Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Life Jacket

If you are going out on the water and kayaking, it is essential to wear a life jacket. A life jacket would help keep your head above water when you fall in and keep you safe from drowning if something were to happen when you fall off your kayak.

You’ve decided to buy a kayak life jacket and you’re ready to move forward. But how do you know it will be the right fit for your needs? It can be hard to find the perfect for your next adventure, but with a bit of preparation and research, you can make sure that any new purchase will be a good one.

Kayak Type

The first thing to consider is the type of kayak you want. There are two main types: sit-on-top and sit-in. A sit-on-top kayak has a footrest or seat at the rear of your boat, where you can rest your feet as you paddle. 

On top of this is a deck with storage compartments that hold gear such as life vests and paddles, while below it are footrests for resting your feet when they aren’t needed. A tandem kayak differs in that it has two seats instead of just one, one behind each person who wants to use it together! 

With this design there’s plenty more room for everyone! Tandem boats typically still have enough space for gear storage if needed. Tandem boats also offer up some extra room underneath where both people can lie together like equals rather than sitting side by side like passengers on planes would most likely do.

Your Paddle

For beginners, a flat paddle is more leisurely to use than an angled one. It will also be less intimidating for you if you’re new to kayaking and want to try out the sport without being thrown off by the feel of the paddle in your hand. You’ll also want something that feels comfortable when it’s fully extended, so consider this when buying one.

For experienced paddlers who know they can handle an angled paddle with ease, then go ahead and get yourself one! They’ll help keep your hands warm as well as make maneuverability easier when trying out tricks like flips or rolls.

Your Height and Weight

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing for your height and weight. A life jacket that’s too large for you can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, as it may restrict your movement and make it difficult for you to breathe. On the other hand, if the PFD is too small for you or doesn’t fit well, it could lead to chafing or cramping in areas where there isn’t enough space available.

Where Are You Hitting the Water?

You should think about where you’re hitting the water. Are you going to be paddling in calm waters, or are there other boats around? If so, how deep is the water and how rough is it? Do you know what kind of weather and conditions will prevail when paddling in that location?

Find out your local regulations regarding kayak life jackets before buying one. Some states require them but others don’t. If they don’t specify, go with what feels suitable for your experience and comfort levels. 

Where Are You Storing Your Vest?

You should also consider where you will store your kayak life jacket. Will it be in a closet or on the boat? If so, how often will you use it and how easy is it to get at? If someone could easily access your vest by just walking into the room where they are stored, then this should be taken into account when choosing a storage solution for your vest.

Consider whether or not there are any issues with getting into and out of storage bags that hold vests, especially if using these bags regularly during training sessions or competitions. 

For example, many life jackets come standard with small pockets designed specifically for holding emergency supplies like flashlights, flares, etc., so make sure whatever bag you choose has enough space inside before buying one!

How Much is Your Life Worth to You?

You might think, “I don’t need a life jacket. I’m not buying one of those things!”. Do remember that even though the chances of being hit by a boat are slim, there is still a chance that something unexpected could happen and cause you harm or injury. 

If your friends or family members were in an accident at sea, would they be able to get help? Would they have enough time before becoming unconscious from lack oxygen? Would they die from drowning before getting rescued? Life jackets can mean the difference between life and death for anyone who wears one because they will keep them afloat until help arrives.


This list helped you narrow your search and find the best for your needs. Whether you’re just starting or already have years of experience under your belt, there are so many different options out there. It is encouraged that everyone gets creative with their gear choices when it comes to safety. After all, what’s more, important than keeping yourself safe?

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