Best Inflatable Life Vest for Fishing (Reviews) in 2020

Fishing is excellent, but there are lots of things that can go wrong all of a sudden. Should you have some fishing experience, you probably know that preparing and having the right equipment can make the difference in an emergency.

And we don’t mean that you need patience or the proper hooks for your fish (even though you do). We talk about protective equipment, with inflatable life vest as an essential piece of gear for every single fishing experience.

The market gives you numerous models to choose from, but not all of them will be reliable for fishing. Either way, there are some features to look in an inflatable life vest for fishing, so you have to do due diligence before buying. Let’s start by taking a detailed look at the best options on the market right now.

Top Inflatable Life Vests for Fishing

1. Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Swim Vest Life Jacket

If you’re determined to fish, but don’t have the money for a more expensive inflatable life vest, the Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Swim Vest Life Jacket is a great choice.

Rrtizan Adult Inflatable Swim Vest Life Jacket

See reviews and pricing on Amazon

PROS:
  • It’s effortless to inflate/deflate.
  • It’s lightweight, comfortable and doesn’t cause chaffing.
  • It’s adjustable and breathable.
  • It has a low profile and doesn’t take much space for storage.

CONS:
  • It doesn’t come with Coast Guard certificate
  • It may not be the best fit for small guys.

Even if the vest is specially designed for snorkeling, it will make a safe option until you have the budget to a more fishing-oriented life vest. The life vest practically ticks most boxes when it comes to inflatable life vests for fishing. It’s easy to use, adjustable, and inflates manually in 10 seconds or so.

The waist strap is easy to adjust, and the vest is a good fit for people with weight ranging from 80 to 222lbs. It’s a lightweight with a low profile, just a book size. It’s going to take so little storage space. Its design is comfortable, and the vest won’t cause chafing under the arms while allowing you freedom for movement. It will stay in place, no matter which moves you make. It’s what makes it suitable for fishing.

The life vest is made with 60% polyester and 42% PVC, and it’s soft and comfortable to wear. It’s a high-density material that ensures efficient buoyancy when snorkeling.

Putting on/taking off the life vest is effortless thanks to the zipper. The back is a grid, with efficient ventilation. You won’t get sweaty while sitting and waiting for your fish.

The oral inflation tube is easy to access, and you may set the water level as you’re already wearing the vest. The fast inflation/deflation makes the vest highly functional.

For this kind of money, something’s got to give, and the vest doesn’t come with Coast Guard approval.

Beggars usually cannot be choosers, but for the money you’re paying, the life vest is a reliable choice for some time and essential fishing experiences, and it’s quite the bang for your buck.


2. Top Safety Adult Life Jacket

Just because you don’t pay many bucks on your inflatable life vest doesn’t mean it’s not dependable. The Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle – Auto Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD for Boating Fishing is a reliable model for fishing and kayak low profile gives you tremendous freedom for movement.

Top Safety Adult Life Jacket with Whistle - Auto Version Inflatable Lifejacket Life Vest Preserver PFD for Boating Fishing

See reviews and pricing on Amazon

PROS:
  • It’s a good value for the money.
  • It inflates immediately after immersion
  • It’s made with the right quality materials
  • It’s lightweight, comfortable, and has reflective details

CONS:
  • It doesn’t have a D-ring
  • Some would expect more padding in the back

The vest will inflate immediately after immersion in water, or after you pull the inflation handle. It’s a C.E. Certificated vest with Solan approved USA 3M reflectors highly visible in the dark. The soft neoprene neckline ensures comfortable to wear all day long, whereas the reflective stripe makes you more visible. Thanks to the design, the vest is lightweight, but it’s also comfortable to wear. It’s made with long-lasting materials (nylon and TPU, polyester, and neoprene), so it takes intense use when fishing.

The life buoyancy is 150n, and the vest will fit adults under 330lbs (150kg). Either way, it comes with a belt easy to adjust for the best fit.

When it comes to inflating, you only have to wait 3 seconds for the vest to inflate. Once inflated, the vest will remain dependable for more than 48 hours. Use is effortless, and the vest is easy to air dry, reuse, wash, and repack.

A penny saved is a penny served, and the life vest is a safe acquisition for your fishing, especially if you’re on a tight budget.


3. Absolute Outdoor Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest

There are many good things that the Absolute Outdoor Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest brings to the table, with reliability for fishing as the primary name.

Absolute Outdoor Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest

See reviews and pricing on Amazon

PROS:
  • It’s comfortable and has a low profile.
  • It’s padded and comes with D-ring.
  • It’s easy to use
  • It allows both manual and automatic inflation.

CONS:
  • It’s not the best choice for fast activities.
  • The cartridges are a tad pricey.

The life vest is easy to inflate as you pull the “Jerk to inflate” handle, but you could also use the backup oral inflation if necessary. Once inflated, the life vest presents at least 22.5 pounds of buoyancy.

It’s a comfortable vest that may restrict movement at some point, so it’s recommended for more relaxed activities like fishing. It’s lightweight and has a low profile design, allowing comfortable movement. It’s made for persons 16 and above, and over 80lbs.  It becomes green after being activated and ready to use. When it’s not prepared to use, it shows red.

Thanks to its build and features, the vest possess U.S. Coast Guard certificate and is presents Type III performance. It comes with utility pockets for waterproof camera/gear and CO(2) cylinder. The build is good, and the vest is made with heavy-duty denier nylon ripstop. The pockets and the protective cover are made with denier nylon Oxford, though. You will keep your glasses in the padded pocket lined with fleece, and feel comfortable thanks to the padding air mesh on the back, straps, and lower panels.

The D-ring attachment is easy to use for small accessories and makes the vest more versatile and dependable for fishing.

The vest keeps you cool in warm weather and doesn’t have a bulky feel to it.

Comfortable, reliable, versatile, and easy to use, the vest is one buy that you shouldn’t miss for your fishing.


4. Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation

Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation is made for your safety while fishing, without compromising your comfort.

Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation

See reviews and pricing on Amazon

PROS:
  • It’s very comfortable and breathable.
  • It’s ergonomic and well-padded.
  • It’s made with recycled material and has no toxic PVC
  • The materials and build are of good quality.

CONS:
  • There’s some rubbing under the arms.
  • The zipper may get tricky to use

The vest has a buoyancy rating of 16lbs and presents U.S. Coast Guard Type III approval. It has pre-shaped foam in the front and back, so it’s comfortable for both women and men. It doesn’t have a bulky feel, and you don’t need more space in the back when sitting. As a matter of fact, the build and design make it comfortable when sitting down.

Adjustability isn’t skipped, and the vest has adjustable buckles at the side. It weighs just 1.22 lbs, and it’s easy to put on/take off.

Breathability is one of the vest selling points as the air escape system will eliminate excess heat while maintaining a comfortable temperature. The vent ports on the front and back improve breathability, whereas the contoured foam and soft mesh liner ensure comfort.

The vest is made with a durable 200×400 D Ripstop nylon shell and polyester mesh liner for efficient ventilation. The polypro webbing is a great touch, and the zippers come with Self Locking Vison Teeth.

On top of everything else, every product is free of toxic PVC, and it’s made with as much recycled material as possible.

As long as you remain focused on the goods, which are so many, the vest still stands as a reliable, comfortable, and breathable option for fishing.


5. MUSTANG SURVIVAL MD2981 DLX 38 Inflatable Manual PFD life Jackets

Should you love kayak fishing, the MUSTANG SURVIVAL MD2981 DLX 38 Inflatable Manual PFD life Jackets is one wise investment to make.

MUSTANG SURVIVAL MD2981 DLX 38 Inflatable Manual PFD life Jackets

See reviews and pricing on Amazon

PROS:
  • It has Soles reflective tape, strobe light, and a safety whistle attachment.
  • It’s Molle inspired for better customization.
  • It’s adjustable
  • It’s both manually and automatically inflatable.

CONS:
  • If you look for high back, this isn’t your vest.
  • It’s not very cheap

If there were just one word to describe the vest, safety would be it. The life vest has U.S. C.G. approval, and it’s an inflatable PFD Type III vest. It has a bright yellow inflation cell with soles reflective tape, which makes you visible in the dark. It also comes with features for you to attach a safety whistle and strobe light. It’s a vest with Molle inspired attachment system for effective organization of your items and more versatility. A zippered side pocket will also let you store some essentials.

When inflated, the vest has 38lbs buoyancy. It combines both style and comfort, without compromising on the in-water performance. The design is well thought out, and the fit around the back and neck will reduce pressure points, providing comfort all day long.

Adjustability is also considered, and the vest comes with dual-side adjusters, so that waist belt customization is effortless. Briefly said, you will tighten/loosen the vest as you’re layering up or down.

The vest also presents AIS device compatibility, which will ease out searchers’ efforts in emergencies. It has both manual and automatic inflation for the best functionality.

All in all, the vest makes a great model for kayak anglers as it’s adjustable, slim, and reliable. It all comes down to how much you want to pay for your inflatable life jacket.


What aspects matter the most when selecting an inflatable vest for fishing?

When you’re looking for an inflatable vest for fishing, several aspects will affect your choice model. Inflatable vests come in a great variety of models, and they have features that recommend them for different water activities.

Types of life vests

The market provides five different kinds of life vests, with Type III and Type V as common models amongst anglers and paddle boarders.

  • Type I life vests are the right choice for remote or remote waters. They present the best buoyancy, turning people into a face-up position.
  • Type II life vests are a better choice for calm inland waters. They present a relatively straightforward design and are less bulky than Type I.
  • Type III life vests are the most common option for paddlers as they offer great freedom of movement and comfort for many hours.
  • Type IV models are floatation units that can save conscious persons in the water.
  • Type V life vests are models created for specific activities. They must be warned at all times throughout the particular activity- it’s how they obtain the USCG certification. Fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, waterskiing, and such are the activities for which Type V is made.

Inflation method

Inflatable life vests can be inflated manually or automatically, with some of the best models providing both methods. It’s possible to swim with an uninflated PFD if you use manual inflation, as you will  pull the cord for inflating the vest only if necessary.

If you’re in the middle of the ocean hurt or unconscious, a vest with automatic inflation will inflate without you even touching the vest.

Level of comfort

When you’re buying a life vest and plan to wear it for a whole day, you do want to feel comfortable in it. Comfort is essential, especially if your clothes get wet at times. You don’t want the vest to rub in any areas.

Also, the straps should be adjustable so that you may find the best fit for the vest. Look for models that allow adjustments in various areas so that the life vest fits you without sacrificing your safety or performance in the water.

Extra features

The more features your life vest has, the more dependable and functional the vest will be. Some models come with neoprene pads around the neck for more comfort, whereas others have reflective details so that you’re highly visible in the dark.

Most life vests come with zippers, but Velcro is also common. It keeps the vest in place, no matter how much you’re moving.

You may find life vests with pockets for storing some of your essentials. D-rings are great for attaching safety whistle, whereas Molle compatible vests will let you connect fishing gear for effortless fishing.


FAQs

Q: Who should use inflatable life vests?

A: You can use inflatable life vests in all water-related activities, except for two situations. The inflatable life vests don’t make the right choice for high-speed impacts, like when you’re in a high-speed boat, and you get ejected from the boat. Your vest should be more challenging for this sort of activity.

The second scenario is when you know that you will go into the water at some point. For example, inflatable life vests don’t make a good option for the jet-skiers and para sailors.

Fishing (offshore and inland), offshore sailing, day sailing, voyaging boats, and recreational boats are the situations where you will need an inflatable life vest.

Q: Do you have to purchase an inflatable life vest for fishing?

A: It’s all up to you. Inflatable life vests are less bulky than regular vests and keep you safe while focusing on fishing. You don’t have to wear an inflatable life vest when fishing; but it’s rather a smart decision.

Q: Do you have to take care for your inflatable life jackets?

A: Inflatable life jackets need regular maintenance and checking. They are reusable, but you have to replace the CO2 cylinder after every inflation. Replacement CO2 cylinders may be purchased, and you need to check ahead the prices to make an idea about the costs you’ll have in the long run.

Q: How do you inflate the life vest manually?

A: Most life vests with manual inflation come with a “jerk to inflate” cord. You always have to be sure that you quickly access the “jerk to inflate” cable when necessary. Get familiar with your vest before going on the boat.

Q: What’s the mechanism in the case of automatic inflation?

A: Once you submerge the vest in at least four inches of water, the automatic vest should inflate in a blink of an eye. A small tablet dissolves in the water, activating the inflator. Some models come with an internal water pressure gauge, which will start the inflator.

Most automatic life vests also feature a “jerk to inflate” cord as backup inflation method for automatic mechanism failure. If so, you will have to breathe into the inflation tube for inflating the vest.

Q: How much buoyancy is necessary for fishing?

A: The majority of inflatable life vests present kinds of buoyancy: 24-35 pounds or 35 pounds. Should you be on heavy water or strong winds conditions, you will need more buoyancy for keeping your head above water. Most of the time, 24-25 buoyancy will work for fishing. Either way, you can choose between coastal life vests and offshore life vests, with the latter ensuring greater buoyancy.