10 Best Life Jackets For Kayak Fishing 2020 – Fishing Life Jackets

Since you are here, you must be looking for the best kayaking jackets on the market. There are tons of kayaking jackets available on the market, but not all of them is worth your time. It is highly suggested that the kayakers who are kayaking in choppy water should always use kayaking life jacket. Just like you, we also love kayaking, but some of us don't know swimming. If you are one of them, you should always wear a kayaking jacket.
Just like millions of other people, we like water too. It can be a fishing trip, kayaking trip, or maybe whale watching. One thing that we need to bear in mind is that water is not always our friend. This is why we need to be very careful when we are close to water. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself protected is to use a life jacket or PFD. In this article, we are going to share the best kayaking jackets on the market.

Best Life Jackets For Kayak Fishing 2020

1. Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

If you are into fishing, this is one of the best kayak fishing life jackets for you. Not only Onyx manages to offer incredible features, the design of the jacket is incredible too. This life jacket has been approved by the U.S. coast guards for meeting the qualifications. This is one of the best kayak life jackets for fishing.

Anglers need a lot of pockets to keep their fishing accessories safe and sound. Also, pockets need to be strategically placed so you can access them very easily and quickly. There are three separate accessory pockets in this life jacket where you can keep your essential fishing gears or cellphone. The design of the fishing life jacket it quite simple and low profile. The front pocket can keep essential accessories, the largemouth accessory pocket can hold a VHF radio or other fishing electronics like a fish finder. Also, the zippered pocket on the front can keep an extra spool of line.

This kayak fishing life jacket is made of 400-denier nylon oxford for extra durability. Paddlers need to row while boating, and this is why they need a lot of space around the armhole. Onyx cared about that and made the design paddle-specific. If you are a stylish anger who uses fishing sunglasses, you can use the fleece lined side pocket to keep them. In a nutshell, this is the best fishing life jacket for kayakers.

Pros

  • Several pockets to organize fishing gears
  • Pockets to securely keep your sunglass
  • Zippered pocket to keep an extra spool of line
  • Made of 400-denier nylon
  • Paddlers specific design
  • Low profile design for extra movement
  • Mesh for high breathability
  • Ample drainage system
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2. NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

NRS Chinook fishing PFD is my favorite choice when I am fishing from my kayak. It comes with all the necessary features an angler could ever ask for. I also do fly fishing, and I can use it for fly fishing too. This spacious kayak fishing PFD comes with a mesh lower back for a better comfort when you are using high-back seats. 

The mesh used in PFD offers a good ventilation system to the users for the warm season. There are eight adjustment points in this life jacket which allows you to customize the fit for a comfortable trip. You will find a coil tool retractor which allows you to clip on the line snips or other essentials tools for your journey. 

It is also equipped with other features like the rod holder loops, knife lash tab, D-rings and other loops. Chinook fishing PFD is available in several colors if you want.

  • Can be used for kayak fishing, fly fishing, and other types of fishing
  • Offers comfortable lower back for sitting long hours in high-back seats
  • Good ventilation system
  • Coil retractor to use clip-on snips
  • Strobe holder loops
  • Rod holder loops
  • Knife lash tab
  • Multiple D-rings to attach several gears
  • Spacious design
  • Soft PlushFIT foam flotation
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3. Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device

Stohlquist is a market leader when it comes to manufacturing life jackets and PFDs for men, women, and kids. They have tons of life jackets for different types of activities, and the listed PFD is for anglers. Any fisherman who has been enjoying fishing for a while should know the name of Stohlquist. Considering the features, this is one of the best PFD for kayak anglers.

However, this is a fisherman PFD made of 500 denier Cordura shell and 200 denier oxford liner for high durability.

This high-back floatation rides above the backrest. There are tons of pockets and places to keep your fishing gears like pliers, spool, scissors, and more. The shoulders are padded with neoprene with lower back waistband and open sides for excellent ventilation. You can use the front zip entry closure to have a good balance. It even comes with hook and loop style too.

Stohlquist offers an inside accessory pocket and stowage for securing your tools. In a nutshell, this is one of the best fishing kayaking PFD.

  • 500 denier Cordura shell with 200 denier oxford liner used for heavy durability
  • Shoulder are padded with neoprene
  • High breathability
  • Access gears easily and quickly
  • Fantastic cockpit management
  • Several pocketsFront zip entry closure
  • Pouch pockets
  • Mounting locations for tippets, pliers and more
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4. MTI Adventurewear Fisher Kayak Life Jacket

MTI fisher kayak jacket is designed for kayak anglers in mind. There are top pockets on the front of the jacket to keep fishing tools like pliers or other essentials. You will also see large cargo pocket on the front to keep big gears like reel or spool.

To attach more fishing gears like dry bag, there are D-Rings on the front and back. So, if you want to attach more fishing gears, you can do that with the D-rings. For venting, the three buckle front closures come very handily. This life jacket has been tested at 50 mph for jet and ski too. Also, the USCG type is III. The price of the jacket may sound obnoxious, but once you realize that it's perfect for kayak fisherman, you will love it.

  • Specially designed for anglers in mind
  • Several pockets
  • Top pocket to stow essentials and fishing gears
  • Large cargo pockets to keep reel and spool
  • D-rings on the front and back to attach more gears
  • Tested for jet ski at 50 mph
  • Type III
  • Great venting
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5. Amairne-made Boat Buoyancy Aid Sailing Kayak Fishing Life Jacket Vest - D11 - Yellow

If you are not in a mood for spending, you can check this cheap kayak fishing jacket. Despite the fact that we don't recommend it for serious anglers, it can come handily to a lot of users. The upper of the jacket is made of 600D Max waterproof terylene oxford. The material is EPE.

If you are not in a mood for spending, you can check this cheap kayak fishing jacket. Despite the fact that we don't recommend it for serious anglers, it can come handily to a lot of users. The upper of the jacket is made of 600D Max waterproof terylene oxford. The material is EPE.

Since this is a universal adult size with adjustable chest up to 130cm, it fits almost all person who is less than 110kg. Also, the crotch-strap is there to prevent the jacket to not being pulled up and off easily. As you can see in the picture, there are multiple pockets in front of it to store a lot of fishing gears.
Also, the design of the life jacket lets you paddle or fish properly.

  • Low price
  • Upper is made of 600D Max waterproof terylene Oxford
  • Universal adult size (fits most people under 110kg) (chest is adjustable up to 130cm)
  • Zippered entry
  • Large armholes
  • Flexible movement
  • Multiple-pockets provided to keep gears

6. Stohlquist Edge Life Jacket

Stohlquist Edge life jacket is basically a wrapturetm shaped torso with adjustable shoulders. This nice jacket comes in three different cool colors with tons of amazing features for anglers. The low-cut design of the life jacket allows the users to easily paddle with less hassle.

Though it is primarily not a fishing jacket, you can surely make the best out of it. As said before, it's low-cut design life jacket with a front-zip entry for easy access. In order to provide better security to the users, STOHL used highly-visible 3MTM reflective accents.

This life jacket has a spacious design with top loading front pocket to keep your fishing gears secure. You can easily access them whenever you are in need of 'em.

  • Available in three cool colors
  • Front-zip entry
  • 3MTM reflective accents used for high-visibility
  • Spacious design
  • Low cut: Designed in a way that paddlers/anglers can have flexible movements
  • Adjustable shoulders used
  • 4-side pulls with front waist buckle closure

7. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Onyx MoveVent is one of the best kayaking lifejackets on the market. This dynamic lifejacket is primarily designed for the paddle lovers. It offers a considerable amount of space to move your hands very easily and quickly. As a result, it is excellent for the paddlers to move their hands when they are paddling or kayaking.

Onyx MoveVent comes with bubble foam on the inner back to offer superior comfort to the users. You will find expandable zipper pockets with mesh drainage to provide better breathability. Talking about safety, there is a whistle in this life vest if you need them.

  • Available in four different incredible colors
  • Bubble foam offers superior comfort
  • Whistle included for safety
  • Zippered pockets are expandable
  • Vents keep you cool
  • SOLAS grade reflective material used for better visibility
  • Neoprene comfort pads used on the shoulder adjustment
  • Zipper closures are sturdy
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8. Eyson Outdoor Fishing and Boating Life Jacket


This fishing life jacket from Eyson is made of 80% nylon and 20% polyfoam. It is available in four different colors with a very reasonable price. Just like other fishing life jackets, this one also comes with large armholes. As a result, it is highly flexible, and you can paddle and fish with ease. This is one of the best life jacket for kayak fishing with reasonable price.

There are three zipper pockets in this life jacket to store your necessary fishing gears. It comes with an adjustable belt which fits adults under 170lbs. The maker of this fishing jacket also considered the security of the users, and put some reflective material for high-visibility.

  • Very lightweight
  • Durable foam fabric used
  • Highly reflective material used for high-visibility
  • Available in three different colors
  • Essential gears can be kept at three zippered pockets
  • Zippered pockets are easy to reach
  • Large armholes used to help your movement flexible

9. Coleman Company Stearns Comfort Series PFD

Coleman's Company Stearns comfort is a personal floatation device which comes in three different colors: Green/Orange, black, and green orange. You will be glad to know that this is a US coast guard-approved PFD to use. 

Like other good PFD's, this one also comes with large arm holes to make you feel comfortable when paddling or fishing. Coleman used mesh shoulders and back for extra ventilation. As a result, it offers better breathability to the users.

Also, the webbing adjustments and zipper front make it really easy to maintain. Also, there is a front pocket for anglers to quickly access their gear. However, it is used by hunters too. The fabric of the life jacket is made of a 200D nylon shell with tough floatation foam inside.

  • Available in different colors
  • Approved by the US coast guard
  • Mesh shoulders are comfortable
  • Large armholes helps you move easily
  • Highly breathable
  • Custom fit can be achieved with the webbing adjustments and zipper front
  • Front pocket to keep accessories and gear

10. Stohlquist Piseas Personal Flotation Device

Another awesome personal flotation device from Stohlequist is piseas PFD. This awesome PFD is available in two different colors. It is made of 420 denier shell and 210 deniers oxford liner.

Just like other personal floatation devices, this one also comes with open sides for an excellent ventilation system. There are tons of pockets to keep your necessary fishing gears. Also, the high back floatation rides above the seat back of sit-on-top kayaks.
There are other features like the D-ring where you can attach other gears and gears. The right pocket also includes adjustable straps to lock down long lures boxes.

  • 420 denier shell with 210 denier oxford liner
  • open sides for ventilation
  • Available in two different colors
  • Multiple pockets to keep gears
  • Great for sit-on-top kayak users
  • Neoprene padded lower back waistband
  • Shoulder straps used
  • D-ring to attach more gears
  • Sea level buoyancy: 16 lbs. 12 oz

Do I Need a fishing life jacket for kayaking?

Often asked, this is a crucial thing to consider when you are going fishing with your kayak. There are tons of life jackets available on the market which are sufficient for paddling. However, few of them are capable of providing the features needed for anglers. Let's see some bullet points here:

  • To help you float
  • To comply with the law. Some of the states/regions require you to wear a life jacket when you are paddling or close to water.
  • To have better safety. They say better safe than sorry. If you are not a seasoned swimmer, or if you don't want to risk
  • To make the best out of your fishing trip
  • To use the features available on your kayak fishing life jacket to have better experience
  • To use different pockets of your life jacket to keep your gears organized

How to buy the best kayak fishing life jackets?

A lot of people does not care when buying a kayak fishing life jacket. I firmly believe that there are tons of things to check when you are purchasing a life jacket. If you follow these factors, you will be able to land the best kayak fishing life jacket.

Safety (coast-guard approved)

At first, you need to know the safety requirements of your region. For the United States, the coast guards offer a certificate for life jackets. They usually approve different types of life jackets which meet their standard. It may be same in the place where you are going for fishing.

Size and fit

If you are wearing a life jacket which doesn't fit you, you will have hard time paddling and fishing. This is why it is highly advised that you get a life jacket which fits perfectly. However, there are some adult life jackets which comes with universal fitting size. You can also take advantage of such life jackets.

Armhole Design

As a paddler and angler, you will have to move your hands a lot. This is why fishing-friendly life jackets come with bigger armholes. It is especially true for kayak anglers, as they have to paddle too.

Gender and Age

Even though there are tons of universal life jackets out there in the market, there are some jackets which are made for men and women. Also, if you are taking your kid for fishing, you should buy an appropriate life jacket for him too.

Pocket

If you are a seasoned angler who needs to use a lot of fishing gears, it is wise to choose a life jacket with lots of pockets. In that way, you get to store a lot of essentials and equipment at you.

We will continue to add more awesome kayak fishing life jackets in this post. Meanwhile, if you want, you can share your favorite jackets in the comments section below.

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