Kids’ Life Jackets

Three popular life jackets for kids.

Most states have some type of law requiring that kids under a given age wear life jackets. The thing is, kids don’t care about laws. If your son or daughter doesn’t like the life jacket, it can ruin a day on the water. We took a look at three of the most popular life jackets for kids who weigh between 50 and 90 pounds.

West Marine Deluxe Kids’ Rapid Dry
Kids' Life Jackets
The Save: This jacket is lightweight and designed to fit active kids with its contoured, sculpted design. It has a front zipper and two quick-release buckles, so it fits snugly and is less likely to ride up when kids are swimming or tubing. The stretchy flex-back panel creates good range of motion. The Sink: There isn't a leg strap on the 50-to-90-pound version, though one is offered on the infant and small-child versions. Price: $49.99; westmarine.comWest Marine
Kent Camouflage Sport
Kids' Life Jackets
The Save: This jacket's camouflage graphics will appeal to kids who like to hunt or fish, and it's equally comfortable for tubing or boarding. It has easy-access pockets, so kids can store a bobber or other nonsharp fishing implement. Foam contours well to the body and won't hinder mobility, plus two belts help to keep it from riding up on the child's shoulders. The Sink: Not available with leg straps. Price: $41.99; kentsafetyproducts.comKent Safety Products
Mustang Lil’ Legends
Kids' Life Jackets
The Save: Mustang developed the Lil' Legends to respond to parents' requests for a more comfortable kid vest that improves mobility and doesn't overheat. The life jacket boasts a segmented design complemented by a back panel with breathable mesh and exclusive cooling channels. The Sink: It only has one buckle strap compared with the competition, which have two. This might let it ride up more easily. Price: $49.99; Buy It NowMustang Survival