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Finding the Best Infant Life Jacket 2020

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Last Updated: 18 May 2020
comfortable infant life jackets

With the summer months nearing, everyone wishes to enjoy a dip and have fun playing in the water. This offers a relaxing and refreshing feel, but getting near the water with kids requires lots of safety preparations. One such safety equipment includes the best infant life jacket approved by USCG.

An infant swimsuit life jacket is a must for the tiny tots who are not aware of swimming or water safety. This is because it ensures sufficient head protection and keeps their faces above water. In case of any sudden mishaps, these baby life jackets are capable of flipping them over to their backs, enabling them to breathe easily.

Well, it can be quite a daunting task to find a snug fit and comfortable infant life jackets for your little one. To make things easier for you, we have come up with a list of the best rated infant life jackets that is available in the market. Peruse on to find out more!

TOP 10 Best Infant Life Jacket: Comparison Chart

Best Choice
Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest
Best Price
Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket
Oceans7 Infant Life Jacket
O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
Stearns 2000013194 PFD 5976 Heads Up Inft Grn
STEARNS Infant Classic Series Vest, Blue
Stohlquist Infant PFD 8-30 lbs, Yellow/Blue
Oceans7 Us Coast Guard Approved, Infant Life Jacket, Type II Vest, PFD, Personal Flotation Device, Flex-Form Chest, Pink/Berry
O'NEILL Superlite USCG Nylon Infant Life Vest Yellow/Pacific/Coal
$33.03
$19.95
$48.82
$25.90
$59.95
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Best Choice
Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest
Stearns 2000013194 PFD 5976 Heads Up Inft Grn
$33.03
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Best Price
Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
STEARNS Infant Classic Series Vest, Blue
$19.95
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Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket
Stohlquist Infant PFD 8-30 lbs, Yellow/Blue
$48.82
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Oceans7 Infant Life Jacket
Oceans7 Us Coast Guard Approved, Infant Life Jacket, Type II Vest, PFD, Personal Flotation Device, Flex-Form Chest, Pink/Berry
$25.90
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O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
O'NEILL Superlite USCG Nylon Infant Life Vest Yellow/Pacific/Coal
$59.95
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Airhead Treasure Life Vest
Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Life Jacket
Salus Bijoux Baby Vest: Flotation Jacket for Infants
Full Throttle Infant Baby
O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest
Airhead Infant's Treasure Life Vest, Pink (10089-01-A)
STEARNS 2000013889 PFD 5402 Hydro Infant Blue
Salus Bijoux Baby Vest - Yellow
Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Life Jacket, Orange
O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest, Pacific/Yellow/Black/Yellow, 0-30 lbs
Price not available
$35.93
$84.95
$22.09
$25.64
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Airhead Treasure Life Vest
Airhead Infant's Treasure Life Vest, Pink (10089-01-A)
Price not available
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Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Life Jacket
STEARNS 2000013889 PFD 5402 Hydro Infant Blue
$35.93
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Salus Bijoux Baby Vest: Flotation Jacket for Infants
Salus Bijoux Baby Vest - Yellow
$84.95
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Full Throttle Infant Baby
Full Throttle Infant Baby-Safe Life Jacket, Orange
$22.09
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O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest
O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest, Pacific/Yellow/Black/Yellow, 0-30 lbs
$25.64
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Durable: Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest Review

Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest
  • For Infants. Weight less than 30 Pounds
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for durability
  • Made in the USA

Best Overall: Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest Review

Sale
Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest
  • US Coast Guard-approved toddler life jacket
  • Great for introducing little swimmers to the water
  • Durable nylon shell with PE flotation foam
  • Leg strap and grab handle for extra safety and security
  • Designed for infants weighing less than 30 pounds. Chest sizing Inches - 16-20 inch,CM - 41-51 cm

Best For Mobility: Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket Review

Sale
Stohlquist Toddler Life Jacket
  • Quick release buckle over entry zipper for added security
  • Adjustable crotch strap
  • Convenient grab handle; Child: Type III PFD with sea level buoyancy of 8 lbs. 6 oz. Type III PFDs are NOT designed to turn a child “face-up” in the water.
  • Infant: Type II PFD with sea level buoyancy of 7 lbs. 6oz. Type II PFDs will turn only some children to a “face-up” position.
  • Wide neck opening for a comfortable fit

For The Pool: Oceans7 Infant Life Jacket Review

Oceans7 Infant Life Jacket
  • US COAST GUARD APPROVED LIFE VEST: Passes highest USCG standards and testing; USCG Approved Life Jackets are labeled for infant, child or youth by weight range.
  • USCG APPROVED SIZING: INFANT SIZE PFDs: 8–30 Pounds (If weight is under 25 lbs. – Try INFANT Size; If weight is over 25 lbs. — Try CHILD Size); Actual comfort, fit and sizing will vary.
  • FULL-SIZE RANGE PERFORMANCE: Durable Nylon construction and thick EPE flotation foam; When the life vest PFD is securely fastened, it should not rise above the child's head!
  • OPEN-SIDE DESIGN FOR COMFORT: Three adjustable straps for a comfortable fit with open-sided design; For 2020, we lengthened Chest Straps for maximum size and fit range.
  • UNIVERSAL USCG PFD: Great for general boating activities and swimming life jacket.

Ultraviolet protection: O’Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest Review

O'Neill Wake Waterski Infant USCG Vest
  • US Coast Guard Approved Type II PFD for babies up to 30 lbs body weight
  • Comfortable nylon shell over closed cell PVC marine foam shaped to float baby face-up
  • Adjustable safety belts with durable Delrin quick-release buckles and handy grab loop on the head cushion
  • Soft and comfortable. Adjustable safety belt between the legs keeps vest secure.
  • Durable exterior, nylon panels with PVC backing. Improved ease of entry and Ultraviolet protection.

Best Design: Airhead Treasure Life Vest Review

Airhead Treasure Life Vest
  • Fits Infants less than 30 Pounds
  • Closed Sided vest with ocean inspired graphics
  • Front Zipper with waist belt and crotch strap included for safety
  • USCG Approved Type II
  • Soft UV and stain resistant 200-Denier Polyester

For All-Days Wear: Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Life Jacket Review

Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Life Jacket
  • Made of the highest qualitiy materials
  • Personal flotation device
  • Another quality Stearns product

Breathability: Salus Bijoux Baby Vest: Flotation Jacket for Infants Review

Salus Bijoux Baby Vest: Flotation Jacket for Infants
  • Winner of the Canadian Safe Boating Award (CASB) for Best New Safety Product
  • Designed for babies 9 to 25 pounds (chest size 12 to 18 inches around). Adjustable mesh and webbing harness system for security, venting, and comfort
  • Three piece collar design with additional flotation on sides to cradle baby's head in center of collar for security and comfort
  • Dry-Lex Aerospacer liner for breathability, temperature control, drainage, and baby's comfort. Mesh back allows the baby to lie comfortably on a blanket or in a baby carrier.
  • Note: This vest is not USCG or Transport Canada approved since there is currently no testing standard to certify PFDs for children under 9 kilograms (20 pounds).

Head Support: Full Throttle Infant Baby Review

Sale
Full Throttle Infant Baby
  • Oversized collar for improved head support
  • Convenient buckle opening at collar makes it easy to put on
  • Elasticized fabric leg strap for added comfort
  • Convenient grab strap for easy recovery
  • Fits infants less than 30 lbs.

Adjustable: O’Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest Review

Sale
O'Neill Infant Superlite USCG Life Vest
  • Lightweight Polyethylene Foam
  • Coated Polyester Shell
  • Soft and Comfortable
  • Quick-Release Delrin Buckles

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need To Know About The Best Infant Life Jacket

As a parent, you wouldn’t wish to endanger the life of your young little one. However, mishaps do happen while in water. By using a safe infant life jacket, you can save the life of your baby from any unforeseen disaster. Here we will guide you on how to choose the best life jacket for small infants.

What Is Infant Life Jacket?

what is infant life jacket

An infant life vest consists of waterproof materials that offer great buoyancy. It also helps you to keep your head about the water level. This neoprene infant life jacket is available in various sizes for infants ranging from newborns to four years old. It comes with safety elements like crotch strap, grab handles and heads up cushions for protecting the neck and head. As per the US Coast Guard certification, type two and type three models are best suited for infants.

Do Newborns Need Life Jackets?

As per the USCG safety requirements, a baby shouldn’t get into the water or travel on a boat without using a life jacket for a newborn. They should also have a minimum weight limit of 18 lbs. Most kids reach this body mass only by 5 – 11 months of age. As the tiny tots don’t know how to swim, they are prone to accidents in the water in case the boat capsizes or sinks. Hence to keep them afloat, they should use the best infant life jacket for boating.

How Does A Life Jacket Protect My Child?

Infant size life jackets offer a wide variety of protection to your kid while they are in the water. Here are some below:

Head Protection:

Using the smallest infant life jacket can flip the user and keep their face-up from the water. This is suitable for small babies or dangerous water sports where the user becomes unconscious and can’t flip over.

How Does A Life Jacket Protect My Child

Buoyancy:

As it is made using buoyant materials, it can keep the user afloat by displacing water equal to its weight and size.

Security:

The presence of the crotch strap and grab handles prevents the kids from slipping off and falling into the water.

How To Choose The Best Infant Life Jacket?

Before you make the final decision, you need to consider infant life jacket reviews offered by users. These give you insight that constitutes the safety of the lifejacket, which in turn makes it apt for the young swimmers. Let’s have a look at the essential aspects to select the perfect baby beach essentials.

Certification (US Coast Guard Logo):

Planning to get an infant life jacket suit for your young water enthusiasts? If so, check the inside of the vest that you’re planning to purchase. Make sure that there is an indicator that shows the approval for usage by the US Coast Guard. In case the bodysuit does not have any certification by the United States Coast Guard, avoid buying it. This is because all these protection suits sold in the US must have this approval.

Since companies are aware of this, they make it a priority to get the certification, which includes a logo on their package. The USCG approval will give you peace of mind as they are carefully tested for safety.

Age Range:

It is essential to consider the size based on the age of the infant. You will find ones that are suitable for newborns, infants, and toddlers. Some kids are too tiny to wear these protective suits even when the label says infant life jacket under 30 lbs. Babies below 16 pounds or 6 months are too little to use these vests. This is because their head size does not match with their body mass. Do you have a newborn baby and wondering when can baby swim? Well, wait till the kid becomes a little older before taking them into the water.

Weight Restrictions:

infant swimsuit life jacket

You can find the weight limits printed on the inside part of the vest. Go for options that fit well with the current body mass of your kid. Never purchase an oversized life vest, thinking that your little one will eventually grow into it. This will result in loose-fitting, which in turn makes it dangerous and uncomfortable for your kid. Safety is of great importance! Hence the best infant life jacket must follow the restrictions that align with the child’s requirements.

Color:

Colors are personal choices, and most individuals do not give much importance to it. They just grab their kid’s favorite color or opt for cheaper ones. However, colors that offer great visibility is vital for quick recovery in case of any mishap or emergency. By choosing bright and vibrant shades, it will be easy to locate your baby in case they fall into the water. Colors like red, pink, orange, and yellow stand out in bluish-green waters. Avoid going for blue or gray shades.

Grab Strap:

These protective vests must have grab handles that are present on the upper back portion of the vest. This acts as a handle that’ll help you to grab and easily pull your kid back to safety in case of an accident. It will help you to retrieve your toddler when they fall into high waters easily.

Head Protection:

Most of these suits are custom designed to safeguard your kids from drowning. With the help of the head protection feature, as soon as you’re in the water, it places you on your back. This keeps your face side up and prevents suffocation. It’s ideal for those who are not good at swimming, for instance, infants and fresh swimmers. Also, check our web portal for the best baby sun hat to keep them from direct sunlight.

Quick Dry:

See to it that the life jackets do not remain wet for an extended period. In case of persistent dampness, mold and mildew will be present. These two are harmful allergens that can affect your kid’s health. The lifeline items made using quick-dry materials will make sure that the suit will dry quickly.

Durability:

Purchase protective suits made using high-quality materials and have the approval of the US Coast Guard. In case you find any tears or rips, replace the item to prevent accidents. Before you zip your child, check carefully for defects like broken straps, zippers, buckles, or fasteners.

Best Infant Life Jacket Types

The US Coast Guard has 5 types of life suits. Out of these, only the first three are suitable for children. The most common and best infant life jacket is Type 2 since it offers great buoyancy and head support. Let’s have a look at each in detail.

infant girl life jacket

Type 1 Life Jacket:

Type I models are not easy to find and are suitable for offshore ocean use. They are mainly designed to handle emergencies in remote waters, rough seas and open oceans where rescue missions are highly unlikely. This suit is capable of immediately turning the individuals face up and keeping them afloat, as it has a high level of buoyancy. However, it can be quite uncomfortable as it is bulky, making it a challenge for kids to wear.

Type 2 Life Jacket:

Type II infant life jackets are the best option for children. This is because they offer sufficient head support and keep the kids afloat as they are not bulky. It comes with an adjustable crotch strap and grab loop and has freedom of movement. This one is the best infant life jacket 2020 for near-shore and inland usage while you go fishing or boating. It also helps in turning the young one’s face up while in water hence treading water is not required. Available in various size options.

Type 3 Life Jacket:

Type III baby life jackets have lesser buoyancy when compared with type 2 models. However, they’re light in weight but do not turn the swimmers face up while in water. Hence it’s not recommended for new swimmers or babies. It’s mostly designed for kids who are great swimmers and are capable of placing their heads above the water level. Most of the toddler and infant PFDs are available in type 2 and type 3 models.

Type 4 Life Jacket:

These models are throwable items like the life preservers, or life rings that you toss into the water when someone is in danger. It’s not suitable for children as they have to know well how to swim before they can access it. Moreover, it doesn’t have any level of comfort.

Type 5 Life Jacket:

These models are specially designed for unique water purposes like waterskiing. This is also not suitable for babies and toddlers.

Best Infant Life Jacket FAQ

infant life jackets 0-30 lbs

When Can A Baby Go On A Boat?

As per the USCG, unless your baby weighs around 18 lbs and is capable of wearing a snug fit PFD, they shouldn’t ride a boat. On average, baby boys gain 18 lbs by 7 months, and for girls, it takes 9 months. Hence the size of the infant girl life jacket varies from that of the opposite gender of the same age group. It is not easy to get an infant size PFD even when the label says infant life jackets 0-30 lbs.

Is It Safe To Dunk A Baby Under Water?

Though babies can naturally hold their breaths on certain occasions, they may end up swallowing a lot of water. It will make them more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections causing diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Dunking them may inflict a sense of fear in them and sometimes end up in secondary drowning. It does not mean that you can never place your baby’s face underwater with proper supervision. Just that the procedure needs to be well handled gently and slowly by trying it first in small pools, check our site to get the best inflatable pool.

If I Am Holding My Baby, Do I Need To Provide A Life Jacket?

Mortality rates due to drowning are high among kids aged between newborns to 4 years of age. Hence adult supervision, along with the best infant life jacket, is essential to prevent accidents. Death, due to drowning, takes up the fifth place among unintentional mortality rates in the US.

Do newborns need life jackets

How Long Will An Infant Life Jacket Last?

This mainly depends on how you handle the protective gear. Also, kids outgrow the weight limits even before it gets worn out. Hence you might end up passing it on as a charitable donation or via garage sales or to friends or other family members. Families having more kids will pass it down to the younger siblings. So make sure that it’s safe to use rather than going for a long-lasting effect.

Is A Puddle Jumper, A Life Jacket?

A puddle jumper is a mix of swim vest, lifejacket, and swims aid. These are suitable for young ones who have a weight limit ranging from 30 to 50 pounds. Moreover, they have the approval of the USCG and are also considered as a Type III PFD. They are comfortable to wear and help the toddlers to learn swimming quickly. Though it’s great to use, it’s advisable to always wear a baby life jacket for safety.

Can An Infant Life Jacket Be Used For A Baby?

An infant life jacket will be too big and loose for the baby. Moreover, it won’t offer sufficient head support, and some do not even have crotch straps. This will result in the protective suit slipping off from the baby’s head, making it unsafe for use. Also, most aren’t made for little ones lesser than 30 lbs; hence won’t make a perfect fit.

Verdict And Our Recommendation For 2020

Any parent would ensure the top priority for the safety of their child’s life. Especially while being in and around water facilities, getting the best infant life jacket would be a great choice. Before purchasing, make sure that you’re getting a good quality option and is the perfect fit for your young water enthusiast. Before your kids take the plunge, test the life jacket on them to make sure they are entirely safe. Based on their age and weight limits, remember to get the right fit to avoid mishaps.

Go ahead and pick the best infant life jacket based on your child’s needs and requirements. Visit our site top-mom.com to find the best infant life jacket 2020 in the market. Do share your feedback in the comments below.

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PRODUCTS TESTED BY Top-Mom.com
How We Tested

Our team gathered information from online reviews of users and manufacture details of the various infant life jackets. We gave importance to head production, grab handles, crotch straps, and buoyancy elements. As for visibility, vibrant and brightly colored models were much preferred. We also took into consideration the certification offered by the US Coast Guard concerning safety and usage.

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