Life jacket styles and sizes that keep older kids protected on the water
Older boater kids that are in their “tweens” or teens are sometimes not interested in wearing a life jacket. They think that if they can swim they don’t need it. But the reality is that even adults need to wear life jackets on smaller boats, sailboats or doing watersports to keep safe.
There are plenty of U.S. Coast Guard Approved life jackets that are both appropriate to fit older kids and stylish enough for them to want to wear it and be safe on the water.
Be sure to choose life jackets based on weight. Also, choosing life jackets with buckles that can adjust for growing kids will ensure a more snug fit.
Here are some good Life Jacket Choices for Older Boater Kids.
(Note that prices listed are subject to change – but they are also often on sale!)
Older Kids / Young Adult Life Vests
200 Denier nylon oxford outer fabric
All PE foam construction
Chest: 30″ -52″ Lb
Red or Blue: Available on Amazon for $12.99
Open sided vest with a stylized design made in durable polyester fabric
Sturdy belts with side-release buckles
USCG approved Type III
Fits adult over 90 lbs. and over
Durable polyester construction.
Secure 1″ webbing
High visibility colors.
Type III, US Coast Guard approved for use on board a boat.
Comes in several color choices.
Watersports Life Vests
Specifically designed for high-performance watersports with a stretchable, Flex-Back panel to provide outstanding maneuverability. Features “Rapid Dry” technology for extended wear-you won’t feel soggy or bogged down with a water-logged life jacket. Sculpted foam in shoulders and waist offer a custom-like fit.
Large armholes provide unlimited range of motion. Available in small, medium and large (sized by chest size).
The Men’s version comes in a red color for and sized as small/medium or large.
Women’s Vest: Available at West Marine for $69.99
Men’s Vest: Available at West Marine for $69.99
For older kids still in the 50-90 lb range, these watersports vests are lightweight, comfortable vests designed to fit active, younger boaters. Sculpted foam vest with front zipper and quick-release buckles gives your child a secure, custom-like fit. Stretchable Flex-Back panel provides greater maneuverability, while large armholes offer greater range of motion.
Youth Girls: Available at West Marine for $54.99
Youth Boys: Available at West Marine for $54.99
Inflatable Life Jackets
Recommended by the U.S. Coast Guard for kids at least 16 years old
Designed to automatically inflate when immersed in water, these versatile vests easily convert to manual-only inflation with oral inflation backup. With a wide neckline, this lightweight, low-profile design maximizes mobility and range of motion. Reflective graphics boost visibility.
In red, lavender or blue/gray
A great choice for recreational boaters and anglers, this manual inflatable vest is an excellent value for cost-conscious boaters who don’t want to compromise on features. Comfortable and reliable vest’s tailored design won’t hinder your movement. Includes D-ring, back-up oral inflation tube and one arming cylinder.