Close Menu

The Best Life Jacket For Toddlers

Just like adults who want to get in the water toddlers need protection too.  Finding the right life vest for our youngest swimmers is no small task, you want them to safe, comfortable, and effective.  When we dove in and started looking around we saw a few different options that were really well made and very safe for your younger aquatic daredevil.   Below we’ll take a look at a couple of toddler PFD’s and what them make the cut for our Best Life Jacket for Toddlers list.

Looking for more gear for your young swimmer? Check out selection of toddler swim goggles!

According to reports by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drowning is the number one cause of death among toddlers aged one to four, and there is no better way of preventing this than by making sure your child is well equipped with a great life jacket. In fact, many states require life jackets to be worn by anyone on a boat who is under the age of 14.

The main point of all life jackets is to simply provide safety and the best life jackets for toddlers will excel at keeping your young ones safe with reflective materials and head supports.  Even with these features toddler and infant PFDs can still be broken down into three separate categories each with it’s own unique set of criteria.

Type I Life Vest

Type I are more for emergency situations and usually not sought out by parents with kids looking to swim. This is because Type I life jackets are designed for individuals in rough waters, who will most likely be there for a long period of time.  These toddler PFD’s are designed with a single purpose in mind, to keep you little ones afloat and safe.

Type II Life Vest

Type II life jackets are meant for those looking to keep their child above calm pool or beach water. Most Type II models are worn by those close to the sand, and are not too bulky either. In fact, most Type II models allow the toddler to run around just as they would without the jacket, while also remaining fully protected from dangerous situations. By making sure they remain in a completely upright position in the water Type II are a popular choice for those who are looking for a safe way for their kiddos to play at the beach.

Because of this, many toddlers can be seen wearing a Type II life jacket whenever they are on the boat, so that they are fully protected in case an accident occurs and they end up in the water. Additionally, Type II life jackets are not nearly as expensive as Type I life jackets.

Type III Life Vest

While Type III jackets can be beneficial at times, they are not designed for toddlers. This is because Type III life jackets do not help keep the individual in a completely upright position at all times, which could easily cause an unconscious toddler to get in serious trouble very quickly.

Ultimately, whichever life jacket type you choose, it is important to make sure that it fits your toddler well and has not been used before.  Safety gear should only in rare instances be purchased second hand.

Other Styles of PFD’s

There are also many sub-categories and styles that buyers should be aware of before purchasing a life jacket for their toddler, such as inherently buoyant life jackets, inflatable life jackets, hybrid life jackets, and modern life jackets.

Inflatable life jackets (which deploy instantly and automatically upon submersion) are vastly different than regular life jackets which make sure the infant remains in an upright position at all times. The hybrid life jackets however, are made with a combination of buoyant and in inflatable material, making them not-suitable for children due to the high amount of bulkiness.

Best Life Jacket for Toddlers

Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life JacketBest Life Jacket For Toddlers

Out of all of the different models that we looked at for our Best Life Jacket for Toddlers list the Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket made it to the top of our choices. This model is a step up from all other life jackets made for toddlers, due to the high quality materials in which it is made from and it’s overall durability levels.

Best Life Jacket For ToddlersAdditionally, the bright and vibrant colors on the jacket help the child be seen at all times, even in low light conditions. That way there is little chance of them slipping away unnoticed. To account for less chafing and increased levels of comfort the Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket is made of woven polyester and very soft fabric. This enables the child to retain full range of movement and comfort for spending all day at the beach in comfort.

Get More Information on Amazon

The Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket does such a great job at making sure your toddler is always in an upright position that the children who use it can often learn to swim faster than others.

Puddle Jumper Deluxe Highlights

  • US Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • Woven polyester for softer fabric with less chafing
  • Learn-to-swim aid for beginners in the water
  • Comfortable design, more freedom to swim and play
  • Antimicrobial properties built in to the vest resist odor-causing bacteria on the vest
Click Here to Purchase the Puddle Jumper Deluxe

Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life JacketBest Life Jacket For Toddlers

Another great choice and next on for our choice of the Best Life Jacket for Toddlers is the Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket. This jacket is very similar to the Deluxe Life Jacket and has many great features.

The Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket is fully approved by the Coast Guard, made from durable nylon material, holds children from 30-50 pounds, and is incredibly stable.

Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic vs Deluxe

The main difference between with Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic vs Deluxe is the design and material of the PFD.  The Deluxe has a more intricate design and our research shows that the Deluxe Puddle Jumper has an outer covering of woven polyester while the Basic Puddle Jumper’s outer covering is nylon.

Our Thoughts

Best Life Jacket For ToddlersWhether your toddler is swimming in the ocean, or being thrown into the deep end of a pool, the Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket will make sure that they remain in a completely safe and upright position at all times.

Since the weight range covers children from 30 pounds all the way to 50 pounds, this jacket can be used for years and years too. Therefore, instead of buying new life jackets every summer that fit your child well, you can just adjust the straps of the Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic.

Get More Info and Buy Now on Amazon
Puddle Jumper Basic Highlights
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for durability
  • Made in the USA
  • US Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • Woven polyester for softer fabric with less chafing
  • Learn-to-swim aid for beginners in the water
  • Weight: 30 – 50 lbs
  • Adjustable buckle snaps in back

Stohlquist Unisex Toddler Nemo Life JacketBest Life Jacket For Toddlers

Next up for the the best life jacket for toddlers is the Nemo Life Jacket from Stohlquist.  This super popular toddler PFD is designed to always keep your child’s face up and out of the water. Dual support collars cradle the head and the front zipper entry and adjustable crotch strap secures the jacket in place no matter how your kiddo finds themselves in the water.

Though it’s not as sought out as the Stearns Puddle Jumpers, the Stohlquist Unisex Toddler Nemo Life Jacket is a great choice for the best life jacket for toddlers.

This life jacket is known for keeping children comfortable all the time, in and out of the water. Due to it’s excellent design, the Stohlquist Unisex Toddler Nemo Life Jacket is something that your child may in fact forget that they’re even wearing. This is hugely beneficial considering the fact that many children will attempt removing their life jackets when parents aren’t looking, which results in potential danger.Best Life Jacket For Toddlers

Find Out More and Buy Now on Amazon

This life jacket consists of 200 denier oxford shell and liner and has a quick and easy buckle release over the zippers for added convenience and security. Additionally, there is an adjustable crotch strap, so the jacket can fit toddlers of many different weight classes.

The zippers, chest strap and crotch strap also provide parents with assurance that their child is fully protected at all times, since the straps are very high-quality. Since there is a wide range of adjustment, your toddler can use the life jacket for years at a time and a eventually grow into it’s largest setting.

The only negative about the Stohlquist Unisex Toddler Nemo Life Jacket is that it tends to push up on the child’s face when in the water, since their arms aren’t strong enough to push it down. While this isn’t too much of an inconvenience, it can still make the child’s face rather uncomfortable. This basically just ensures that the life jacket is in fact doing it’s job and keeping everything above the water.

The Stohlquist Unisex Toddler Nemo Life Jackets come in a variety of different colors, many of which are designed to be seen in low light situations. Therefore (much like the Stearns Paddle Jumper Life Jackets), your toddler can swim in the pool or at the beach late into the evening and still be seen perfectly fine. This is a huge benefit for many parents.

Grab More Details on the Nemo Life Jacket

Wrap Up

Choosing a life jacket for your toddler is no joke and should not be taken lightly. Considering the fact that drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children ages one to four, getting a durable and high-quality life jacket should certainly be a top priority.

This is one of those situations that when you buy a higher quality item you’re going to get a much better product. Cheaper life jackets might be fine for the pool under close supervision but if you’re on the boat or wanting to encourage your kiddo to take on some new challenges then look no further. Any of our choices for best life jacket for toddlers will give both you and your toddler the confidence you need to watch them flourish in the water.

See you out there!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Tagged under: , ,

Share this post: Pinterest Share Goggle+ Share
Back to top