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Best Jet Ski Life Jackets

Best Jet Ski Life Jackets Review

There are tons of different styles of flotation devices, but the best jet ski life jackets are going to be lightweight, flexible, and not too bulky.

Most people care about their safety, and their kids safety, but no one enjoys wearing a an uncomfortable life vest. When riding a personal watercraft of any kind, a certain degree of mobility is required. Cumbersome vests just don’t allow riders to turn and maneuver properly, so a more lightweight vest is required.

This list is complied of the bet jet ski life jackets for men, women and children.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


1) O’Brien Traditional Neo Life Vest

O'Brien Traditional Jet Ski Life JacketAt the top of the list is O’Brien’s Traditional neo life vest. This is the best jet ski life jacket for anyone on a tight budget. It provides great functionality for a reasonable price.

Like all of O’Brien’s Traditional vests, there is one solid piece of foam on the back rather than two separate pieces. It’s made from a form fitting neoprene material, but still allows plenty of flexibility. There is a single zipper on the front used for closing it and 2 belts for added security. One of the things that make this such a great jet ski life jacket is the D ring it comes with. Riders can fasten the jet ski lanyard to the ring so if they get tossed off the kill switch is triggered. This life jacket is classified as a type 3 floatation device and is USCG approved.

2) O’Neill Reactor 3 USCG Vest

O'Neill Men's Reactor Jet Ski Life Jacket

O’Neill’s Reactor vest is a pretty basic life jacket. It allows plenty of mobility and doesn’t come with a bunch of straps that get in the way.

The Reactor Vest is made from neoprene and other lightweight materials. This life jacket surprisingly flexibly and provides minimal bulk. There’s a heavy duty zipper on the front as well as two buckles across the torso.

When it’s dry it will fit a bit snug since it’s primarily designed to be used in the water. It’s USCG approved as a type 3 floatation device.

3) O’Neill Wake Superlite Vest

O'Neill Wake Men's Superlite USCG Jet Ski Vest

The absolute best jet ski life jacket for men or women is O’Neill’s Wake Superlite Vest. They make two different styles of this jacket to accommodate everyone.

There are tons of different colors to choose from in both men and women styles. This life jacket is made of marine foam covered in durable nylon material. There are 4 adjustable straps with quick release buckles that allow it to be put on and taken off easily. These adjustable straps also give passengers on a jet ski something to hold onto.

Overall this is a really lightweight life vest that limits bulk. Having a separate style for men and women makes this a great choice for everyone. Both styles are USCG approved type 3 floatation devices.

Jet Ski Life Jacket For Kids

Finding a good fitting life jacket for kids can be tough sometimes. Adult sized jackets end up swallowing them and all you see is the top of a forehead bobbing in the water. Some of the other life vests mentioned above have kids/teen sized but there aren’t very many options for younger kids.

O’Brien Youth Neo Life Vest 

O'Brien Youth Neo Kids jet ski life jacketLuckily for parents who want to take their kids out on a jet ski, O’Brien makes a youth life vest rated for 50-90 pounds.

This is a great jet ski life jacket for just about any kid. It offers everything a normal sized life jacket does, and is even USCG approved. There is one zipper, and two buckles to make sure it’s fastened properly. It’s even made out of breathable material so kids will be less tempted to try wiggling out of it.

They come in bright, easily noticeable colors, ensuring that they are always easy to spot.


Final tips

There are a few key things to look for in good jet ski life jackets. Regardless of the brand you go with, you want to make sure the jacket is safe and well fitting.

Any life jacket you buy should be USCG approved, and should fit properly.

USCG Approved

-All good jet ski life jackets are USCG approved type 3 floatation device. Type 3 life vests provide 15.5 pounds of buoyancy, but most adults only require 7-12 pounds of buoyancy for their head to stay above water. Typically type 3 vests are also the most comfortable. no matter which life jacket you choose to use when riding a jet ski, always make sure it’s approved by the USCG. More information on types of PFD can be found here.

Sizing/Fit

-A key thing to be aware of is the sizing of any jet ski vest is going to run a bit small. Typically a size small should get a medium, a size medium should get a large, etc. The reason for this is most life jackets are meant to expand when they get wet. Keep this in mind when trying on a life vest, and don’t get too upset if it’s a little tight. Sometimes it’s worth it to have a snug fitting vest rather than one that comes off easily.

8 Comments
  1. I like how you added in some life jackets for kids. I hate seeing young children without a pfd on the water

  2. Couldn’t agree more about needing a life jacket when you ride. I absolutely hate seeing someone ride without one!

  3. Thanks for recommendations. We just bought a set of life jackets for our boys. They’re both teenagers now and child life jackets don’t really cut it anymore!

  4. Good post. Good Tips.

  5. PFD’s are a MUST on the water. I hate seeing people, especially young people without them! Not to mention it’s against the law.

  6. Love thinner pfds. Definitely have gotten way better in recent years.

  7. DNR wont hesitate to ticket people without a proper pfd (this means no inflatable life jackets). Seeing people ride without them really makes you wonder.

  8. Where can I get a Type III @ 4X/5X?? Hey, I get around on my ski pretty good for a fat boy

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