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
Neoprene vests are meant to fit fairly snugly when dry. It’s important that they do fit snug. When neoprene gets wet it expands so the in order for the vest to fit properly it needs to be snug.
The Obrien Ladies Impulse Neoprene Vest is a Comfortable Floatation Vest that is US Coast Guard Approved. The Vest has Wide Armholes designed for Active-Use when Boarding-or-Skiing providing Freedom of Movement. The 1.5mm Neoprene Outer gives Extreme Comfort and Fit. The Zippered Front Closure with 2-Adjustable Belts equipped with Squeeze-Style” Side-Release Buckles make Donning and Doffing Fast-and-Easy and provides a Secure Fit. The Vest is Hinged-in-the-Front for Added Comfort and Maneuverability. Sizes range from X-Small to X-Large.
O’Brien Traditional Neo Life Men’s Vest
The Men’s Neoprene Traditional Vest from O’Brien has a neoprene outer for extreme comfort all day long. Zip closure and two belts secure the fit of the traditional vest without inhibiting movement. USCG approved.
Men’s sizes: XS(28″-32″), S(32″-36″), M(36″-40″), L(40″-44″), XL(44″-48″), 2XL(48″-52″), 3XL(52″-56″). Comes in multiple color choices.
O’Neill Wetsuits Wake Waterski Womens Superlite USCG Life Vest
Available in sizes small to extra large – and 3 different cool color options.
Competition vest, Front zip
Lightweight Polyethelene Foam, Coated Polyester Shell
Soft and Comfortable, Quick-Release Derlin Buckles
Minimal Bulk Design, Strategic Armhole Size
Quick-Release Dual Safety Buckles
Inflatable Life Jackets
Recommended by the U.S. Coast Guard for kids at least 16 years old
SPINLOCK Deckvest Cento Junior Inflatable Lifejackets
The Spinlock Deckvest Cento Junior Life Jacket (ages 8-15 years old) is an ultra lightweight and low profile life jacket designed for junior sailors. Features soft loop harness attachment point, single crotch strap, automatic inflation, attachment points for Pylon Light and spray hood.
Fits chest sizes 23″ -34″ and weights 44-110lbs – 8-15 years old. Not USCG approved – approved to the following international standards: CE Approved ISO 12402-3.
Absolute Outdoor – Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Vest
Automatically inflates upon immersion in water or when the wearer pulls the “Jerk to Inflate” handle. Equipped with back-up oral inflation. Convertible from AUTO/MANUAL inflation to MANUAL ONLY inflation. Provides comfort, safety and peace of mind without knowing you have it on, until you may need it. Comfortable, lightweight, low profile design Soft neoprene neckline for all day comfort. Durable fabric resists tears and punctures.
For persons 16 years of age and older; and over 80 lbs. Not recommended for non-swimmers or weak swimmers Minimum buoyancy of 22.5 lbs. when inflated.
Onyx Manual Inflatable Belt Pack (for SUP, kayaking & fishing)
Unique design keeps stand-up paddleboarders (SUP), anglers, boaters, and other paddlers safe without compromising movement! • 16 gram CO2 charge provides 17 lbs. of buoyancy – the oral inflation tube can be used to provide additional buoyancy up to 26.5 lbs. when fully inflated • Extremely low profile • 1” buckle and body belt • D-ring attachment for small accessories • 200 denier nylon oxford protective cover
Approved for persons 16 years of age and older; and over 80 lbs.
Stearns Suspenders Manually Inflatable Belt-Pack Life Jacket
Stearns Suspenders inflatable lifejackets are lightweight and comfortable, allowing freedom of movement while providing maximum buoyancy. Great for sailing, fishing, paddling, boating, or hunting, this Stearns Suspenders life jacket is stored as a compact belt pack, and manually inflates within seconds to be a complete, adult-sized (30″-52″ chest) life jacket providing 15.5 lbs. of buoyancy.