy-duty zipper at the front
  • Made of a bright-colored material thus easy spotting of the baby in the water


  • A bit bulky to tiny kids

3. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper

Is your kid water-loving? This Type V/III PFD is an excellent choice as it brings along a sense of independence in the pool while boosting confidence in learning how to swim.

The foam part that goes around the torso and the arm wings enhances the kids to keep upright and stay afloat all by themselves.  The baby does not tilt onto its stomach or back as life jackets do.

The safety buckle at the back boasts the parent’s confidence as the kid will not be able to take it off on its own. An adjustable strap that helps to keep it fit guarantees plenty of room for the baby to grow with.

Striking designs make it more fun for kids to be in the water! There are multiple vibrant colors to choose from whereby you can easily spot your kid in a crowded pool.

Be assured of its durable quality as it’s made of nylon shell that dries quickly and does not fade in the sun. This puddle jumper life jacket is US Coast Guard certified ideal for use in pools and beaches.


  • Available in multiple vibrant colors
  • It does not limit the child to play or move around the water


  • No grap handle in case of emergencies


4. Stohlquist Toddler Life Vest

Best for Maximum Head Support Comfort

Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket is a Type II PFD that offers back floatation in that it keeps the toddler afloat, head fully above the water, on its back and unable to turn onto its stomach.

Its unique feature of the double collar ensures excellent comfort as it supports the toddler’s head while in the water. The V neck design makes it more comfortable as there is enough space around the chin; thus, no materials will ride up around the neck area.

This will fit your tiny angel from as low as 8 lbs and provides an ample room for the baby to grow with up to 30  lbs. Durability is a warrant as its adjustable straps are full-sized while the buckle attachment is box stitched. Maximum security is enhanced by the zipper at the front plus a buckle.

The grap handle is a spice that aid in quick retrieval of the baby in case of emergency, drying and also for storage as you can just hang it on a hanger. There are many color choices to select your preferred less bulky life jacket.


  • It has a crotch strap that helps to prevent it from slipping up
  • Fits tiny kids
  • It is USCG approved


  • It is a bit expensive

5. Body Glove Paddle Pals Learn to Swim Life Vest

Best for Recreational Boating

This is a cushy floating device, a type III PFD for recreational boating. It aids in teaching the kid to place its head above the water independently and kick its legs to propel itself all around the pool.

An added feature of shoulder straps compared to other puddle jumpers, hold it into place such that the kid will not be able to get it out on its own and it will no pop up or slip off.

Be assured of more fun in the pool as its Vest-like design, gives the child confidence and freedom in the pool when swimming as no material disturbance is on the neck.

Adjustable straps at the waist with a quick-release buckle are a great deal enabling the fitting of kids ranging between 30 to 50 lbs.

The raised chest piece helps to keep the baby’s head and torso in an upright position maximizing comfort.


  • It is USCG approved
  • A great Fit to tiny kids within the adjustable waist strap


  • Has no grap handle in the event of an emergency

6. Stearns Infant Classic Vest

Best for a Young Tot for its Simple Design

Do you have the thought of introducing your tiny human to swimming lessons? This Classic Vest simple design make it an ideal choice for your little angel.

Be assured of its safety as it is USCG approved for tots weighing up to 30 pounds. The head float flap enhances back floatation providing maximum comfort.

This can last you for years as it’s made of a durable nylon shell with an ample room for growth. The open side vest design ensures air circulation to the engulfed torso area.

Putting it on is as easy as pie attributed by the front zipper and a quick-release buckler that provides extra safety. Moreover, the grap handle and the leg strap maximize the baby’s safety and comfort.


  • It is very affordable compared to other life jackets
  • It has a sturdy grap handle
  • A Type II PFD, which is USCG approved


  • Adjusting the one strap to fit your little human may seem a bit tricky

7. O’Neill Wake Waterski USCG Vest

Best for Boating and in Pools

You can entrust your kid with this USCG O’Neill Type II PFD. A unique feature of head cushion made of PVC marine foam helps to keep your toddler’s head above the water, face-up as it kicks its legs in water thus attributing to back floatation.

It has a front heavy-duty zipper plus Derlin quick-release buckles thus assuring your baby’s safety. All the straps tighten and keep the baby into place.

It yields comfort to younger toddlers of up to 30lbs bodyweight with plenty of room for the baby to grow with it.

There is a grap handle strap attached on the head cushion and a crotch strap in between the legs that help to secure the vest into place preventing it from riding up.

Variety of bright colors to choose your favorite choice are available that will enhance easy visual.


  • It has adjustable straps that help to secure the baby into place
  • The V neck design helps to keep any fabric away from the baby’s face


  • A bit expensive
  • Fit babies weighing up to 30 lbs

8. Full Throttle Baby-Safe Vest

Best for Infants for its Thorough Fastening Features

This is a Type II vest with a patented design to fit tiny kids below 30 lbs. It is one of a kind compared to other life vests due to its distinct features.

The maximized collar design keeps the baby’s head up and above the water. A buckle is attached at the collar to aid in ease while putting it on and taking it off.

An elastic fabric strap in between the legs, a shoulder strap and an encircling waist strap ensures a secure fit while maximizing comfort and safety.

Durability is a guarantee as it’s made of denier nylon and denier poly-twill material which has excellent stitching.

A grap strap is attached at the collar thus be assured of your little human’s safety in case of an emergency.


  • Very easy to put on and take off
  • Fits tiny kids perfectly


  • A bit bulky
  • Not USCG approved

Things to Consider While Choosing the Best Life Jacket for Toddlers

USCG Approval

It is imperative to ensure that the Personal Flotation Device (PFD) you want to purchase is US Coast Guard Approved. There should be a label on the inside of the jacket clearly stating “US Coast Guard Approved”. Opt for a life jacket that is approved since it has been adequately tested for its safety.


The ideal kid’s life jacket should be brightly colored to enhance safety visibility. Bright yellow, orange or red are the most visible colors. You should choose these brightly colored vests that will contrast with the blue-green water.

Weight Limit

Bearing in mind the weight of your little human, choose the life jacket with the exact weight limits. This will ensure a perfect fit such that it will not be too big or too small.  A life jacket that is too big will easily slip out while the one which is too small will restrict comfort.

Grap Handle

This is an essential thing in the event of an emergency as you will quickly haul back the baby into the boat. Choose a life jacket with a sturdy grap strap.

Crotch Strap

This is a strap that runs in between the baby’s legs. It maximizes comfort and safety by preventing the jacket from slipping out.

Adjustable Safety Straps

Life jackets with adequate straps that go around the baby to secure the baby into place should be the most preferred. The straps should be accompanied by quick-release buckles that are sturdily stitched.

Types of life jackets

There are five types of life jackets. We will spotlight the first three types which are for recreational use

Type I: This floats the best providing the most buoyancy. Its design enables to turn the unconscious wearers in the water from a face-down position to an upright back floatation. It can be used in all types of water; oceans and open waters.

Type II: This will turn unconscious wearers to a back floatation but not to the extent of that of Type I. It is effective in calm, inland water. This type has a variety of sizes for children.

Type III: It is a very comfortable type for continuous wear. It is a great choice only when rescue is possible within a concise period of time. It is effective for conscious wearers in calm, inland water.

Bottom Line

Children are the most precious assets. Invest in a Proper fitting and operational life jacket that will meet all safety measures. There are varieties of appealing life jackets out there in the market but keep in mind that your kid’s safety is the most crucial thing.

We believe that this guide will assist you in choosing the best life jacket that will perfectly suit your toddler. All highlighted above are our favorite as each has a unique feature that distinguishes it from the other. Remember, the greatest life jacket is the one that you will select for your child to wear!

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