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Best infant life jacket

Which infant life jacket is best?

Most infants love playing in the water, so parents should take every precaution necessary to make sure their child will be safe. If you have older children, don’t grab one of their life jackets for your infant.

Infant life jackets have specially designed head and neck support for children too small to sit up by themselves. Read on to find the right life jacket for your little one.

Things to consider before buying an infant life jacket

Coast Guard approval

You should choose an infant life jacket that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. This ensures that the product is trustworthy and meets safety standards. Additionally, if you are planning to take your child boating, U.S. law requires you to have a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every passenger on board, including your infant. 

Size and fit

Infant life jackets are usually designed for children between 8 and 30 pounds. If your child is above 30 pounds, look for a child’s life jacket instead. Furthermore, remember that life jackets are not something to grow into. If a life jacket is too big, it can fall off in the water and leave your child unprotected. Purchase a correctly fitting life jacket for your child at every stage of growth, even if you think they will grow out of it in a matter of weeks or months.

Grab loop

Some infant life jackets have a fabric loop on the back, which allows you to easily grab hold of the child in the water. If you plan on being near flowing water, you may want to consider a life jacket with this feature so you can quickly rescue your child if they fall in. 

Best infant life jackets

Top infant life jacket

Stohlquist Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Infants

What you need to know: This well-designed life jacket features a double head cushion, a crotch strap to keep it in place and a grab handle for quick catches. 

What you’ll love: The additional buckle over the zipper provides extra protection. 

What to consider: This is a Type II personal floatation device, which means it will only turn some infants on their back.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 Top budget-friendly life jacket

Airhead Infant's General Purpose Life Vest

What you need to know: Comfortable for both your child and your wallet, this Coast Guard-approved infant life vest is made with woven polyester that is UV-resistant.

What you’ll love: The three straps on the front can be adjusted to find the right fit. 

What to consider: While the neck cushion provides support, some people find that it rides up too high for their baby.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl's 

Honorable mentions

Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest

What you need to know: This Stearns vest is affordable and will keep your baby safe on the beach or a boat. 

What you’ll love: The Coast-Guard approved design features a leg strap that helps provide a snug fit.  

What you should consider: This vest is a little bulkier than others, so some babies may find it uncomfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Fish Print Life Jacket

What you need to know: This Coast Guard-approved life jacket features two leg straps, Crosstech flotation foam and a zippered back.  

What you’ll love: The cute and colorful fish design should make your baby giggle. The pillow-like head piece will float your infant into a face-up position. 

What you should consider: Runs a little small for some chunkier babies

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Rave Sports Infant Universal Life Vest

What you need to know: This Rave Sports life vest has an affordable price, good fit and safety features that should work for most infants.

What you’ll love: The arm openings provide enough room for movement, and the three buckles will put parents at ease.  

What you should consider: Some say that this model may ride up and make your baby uncomfortable. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Mustang Survival Lil’ Legends Infant Life Vest

What you need to know: The Lil’ Legends vest is a high-quality option from a trusted brand. The AirSoft flotation foam and reflective accent will keep your baby comfortable, safe and visible.

What you’ll love: This design has been improved to ensure better mobility, and it includes a cooling back panel and ventilated mesh.

What you should consider: The Lil’ Legends personal flotation device was designed for coastal boating activities, so use with caution when venturing into bodies of water. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest

What you need to know: The Wake Waterski vest is made by O’Neill, one of the most-trusted names in surf wear. 

What you’ll love: The neon color choices provide optimal visibility in the water. 

What you should consider: While many customers praise the quality and design of this vest, they also say it's a bit too bulky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

O’Neill Superlite Infant Life Vest

What you need to know: This vest has a streamlined design that is not bulky, so taking it on and off your baby shouldn’t cause much of a fuss.

What you’ll love: The head support collar folds down when it is not needed, and the mesh allows for easy drainage. 

What you should consider: Some parents complain that this vest is too stiff. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Vest

What you need to know: This Coast Guard-approved life jacket features a unique shoulder buckle for easy entry.

What you’ll love: The fabric leg strap is elastic, so it won’t restrict your baby’s movement while playing.

What you should consider: The back is more open than a lot of other vests, which may cause some parents to doubt its safety. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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