Kayak Guidance logo

Best Kayak Fishing

Life Vests

Secure Yourself with These Top Life Jackets for Kayak Fishing

Published June 8, 2022

Selecting the right life vest for Kayak fishing is important for your safety, comfort, and maximum mobility on the water. Life vests are made specifically for each activity.

So, if you are looking for the best life vest for kayak fishing, you are at the right place. I am going to review some best life vests that you can buy for kayak fishing this year.

Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests: Summary

Top 8 Best Kayak Fishing Life Vests

Here are the top 8 best kayak fishing life vests that you can invest your money in 2022.

1. NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket

350+ Reviews

The NRS Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket is designed to be as comfortable and easy to wear as a t-shirt, with the added peace of mind that comes from being able to stay afloat if you fall in. It has a high-visibility orange exterior and reflective trim for safety, and it’s made with NRS’ signature quick-drying nylon, so it dries quickly after use.

The Chinook also features an adjustable waist strap that fits all sizes, as well as an adjustable chest strap that helps keep the vest in place while you’re active on the water. The vest has a double zipper closure that makes it easy to get on and off, even if your hands are wet or cold.

It’s perfect for kayaking or canoeing, fishing trips where you might fall in, or any other activity where you want to be prepared for a mishap on the water.


The Chinook OS Fishing Lifejacket has an easy-to-use buckle design that allows you to put it on quickly to focus on what matters most, catching fish! 

It has built-in pockets for storing your gear, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping anything overboard. These pockets are easy to access from inside or outside of the jacket.



  • Stylish Life Jacket
  • Multiple Pockets to hold things
  • Easy to Open and Wore
  • Breathable Fabric Made
  • Pockets’ sizes are too small

2. Stohlquist Fit Adult PFD Life Vest

2500+ Reviews

Stohlquist’s Fit Adult PFD Life Vest is one of the most comfortable, lightweight, and easy-to-use life vests today.

It’s Coast Guard approved, adjustable in size, and unisex. It features a high mobility design that allows you to move freely while still keeping you safe. The vest is made with PVC-free materials and has a mesh back panel for added breathability. And it’s all part of Stohlquist’s commitment to making sure you’re prepared for any situation.

It has adjustable sizing capabilities, so you can make sure it fits perfectly. It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. The PVC-free materials mean it won’t break down over time or release harmful chemicals into the water when you’re wearing it. The collar provides high mobility and comfort while still providing excellent flotation.


The vest is made out of neoprene, which provides insulation, comfort, and flexibility. The neoprene has a smooth finish, so you don’t have to worry about any irritation or chafing from wearing the vest.

This vest has an adjustable buckle system to tighten or loosen the fit around your waist and chest area. This makes it easier for you to get on and off quickly and ensures that you are wearing the correct size.



  • Coast Guard Approved Life Vest
  • Made with Durable Materials
  • Adjustable
  • Available in different Colors
  • No Zipper can be worn with the belt

3. Astral, V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing

15+ Reviews

If you have ever been out on the water and wished you could stay afloat if you found yourself in trouble, then you will love the Astral V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket. This PFD keeps you safe from drowning by keeping your head above water. 

It’s designed for kayaking, fishing, recreation, and touring, so it’s great whether you’re relaxing on the lake or working hard to bring home the day’s catch.

The Astral V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket features a durable nylon shell with a soft tricot lining that provides comfort while also protecting against abrasion.

The jacket also features a rescue whistle on its front right pocket, so if something goes wrong while you’re out on the water, other boaters will be able to hear your call for help.


The Astral V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket has several pockets to store your belongings while you’re fishing or touring around the lake. It also has a large pocket where you can keep your phone or other small items like keys or wallets safe while out on the water. 

This is one of our favorite features because it keeps all of our most important items together.



  • Made with Breathable Fabric
  • Lightweight and Long-Lasting Build
  • Front Pockets
  • Zipper with Belt of security
  • Not much pockets

4. NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket

900+ Reviews

The NRS Chinook Fishing Kayak Lifejacket is an affordable, comfortable, and stylish life jacket.

This PFD has been designed to provide comfort and protection while fishing in a kayak or canoe. It features a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry around when not in use. The foam flotation material is also very breathable, which helps promote airflow throughout your body to not feel hot or sweaty when wearing it for long periods.

It comes with a double-pull quick release buckle system which makes it easy to take off when needed without any hassle whatsoever. It also features an adjustable waist belt to adjust its size according to your preference without having to worry about replacing anything else.

The jacket itself is made from durable nylon with a foam lining and a little bit of padding on the shoulders, which means it will not get ripped or punctured easily. The straps are adjustable to fit anyone who wants to wear this jacket, even if you are a tiny person.


The vest is made from a lightweight nylon fabric that dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet if you fall into the water. It’s also equipped with adjustable side straps for a custom fit.



  • Premium Design
  • Long-Lasting Build Quality
  • Soft and Comfortable to wear all-day
  • Easily Adjustable
  • It could be smaller for some people

5. Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

2800+ Reviews

The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is a great option for people who want to be able to fish from their kayak. It has a number of features that make it easy for you to get the most out of your day on the water.

The first thing you will notice about this life jacket is that it’s very lightweight, which means that you won’t feel weighed down while wearing it. It also has an adjustable waist strap that allows you to easily adjust the fit so that it feels comfortable no matter what size you are.

The second feature that sets this life jacket apart from other options is its flotation collar, which ensures that you always have enough air if something goes wrong while you are out on the water. The collar also makes it easier for other people on board your kayak (or even rescuers in other boats) to spot you in an emergency situation, and they need help finding someone quickly.

It also comes with a whistle for added safety when fishing alone or with others at night.


The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket comes with several pockets for storing your gear: a large zippered pocket for tools and other items, two smaller zippered pockets for things like keys or wallets, and two other pockets where you can put drinks or snacks.



  • It can be adjusted to fit anybody
  • Multiple big and small pockets
  • Front zipper for easy wearing and safety
  • Breathable back fabric to keep you cool
  • Plastic Zipper

6. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic CGA Life Vest

11,000+ Reviews

The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic CGA Life Vest is the perfect fit for you if you are looking for a life vest that is lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear.

It is made from polyester mesh fabric, making it lightweight and breathable. This material keeps you dry by wicking sweat away from your body and evaporating it quickly. The mesh material also helps to regulate your body temperature to stay cool when you are hot and warm when you are cold.

It has a unique design that allows maximum movement while wearing the life vest. The vest comes with adjustable shoulder straps that can be tightened or loosened depending on the size of your chest. Even if you have a larger chest than average, this vest will still fit comfortably without being too tight or too loose around your neck or shoulders.


This vest is designed to be comfortable and easy to wear. The flexible foam core conforms to your body, making it a great fit for all shapes and sizes. The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic CGA Life Vest is the perfect option for anyone who needs a life jacket that can keep up with them on the water.



  • Lightweight
  • Mesh Fabric used for Breathability
  • Multiple pockets with zipper
  • Easily adjustable
  • Plastic Zipper

7. Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket

10+ Reviews

The Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket was designed specifically for anglers and dedicated fishers who want a life jacket that offers high-visibility, lightweight comfort, and top-notch durability. It’s built from high-strength materials resistant to abrasion, making it highly resistant to tears and punctures. 

It also features an adjustable waist strap that allows you to customize your fit so you can spend less time worrying about how it feels and more time fishing. And if you are looking for a life jacket that won’t weigh you down on the water? 

This is the one for you. It weighs just over 2 pounds, light enough that it won’t slow you down when casting or reeling in a big catch.

With its sleek design and thoughtful features, the Stohlquist Keeper Fishing Lifejacket is sure to be your go-to PFD no matter where your adventures take you.


It has a large front buckle that can be opened easily with one hand, even if you’re wearing gloves. The vest is also equipped with adjustable torso length and shoulder straps that can be lengthened by pulling on the webbing loops on each side of the vest.



  • Premium Stitching and Snuggly Fit Size
  • Easily Adjustable
  • Front Zipper for extra Safety
  • Multiple Pockets with Zippers
  • Doesn’t fit everyone

Bonus: Fly Fishing Vest by Kylebooker (Not PFD)

1000+ Reviews

The Fly Fishing Vest Pack is designed to hold the gear you need for fly fishing. It’s adjustable to fit both men and women, and it comes with a waist belt so you can wear it comfortably while you walk.

The vest is made from nylon, but it’s lightweight and soft. You can easily adjust the pack to fit your body type by changing the straps on the shoulders and waist. The vest has four pockets that zip closed, and each one has a mesh bottom so you can see what you have inside them without having to open them up first. 

Two of these pockets are large enough for fly boxes, and there are smaller openings on either side if you want to put things like sunglasses or keys in them.

The Fly Fishing Vest Pack makes it easy to access everything you need while out on the water without having to stop mid-stream or even take off your vest entirely, not only downside to this fishing vest is that it is not a PFD (personal flotation device), which means it won’t help you stay afloat in the water in case you end up in the water.


Fly Fishing Vest is the ultimate in convenience and comfort. With its unique design, you can adjust this vest to fit your body perfectly, no matter what size you are. It’s also comfortable enough to wear all day long, even under your waders.



  • Lightweight and Premium Looks
  • Everything is Adjustable
  • Multiple Pockets with Zipper
  • Can fit anyone
  • Pockets can’t hold much weight for a longer time

Things to Consider while Choosing the Right Kayak Fishing Life Vests

You should consider some things while choosing the right kayak fishing life vests.

Choose a Vest that Fits:

Choosing the right kayak fishing life vest is an important decision. You need to make sure it fits, but you also have to make sure it’s comfortable and safe. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing a vest:

  • The vest should fit snugly and not ride up on your shoulders. It should be secure enough to not move around as you paddle or catch fish.
  • The waist belt should be adjusted to sit on top of your hip bones, not below them.
  • The straps should be comfortable and not dig into your skin or cause any discomfort while wearing them for long periods, like during an entire day on the water.
  • If you have sensitive skin or allergies, look for vests with hypoallergenic materials like neoprene instead of vinyl or polyester. These can irritate sensitive skin types much more easily than neoprene does.

Quality and Durability:

When choosing the right kayak fishing life vest for you, it’s also important to consider the quality of the product and its durability. A good life vest will be comfortable and safe, but it should also last a long time. 

The material the vest is made from should be comfortable against your skin and have an adjustable waist strap to get a custom fit. While you may be tempted to buy a cheaper model, it is important to remember that quality products are safer than cheap ones.

Look for Vest with a Lot of Pockets:

You will want to make sure that you have enough room to store all of your gear, including the essentials like hooks, weights, and lures.

Some vests have multiple pockets, while others have just one. If you are looking for a vest with lots of storage space, choose one with multiple pockets instead of one large pocket.

If you don’t want too many extra pockets or need something that will keep your gear organized and easily accessible while on the water, look for a vest with a large main compartment or mesh bag inside so that everything stays together but is still accessible when needed.

Ensure it has a Whistle and Light Attachment:

You will also have to make sure it has a whistle and light attachment. Whistles can be used to signal for help if you are in trouble or if you are just trying to get someone’s attention. 

A light attachment is also important because it can help rescuers find you in the dark.

Reflective Tape for Nighttime Visibility:

Reflective tape is a must-have feature for kayak life vests.

If you are kayaking in the evening or at night, your vest must stand out from the background to be seen by other watercraft and people on the shore. Reflective tape is the most effective way to make sure that happens.

Provides Ultimate Comfort and Freedom of Movement:

You will have to make sure that your vest is comfortable to move freely and feel secure. If you’re not comfortable in your life jacket, then there’s little chance that you will actually wear it when out on the water.

Your new vest should also provide freedom of movement. This means that it should be able to accommodate your body shape and size without feeling too tight or restrictive.

Adjustable Belt & Waist Straps:

The belts and waist straps should be adjustable, so you can adjust the size of the life vest to fit your body. If the belt is too loose, it may not provide enough support in case of an accident. 

The waist strap should also be adjustable to ensure that it fits well and stays put while you are on the water.

Finding the Best Kayak Fishing Life Vest/Life Jacket

Choose a Life Vest that is U.S. Coast Guard Approved:

Choosing a life vest that is U.S. Coast Guard-approved is an important step in keeping yourself safe when you are on the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard sets standards for personal flotation devices (PFDs) that are used by boaters and other on-the-water users, and their approval is what makes it possible for you to safely wear your PFD in any state or territory of the U.S., including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.

When Choosing a Life Vest, Consider the Type of Water Activity you Do:

If you are boating, swimming in lakes and rivers, or just going out on the boat for fun, you will have to get a Type 1 life jacket. These are bright orange and have a whistle on them. They are not as bulky as the others and will keep you above the water if you fall in.

If you are skiing or wakeboarding or doing any other kind of watersport, then you will need a Type III or Type V life jacket. These are usually bright yellow and feature an inflatable collar that will keep your head above water should you fall overboard. They also come with an attached whistle so people can hear you if something goes wrong.

Be Sure that Your Life Vest Fits Properly and Snugly:

Your life vest is likely one of the most important pieces of equipment you own. For this reason, you must make sure it fits properly and that it’s snugly secured on your body. 

If your life vest isn’t properly secured, there’s a chance it will come off in the water or be easily removed by someone else who may need it more than you.

You can test whether or not your life vest is secure by doing a simple pull-over test. Simply pull the front of your life vest over your head and see if it stays put when released from underneath itself. If not, tighten up those straps.

Check your Life Vest Before Each Use:

Life vests are designed to keep you safe in the water, but they need to be checked and replaced regularly.

So, check your life vest before each use by looking at the “expiration date” on the label. If your vest has expired, you should replace it immediately.

Even if your life vest doesn’t show any signs of damage or wear and tear, it’s still a good idea to replace it every five years.

To help prevent an accident, remember to check your life vest before each use.

Always Wear your Life Vest Whenever you are on a Vessel or in the Water:

When you are out on the water, it’s important to always wear your life vest. It makes you feel safer and more secure, but it also helps you get back to shore if you fall in.

Similarly, if you are going out on a boat or kayaking with friends, make sure everyone is wearing their life vests before leaving the dock. If not, have them put them on once everyone is on board. You should also have one at home if there are children or pets in your home that might need to go out on the water.

Final Words

So these are the best kayak fishing life vests you can buy in 2022. These vests are best according to their quality and features. I hope my recommendations will be helpful for you in choosing the best kayak fishing life vests. I have also included some tips for choosing the best life vest, must-read those tips before making any decision.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

More to Learn About Kayaks!