Best Life Jackets for Women of 2019

  Comparison

Product Size Weight Price range
Astral Women's Linda Life Jacket PFD Astral Women's Linda Life Jacket PFD 23 x 15.5 x 4.5 inches 1.1 pounds $$
Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD 21 x 14.5 x 3 inches 1.2 pounds $
Astral Women's Layla Life Jacket PFD for Whitewater Astral Women's Layla Life Jacket PFD for Whitewater 20 x 15 x 3.8 1.8 pounds $$
Stohlquist Women's Flo Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device Stohlquist Women's Flo Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device 18.7 x 12.5 x 3.2 1 pounds $$
Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket 23 x 11.5 x 4.9 inches 2.1 pounds $$

Life jackets are flotation devices that can be of great help in case of emergency, bad weather or when you don’t know how to swim. In this article, we will refer to them as PFDs (Personal Flotation Device).  Just in case you were confused about the several types of flotation devices out there, know that life jackets, vests, aids life belts or airplane seat cushions are all considered PFDs. Regarding life jackets in particular, they are available in various sizes, including children sizes. Today we will be analyzing a few women’s models, as they have special designs that contribute to the personal comfort and safety. 

Modern life jacket manufacturers take into considered the body shape and size of women when creating these devices, which is why it is important to know that you might not be safe wearing a man’s jacket in case of an emergency.  Such a vest has to fit your size or else it might be even more dangerous. As explained at the end of this article, there are several types of life jackets. Each and every one of them should be used under certain circumstances: off-shore, near-shore, inland waters, rough waters etc. Therefore, it is essential to know exactly when you will be wearing a life jacket. For instance, if you are planning to do water sports this summer, you will need to wear a Type V vest and not a Type I. 

Determining the type of activity that you will be having is essential. However, there are types of life jackets that can be worn with different occasions. For instance, type II and III are similar as to the safety standards and comfort features. 

Are you looking for a life jacket for upcoming summer activities and not only? Check out the 5 most popular products on the market for women. We have carefully selected, reviewed them and highlighted their pros and cons, so that we can be of help in your decision making process. 


One of the best women’s life jacket available on today’s market is this fishing and kayaking model. It comes with a great design, zippered closure, 7 color options and great features. This model is great for casual recreational paddling, giving the fact that it has two extra-large bellows pockets. This is great, as it offers more room than most women’s life jackets. Also, it allows wearers to keep a small tackle box or extra gear close at hand. Both its shell and its liner are made of 200 denier nylon, which makes them extremely durable. Also, it has PolyPro webbing and heavy duty zippers with self-locking function.

Although this model doesn’t have a mesh lower back, it is designed to work well with the high-backed seats. Therefore, if you like fishing from your kayak, you will find this vest to be very comfortable. This product comes with a thin layer of foam on the back, it includes a mesh vent on the upper bac and uses articulating and sculpted foam around the torso. It has reflective accents that represent a nice touch and that can prove to be practical if fishing or paddling in low-light conditions. Thanks to the breathable liner and storage pockets, this life jacket is very comfortable to wear for hours on end.

What’s to like?

  • It is fairly priced
  • It brings 7 color options
  • It has a recreational fit
  • It is safe
  • It has a beautiful design
  • It has storage pockets
  • It is comfortable to wear
  • It has buoyancy rating of 16 pounds
  • It is a type III vest
  • It is durable
  • It has breathable liner
  • It is free of PVC

What’s not to like?

  • It is a recreational fit, not recommended for extreme water sports or rough waters

This is one of the life jackets that is truly comfortable due to the fact that it does not interfere with the arms when moving, swimming or simply standing. It is said to be one of the most comfortable vests on the market thanks to its compact design and nice shape! This is due to its sculpted shape that is meant to give you total freedom of movement as you paddle. Additionally, it is crafted to maximize venting. Therefore, you can stay cool or at least not too warm even in the hottest days. This vest is U.S. Coast Guard Approved.

Although it doesn’t have any pockets or D ring attachments and might not seem as practical as other vests on the market, it does have other great features. It is made of soft materials, it is made of lightweight 200 denier flotation foam and it has a nylon outer shell. If you are passionate about paddling, kayaking or canoeing, this is the ideal vest for you. It comes in 3 colors and 3 size categories: XS/S, M/L and XL/XXL, being a life jacket designed especialy for women.

What’s to like?

  • It is affordable
  • It has a beautiful design
  • It has a compact shape
  • It comes in 3 sizes
  • It offers 3 color options
  • It is soft to touch
  • It offers flexibility of movement
  • It has mesh in lower back
  • It has 200 denier flotation foam
  • It is ideal for kayaking
  • It is breathable
  • It is lightweight

What’s not to like?

  • It doesn’t have any pockets or D-ring attachments

Astral is a well-known manufacturer in this industry, as it brings to the market high-quality accessories that can keep you safe when boating or doing water sports. This particular model has been highly appreciated by a lot of women. It has a unique 3/4 zip entry method that provides a better fit for women. It has built-in cups and hinged princess seams that allow women to feel more comfortable due to the fact that this vest is adapted to their body shape. Another great feature of this model is that it is PVC-free. Also, it uses organic plant-based Kapok foam for the front panel. It very soft, comfortable to wear, lightweight and conforms well to the body,. There’s more to it: it is sustainable and its foam does not contain any chemicals.

Although this is a pricier option, it is one of the best choices that you can make. If you want a product that will last forever, that has nicely organized pockets and is made of 200 x 400 denier nylon and 200 denier high tenacity nylon liner, then this is the vest you are looking for. This model has one large center pocket that expands to provide more space. Also, it has a lash tab for clipping on accessories. The foam on the back panel extends all the way down, which is why you should think twice before ordering it if you know that your kayak has high-back seats.

What’s to like?

  • It is a premium product
  • It offers 2 color options
  • It has a gorgeous design
  • It is built with comfort n mind
  • It is a Type III vest
  • It has a female fit
  • It has internal bust cups
  • It is made of durable materials
  • It has PolyPro webbing
  • It has a large front pocket with dividers
  • It is PVC free
  • It has adjustable straps
  • It is great for non-swimmers, too

What’s not to like?

  • It is a bit bulkier than other similar life jackets

This is a great life jacket that comes in main colors of purple or orange. It is a great choice for women who like to fish, kayak or explore the waters in a canoe. It is made of lightweight foam material, it has a compact shape, it ensures comfortability and it has inner mesh lining will mean that you’re able to stay cool while wearing the jacket. This is a Type III jacket, so will allow for a full range of mobility while you are wearing it.

It is easy to put on, comfortable to wear and have zipper closure. Two adjustable straps can be found on either side of the vest, as well as 2 pockets to store any essential items. This life jacket has a 400 x 200 denier ripstonp shell. Its liner is made of 210 Oxford fabric. The inner mesh lining together with the PE foam offer comfort safety while in water, as well as breathability. The waistband is padded and made of neoprene. Cleaning it is easy, as you only need water and hand wash soap.

What’s to like?

  • It is compact
  • It is nicely designed
  • It follows the feminine body shape
  • It is made of nylon
  • It has a 400 x 200 denier shell
  • It has 210 denier oxford liner
  • It is lightweight
  • It has a padded waistband
  • It is easy to put on
  • It is ideal for fishing and kayaking
  • It comes in 3 sizes

What’s not to like?

  • It is pricier than the average life jacket for women

If you are eager to find the best life jacket for women, a product that combines quality, durability with a beautiful design, then you might love this product. It has a gorgeous design, colorful and bright that mixes black, pink and orange nicely. Its shell is made of neoprene, having inner tech lining and segmented beveled soft PVC foam flotation for added comfort. It integrates an advanced air foam technology that features an interior glide-lock that prevents ride up. Thanks to the oversized arm holes, you will be able to move freely, swim and feel comfortable even when simply sitting in the boat.

This model is front zippered, having a grip rubber pull tab, as well as 3 drain holes for quick drying. Thanks to its backside buckle straps that come with 2 heavy duty belts, you will feel safe and secured. If you are a size S or M, this vest will probably be too large for you, as it is designed for size L. If this is your size, you shouldn’t think twice. It is one of the best deals on the market, having a great design, high-quality materials, safety features and comfort features.

What’s to like?

  • It is fairly priced
  • It has an advanced design
  • It is lightweight
  • It is suitable for women
  • It has lumbar protection pad
  • It has 2 heavy duty belts with release buckles
  • It has oversized arm holes
  • It has spandex sides
  • It has a D-ring
  • It has drain holes
  • It has zipper closure
  • Its straps are adjustable

What’s not to like?

  • It is only available in size L

What are the different types of life jackets for women?

Life jackets are separated into several categories and they are designed for different purposes. They are all meant to keep you safe, but some of them can only be used safely in calm water or for sports. Actually, there are 5 types of floating devices that you can take into consideration if you are a water sports enthusiast or you are planning a vacation near the sea, ocean, a lake or a river. One of them is not even a vest, but a throwable device which is useful in calm waters. By throwing it to the person in the water, it helps them flat until rescued. This is the Type IV PFD and the only one that is not a life vest. 

Type I PFD is also known as an offshore life jacket. It has the most buoyancy, meaning that it has the highest floating strength of all categories. It can be used in open, rough waters and it has the unique feature of turning wearers upwards in case of loss of consciousness. A Type I life jacket offers 22 pounds of buoyancy. Type II PFD is known to be a near-shore vest that can be used in calm waters and provides about 15 pounds buoyancy. Type III PFD is also good for calm waters, but it isn’t as heavy and does not change the wearer’s position. It is often used as fishing or water sports vest. Type V PFD is only recommended for water activities, most of them being designed to inflate when touching the water automatically. 

Do you always need to wear a life jacket when kayaking?

Water safety regulations vary from state to state, but even so, life jackets are mandatory throughout the US. It is therefore recommended to wear a life jacket regardless of the water sport you are practicing and its intensity. While a life jacket can keep you warm and become uncomfortable, mess up with your tan line or feel itchy, it is the only thing that can keep you safe in case of emergency. Kayaking is one of the light water sports that, at first sight, do not require wearing a life jacket. Not too long ago, wearing one when kayaking was optional. Today, according to the law, all vessels, including kayaks and canoes, must have at least one wearable life jacket per person on board. 

Is it possible to drown while wearing a life jacket?

Although modern life jackets are as safe as it gets, there are situations in which they are simply not enough. To make sure that the life jacket will serve you as it should, you must buy the right size. Try it on or measure your upper body according to the instructions before buying it. The wrong size can prove to be fatal in certain situations. There’s more to it. If you own a PFD for some time now and you are considering wearing it this summer, too, ensure that it is in god condition. Although these products do not have an expiration date, they will stop being efficient once they are torn, discoloured or when there are signs of waterlogging, mildew odor or shrinkage of the materials. 


In unfortunate situations when water becomes our enemy and everything stops being fun, a life jacket is a life saver in the truest sense of the word. No matter how good a swimmer you are, no matter how much experience you have boating or staying at the surface, there are times when you simply need something to hold on to. Women are usually lighter than men, which means that they get carried away more easily. Also, genetically speaking, women can lose their strength faster when it comes to getting out of rough waters. These are just a few of the reasons that should get you thinking before jumping on a ski jet, a kayak or another type of boat, as well as while doing water sports without wearing a life vest. Choose the type that is most compatible with your activity and don’t let yourself fooled by the temporary discomfort it causes when the temperatures are high. Remember, safety comes first!


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1Astral Women's Linda Life Jacket PFD
Astral Women's Linda Life Jacket PFD
2Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD
Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD
3Astral Women's Layla Life Jacket PFD for Whitewater
Astral Women's Layla Life Jacket PFD for Whitewater
4Stohlquist Women's Flo Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device
Stohlquist Women's Flo Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device
5Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket
Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket