6 Best Life Jackets for Fishing in 2023

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The fishing industry is growing, but many fishermen are not prepared for the worst.

Every year countless people die in boating accidents because they don’t have a life jacket on board. These jackets can save lives and protect your investment when you’re out on the water.

If you love to fish, then this is an essential purchase for your boat or kayak! Here are the best life jackets for fishing.

Our Top Picks

6 Best Life Jackets for Fishing

1. Stohlquist Fisherman Fishing Kayak Life Jacket

Best for Sit-on-Top Paddlers 

Key Features:

  • With exclusive Graded Sizing
  • With a higher mesh-back design for taller seatbacks in fishing boats
  • EVA pockets serve as the lower back waistband and shoulder pads
  • Multiple zippered pockets with drainages
  • With mounting locations for your essential gear

Stohlquist Fisherman Fishing Kayak Life Jacket is great for sit-on-top paddlers with its exclusive Graded Sizing. It is an ideal fishing life vest with high seat backs because of its high mesh design. 

This kayak life vest also has EVA pockets that serve multiple purposes — mounting location for your gear, fold-down work surfaces, and lower back waistband. More so, its multiple pockets also have drainages to keep water out.

2. NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket 

Best Kayak Fishing Life Vest

Key Features:

  • US Coast Guard approved
  • Zipper closure for secure and snug fit
  • Breathable stylish design for fishing on boats or close to water’s edge
  • Multiple storages with small tackle box pockets on the front
  • With built-in rod holder loops for gear storage

NRS Chinook OS Fishing Life Jacket is a stylish fishing jacket with 16.5 pounds of flotation. This fishing life vest is perfect for its breathability and stylish design.

It is a U.S Coast Guard approved Type III fishing life vest with a mesh on the lower back for ventilation in warmer weather. 

More so, this kayak fishing life jacket has zippered pockets and a fishing rod holder for additional storage, with a zippered front for a more comfortable fit. 

3. Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility Life Jackets

Best for Kids

Key Features:

  • Coast guard approved PFD for children
  • Neon orange-colored for better visibility in case of water emergencies
  • Versatile floatation device as a kayaking, wakeboarding, or bass fishing gear
  • Ideal for calm water activities such as water skiing and canoeing
  • Made from high-quality polyester Cordura fabric

Hardcore Water Sports High Visibility jacket is a coast guard approved Type III life vest designed to allow a wearer to go back to a face-up position in calm water. 

This fishing life vest is highly visible in water because of its neon orange color, making it perfect for kids. It also has a stylish and breathable jacket made with durable polyester fabric, the perfect life jacket for kids as it is easily adjustable to fit a kid’s body. 

4. Mustang Survival Corp Inflatable PFD

Best Fishing Life Vest for Optimum Mobility

Key Features:

  • With aerodynamic 3D chassis to reduce drag at high speeds
  • Fishing vest with wide shoulder system for optimum mobility
  • Made with a lightweight fabric shell
  • Can provide 28 pounds of buoyancy when inflated

Mustang Survival Corp Inflatable PFD is a fishing vest built with aerodynamic 3D chassis to allow you to stay in place even at high speeds.

This inflatable personal flotation device is made with Hydrostatic Inflator Technology that provides automatic inflation during emergencies, inflating for up to 28 pounds of buoyancy.

More so, its wide shoulder system prevents neck fatigue, and the mesh lining provides comfort even for a long period. This fishing life vest also has adjusters on both sides for a better fit, and it has inflation handles that have a sleek design.

5. Stohlquist Spinner Fishing Life Jacket

Best Fishing Life Vest for a Long day of Fishing 

Key Features:

  • Has large armholes to allow you to move freely
  • With adjustable waist belt for a more personalized fit
  • Multiple mounting points for fishing accessories like your fishing net
  • With numerous zipper pockets for gear storage

Stohlquist Spinner Fishing Life Jacket is a life vest made with sculpted polyethylene soft foam encased by a 200-denier outer shell. It is the best fishing PFD because of its comfortability. It also has large armholes to allow your arms to move freely when needed. 

This Stohlquist fisherman vest also has three adjustable buckles for easy-wearing and a more snug fit. 

6. Revere Life Jackets – Comfort Max Inflatable PFDs

Best Comfortable Inflatable Life Vest

Key Features:

  • Inflatable life vest available as automatic or manual
  • With dual adjustable stainless steel waist belts for easy adjusting and custom fit
  • Exterior inflation system
  • Fully connected waist strap and backstrap for strength
  • Comfortable neck area with no Velcro or edge binding

Revere Inflatable PFD is made with heavy-duty 420-denier nylon pack cloth on the outer to provide the protection you need.

This inflatable vest is a comfortable life jacket with adjustable waist belts made of stainless steel. More so, its neck area also has no Velcro or any binding that can cause any type of neck fatigue. 

This fishing PFD has an external inflation system of this jacket that allows direct access to the carbon dioxide cylinder for rearming.

best life jackets for fishing
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Things to Consider when Buying the Best Fishing Life Jacket


The best life jacket should have good functionality. For one, you should choose the jacket with pockets for the additional storage of your fishing gear.

Having multiple attachment points for your other fishing accessories is also an important thing to consider.

You should also check for the armholes of your fishing jacket. Ensure that the armholes are wide enough to provide maximum mobility and comfortability for your arms to fish properly. 


You should feel comfortable with the jacket you are choosing. If you are not comfortable, you cannot stay in the water for a long time.

Make sure that the sides of your jacket will allow you full ranges of motion, especially of your hands. Also, ensure that your neck area will not feel any fatigue when you wear your jacket. 

For a comfortable fit, life vests should fit snugly. A life vest with a proper fit will give you the security and safety you need when you go fishing.

Adjustment Belts 

Adjustment belts are there to make sure that your jackets fit right. Kayak life jackets with multiple adjustment straps are better compared to those with only a few.

With multiple adjustable straps, you can adjust the fit of your jacket to your body’s liking. In this way, you can wear your jacket comfortably. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a fishing life vest? 

It can save your life if worse comes to the worst. It provides buoyancy in case you are thrown overboard.

How should a fishing vest fit?

A fishing life vest should fit snugly even with resistance. You should be able to move comfortably. Wearing a life vest should not restrict your hands when you fish or paddle.

Choosing fishing life vests with adjustable straps is recommended so that you can still use your jacket even if you lose or gain weight. The jacket should fit properly on you over your clothing for all the fishing seasons. 

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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