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10 Best Inflatable Life Vest For Fishing In 2022 [With Buying Guide]

best inflatable life vest for fishing

Safety is the number one thing whenever you are getting into the sea or any water medium. Accidents may occur anytime. In this article, we will take you through the 10 best inflatable life vest for fishing and the factors to consider when buying one.

best value

  • Has adjustable belts
  • Lightweight & durable
  • It has reflective straps
  • Comes with a whistle


  • High profile pockets
  • It contains adjustable straps
  • Very light to carry
  • Durable and perfectly designed

Why do you need a life vest When fishing?

According to a report released in 2017 by the United States Coast Guard, 76% of the victims that drowned during their recreational boating were not having their life vest on. From these statistics, it is clear that most people get in the sea without wearing a life jacket. In your fishing adventure, you must consider having an inflatable life jacket on.

There are many excuses that people give as to why they should not wear a vest. Some people say that they have life jackets on board, they are strong swimmers, the day is too sunny, and of course, the pessimists will say that nothing is going to happen.

Well, whether, it is very hot, extremely cold or the life vest doesn't look cool, it must always be on as long as you are in the sea fishing. You will need one to keep yourself floating and identifiable in case an accident occurs.

Quick Answer: Top Rated Inflatable Models

10 Best Inflatable Life Vest for fishing Reviews

1. NRS Chinook - Best Fishing PFD

Starting with our list, the first one is NRS Chinook Fishing PFD, which usually come in four different colors to match your taste. They come in black, green, orange, and charcoal. Choosing a bright color is always advisable for easier location during rescue missions.

The life jacket is made of 400-denier ripstop nylon and is available in 3 different sizes.

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2. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sport Vest

This fishing life vest comes in various sizes ranging from x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, to xx-large. It comes in four diverse colors ranging from aqua, orange, purple, and yellow. You can bet that all these colors are brightly colored to ensure you are secure and visible.

Due to its excellent design in the back, which is mesh inSculpted, it also makes it very comfortable for one to sit in the kayak without much struggle.

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3. Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device

This is another popular pfd that comes in two diverse colors, namely khaki and cactus. You can select your size ranging from small, medium, large, x-large, and even universal plus. You will love the neoprene padded straps on its shoulder because of the comfort it gives you.

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4. Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD

Currently, this Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD comes in only two colors- blue and yellow. They are no longer producing black, perhaps due to its visibility level. The vests are available in various sizes: x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, or xx-large.

Most people have referred to this vest as one of the most comfortable and top rated inflatable life jacket for fishing.

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5. Onyx Kayak - Best Fishing Life Jacket

Well, this model may not come in various colors, but it is designed to be useful. It comes in four different pockets that are designed to hold phones and other accessories while in your escapades.

Most of these pockets are well-zipped to ensure that it is safe. Nevertheless, some pockets use a one-button push mechanism to keep them closed.

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6. Stohlquist Piseas Personal Flotation Device

This sophiscated model is very sturdy and strong, and currently comes only in the evergreen color. It comes in small, medium, large, x-large, universal plus sizes. 

It has some open sides to allow cool air to your body. The high-back is above the seat, so that you don't feel uncomfortable when seating in the kayak.

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7. Kokatat Bahia Tour Personal Flotation Device

This inflatable vest usually comes in two colors: orange and mango. It is available in various sizes ranging from small to xx-large.

It has been made for kayaking, fishing, and other recreational activities. The mesh on it ensures that there is enough flow of air which you will need, especially during summer

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8. Stohlquist Rocker Personal Flotation Device

This fishing life vest comes in three colors: black, fireball red, and mango, which range from small to xx-large sizes. Stohlquist Rocker Personal Flotation Device is another great inflatable model for fishing that will keep you safe.

It is well-ventilated, so you cannot find any excuse of not wearing it even on a sunny day. It is made of nylon which guarantees its durability because of its resistance to harsh weather conditions and UV rays.

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9. Lixada Fly Fishing Vest

Lixada is one of the manufacturers that are committed to producing quality products that will give comfort, style, and convenience to everyone who loves outdoor adventures.

This Lixada Fly Fishing Vest is perhaps one of the rare inflatable fishing life vest that comes in the most diverse colors from Blue, camouflage, Green, Grey, and Red, among others. They also come with or without foam.

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10. Astral Ronny Fisher PFD

It comes in 5 different colors: charcoal, granite gray, green, ocean blue, and a real tree. If your chest size is 31-37 inches, you should go for small or medium, for 38-44 inches buy medium or large, and for 45-51 inches buy large or x-large life vest.

This vest was designed specifically for anglers and fishers.

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Buying Guide

Life vests come in various styles depending on the recreational activity you are doing. Whether it is water sports, fishing, paddling, or hunting, you will always find the right style for you.

Never assume that you are a strong swimmer and nothing will ever happen to you. An incident can occur within seconds, and you might not have time to put them on.

Without any further ado, here are 10 factors you should consider that will help you make the right decision:

1) Fishing type

If you know the kind of fishing you will be engaged in, then it becomes easy to know the type of inflatable life jacket you will need. They come in various types, starting from Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, to Type V.

If you are fishing on the shallow shore, you may not need a vest. However, in case you are involved in deep-sea fishing, you must get one.. Getting the right reel for deep sea fishing is crucial too.

Most fishers usually prefer wearing Type II because of its many pockets and buoyancy. But its comfort is less compared to Type III which is used mostly for recreational activities in the water. More info on the types of PFD's can be found here.

2) Adjustability

You should never ignore adjustability when purchasing an inflatable life jacket. It should have some straps which you can use to tighten up, depending on the size of your body and the level of comfort you are looking for.

When it comes to the world of marine and security, more straps in an inflatable model usually translates to more security. Next time you want to buy one, ensure it has multiple straps which are flexible and long.

3) Pockets

Every fisher prefers having a vest that has multiple pockets where they can keep their tools which they are continually using. Some accessories are in need now and then when fishing. To keep them safe, buy an inflatable jacket that has spacious and high-quality pockets and fasteners.

Some of the questions to ask yourself when considering pockets include how many pockets the vest has, the place where the pockets are located, how spacious the pockets are, the type of fasteners like zip or button.

However, ensure that the pockets don't compromise the quality of the vest. It should remain secure and functional.

4) Material

One of the fact to have in your mind is the water-resistance of the jacket. Always ensure that the vest you are going to buy is made up of waterproof and buoyant materials for your safety.

The best inflatable life jacket should be made of the neoprene, PVC foam, and nylon. The vest has an outer layer which is made of nylon mesh that ensures that keeps most of the element off including water. This PVC foam usually keeps the water out because it is waterproof and enables you to be buoyant.

Others have plastic or metallic straps to keep the vest in place.

5) Protection

One of the purposes of having an inflatable life jacket is for protection. The best model ensures that it keeps your body warm even in cold waters. You will be surprised to know that even people with life jackets die due to the loss of heat from their bodies. 

Our bodies are built in such a way that they release heat whenever the external factors demand it. This is what causes many people to lose their strength because much of their heat has been lost.

Always look for an inflatable jacket that is fitted with hypothermia protection to keep you warm till you get help. Most Type III vests are equipped with this kind of protection.

6) Size

You need to consider the size of the inflatable pfd you are buying. Although they have straps and fasteners, it is wise to buy onet that is proportionate to your body.

If you are going to have kids on board, ensure you get vests that match their sizes. This will also determine the pocket size and fasteners. A good vest should fit your body without moving around.

7) Cost

Of course, this should not be ignored. As a fisher who has invested in fishing cooler, reels, fishing rods, and other equipment that make your adventures more exciting, you should also consider owning some of the best inflatable life vests for fishing. 

Most of the inflatable life jackets come at different prices, so you should always compare prices to ensure that it is within your budget. Don’t be carried away by the flashy styles and designs and forget to check the price.

Most of the above-mentioned vests are affordable, so you won’t have to dig so deep into your pocket.

8) Durability

This will highly depend on the material that is used in making the vest. If you are using the vest frequently, then you need to consider the material that has been used in making them. Some companies offer a warranty, which is an excellent way of telling you that their product is of good quality.

The material has to be tough and sturdy to make it resistant to any harsh conditions. However, it must be easy to clean without much struggle. This is an investment you are making, and you need to choose the best quality for longevity.

9) Weight

A good inflatable pfd life jacket should be lightweight. It should give you the capacity to achieve the HELP posture. It should never hinder your movement or swimming if you are a great swimmer. You should ensure that the vest keeps you free to ask for help or carry out any emergency activity that needs to be done.

Besides the weight of the vest, you should also consider your weight as a fisher. Not all life vest for fishing will help you because they are designed according to the weight of the user.

For example, Type I can only support up to 22 lbs. while Type III up to 15.5 lbs. Some are meant to keep children and lightweight people afloat.

10) Comfort

A quality inflatable pfd for fishing should be comfortable. It should not affect your fishing activities at all. The straps and fasteners should not be irritating to your skin. It should keep you comfortable when it rests on your body.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. ​Why should I wear inflatable life vest than regular life jackets?

Well, you will need an inflatable life vest because of some of its significant benefits. For one, it becomes very visible because of its great size when it is inflated. Most of the ones we have listed above also come with reflective strips and bright colors to facilitate rescue operations. 

An inflatable pfd will also ensure that you remain buoyant, especially if you wore the one that matches your weight. This helps your head to remain up over the water and avoid drowning. As compared to the regular life jackets, inflatable models are usually lightweight and will always make you comfortable while wearing.

However, the United States Coast Guard doesn’t recommend anyone below 16 years to use them.


2. What is used in making an inflatable life vest?

They are usually made of nylon and foam. The use of these materials is very specific, having in mind the durability and buoyancy of the fishers. Foam used in the inside of the mesh, which increases the buoyancy level of the inflatable pfd.

This foam is made of PVC or polyethylene, which means they are plastic in nature. This prevents them from becoming waterlogged. It also makes it easier to manufacture while still maintaining its excellent quality.

Nylon is typically used because of its resistance nature to both water and sun. It cannot be damaged easily by the UV rays.

3. What is the lifespan of an inflatable vest?

 Well, this will depend on several factors like the frequency of use, quality of the material, and maintenance practices. That means there is no actual set time for how long it should last.

However, if it is well-maintained and is of excellent quality, it can last for up to 10 years. If you are the kind of person who throws it on the floor and does very minimal maintenance practices, then be sure you are reducing its longevity.

You can easily improve the shelf-life of a jacket by cleaning it regularly and storing it away from direct sunshine.

4. How do these inflatable life vests function?

They usually come in two inflation system, either manual or automatic. With the automatic vests, it has a substance in it that usually dissolve immediately when the vest touches the water.

This automatically causes the CO2 chamber to release the gas hence the inflation and buoyancy.

Most of the automatic inflatable pfd also come with manual options where the user has to pull a particular cord that consequently activates the CO2 chamber to inflate the vest. To prepare the inflatable pfd for the next use, you will need to refill the CO2 chamber.

A good inflatable pfd life jacket should incorporate these two mechanisms for the safety of the fisher.


This equipment is a must-have protective guard whenever you are out on your adventures. Although we have listed the best of these vests, you will need to narrow down based on your needs. It is advisable you choose one that fully satisfies your tastes and preferences without compromising on your safety.

Most of the above are hybrid vests that come with various modern features and designs that attract you. As a fisher, you don’t have excuses for why you should not wear one. The self-inflating mechanism used by these vests is CE certified; hence, you can be sure that they are reliable and of high-quality.

Always take your time to do your research before spending your money on one. The above buying guide will help you narrow down your search. In our opinion, the NRS Chinook Fishing PFD is the best inflatable life vest for fishing from the list above.

It is lightweight, comfortable, and available in various colors. It is perfect for anglers and fishers due to its functionality and effectiveness. We rate this product 4.8 stars out of possible 5.

If you have already purchased one, you can share your experience with us and let us know in the comments.

Our Rating
Adam Parsons

Hi! I'm Adam Parsons - a fishing enthusiast. I have been fishing for more than 15 years now and I still strongly remember that the toughest part for me was during the learning process. Most guides I read during that time was too technical to understand. Therefore, I make sure that everything I post on dream-guides regarding fishing is written well and easy to understand even if you are a newbie.

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