The Best Water Ski Life Vests In-2020

Best Water Ski Life Vests
Water Skis

When you’re riding the waves at full throttle, you would like to understand you’re protected within the event of a spill, which your life jacket will keep you afloat until you’ll either recover your jet ski, or help arrives, but you furthermore may don’t want to be too encumbered.

Part of the joys of jet skiing is that the easy, free movement you enjoy out of the water – a bulky, tightly-fitting life vest could totally kill that buzz.

You also don’t need a life vest that’s too loose, or rides forward an excessive amount of – it could get within the way of your jet ski’s controls, putting you and your machine in danger.

Comfort and safety, however, needn’t be mutually exclusive. Our handy reviews can assist you to choose the simplest life jacket, so you’ll head bent have safe, high-octane fun on the waves, together with your only care being whether it’s a pleasant day or not.

Runners and Riders

Just like any fast-moving, action-focused sports person, you as a jet ski rider don’t want to feel restricted by your equipment.

You may wonder what the purpose of life vests is – in any case, you’re wearing a wetsuit: isn’t that enough?

Often, no. Many jet ski competitions and watersports parks require the wearing of life jackets, with a fine being enforced for non-compliance.

Also, a wetsuit doesn’t keep you afloat. It keeps you warm, which is significant, but it won’t stop you foundering if assistance is an extended time coming.

Frustrating because it could also be, wearing a life jacket on your jet ski is that the sensible thing to try to – and, if sensible isn’t your style, it’s the thing which will make sure you live to ride another day.

The Top Jet Ski Life Vests Compared

#5 – Onyx General Purpose

First up is that this from Onyx offers a really cheap, very basic nylon life vest which might suit the occasional jet-skier.

It isn’t Coast Guard approved, and is somewhat uncomfortable to wear.

However, it’s cheap enough that you simply could purchase it as a just in case item for a vacation, and not feel regrettable if it didn’t get used.


  • Cheap


  • Not Coast Guard approved
  • Uncomfortable

Who Is It For?

This life vest is certainly more a vacation purchase than anything. It’s cheap enough that it doesn’t really matter if it’s rarely used.

Value For Money?

While this life jacket is reasonable, there are better options, still within most peoples’ idea of affordable, available.

ONYX General Purpose Boating life vest Universal, Blue

Adjustable belts and chest strap to stay vest from riding up

Lightweight durable flotation foam

Large armholes for comfort

#4 – Stearns Adult Classic Series

This is a unisex life vest (although Stearns also do life jackets that are specifically designed for women) which is Coast Guard approved.

It comes during a choice of red or blue, both colors being bright and simply seen. It’s one size fits all, but the buckles and straps leave easy adjustment to urge the proper fit.

However, if you’re particularly large, or very slim, you’ll like better to choose a choice that’s sized within the normal fashion, so you’ll be assured of a cushty and safe fit.


  • Coast Guard Approved
  • Easy to regulate for fit


  • One size – not suitable for anyone markedly outside “average” size ranges

Who Is It For?

The Stearns Adult Classic would be an honest beginner’s life jacket for somebody just getting into to jet skiing.

Value For Money?

This is a fairly priced vest, and would be ideal for the typical novice.

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest, 3000001412, Red, Universal

US Coast Guard-approved adult life vest

Great for wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing

Soft and sturdy nylon shell and light-weight PE flotation foam

#3 – Hardcore Watersports

Hardcore Watersports offer a variety of sizes, from Youth to Adult 2XL, ensuring that the majority of people will readily be ready to find their best fit from the Hardcore range of life jackets.

This is a streamlined life jacket which is Coast Guard approved, and made up of quick dry material, so you’ll never be waiting on your safety gear when the waves are high and therefore the sun’s shining!

The downsides to the present life vest are that it’s quite short, and does have a bent to ride up, which isn’t great when you’re within the middle of an honest run.

However, it redeems itself therein it’s not bulky in the least and is straightforward to wear even at the peak of a contest.


  • Streamlined
  • Comfortable, not bulky
  • Coast Guard Approved


  • Quite short
  • Does tend to ride up

Who Is It For?

While the riding up could also be a true niggle for the professional jet-ski competitor, or the amateur frequent rider, this life vest would be an honest, affordable purchase for the enthusiastic beginner/improver.

Value For Money?

This is a reasonable life jacket that isn’t too bulky, and would make a perfect and practical accessory for the overall purpose jet-skier.

A professional jet-ski competitor might want something that’s less inclined to ride up, however.

Hardcore Water Sports Adult life vest PFD USCG Type III Universal Boating Ski Vest New

Designed to suit a person over 90lbs.

Universal is Adjustable: 32″ – 50″ Chest Size

USCG (U.S. Coast Guard) Approved Type II

#2 – Bodyglove life jacket

This life jacket comes in sizes Small-4XL, and is meant for simple movement, comfort, and functionality, with oversized arm holes and quick release buckles.

When you’re wearing the Bodyglove life vest, nothing will get within the way of the fun and freedom you’re enjoying on your jet ski.

This vest is formed from cotton, and may feel a touch rough if you’re not wearing a wetsuit underneath.

It is also, obviously, not getting to offer much within the way of warmth retention.


  • Ease of movement


  • Not Coast Guard approved
  • Cotton fabric

Who Is It For?

This life jacket would probably best suit the occasional rider who is keeping on the brink of shore in familiar waters.

It may even be suitable for those that are only employing a jet ski to tow surfers out beyond the break line.

Value For Money?

There are cheaper life jackets that are Coast Guard approved. If you’re a daily jet-skier, you’d be better served purchasing one among those.

For competitive riders trying to find freedom of movement, the O’Neil may be a similar price, but far better value for money.

Body Glove Method U.S. Coast Guard Approved Neoprene PFD life vest Vest, Blue, Large/X-Large

Super duty nylon outer shell

100% PE foam flotation for max comfort

Four heavy duty 1.5 ” belts with quick release buckles

#1 – O’Neil Men’s Superlite

O’Neil Men’s Superlite comes in sizes S-3XL, ensuring there really are some things for everybody, although the sizes do fit very tight.

This is a contest standard life vest, with front zip opening and minimal bulk.

There is absolutely no restriction of movement, and, while some people have commented that the nylon (rather than neoprene) material is uncomfortable next to reveal skin, most jet-skiers wear their life jacket over a wetsuit, which negates this issue.

This vest retains heat alright, making it ideal for the cooler evenings once you still want to urge out on the water.

It is also Coast Guard approved.


Competition standard and style – streamlined, simple movement, comfortable

Coast Guard approved

Retains heat well


  • Nylon, not neoprene
  • Sizes run small

Who Is It For?

This is definitely an athlete’s investment, although it doesn’t accompany the investment tag.

Designed with the professional or pro-am jet-skier in mind, this life jacket is affordable for anyone, at any standard.

If you don’t just like the feeling of wearing a life vest – buy the O’Neil life vest.

Value For Money?

Absolutely. If what you wish a few jet ski is that the freedom it offers, you’ll love this life jacket.

Top 4 Best Water Ski Life Vests: reviews

  1. O’Neill Wake Waterski Men’s Superlite USCG Vest (Pac/Nvy/Col, XX-Large)
  2. USCG Approved Vest
  3. Closed cell PVC marine foam for optimal buoyancy while minimizing bulk
  4. Coated Polyester Shell

Coast Guard Approved? Does It Really Matter?

The US Coast Guard know open water – it’s their job. They know exactly what quite a heat retention and buoyancy is required to offer you the simplest chance of surviving long enough to be rescued, within the event of an emergency.

A Coast Guard approved life jacket meets those requirements, and is all around the safest option, particularly for normal jet-skiers.

Competitive jet-skiers could also be required to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest in their heats.

The Final Decision

When you’re riding a jet ski, you would like everything to be as comfortable and unrestrictive as possible – it’s all about freedom.

With that in mind, the O’Neil Men’s Superlite definitely wins this round.