The best jet ski life jackets can vary based upon what you’re doing with your jet ski. If you’re going to be out on the open ocean, far away from potential help in the unlikely event of an emergency, you’re going to want a life jacket that is rated for that kind of use, or a type I life personal flotation device. If you’re just planning on riding your jet ski on a small lake, nearby to other people, or in a supervised fashion, you can probably get away with a more comfortable type III life jacket. Our top 5 picks for the best jet ski lifejackets are:
- KENT Commercial Type I Life Jacket
- West Marine Type I Comfort Life Jacket
- Body Glove Men’s Torque
- O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest
- O’Brien Youth Neoprene Jacket
Learn more about these lifejackets and where to find them further in this guide. One of these lifejackets is likely to suit your needs!
Best Jet Ski Life Jackets for Inland, Light Water, and Supervised Use
If you’re just using your jet ski inland, or on a small freshwater lake where help is always close by, you can get away with a much more comfortable (and better looking) personal flotation device.
Body Glove Men’s Torque
One of the most respected brands for water sports. Comfortable and reliable and comes in a variety of colors. Neoprene material.Buy Now on Amazon
Body Glove is a name that is rightfully synonymous with water sports. If you’ve ever been on a boat with family or friends and were participating in watersports such as tubing, wakeboarding or water skiing, there is a good chance that there was a Body Glove life jacket onboard. The Body Glove Torque life jacket comes in three moto-inspired colors: yellow/black, blue/royal and black/red. It has a comfortable fit, with large armholes and 4 straps to ensure a snug fit.
O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest
O'Brien is another highly respected brand in water sports. Comfortable with a heavy-duty zipper. Easy to put on and comes in a variety of colors. Neoprene material.Buy Now on Amazon
O’Brien is another name that is synonymous with watersports of every kind. O’Brien Watersports has been around for a long time, making everything from life jackets to waterskis, wakeboards, tubes, and even apparel. The women’s Impulse life best by O’Brien is covered in neoprene with a center zipper closure, and two straps to ensure a snug fit. You’re certain to have a comfortable, and safe life jacket when your purchase an O’Brien life jacket.
O’Brien Youth Neoprene Jacket
Safe and high quality featuring a heavy-duty zipper. Your kids will be safe with a trusted brand like O'Brien. Neoprene material.Buy Now on Amazon
If you’re in the market for a youth life jacket, 50-90 pounds, you need not look further than the O’Brien Youth Neoprene Jacket. This life jacket is a US Coast Guard certified type III life jacket perfectly suited for inland, supervised uses. It is coated in neoprene and has a zip front closure with two straps to ensure a snug fit.
Best Life Jackets for Jet Skiing Offshore/Ocean
If you’re going to be jet skiing in the ocean, or far away from potential help, you’re going to need a type I life jacket. Several of our personal favorite type I life jackets are listed below.
KENT Commercial Type I Life Jacket
Safest and most durable life jacket available. Ideal for ocean and extreme conditions.Buy Now on Amazon
The KENT commercial type I life jacket is one of our favorite type I life jackets. While it isn’t the most fashionable life jacket out there, it is battle-tested and proven to help save your life in the case of disaster offshore. Using two separate belts, it remains tight to your body, ensuring that it will keep your head above water.
West Marine Type I Comfort Life Jacket
Another extremely safe life jacket designed to keep even unconscious persons afloat and head above water. Designed for offshore boating.Buy Now on Amazon
West Marine is a name that you’re going to hear no matter what if you’re involved in boats or jet skis and there is good reason, they’re good at what they do. The Type I Comfort Life Jacket meets the US Coast Guard rating for a type I life preserver. It has a buoyancy of 22lbs and is designed in such a way that it will keep its wearer’s head above water, even in the case of the wearer being unconscious. An added bonus is that the West Marine Type I Comfort Life Jacket comes with an attached marine whistle for extra safety.
What To Look For In A Jet Ski Life Jacket
A jet ski life jacket should fit snugly and securely without pushing to tight toward the neck or chin. If the life jacket is loose, it will not provide proper flotation and could push against your windpipe, especially if you are unconscious. It is best to take chest measurements before purchasing a life jacket. Life jackets for sale will list their chest-length for correct fit.
- Start by tightening life jacket around the waist and work your way up
- Have a partner pull shoulder straps up. If it pulls up around the head or tight around the chin, the life vest is too big.
- Test paddling moves and various movements to ensure no chafing occurs. If so, the vest may be too small.
- Lastly, it is better to have a vest slightly too small than too big. Material
The type of material also plays a significant role in the best jet ski life jackets. The two main types are neoprene and nylon. Typically, it is recommended to use a neoprene life jacket for extreme water sports.
- This is a tougher material that provides more buoyancy, making it ideal for jet skis, tubing, wakeboarding, and more.
- These are also ideal for ocean activates, as they are more durable against saltwater and nasty conditions.
- They will also keep you afloat in extreme weather conditions and rough water.
- The downside is that it can be harder to be flexible in these life jackets. Neoprene life jackets are also usually more expensive than nylon.
- Lighter material and allows more flexibility at the expense of buoyancy and longevity.
- Ideal for lakes and calm bodies of water
- Ideal for jet ski fishing, as they allow you to be more flexible
- Not recommended for children
- Can be more affordable
Types of Jet Ski Life Jackets
According to BoatUs.org, there are 5 different classifications of life jackets, I, II, III, IV, and V. Each of these classifications of life jackets have different uses. We will look at the various type of life jackets useful for jet skis, I-III.
Type I Life Jackets
Type I life jackets were designed to keep the wearers head above water, even while unconscious. Because of this, type I life preservers are well suited for any activity where you’re going to be in rough seas, offshore, or generally anywhere that help could be slow to arrive.
Type II Life Jackets
Type II life jackets provide quite a bit less flotation than type I life jackets and are generally more comfortable to wear than type I life preservers. The most suited use for a type II life jacket is inland sailing and cruising, fishing, and boating activities in light seas.
Type III Life Jackets
Type III life jackets are mainly used for supervised activities. These are the types of life jackets that you typically see watersport users wearing. Activities such as inland cruising, wakeboarding and waterskiing, sailing regattas, and fishing are the main uses for type III life jackets.