Buyer's Guides

Best Life Jacket For Jet Ski

Best Life Jacket for Jet Ski

Best Life Jacket for Jet Ski Fast, fun, and compact, jet ski’s are the motorcycles of the water! Jump some waves, do a 360 spin-o-rama, go full throttle… does that sound fun? It sure does to us! With all that fun, you really need a best life jacket for jet ski. Don’t get caught out there without the right safety gear.

Why do I need a life jacket for jet ski?

As with any dangerous activity, you should always consider wearing gear that will help protect you in case of some accident. Since jet ski’s are inherently dangerous, especially with an inexperienced operator, the stronger the case for having a life jacket that can keep you afloat should you fall off and possibly become unconscious. Not only is it common sense, in most, if not all, states it is required by law to wear a life jacket on a personal water craft. So, don’t be on the wrong side of the law by not having the best life jacket for jet ski on you!

Types of best life jacket for jet ski

You’ll definitely want a comfortable life jacket when riding on your jet ski. There are vest style life jackets, inflatable life jackets, and of course, basic foam-filled life vests. Generally, inflatable life jackets are either automatic, manual or both. With automatic inflatable life jackets, you will need to make sure the CO2 cartridge is full, otherwise your vest will not inflate!

Now that you’re thinking about safety, keeping on the good side of law enforcement, and deciding on the different types of life jackets, let’s take a look at some of the ones we’ve found that would be the best life jacket for jet ski:

One: Driftsun Universal Fit Automatic / Manual Inflatable Life Vest PFD

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Driftsun Universal Life JacketLots of safety features in this life vest for your jet ski adventures. It has a universal fit that allows a wide range of motion so you can zip around on your jet ski without feeling encumbered. The Driftsun Universal Fit Life Vest has a compact design but features high strength material and inflates automatically within 5 seconds when you have it equipped with the 33g CO2 canister. The nice thing is that this best life jacket for jet ski comes with a CO2 cartridge so you don’t have to remember to purchase it separately. If you choose manually control the inflation, you can use the T-cord to activate the CO2 cartridge and the life jacket will inflate. If you have some strong lungs, you can use the tube to blow it up more to get more buoyancy.

It also has a nice wide neckline so that you don’t get chaffing around your neck and can move your head around. Head movement is quite important when you’re on a jet ski as you’ll probably be moving your head around quite a bit! Imagine having to hold your head straight ahead while trying to spin around on your jet ski. Freedom of movement is quite an important attribute in our opinion!

Pros
  • Universal Fit
  • Automatic inflation with manual backup T-cord
  • Oral inflation tube for added bouyancy
  • Reflective tape and safety whistle
  • Includes a CO2 cartridge
Cons
  • Not US Coast Guard Approved

Two: MTI Adventurewear Livery Sport PFD Life Jacket

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MTI Adventurewear Livery Life JacketThis is a nice standard life jacket everyone should have at their camp for when the whole family gets together. Very affordable life jacket so make sure you pick up a bunch for when you get those unexpected visitors that want to spend the weekend at your cottage and ride your jet ski!  It’s available in a few colors so you can always mix and match and let everyone wear their favorite.

The rugged material is both strong and mildew resistant. That’s a nice feature to have especially when you’re going to store life jackets for any period of time. And don’t forget, most of your guests won’t know the proper way to put a life jacket away and if they throw it in your shed or garage still wet, that’s when mold has a great chance to grow. Of course, mildew resistant is just that, resistant! So always properly store your life jackets for the long term, and don’t forget our other tips for how to clean life jackets!

Let’s look at the details of this best life jacket for jet ski. 2 wrap-around straps ensure you can adjust around your torso for a snug fit. An extra strap near the top of your chest to tighten, or loosen, that area depending on how well endowed you are! Rugged polyester is soft but strong to resist any tears. It’s also US Coast Guard approved and weighs just over a pound, so its quite light.

Pros
  • Universal Fit
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Mildew Resistant
  • Very lightweight
Cons
  • Some people report fit and comfort issues
  • Only 2 wrap-around straps

Three: O’Neill Wetsuits Wake Waterski Mens Superlite USCG Nylon Life Vest

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O'Neill Wetsuits Wake Waterski Mens Superlite USCG Nylon Life VestNow this is a great life jacket! Not only is it stylish but it’s also very functional. 4 adjustable straps, quick release buckles, lightweight and comfortable. What more can you ask for? Oh, that’s right, it’s also US Coast Guard approved. If you’re looking to make a statement and be seen on the water, we recommend getting this best life jacket for jet ski as it will definitely grab people’s attention.

Let’s look at some details as to why it makes a good life jacket for jet skiing. One of the things we really like about this is the eye hook on the bottom. It gives you the ability to attach your jet ski engine kill cord / lanyard. Speaking of straps, it has 4 adjustable nylon straps to make sure  you make adjustments so the jacket conforms to your body.

Another thing we like about this jacket is that it is good at repelling water. It doesn’t hold water and make you feel soggy. You’re already going to be getting splashed from jumping over waves or doing spin-outs, so why wear something that would feel like a sponge full of water. The materials here make sure that water is nicely repelled before you get hit with the next splash!

There are several bright colors available that make sure you’re seen if you happen to fall in the water. So, not only is it a fashion statement, but also a nice safety feature for the best life jacket for jet ski!

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • High visibility colors
  • Eyelet for jet ski kill switch cord
Cons
  • Some people report vest is short for tall people

Four: MW Universal Adult Life Jacket Ski Vest PFD – Yellow

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MW Universal Adult Life Jacket Ski Vest PFD - YellowThis is another good all purpose PFD for water sports, and good for those weekend rides on a jet ski. Quick release adjustable buckles couldn’t get any easier than this. Keep these around your cottage or camp or throw them into the back of your car as you make your way to your favorite lake or river.

This best life jacket for jet ski is USCG certified Type III PFD. So, don’t worry if the local authorities pull you over to check whether you’re following the rules.

The material is smooth 200 denier nylon, which is durable and soft so it shouldn’t bug you while you’re out on the water. Just enjoy your activities and don’t worry. While this life jacket doesn’t have a special eyelet for your engine lanyard, there is a strap on one side that you could easily attach the lanyard to. If you attach it near the bottom, it shouldn’t get in the way of the adjustable straps. Another good feature is that you can order it in universal or oversize sizes, which gives you the most flexibility to fit all types of body types.

Pros
  • Universal OR Oversize fit
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Highly visible
  • Affordable option
Cons
  • Basic design and look
  • Only 3 straps to adjust fit

Five: O’Brien Traditional Neo Life Men’s Vest

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O'Brien Traditional Neo Life Men's Life VestA roomy life vest with a zipper and adjustable straps to make sure you have the right fit. This best life jacket for jet ski will fit you snugly so you won’t feel like you have something flopping around as you skim over the water. The neoprene outer layer makes sure you feel comfortable too.

Even though you’re zipped up, this does not inhibit movement, so you can look around freely and be aware of your surroundings at all times. There is also a nice eye hook for securing yourself to the jet ski lanyard so that if you fall off the engine will shut down and the jet ski won’t run away from you.

Something to think about is the neoprene material. When dry, it’s meant to feel snug, but once it gets wet, it’ll loosen up and expand and feel comfortable. So, keep that in mind when you first try it on. If you’re not going to use it right away, maybe take a nice bath with a life jacket on… just don’t be surprised if your house mates give you strange looks when you walk out of the bathroom with a life jacket on! It also comes in several colors so pick your favorite, and don’t forget there is a women’s version as well, we just reviewed the men’s here.

Pros
  • US Coast Guard Approved
  • Multiple Color options
  • Eye hook for engine cut off lanyard
  • Not bulky
  • Good range of motion
Cons
  • Snug fit bothers some
  • Only 2 straps to adjust fit

The Verdict? Is there a best life jacket for jet ski?

We personally love the O’Neill Superlite vest, number three above. Why? It’s got great looks, is stylish, comfortable and also functional. The 4 straps and the jet ski engine kill lanyard eyelet pushed us over the edge. Why make the choice between style and function when you can have both. Maybe it’s that growing up we liked the logo and it has remained in our minds but after looking at several different life jackets, we do like this one for the purpose of riding on our jet ski. Hopefully, you found this info useful and will find the best life jacket for jet ski that meets all your requirements!