Youth Life Jackets – Recommended Styles and Sizes for Kids

youth life jackets

Safe and stylish options for U.S. Coast Guard Approved youth life jackets.

When your boat kid gets a little bigger, they are ready to step up in life jacket size and move into bigger youth jackets.

Youth life jackets are usually labeled for kids 30-50 lbs or 50-90 lbs, depending on the weight of your child. They should be listed as U.S. Coast Guard Approved and Type II or Type III.

The heads-up cushion is usually no longer included in larger youth jackets, but there may still be a leg strap in the 30-50 lb vests.

Be sure to check out Infant & Baby life jackets if your child is under 30 lbs.

Here are some good choices for Youth Life Jackets.

Youth Life Jackets 30 - 50 lbs

stearns life jacketStearns /Coleman Kids Hydroprene Character Life Jackets

boys life jacketThe US Coast Guard-approved design is specially-fitted for children 30-50 lbs. Our lightweight hydroprene material is our softest material, and when combined with the durable cross Tech foam, it's perfect for comfortable, all-day wear. Two buckles and a zippered opening make it easy to get your child in and out of the vest, while an adjustable leg strap ensures a secure fit during all the fun at the pool, beach or lake.

Girls Seahorse Version - Available on Amazon

Boys Walrus Version - Available on Amazon

Stearns Classic VestStearns Child Classic Series Life Jacket - 30-50 lbs

Whether they're on a boat, a tube, water skis or a personal watercraft, your children will have a blast in Stearns Child Classic Series Vests. They're specially-fitted for children 30-50 lbs. The Coast Guard-approved life jacket is designed with open sides, three adjustable chest belts and a crotch strap for a tight fit and better movement.

Coast Guard approved and fits 30-50 lb kids. Comes in red, blue or gold & gray.

Available on Amazon


OBrien Kids Neoprene Life Vest - 30-50 lbs

Another good option for toddlers because it has a safety grab handle, the OBrien jacket is made of neoprene so it has a stretchy comfortable fit and dries quickly. The snug fit and wide arm holes make it a good life jacket for kids to swim in.

Comes in boy or girl colors, is Coast Guard Approved and fits 30-50 lb kids.

Available on

Full Throttle Water Buddies Life Vests - 30-50 lbs

water buddies life jackets

When it comes to water safety, we've got your back. The Full Throttle Water Buddies life jackets feature bright, colorful designs and a rounded foam back with fun graphics, all while keeping your child safe on the water.

Your child will be friends for life with their new Water Buddies Lady Bug, Dinosaur, Astronaut, or Firefly life jacket vest that they will want to put on and keep on. Fits children 30-50 lbs.

Available on Amazon (depending on style)

Youth Life Jackets 50 - 90 lbs


Full Throttle Life JacketFull Throttle Youth Hinged Rapid Dry Life Vest

Four way stretch fabric with flexible sculpted foam. Bright colors make for better visibility on the water. Extremely fast drying so the kids can get right back in the water. Fits 50-90 lbs and available in purple or blue.

Available on Amazon

Stearns Youth JacketStearns Youth Hydroprene Vest

The Jacket uses High Quality Hydroprene Construction and the Life Vest has PVC Foam Front and Lightweight PE Foam Back. This Youth Life Vest has a Full Front Zipper Closure and Two 1.5" (3.8 cm) Nylon Webbing Straps The Straps have Squeeze" Style Quick-Release Buckles. The Life Vest is designed for youths weighing from 50-90 Lbs. Available in blue or pink.

Available on Amazon

Coleman Youth VestColeman Youth Classic Series Vest

Whether they're on a boat, a tube, water skis or a personal watercraft, your children will have a blast in Stearns Youth Classic Series Vest. They're specially-fitted for children 50-90lbs. The Coast Guard approved life jacket is designed with open sides and three adjustable chest belts for a tight fit and better movement. Durable nylon construction and PE flotation foam, along with 1-in. webbed straps will allow you to use this vest season after season. Available in yellow or blue.

Available at Amazon

Stearns Youth Classic Life Vest

Designed to match Stearns's adult boating vests, the youth vest is filled with durable Crosstech flotation foam, keeping your child afloat in lakes, rivers, and pools. The vest also includes three adjustable belts, ensuring that the vest fits securely regardless of the application. Suitable for personal watercraft, waterskiing, or other towed uses, the vest is USCG-approved as a Type III personal flotation device and fits kids between 50 and 90 pounds. Available in blue or red.

Available at Amazon

Recommended Accessories


Crotch strapCrotch Strap Set for Life Jackets

A crotch strap is helpful for keeping life jackets from sliding up when in the water. They are not usually included when you purchase jackets in the 50-90 lb range, yet often still needed for kids.

Set includes 2 nylon webbing straps with buckle clips and loop ends for attachment. For use on life jackets that have crotch strap loops or D-rings. Strong enough for kids or adults.

Available on Amazon

Stearns Crotch Strap Set for Life Jackets

Keep your life vest from riding up by using this Stearns Universal Crotch Strap. Every time you move in your vest, it moves too. This crotch strap is also compatible with most inflatable PFDs and it will make sure that your vest stays around your chest, not your ears.

Available on Amazon