A Beginner’s Guide to Life Jacket for Kayaking


Nothing could be more serene than diving into the waves of nature. Nobody could deny the importance of a life jacket while swimming, kayaking, or wandering on the waves of the ocean.

If you are looking for the usage of a life jacket during kayaking then you are in the right place to learn the usage of it.

Your life jacket is one of the most important safety pieces of equipment on the water. Even if you are a good swimmer it saves you from natural disasters and enhances your longevity. 

Guide while buying the best jacket for kayaking

This is the checklist you can have while buying a life jacket for kayaking;

  1. It is the one you would love to wear. Spend on comfort and ease. 
  2. It should be approved by the local government. You can check out the stamp on it.
  3. For paddling and rafting the type 3 and type 5 life jackets are preferred by the coast guard. 
  4. The most common life jackets used for paddling are jackets equipped with quick-release rescue harnesses and high flotation jackets with neck pillows. 
  5. Unless you have taken a swift water rescue course, type 5 rescue PFD is not recommended for you. The quick-release belt and another feature would be more of a hindrance than a help. They are also significantly more expensive than other life jackets. 
  6. A type 5 high flow PFD with a neck pillow provides a high level of safety. They are great for big water and non-swimmers. But it makes you look bulkier than type 3. For this reason, more floaters recommend type 3.
  7. Many life jackets are tailored specifically for different activities. We often use the terms low, medium, and high profile life jackets that fit into your body.
  8. High-profile jackets have more flotation, usually around 22 to 27 pounds. The foam is thick and fully covers the torso.
  9. Medium profile jackets have standard type 3 flotation generally 16 to 18 pounds. The flotation panels are thinner and more flexible in this. These are great all-rounder jackets.
  10. Low-profile jackets are often worn by white-maker kayakers and other active paddlers.
  11. A pocket, eye flash tab, and radio slot are additional features you may look into while buying a jacket. Beacon loop or reflective material can add safety and improve the paddling experience.

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