Top 10 Best Life Jackets for Jet Skis in 2022 [Trusted Review]

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The Best Life Jackets for Jet Skis

Are you looking for the best and most durable life jackets for jet skiing? Well, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we have listed the top 10 best life jackets for jet skis. We have also mentioned basic information about life jackets and their pros and cons. Keep reading this article to get the exact type of life jacket you need!

Jet skiing is one of the most thrilling and rewarding water sports activities! However, like any other water sports activity, you need to take certain precautions. After all, safety comes first!

This is a complete guide on how to buy the best life jackets for jet skis. It contains all the information you need to make an informed decision! We’ve also answered some FAQs about life jackets. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to select the best life jacket.

The life jackets included in this guide are type III jackets. These give you the flexibility you need while jet skiing!

Check out our list of the top 10 best life jackets for jet skis below. Our guide will help you decide which of these is the best life jacket for jet skis! Keep reading to find out how to take care of your life jackets so that they last longer!

1. O’Brien Men’s BioLite Traditional Life Jackets

This men’s life jacket by O’Brien has a bioLite outer coating. BioLite is a synthetic rubber. It is an environmentally-friendly alternative for neoprene. Neoprene is the best material for making life jackets because it’s water-proof. It doesn’t let water penetrate inside no matter how long you leave it in the water more! Moreover, since it’s made of rubber, it’s stretchable, giving it a comfortable fit. O’Brien is one of the best brands for life jackets!

What I Liked

  • Comfortable fit
  • Waterproof
  • Zip closure, ensuring a perfect fit.
  • 2 additional belts for tight security
  • It’s approved by the United States Coast Guard!
  • Light-weight – you won’t feel heavy while wearing it
  • Wide armhole allowing movement

What I Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for kids

2. O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest

The O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest is a polyester vest with a coating of nylon. The polyester and nylon combination is amazing. It makes the vest very lightweight and comfortable to wear! The polyester coating makes it water-proof. The life vest has 4 wide buckles, measuring 1.5 inches in width! The buckles are very strong and resilient, offering maximum safety.

It’s available in 6 different colors and 8 different sizes, including 6X- Large! So, if you’re bulky, you can get this life jacket for yourself. 

What I Liked

  • It contains 4 Delrin buckles for maximum safety
  • Approved by the United States Coast Guard
  • Contains closed-cell marine foam for higher buoyancy and floating
  • Lightweight and Comfortable fit

What I don’t Like

  • Doesn’t contain a zipper
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof

3. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest

The Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is a polyester vest. It has an outer nylon shell and contains an inner polyethylene foam. The polyethylene foam increases buoyancy and helps make the life vest float. It’s great for water sports activities like swimming, kitesurfing and tubing because the armhole allows for flexible arm movements. However, this vest is available in only one size: free-size. Only red and blue colors are available. 

What I Liked

  • United States Coast Guard Approved
  • Contains 3 adjustable buckles for maximum safety
  • Can fit a person weighing 90 pounds or more
  • Nylon and polyester construction make it lightweight
  • Webbed straps for maximum security

What I don’t Like

  • Doesn’t contain a zipper
  • Only one size available
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof

4. JetPilot Apex Side Entry Vest

The JetPilot Apex Side Entry Vest is a polyester vest for men with a 100 MPH Nylon coating for maximum comfort. The unique feature of this vest is that it doesn’t open from the front. Instead, you wear it by entering the vest from the side! This gives it a comfortable and tight fit for the most daring water sports activities, like jet skiing.

It’s available in 2 sizes and 3 colors. The best thing about this vest is that you can add custom graphics to it! The end result is a sleek and stylish life jacket that is durable and comfortable.

What I Liked

  • Side-entry life jacket
  • 3 durable and resilient buckles
  • Webbing closure of the buckles for maximum safety
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Lightweight and compact

What I don’t Like

  • Water-resistant, not waterproof
  • For men only

5. Stearns Adult Watersport Classic Series Vest

5th on our list of the best life jackets for jet skis is the Stearns Adult Watersport Classic Series Vest. It contains a durable 200D nylon coating. “D” is a unit that measures the weight of the nylon fibers used to coat the vest! Hence, the nylon coating of 200D is pretty strong and durable. It’s an open-sided jacket, allowing full flexibility and comfort! It’s great for jet skiing.The vest also contains a polyethylene foam inside to increase the buoyancy of the vest! However, there’s just one size available: Free-size.

What I Liked

  • Contains 4 adjustable buckles
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Wide armholes for maximum flexibility and range of motion
  • Open-sided life jacket
  • For adults weighing 90 pounds or more
  • Lightweight

What I don’t Like

  • No zipper
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof

6. O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest

Adjusted to the body shape of women, this life vest is the best life jacket for jet skis for women. The outer layer of this life vest consists of bioLite. This is a water-resistant material that’s like neoprene, except, it’s better for the environment!

So, by choosing this life vest, you’re actually choosing a product that’s good for the environment! Its segmented style helps you feel comfortable in the jacket.It comes in 4 different sizes. The vest also has a very stylish outer appearance!

What I Liked

  • Contains a zip closure
  • 2 buckles for maximum security
  • Waterproof material
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Wide armholes for flexibility that’s needed while jet skiing
  • Contains a lanyard ring

What I don’t Like

  • Only purple color is available

7. O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest

The 7th on our list of the best life jackets for jet skis is the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest. This life jacket contains mesh, neoprene and polyester. This combination of materials makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear. The neoprene is slightly stretchable, allowing for a comfortable fit. The segmented foam allows for flexible movements while jet skiing. This Life Vest is available in 4 different colors and 6 different sizes!

What I Liked

  • Waterproof neoprene material
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Strong zip closure
  • 2 safety buckles webbed in for maximum security
  • Allows full range of motion required in jet skiing
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lightweight

What I don’t Like

  • Not suitable for kids

8. Mex’s Flex V-Back Neoprene

A characteristic feature of this life jacket is that it has a V-back. This means that a portion of the back is devoid of the foam to ensure maximum flexibility. The V-back also allows for a more comfortable fit. Moreover, it has segmented foam pieces to allow a wider range of movements that are required while jet skiing. The vest has an outer shell of biolite, a material that resembles neoprene. It’s different from neoprene in that it’s better for the environment. The vest is available in 6 sizes ranging from small to XXX-Large. There are 4 different colors available including blue, yellow, orange and silver.

What I Liked

  • Waterproof material
  • Wide armholes and segmented foam give maximum flexibility suitable for jet skiing
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof to Withstand Wet Conditions
  • Strong and durable zip closure
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Waterproof to Withstand Wet Conditions
  • 2 adjustable belts for maximum security
  • Concealed buckles for aesthetic effect
  • Contains lanyard attachment ring

What I don’t Like

  • Less lumbar support

9. Full Throttle Adult Dual-Sized Nylon Water Sports Vest

This nylon water sports vest is a stylish and comfortable vest that is suitable for jet skiing. It’s made of 200 D nylon, making it lightweight and comfortable. The nylon coating gives it strength and durability. The design of the jacket makes it suitable for both men and women!Only 2 sizes (large and X-large) are available.

What I Liked

  • 200 D nylon outer coat
  • Lightweight
  • 4 buckles for maximum security
  • US Coast Guard approved
  • Great fit for adults weighing 90 pounds and above
  • Wide armholes for flexibility

What I don’t Like

  • Not a great fit for slim people
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof

10. O’Neill Men’s Assault USCG Life Vest

This is a sleek and good-looking life vest for men. It has a unique minimalist appearance. It’s a bit more expensive than usual but the vest is totally worth the price!It contains a light neoprene outer coating, making it comfortable and stretchable. The foam inside the vest consists of Nytrolite. This material is about three times lighter than the regular PVC foam! It also has greater buoyancy than PVC foam.The segmented foam allows flexibility!  It’s available in 4 colors and 6 sizes.

What I Liked

  • Waterproof material
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • There’s a lumbar pad foam for excellent lower back fit and support
  • Zip closure
  • 2 buckles for maximum safety
  • Concealed buckles for maximum aesthetic appearance
  • Lightweight

What I don’t Like

  • Neoprene isn’t environmentally-friendly

These were the top 10 best life jackets for jet skis! By now, you’ve probably made your decision about which one to buy. Hold on though, we have more information to help you decide!

How to Choose a Life Jacket for Jet Ski

Choosing a life jacket for jet skiing isn’t very hard, but you need to have a few points in mind before you decide on the final product you want. Here are some factors you need to take into consideration:


  • Neoprene is the best material for life jackets. However, it’s not that environmentally-friendly. Biolite is an environmentally-friendly alternative to neoprene that has similar properties. It’s lightweight, slightly stretchable for a comfortable fit, and waterproof. Nylon is also a suitable material, but nylon isn’t waterproof.  Polyester is water-resistant but not waterproof.
  • Therefore, neoprene and its alternative are best for life jackets.
  • If you don’t plan on staying under the water, like in jet skiing, then you can get water-resistant polyester jackets too!

Waterproof vs Water-Resistant

Waterproof items are totally impermeable to water. They do not allow water to cross even if submerged for long periods. On the other hand, water-resistant materials allow water to cross and permeate after some time. For jet skiing, both waterproof and water-resistant materials work. However, it’s still best to get waterproof life jackets. This way, if an accident does happen, you won’t have to worry about water permeating your vest.

  • Flexibility

Jet skiing is a water sport, which means you need to be flexible. Choosing a life jacket that allows maximum flexibility is important. Those with segmented panels are far more flexible than those without them.

  • Type of Life Jacket

The most suitable type of jacket for jet skiing is the type III personal floatation device. All of the jackets listed above are type 3 jackets. It should be US Coast Guard approved!

  • Safety

The most secure life jackets are those that have a strong buckle webbed in along with a zipper. Of course, life jackets are only safe if they’re US Coast Guard approved! You can check out their website for a list of approved life jackets. All of the life jackets listed above are USCG approved.

  • Fitting

Your life jacket must fit you comfortably. Most life jackets swell up after getting into contact with water, so make sure you choose your size accordingly! Get a size larger than you would need according to your measurements. After you’ve worn your life jacket, make sure you tighten each buckle to make sure it’s comfortable and snug.

These were a few factors that you need to consider. They’ll help you get the best life jackets for jet skis!

Using Life Jackets at Night

If you want to use your life jacket at night as well, make sure you choose one with a reflector on it. Some life jackets contain reflectors while others don’t. You usually go jet skiing during the day which is why not all of them contain reflectors.

Reflectors help rescue teams spot you at night and they’re very important if you plan on using these life jackets at night!

Tips to Help you Take Care of your Life Jacket

It’s important to take good care of your life jacket so that it lasts longer. Regular and frequent washing is important because it helps prevent fungus and odor from building up. We’ve already discussed the washing technique in the FAQs above.

Here are some other tips that will increase the lifespan of your life jacket:

  • If your life jacket doesn’t fit you, get it exchanged instead of altering it. This might ruin the purpose of the life jacket and make it unsuitable for wearing.
  • Do not put heavy weights on your life jacket. This can damage the foam inside.
  • Never apply direct heat to your life jacket from a hair dryer or any other source. Always let it air dry, avoiding the sun.
  • Always wear your own life jacket. Avoid using someone else’s life jacket.
  • Don’t fold the life jacket too harshly and don’t compress it too much. This can damage the foam inside.
  • Before each use, make sure you inspect each life jacket for tears and holes.
  • If there are any holes in the life jacket, don’t use it! It’s time to replace your life jacket once you see holes in it.

How to Check if the Size of the Life Jacket is Right for You

Having a life jacket that fits just right is necessary. You can’t compromise on the fitting, otherwise, it can become dangerous for you. To check if a life jacket is a perfect fit for you, follow the steps below:

  • Loosen up all the buckles/zips on the life jacket.
  • Wear the life jacket
  • Tighten all the buckles/close the zip so that it fits you perfectly.
  • After doing so, check if you can comfortably move your hands around. If the life jacket is still too loose, you need a smaller size. On the other hand, if the life jacket fits you but only when the straps are maximally loosened, you need to get a larger life jacket!

Make sure you check the fit of the jacket before wearing it while jet skiing!

Frequently Asked Questions​

  • What is the best life jacket for jet skiing?

The best life jacket for jet skiing is a neoprene US Coast Guard Approved Type III life jacket.

  • What is the best life jacket for Wakeboarding?

Wakeboarding and jet skiing are both water sports that require a high degree of mobility. Therefore, the same jackets used for jet skiing are also used for wake boarding. That is, Type III US Coast Guard approved life jackets!

  • What is the difference between a regular life vest and a jet ski life vest?

Regular life vests available on ships and boats are emergency life vests, usually of type I or type II variety. They decrease your range of motion. Regular life jackets have support behind your head. However, type III life jackets used for jet skiing don’t have head support. This is because you need a higher range of motion while jet skiing!

  • Are jet ski life vests safe?

Yes, jet ski life vests are safe, but only if they are US Coast Guard Approved. These vests have a buoyancy of about 15 pounds, which is enough to keep your head out of the water!

  • How do you clean jet ski life jackets?

You need to clean your life jacket manually. Don’t put it in the washer! Add some detergent and cold water on the jacket. Scrub it using a soft brush. Rinse with water and then air dry. Don’t put it in the dryer!

  • How do I know when to get a new life jacket for jet skiing?

As long as your life jacket is intact, doesn’t have tears and the foam inside is fine too, you don’t need to worry. Of course, the buckles/zips need to be fully operational too! If any of these stops working, you need to replace your life jacket.

GearAre Overview

This was all about the best life jackets for jet skis! To conclude, you need a jacket that is USCG approved, fits you well, is waterproof and lightweight! The life jacket should be a type III life jacket. The law actually requires you to wear a life jacket while jet skiing and it’s illegal to do so without a jacket! Moreover, safety comes first!

We cannot stress enough the importance of getting a perfect fit for yourself. It’s dangerous if the life jacket doesn’t fit you properly. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be loose either! Make sure you have a life jacket suited to your own body type. Avoid using other people’s life jackets because their size is going to be different from yours!

Don’t forget to rinse your life jacket after every use to make sure fungus doesn’t grow on it. Keep it neat and clean each time after using it. Don’t dry it in the sun because sunlight can damage the material of the life jacket. Air dry inside your house!

That’s all! Have a great time jet skiing and stay safe!

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Why? Because great in-depth gear reviews will help you select the right products for your specific needs, budget, and interests. And when you have the right product, you're a little bit happier which affects the people around you!

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