Life jackets aren’t just an option when you’re on a boat, it’s the law. You don’t have to be wearing them at all time but the Coast Guard requires that there is at least one suitable life jacket on board for each passenger.

Finding the best sailing life jacket then is essential to not only comply with the law, but to keep you safe. There are many different boating activities, and here we’ve looked at the sailing life jacket reviews to come up with a top list, as well as a buying guide so you can make the right choice.

Once you have the best sailing life vest then you can head out on the waves in the knowledge that you’re safe, secure and be complying with the law.

How To Choose A Sailing Life Jacket – Buying Guide

Type of Boating

When it comes to choosing a life jacket you have to give consideration to what type of boat you are in and how that affects the mobility that you need. If you’re on a small powerboat for example, you’d probably want a belted like the ones we have reviewed here, but if you’re on a large commercial boat then they will have their own Type I jackets.

If you’re on a small sailboat you’ll want a jacket with a low profile and great movement and if you’re on a kayak then you won’t want one that has a float on the lower back as this would be uncomfortable. It’s all about appreciating what design aspects you need and using that knowledge to then choose a jacket that fits what you want to do.

Related Review: Life Jackets For Boating

Dynamic Strength Testing

This is a rating that you will want to consider if you will be hitting the water at high speed. This rating is given to a life jacket to judge its stability on high-speed impacts. If you’re the type who likes to get out there and be a bit more daring on the water, then it’s best to check your products Dynamic Strength Testing to ensure it’s up to the job. This is clearly much less of an issue if you’re doing to be doing a much more serene form of sailing.

Hypothermia Protection

It’s unlikely that you will be in the water for long enough to get hypothermia, but if you’re going to be sailing somewhere with colder water then it’s worth taking the steps to protect yourself from this such as wearing a wetsuit. A well-fitted life jacket will be able to give you support from the cold and should buoyant enough to keep your head out of the water until you can get rescued.

Maximum Freeboard

Freeboard is simply the distance from the water to your mouth when you are in the sea. In all honesty, the type of life jackets that we have reviewed here don’t offer the greatest amount of freeboard, but that’s because they are not emergency life jackets. Still, the Coast Guard requires that Type III vests give you 3 inches of clearance, which is more than enough for small boating activities.

Weight Capacity

All life jackets will have a weight rating and be able to show you how much buoyancy lift that they have. In the vast majority of cases this isn’t something to be concerned about as all jackets will come with enough buoyancy for each individual as they provide more support the more that you go up the sizes. If you’re worried about this, however, then you should be able to find this information and the product listing.

Related Post: Life Jacket Buoyancy


Color can be an important aspect when to comes to life jackets as it makes sense to be as visible as possible when you’re out there on the water. If you’re always going to have people with you, then this is less important as you’ll always be rescued quickly. If you’re worried about visibility, then it may be a great idea to be as visible as possible. Aside from that color is simply a personal choice where you can go with any design that you wish.



Q: Why do I need a life jacket for sailing?


The first answer to this question comes in the form of the law, as you have to have access to a US Coast Guard approved life jacket if you’re out there on a boat. You never can predict what will happen to you while you’re out on the water, so it’s important to stay as safe as possible at all times. If you’re on a large boat then wearing one all the time probably isn’t required, but you still need quick access to one.

For every other instance, it makes sense to wear a life jacket so that you always have that protection whenever you need it. Life jackets have never been more comfortable to wear, so wearing them all day is no issue and you’d soon forget that you even have one on. The modern day life jacket is essential for whenever you’re out on the water.

Related Review: Big And Tall Life Jacket

Q: What type of life jackets for sailing are there?


If you’re out there sailing on the open water, then you need access to a life jacket at all time. Even if you’re just relaxing in the sun or dropping anchor to cast out a line to go fishing, you’ll be able to breathe easier if you have a life jacket. Large commercial boats will have a Type I jacket which is big and bulky and smaller ones may off a Type II which is smaller, but still uncomfortable and restricts movement, both of those types are used for emergencies.

All these life jackets reviewed are Type III jackets as they will give you plenty of buoyancy in the water, but will also give you a full range of movement so that you’re able to complete any task at hand. If you’re wanting to have freedom and comfort, then wearing a Type III jacket will give you just that. There are also best life jackets, infant life jackets, life jackets for kids and a lot more.

Related Post: Life Jacket Buying Guide

Globo Surf Overview

Getting the best sailing PFD is an essential part of the checklist before you ever head out onto the open waves and start your sailing adventure. Having a sailing vest will help you not only comply with the law, but give you the peace of mind you need to have a great time knowing that if disaster struck, you’d be as safe as possible.

All the jackets reviewed here are meant to be worn for a long time, and can even be used for other actives like if you wanted to get into kayaking or try out an SUP board. That’s because they are multi-use and comfortable. Thankfully technology has moved on and these jackets can give you the buoyancy that you’re looking for, but with a great fit that you’ll barely notice.

There are a few key things to consider, such as if you need the jacket to have a high level of strength testing or if you and one that will give you thermal support in colder waters. Other considerations such as the buoyancy it can provide and they type of boating activity that you are doing are important as well.

Once you have an idea of exactly which type of vest that you want, then you’ll be able to find the best sailing life jacket for you which will last you a long time and support you on whatever water activity that you love. Hopefully this buying guide has given you the tools you need to that you can comply with the law, and have the maximum amount of fun possible while you’re out on the water not having to worry about anything else.

More Life Jacket Reviews:

More Jacket Reviews:

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!