As life jackets become more and more specialized for one type of activity or user, you can’t go on opting for a generic one on your next canoeing trip. Not using a PFD (personal floating device, as life jackets are also called, although there are differences between a life jacket and a PFD) is, of course, out of the question. It’s not only illegal, but poses real threat as well.

But how can you know that the model you’re considering is the right one for canoeing? In this guide, we will tackle the specific task of recommending life jackets that perform best during canoeing. We’ll start with a few models we recommend, detailing what makes each special, and then follow up with some bonus tips for choosing the right one.

How To Choose A Life Jacket For Canoeing – Buying Guide



The actual size of the canoeing life jacket (not the wearing size, or the fit) is important especially for travelling and storing purposes. We’re all somewhat inconvenienced by larger items, but bear in mind that in some cases, bigger is better. When it comes to the best life jackets for canoeing, this tends to hold true. If the PFD you have on you is larger, you will float more steadily.


The wear size of your canoeing life vest is very important, since a perfect fit is also a matter of safety, not just one of comfort. Too loose, and your life jacket might slip away from you or come undone once you hit the water. Too tight and you won’t have enough room to breathe, swim or paddle.

Pay attention to what the manufacturer indicates in the sizing guide and choose the one you are confident will fit you. If the best canoe PFD for you is universally-sized, all the better. Its adjusting system is precise enough to fit all, so there’s nothing to worry about.


A high-quality canoe life vest is typically made from synthetic fabrics designed to retain air and-or float, while also sustaining the weight of your body while immersed in water. Since they are top-performing pieces of gear, you should only consider canoe life jackets, specifically, or at least life jackets for water sports. They are made from more resilient fabrics that generic life jackets.



Q: What Is The Difference Between A Kayak And Canoe Life Jacket?


While some would argue that there aren’t that many differences between the various types of life jackets, regardless of the water sport they’re used for, experts can notice these subtle differences right away. First of all, you need to remember that pro-level canoers and kayakers intend to use their PFDs to the maximum of the gear’s capacity. That also includes little things like including the seat of their canoe or kayak into what the life jacket must contain. Therefore, of the first noticeable differences between the two types of PFDs is there, in the compatibility between the life jacket and the canoe or kayak.

Other such small differences can include the over-sides of the life jacket and how far they reach, whether they can prove to be uncomfortable when paddling and so on. A trained eye will be able to notice right away that one canoe life vest is better suited for this sport rather than for others.

Q: Can I Use My Kayak Life Jacket On The Canoe?


Of course, the differences between life jackets intended for a sport and those intended for the other are not that great. What’s crucial is that you choose one of the best models; if it’s reliable and high-performant, you will be able to use it for both sports.

In case of dire need, it will still contribute towards saving your life. Still, you will find that the best canoe PFD is not really that great when you use it for kayaking, and vice-versa, either as comfort or as performance goes. It’s all in the little details mentioned above.

Q: Are Canoe Life Jackets Safe?


Most definitely yes, canoe life jackets are safe, as long as they’re bought from a reputable brand and an authorized seller. That’s the whole point of PFDs, to make your watersports experience as safe as possible, in spite of the adrenaline-inducing, risk-taking kind of fun you’ll be having.

Any of the best life jackets for canoeing from our list of hand-picked choices above qualifies as more than safe. Just one issue, though: if a life vest comes in different sizes, be mindful about the one you really need. A vest to big or too small can diminish the safety provided by the PFD.

Globo Surf Overview

Watersports can be an immense source of fun, combining the joy of getting something right with the thrill of having to strive for it and the unpredictability of the flow. But before you embark on the canoe ride of your life, you need to make sure that safety comes first.

We’ve covered generic life jackets before, in our guide on how to choose a life jacket. We’ve also talked about life jackets for kayaking, life jackets for jet ski, wakeboard life jackets, sailing life jackets and lifejackets for boating. There are also specialized women’s life jackets, life jackets for kids, as well as life jackets for non-swimmers. Even dogs need life jackets, so making sure every member of your adventure is geared up properly is really a must.

Still, your best bet for complete safety and comfort during canoeing is to pick a life jacket that is best suited for this sport in particular. We hope our guide on the best life jackets for canoeing has helped you pick out your next piece of gear. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment field below.

More Life Jacket Reviews:

More Jacket Reviews:

What kind of life jackets did you wear so far? Did you go canoeing with a specialized life jacket before or were you tempted to use an all-purpose one? What’s your favorite brand for the best life jackets for canoeing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! We could all benefit from each other’s experiences.

Globo Surf Life Jackets For Canoeing Reviews

; ; ;
Rated 5/5 based on 1 customer reviews
5 5 1
I was looking for a nice life jacket for a long time. Thanks for the recommendations.

Review Title
Review Content

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!