From keeping you safe on the water to holding the tools and supplies you need close at hand as you fish, a fishing life jacket is an indispensable fishing accessory. The best fishing life jacket should be loaded with fishing features without compromising flotation, comfort, and range of motion. 

To simplify your search for a fishing life vest, our best reviews present the very best, top-rated fishing life vest on the market. Whether you’re a fly angler wading in the water or fish from a kayak, read on to find out which is the best fishing flotation vest for your needs.

How To Choose A Fishing Life Jacket – Buying Guide


With a life jacket for fishing, comfort is a top priority. The PFD should feel comfortable to wear, and shouldn’t inhibit your freedom of movement. The sides should be open to give your arms full range of motion for casting and pulling fish. In terms of fit, the jacket should secure against your body but without being restrictive.  

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What differentiates a fishing life jacket from other life jackets out there is the functionality. Besides keeping you afloat in the water, life vests fishing also function as vests for holding all the tools and supplies you need close at hand. For this reason, life jackets for fishing should have multiple pockets and attachment points. For freedom of movement, fly and kayak fishing life vests should have wide arm openings. 

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Adjustment Belts

As we’ve said, life vests should be secure without being restrictive. Adjustment belts can make a world of difference to the fit and feel. For a fishing vest you’re going to be filling with gear, adjustment belts are very important to ensure the vest sits right. For this reason, all the best fishing life vests have multiple adjustable straps.   

US Coast Guard (USCG) Approved


To ensure that the fishing vest life you choose is safe and reliable, it’s wise to choose a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket. All the USCG approved fishing life vests on our fishing life jacket reviews are Type III jackets. Whether you need an approved jacket or not also comes down to the law in your state.  

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Colors, Design, User Age, and Gender

To avoid spooking the fish, most fishing jackets are dark in color. However, a high-visibility hue can help rescuers spot you quickly in an emergency situation. If you enjoy fishing in low-light conditions, it’s a good idea to opt for a life fishing vest with reflective accents.

As for design, make sure the fishing life vest has the fishing features you want. Whether you’re looking for a women’s life vests for fishing or a men’s fishing vest, the design to go for is also a personal choice. As for age, most life jackets fishing are designed for adults. Kids should wear life vests designed for children.



Q: Why Do I Need A Fishing Life Jacket?


You need a fishing life jacket for two reasons: to keep you afloat if you fall into the water, and to hold the essentials tools and supplies you need close at hand as you fish. Depending on the waters you’re fishing and the kind of vessel you’re using, wearing a life jacket may also be a legal requirement.

Q: How To Choose The Best Fishing Life Jacket?


Choosing the best fishing life vest starts with deciding on how many pockets and attachment points you need and how these should be laid out. Next, determine the right size to order by measuring around the broadest part of your chest and consulting the size chart. Once you’ve settled on the best fishing life jacket, select your preferred color and you’re good to go.  

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A fishing PFD is essential for enjoyable and successful fishing expeditions. Whether you’re looking for the best fisherman vest for bass fishing, life vests for kayak fishing, or a fly fishing vest with a plethora of pockets, our guide and reviews are designed to arm you with the information you need to buy the best fishing pfd for you.

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