8 Best Kayak Fishing Pfd Vests

A PFD (personal flotation device) is the most vital piece of safety equipment you can carry once you are kayaking. But PFDs also serve another essential purpose for kayak anglers – they ought to function as a fishing vest.

Perfecting a kayak fishing PFD that gives the proper mixture of safety and angler-friendly features are often tricky with such an excellent variety to settle on from. This article will break down what to appear for and provide a list of some of the best kayak fishing pfd currently available on the market.

8 Best Kayak Fishing Pfd List

8 Best Kayak Fishing Pfd Reviews

Lixada Fly Fishing Safety Vest

This jacket is offered with or without buoyancy pads, but since its kayaking fishing we’ll assume you will need the padded option.

There are a complete of 11 pockets throughout, offering generous space for all of your gear and kit.

There is mesh on the edges and back for breathability, while the adjustable arm straps provide many room for throwing and rowing.

The PFD is meant for people weighing up to 209lbs.

Are you on a budget but still need a functional PFD with great features and generous storage? You’ll love the Onyx Kayak Fishing Vest. Not only is that this life vest made by a well-known manufacturer, Onyx, it’s also designed with a kayak angler in mind. That’s why its different pocket designs to assist you comfortably carry your essential gear and make you’re fishing adventures that much more comfortable and more fun.

These pockets are neat with compartments and tap loops and six adjustment straps for a cozy and cozy fit. If anything, this PFD is so comfortable that you might forget to require it off even after you’re out of the water.

If you’re trying to find a USCG approved life vest that’s perfect for kayak fishing, offers ample space for storing, is comfortable, and of fantastic quality, the Onyx Kayak Fishing Vest may be a great choice.

If you’ve got a child and he/she is an adrenaline junkie who will accompany you once you go fishing, the Stearns Child Watersport Vest is the ideal life jacket. It’s designed to make sure that your child features a relaxing and enjoyable day on the water. As a USCG approved PFD, this vest is meant with three chest straps adjusted for an ideal fit.

It also features a crotch strap that’s adjustable and two large houses to ensure that your child doesn’t move out of position. This PFD isn’t only safe and cozy; it’s also durable. It’s specifically designed for youngsters who weigh but 50 pounds. It’s also closed-sided and can stay within the correct position to ensure your child is safe and guarded in an emergency. It’s a requirement if you would like to require your children with you on an aquatic adventure.

When you’re in the marketplace for the best kayak fishing PFD, you should explore the NRS cVest. This PFD has outstanding characteristics like a bright lime reflective, allowing it to be seen from miles away. It’s designed with 400D Ripstop nylon fabric, which is durable and essential for providing ventilation and breathability.

The high-back flotation panels are often used on most kayak seats and are designed to make sure that you feel very comfortable during your fishing trips. In terms of storage, this life jacket has numerous pockets that allow you to store your gear and kit comfortably. As a USCG approved Type III life jacket, you’ll love this vest due to its unique features.

The Onyx MoveVent is a PFD which will be easily maneuvered and is additionally comfortable to use. It’ll not interfere together with your rowing movements because it’s created to supply simple use and freedom of movement. Additionally, maximum breathability is taken under consideration.

This Type III PFD life jacket features a SOLAS grade reflective material and is additionally approved and warranted by the US Coast Guard. To not mention, it is also suitable for people that weigh 90 pounds or more.

It is very easy to hold. The inner back is formed of bubbles and floating foams. Neoprene padded shoulder straps and adjustments also are added to safeguard comfort. The lower a part of the mesh back provides optimal ventilation to the user.

The Stohluist life vest may be a Type III Personal life preserver with 16 pounds, 2 ounces of level buoyancy and is approved by the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada.

Its mesh feature on the rear allows breathability and ventilation. The eight adjustable straps are wont to position the rear foam for comfort and proper fit. It also has zippered pockets to store your small accessories and fishing tools, alongside two side entry pockets. Both the lower and shoulder straps are padded to feature ease and luxury.

The Stohlquist Fisherman features a high-back design that mounts over the seat of your kayak, and with eight straps to customize the fit, open sides to reinforce ventilation, many mounting locations for gear, and two large molded EVA pockets, offers a pleasing combination of comfort and storage.

The Fisherman’s outer shell is formed from 500 denier Cordura® nylon, making it tough and sturdy, important considerations given the tough lifetime of a PFD. It also resists mold and fading, important considerations for a life vest.

Available in orange and green in sizes starting from S / M (33”- 39”) to XXL (46”- 52”), most wearers will find a vest that matches them well, with the choice of a color to match. High visibility – which is usually a sensible choice.

The NRS Chinook Fishing PFD offers many storage – seven amazing front pockets and three D-rings (including one on the back) means you will always have the gear you would like, ready at hand. And just like the Stohlquist, its high back and mesh panel are designed for all-day comfort.

Unfortunately this vest features a 200 denier urethane coated ripstop nylon outer shell instead of a heavier material. As a result, this PFD might not be as strong or durable as some anglers would really like.

The NRS Chinook comes in sizes starting from S / M (33 “- 40”) to XXL (42 “- 50”), and its eight adjustment straps promise as close a custom fit as you’re likely to seek out . It comes in gray, orange and green and unsurprisingly we recommend the high contrast color.

What Is A Fishing PFD?

A PFD is additionally referred to as a personal floating device and there are significant differences available between a fishing PFD and a life jacket. Kayakers generally prefer the PFD because it provides more buoyancy to assist them stay afloat within the water.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Fishing PFD

There is tons to think about before purchasing a kayak fishing PFD, so I even have put together this guide to assist you opt.

Let’s examine what to seem for.

Safety standards

Before considering something just like the size, fit, and color of the zippers, you would like to form sure that the flotation device meets the purchased safety standards.

99.9% of the time, they will; otherwise, the manufacturers aren’t doing their job well, and that i am not doing my job well recommend them.

So how does one control all of this?

Well, four recognized bodies structure the worldwide standards for such devices, and you would like to form sure that your chosen device has been certified by a minimum of one among them.

They are:

  • United States Coast Guard (US regulations)
  • ISO (international standards)
  • CE (European standards)
  • SOLAS – Safety of life stumped (commercial standards)
  • If there’s a checkmark next to at least one of those types, you’re good to travel.

Man during a kayak with a life jacket


But keep your horses their folks, we’ve not finished sorting our flotation devices yet.

You also got to make sure that the device you employ is suitable for your chosen activity.

A PFD suitable for a relaxed river or lake isn’t getting to cut you off in open or turbulent water.

This is where it gets a touch tricky, but I even have included a summary of the kinds of PFDs available below.

Type 1: suitable to be used in any water. Most of them can turn unconscious users confront. Ideal if you’re sailing on the high seas or if rescue is probably going to be delayed. The trade-off is that they’re not the foremost comfortable to wear.

Type 2: to be used in calmer waters on the brink of shore. Ideal to be used on lighter boats. It generally requires the user to tread on the water actively. Easier than type 1 but not as buoyant.

Type 3: Flotation aids to be used in personal watercraft, like kayak fishing. It’ll be less restrictive than other devices, to be used indoors and near the coast. Most of the PFDs during this review are going to be of the sort 3 variety.

Type 4: disposable devices like a hoop buoy or a “donut.” they’re not intended to be used but are utilized in emergencies as a backup to the PFD that you simply or the victim should already carry. Don’t use it if the victim is unconscious.

Type 5: special devices for specific activities.

Of course, this is often a simplified outline of all the principles and regulations that PFDs must adhere to. Please countercheck all fine print before making a sale.

Size and fit

The PFD you select must be comfortable for you. If not, you’re getting to experience quite a few of frustrating problems.

It is not uncommon for people to get rid of a PFD because it’s not been measured to suit the wearer’s body.

Likewise, if it’s too small and tight, it are often incredibly restrictive.

And it’s uncomfortable if it goes up to your chin and across your cheeks.

Aside from the apparent dangers that this is often a significant safety issue when you’re trying to possess fun within the water and may barely move thanks to your PFD, the air will likely turn blue.

You can never get an enormous one therein situation.

Don’t make assumptions supported your size?

Take out the tape and measure around your chest slightly below the armpits.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when sizing your new preserver.

Although most PFDs are very adjustable, this is often only for convenience. First of all, it must be the proper size for your frame. Otherwise, it’ll be useless.


On average, a typical adult will need 7-12 pounds of additional buoyancy to remain afloat.

Type 3 PFDs (which are great for kayak fishing) typically offer 15.5 pounds as standard.

There will be many other factors to think about, like the dimensions and weight of the person, conditions and current, whether you’re in salt or freshwater, and what sort of clothing you’re wearing.

Check the manufacturer’s specifications and determine what level of buoyancy your chosen PFD is probably going to supply.


A PFD must take a beating, so you would like something callous and sturdy.

PFDs are made up of various materials, but I’d be trying to find a minimum 400 denier rips top nylon for something callous.

And don’t ditch UV damage over time – confirm your PFD can withstand those rays from the sun.


You may notice that a lot of those PFDs accompany mesh within the lower back or some sort of breathable back technology.

That’s because foolishly sweating within the water isn’t an honest look. It can get hot during a PFD, especially when exposed to water on a hot day.

Large armholes also will help the breeze in, because you would like to be ready to stay there as long as possible.

So, search for those devices with many screens and vents for air circulation.


The color of a personal life preserver shouldn’t be overlooked.

It might look really cool beat black (and they really do), but will that provide you maximum security if you’ve got difficulties?

Being visible when within the water is much recommended.

It’s not proven that fish can see color in the least, so being in high visibility won’t scare them.

Choose a vest which will catch your eye from a distance; you never know when it’d save your life.

Pockets and storage

It is not essential to possess pockets, hardware and extra functions during a life jacket; its primary part is to stay you afloat if you finish up within the water.

However, they’re quite useful if you’re getting to kayak fishing, which is why you’re here within the first place.

Consider what proportion space you’ll really need, because there’s often a trade-off with the dimensions and volume that the flotation device can become when loaded with rigging and equipment.

Which brings me alright to…


Look for PFDs with larger armholes with pockets and storage that will not get in your way.

You need free, unrestricted movement both to row and pitch, and if your PFD prevents you from doing so, you’ve got the incorrect product.

Again, evaluate your size and the way much you actually need the device to hold before making your choice.

If you’ll store your gear during a tackle box or other compartments in your kayak, you’ll find that you simply don’t need a full-featured life jacket.

Which means you’re likely to save lots of on…


Don’t be intimidated by the most cost effective PFDs – as long as they need passed the above standards, they’re certified to do the work right.

You can potentially save tons of cash if you opt to travel for an easier model.

Again, ask yourself what you actually need and what you’re getting to get the foremost out of.

And always buy the simplest you’ll afford!


Q. Should adults and children wear PFD when kayaking?

A. Children under the age of 13 must wear a PFD when during a kayak. Some states have different laws that would include children as young as 16 years old. Adults must have a properly fitting PFD on board, but don’t have to wear it except in some states.

best place to put pfds on a boat

Q. What exactly is approved by the Coast Guard?

A. The US Coast Guard is that the admiralty law enforcement agency that approves life jackets to be used within the US It approves PFDs supported their use and buoyancy. If a life jacket is approved by the Coast Guard, it means it meets US standards to be used as a life jacket.

Q. How do you care for and clean your PFD?

A. Rinse with clean water after each use, using mild soapy water beforehand if necessary. Hang it to air dry somewhere with good ventilation.

Q. Are life jackets and vests comfortable when fishing?

A. Your life jacket should be comfortable if it fits you. However, there are some lower profile options that you simply can choose between if you would like less volume.

when should you discard a pfd?

Final Notes

Buying a best kayak fishing pfd may be a no-brainer because it is of utmost importance. The trick is to understand which sort or category is best fitted to the sort of activity you would like to use it for. This guide was created to assist you compare the best kayak fishing pfd candidates available on the market.

A PFD ensures your safety when within the water kayaking, kayaking, or paddling. Also, once you wear a PFD you’ll have more fun and have the best kayaking experience. Hope the article was informative for you and now you’ve got a far better understanding of PFDs and life jackets. For more information leave it within the comments section. I will be able to get to you.

You should not compromise your life by buying life jackets that aren’t of the best quality. Always remember that your safety is way more important than the fun and delight that water sports and other water activities can bring.

I hope you select one among these 10 products that I even have suggested because I assure you that these are the best life jackets you’ll find.

Thanks for reading and do not forget to share this together with your friends.