The wind rushing through your hair and the sea mist splashing in your face, this is what many think of when they think of sailing, and that is totally accurate. Sometimes thinking about the safety measures you need can seem like buzzkill, but in fact, making sure all on board are safe is the most important pre-activity concern. After all, how much fun would you have if you are sitting on the deck the whole time worrying about the 'what ifs?'
The biggest tool you can use to ensure your safety is a life jacket. But which one is the best one for you? In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at some of the best life jackets for sailing of 2019.
Best Life Jacket for Sailing Reviews
Stohlquist Edge Life Jacket
This water sports equipment company is relatively new and founded by a couple from Colorado. With a mission to design products with attention to detail, efficiency and durability, Stohlquist brings us our first entry on our list.
The Stohlquist Edge was designed with fit and functionality in mind. To do thus the design team constructed this life jacket with the following features:
- Compatibility with multiple water activities
- Side mounted zipper
- Low-profile design
- Constructed to be form-fitting and comfortable
- Enhanced ft with pull tabs located on the sides (4)
- Built-in pocket
- Increased air flow from mesh sides
- Elevated visibility in low/no light situations from reflective accents
The Stohlquist Edge is a life jacket that is perfect for sailing for many reasons. With a wide range of sizes available, this jacket is suitable for anyone. With an enhanced level of comfort and high performance in the buoyancy realm, you can fasten this jacket and truly feel safe while skimming across the crests of whatever body of water you have decided to venture out onto.
As comfortable as this jacket is to wear, the fit is not always perfect for everyone. Many people who have purchased this jacket complain of it running small and short as well as riding up. This could make this an uncomfortable jacket to wear all day which will detract from your overall enjoyment.
This is not a sentiment that is held by all Stohlquist Edge owners and could simply be a byproduct of purchasing the wrong size. If the features of this floatation device seem to check off all your boxes then the Edge may just be the perfect life jacket for you.
Hardcore Water Sports Life Jacket
Hardcore Water Sports designs its products to be durable and comfortable to wear while having fun in the water. With the life jacket that comes in as the next entry on our list, they do just that.
With the ability to be used as your personal floatation device no matter what water activity you are looking to take part in this PFD brings these features to the game:
- Fits adults and kids alike with simple adjustments
- Multiple straps for security including one between-leg strap
- Available in a color that insects do not like
- Enhanced mobility and breathability with open-side design
- Type III USCG approved floatation device
- Constructed with high-grade Cordura and PE foam
Though this jacket does tend to run a bit small, its positive features and benefits makes this an issue that doesn’t hold water. The fact is that this jacket from Hardcore Water Sports is a quick dry, durable jacket that offers an outstanding level of buoyancy. All these factors make this PFD a great choice for all your sailing excursions. Feel safe and secure riding across the waves in the Hardcore Water Sports Life Jacket.
Lixada Fly Fishing Safety Jacket
When you are setting out to do any outdoor activity you want comfortable and efficient equipment so that you can concentrate on enjoying the moment. Lixada, a new company led by a team that is concerned with making this your reality, brings us an excellent example of their devotion to creating that for you with this fly-fishing safety jacket.
To ensure that they are meeting the highest quality of standard when it comes to their mission statement, the design team at Lixada has included the features below:
- Shell designed with high-grade ripstop material
- Multiple pockets for enhanced storage capacity (x4 chest, X4 zippered front, x2 mesh side, & 1 large back)
- Customization options with accessory loops and attachments
- Enhanced breathability with built-in mesh in the rear
- Increased range of motion from open side construction
- Adjustable buckle straps
- Reflective material used at the shoulders and back for better visibility
Though this personal floatation device is designed specifically for fishing that does not discount it as a viable option for sailing, especially if you are going to take that sailboat out to do some deep-sea fishing. Catching the big one on the open seas will be safer and easier with this jacket. The Lixada Fly Fishing Safety jacket gives you ample room to store all your accessories or fishing tackle while offering you a high level of adjustability for the perfect fit for an affordable price.
There are a few concerns that have been voiced by customers that have purchased this jacket. With no front buckle, you are relying solely on the zipper front to keep the jacket securely fastened to your frame; this is why t the zipper fabric being weak is a little bit of a problem. This is not a universal issue and so odds are you will not have to deal with it, but better safe than sorry.
If you are someone who can fix this or are okay with taking the chance because of all the pros you get with this jacket, then making this your jacket of choice may seem like a no brainer.
Onyx Curve MoveVent Paddle Sports PFD
Creating durable gear that gives you the ability to stay engaged in your water activity of choice longer and with less stress is the mission statement of Onyx. With the Curve MoveVent Paddle Sports PFD, they have done just that.
Sculpted to maximize the fit will optimize mobility, the Curve is a personal floatation device that raises the bar in water sports safety. The team at Onyx has carefully and thoughtfully designed this life jacket with features that enhance safety and functionality. Features like:
- Optimized air flow with enhanced ventilation
- Dual layered inner back foam for better buoyancy
- Shoulder pads made of neoprene which are adjustable
- Secures tightly with adjustable side straps
- Manufactured with high grade, durable ripstop and oxford nylon
- Increased visibility from reflective material
- Available in multiple sizes
This jacket is one of the best-fitting, affordable choices for the best sailing life jacket. The focus on the comfort of his vest is evident and it is perfect for sailing. With an optimized level of motion, it will be no hassle to get your point of sail squared away or any other course correction you need to make.
Sailing can be a very active sport and with the increased range of motion you will never feel bogged down by your life jacket. Now even though your range of motion is increased, you do have to deal with a bit of riding up as you move and if you decide to jump in, be warned that swimming forward is a challenge as the bulk of the foam is in the front of this jacket.
Those issues have no effect on the safety effectiveness of this jacket and so if you can overlook them you will be gaining a great addition to your sailing kit.
Slimerence Fly Fishing Vest Pack
Another fly-fishing safety jacket takes our last slot on the list. From the, at team at Slimerance, this vest offers many wonderful features that can be very beneficial to the sailors out there as well.
The Slimerance fly fishing vest is a great piece of safety equipment that offers a ton of great features. Some of these features are:
- Constructed to be lightweight and low profile for comfort
- Increased storage capacity with multiple pockets
- Manufactured with high-quality nylon and EPE foam
- Crafted with a safety belt that flashes for better visibility at night
- Adjustable size at both the waist and shoulder
- Designed with open sides for increased range of motion
Though this vest runs small, it is a spectacular choice for those looking to do some sailing or fishing. With the extra pockets, you will be able to make sure that you never are never without whatever you need. Even better, you will not have to struggle with the wide variety of movements needed to sail, while still being comfortable.
These are all great attributes but the one that seems to raise the bar is the flashing belt that is built in to ensure that you are visible in the dark of night. This vest checks all the important boxes making this one of the best choices for PFDs when it comes to any water activities including sailing.
The last thing you want to for your sailing trip is an unwanted worry about your safety and the best way to avoid this is to make sure that you have the right PFDs for you, your family and friends.
With this guide, we have taken a deep dive into several of the best life jackets for sailing in 2019. With this knowledge laid out, the decision should be less anxiety-ridden and easier so that all you must do is fasten that jacket and set sail.