7 Best Youth Life Jackets (50-90 lbs)

Growing up, children begin to develop their interest in all types of activities, such as water sports.         

Not only do kids love sports and all things adventurous but their interest in such activities should also be generated by their parents or guardians. Of course, parents would feel scared about sending off their children into the water without adequate protection. 

This is exactly where kid’s life jackets come into play. It does not matter if your kid and their friends are in the safety of a boat in a pool or a lake, a life jacket is extremely important so that you and your kid feel secure.

This is because this floatation device is the perfect thing to gear your kid with. When it comes to youth life jackets, the best life jackets would be one that ranges between 50 to 90 pounds.

These youth life jackets have the perfect fit for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years.

Youth life jackets of this weight will not only be secure enough on your kid’s body but will also not interfere with them having loads of fun.

This safety-related floatation device will be the perfect tool to rely on. The great part is that the best kid’s life jackets will always feature a PFD that is adjustable.

This is because of the fact that currently, your kid is in the growing stage. So, they will soon outgrow a 50 lbs life jacket.

However, they still won’t be big enough to fit into life jackets built for adults. So, an adjustable youth life jacket is the perfect product for you.

Luckily for you, I have created a list of the best models of kid’s life jackets that fit well, are designed well, and won’t break the bank.

Product Name FeaturesPrice RatingColors
Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest
  • Made of Nylon
  • Type iii pfd
  • 3 nylon belts
  • Squeeze release buckles 
  • USCG approved
$4.6/52 colors
Onyx Youth Paddle Sports Life Jacket
  • USCG approved
  • Type iii PFD
  • Nylon
  • Foam back 
  • 6 adjustable straps
  • Front pocket
$4.7/52 colors
Body Glove Phantom Neoprene Youth Life Jacket
  • USCG approved 
  • Neoprene coated
  • Front zipper 
  • Belts with quick release technology
  • Thin
$4.6/53 colors 
Full Throttle Rapid Dry Neoprene Youth Life Jacket
  • USCG approved
  • 5 hinge points
  • Stretchable insert at the back
  • Type iii PFD
  • Zipper at the chest
  • Buckles
$4.5/53 colors
O’Neill Youth SuperLite Life Vest
  • USCG approved
  • Type iii PFD
  • Relaxed fit
  • Polyester outer
  • Polyethylene foam
$4.5/53 colors
Stohlquist Youth Escape PFD
  • USCG approved
  • Type iii PFD
  • 200 denier oxford nylon

Deep V neck chest 

  • Zipper 
  • Waist belt 
  • Buckles
  • Padded shoulders
  • Pocket
$4.5/51 color
Stohlquist Youth Fit Life Jacket
  • USCG approved
  • Type iii PFD
  • 3 adjustable straps
  • Outer made of 200-denier nylon and oxford liner
$4.6/52 colors

1. Stearns Antimicrobial Nylon Youth Vest

This Stearns Antimicrobial youth life jacket is a great pick and fit for your kid. It has been approved by the US coast guard and features a type iii pfd.

This is why it is ideal for activities related to being in any type of water body, whether it be a lake or pool.

The upper layer of this kid’s life jacket features antimicrobial protection. This stops any type of mold, bacteria, and even mildew from growing on it. So, cleaning this youth life jacket is very easy.

This life jacket keeps itself clean. It is incredibly popular amongst parents and one of the perfect floatation devices to gear children with, whether they are on a jet ski or boat as it has a snug fit.

The design of this kid’s life jacket is one that has a fit that is adjustable. This is made possible due to its three nylon belts that are incredibly tough and sturdy.

These three belts wrap around your kid’s chest and also have a zipper at the front. If your kid is in the water, it will keep their heads over the water at all times and let them have all of the fun.

Apart from that, this kid’s life jacket also features a hanging ring around the collar of the life jacket.

This makes it easy to hang and makes drying really convenient. This is a feature that all pfd’s would wish to have. The closed sides combined with the chest belts that are adjustable make sure that the fit of this kid’s life jacket is always secure and tight.

It also features buckles with a quick-release feature, which you can easily open by squeezing them. With this youth life jacket, your kid will feel secure in any water body and be able to have fun.


  • Tight and secure 
  • Buckles 
  • Easy to dry 
  • Antimicrobial
  • Chest belts 
  • Type iii PFD


  • No crotch strap
  • Only available in 2 colors 

View Price


2. Onyx Youth Paddle Sports Life Jacket

This life jacket is USCG approved and has a type iii PFD. Onyx is a brand known for making life jackets that have a compact design, lightweight, non-bulky, and are incredibly comfortable.

This is one of the best youth life jackets for those between 50 lbs to 90 lbs.

This life vest is designed with a large arm hole and has foam at the back. On a hot day, this life vest will keep your children cool due to easy breathability on the lower back and sides.

If you are in search of a life vest that provides the best fit, this is the one.

This is because it comes with 6 different adjustable straps. To make parents feel secure, it provides great visibility due to the vibrant colors. It also comes in 2 different colors so your kid can choose the one they like.


  • Large holes for the arm prevent arm rashes. 
  • Foam back allows for comfort while sitting in a kayak or paddleboat.
  • Easy breathability 
  • Secure and snug fit


    • Does not come with a crotch strap.

View Price


3. Body Glove Phantom Neoprene Youth Life Jacket

Coated with neoprene, this kid’s life jacket is another ideal choice for those who weigh between 50 lbs. and 90 lbs.

This youth life jacket has also been approved by the US coast guard and is type iii.

If comfortability is your top priority, this life vest is the one to choose. Its fit is snug so if your kid is on the lower side of the 50 to 90 pounds.

The design of this youth life jacket features a zipper at the chest along with two sturdy belts. This allows for easy adjustment at any time. The material makes for a secure and tight fit that keeps your kid warm in cold water bodies.

In search of the ideal kid’s life jacket for boating, this one is thin, which makes this the perfect choice. However, since the material on the underside of the arm can rub against your kid’s arms, it isn’t ideal for activities where paddles might be involved. 


  • Less bulky than youth life vests made of nylon 
  • Snug and secure fit 
  • Provides warmth to the body in cold water.
  • USCG approved


  • More expensive than other kid’s life jacket choices.
  • Can become a bit heavy when in the water but it will keep your kid floating despite feeling heavy.
  • Does not feature a crotch strap.

View Price

4. Full Throttle Rapid Dry Neoprene Youth Life Jacket

This is one of the best and most comfortable life vests that you can get for your kid. The design features different hinge points in order to provide extra flexibility.

I would say, this makes this life jacket the best of the best when it comes to easy movement when compared to various other brands. To make easy movement much easier, there is also a stretchable insert at the back of this kid’s life vest. Just like all the other kid’s life jackets, I added to this list, this one is also USCG approved as well as type iii PFD. The material of this life vest allows it to dry quickly. It is perfect for all activities related to water, whether it’s paddling, boating, or other forms of water sports. The great thing is that it is comfortable so your kid can wear it for an extended time. Unlike other nylon vests, this one comes won’t ride up during use. This is because of the front zippers and double buckles. I would recommend using this neoprene life vest with a rash guard for added comfort.


  • Easy to move arms and head in. 
  • Quick to dry
  • Buckles to prevent life vest from riding upwards during use. 
  • Available in bright colors so you can spot your kid from a distance; great visibility. 


  • Could be a bit too snug if your child is close to 90 lbs.

View Price

5. O’Neill Youth SuperLite Life Vest

Another brand that is known for its life vests of the best quality, this youth life jacket is a great addition to this top-tier list. It is, of course, USCG approved and type iii PFD. This life vest is the best youth life jacket for a user who is closer to 90 pounds because it has a fit that is much more relaxed. However, there is no compromise on safety control and how secure the life jacket is. The holes for the arms are also larger and it has been designed to be much less bulky than other life vests, which makes it different. The user also has much more control over their mobility when using this life jacket. The outer of this life jacket is coated to provide durability. What makes this life vest different is the polyethylene foam, which not only makes it lightweight but also comfortable and really soft. It sure is comfy. The fit of this life vest also allows for an adult to use it. I would recommend purchasing this youth life jacket after getting some accurate measurements.


  • Best for a wider range of body sizes, which is why it can be used by an adult.
  • Less bulky
  • More control and easy movement 
  • Lightweight
  • Really comfortable


  • A bit tricky to find the right size.

View Price

6. Stohlquist Youth Escape PFD

A well-known brand in the market for youth life jackets, Stohlquist is best known for its great gear for anything related to water activities.

So, whether your child is going for a swim or paddling, this is a great choice. In fact, it is also well-known for creating top-tier life jackets for infants.

So, you will usually find this brand on lists known as best life vests for infants and toddlers. This life jacket, too, has been approved by the US coast guard, type iii PFD, and features a 13-pound sea-level buoyancy.

While providing all of the design features necessary for safety and security, with this life jacket, your kids can still have all of the fun they want. No matter what, their heads will stay afloat at all times, which is most important for infants.

This life jacket has a covering of 200 denier Oxford Nylon, which makes it incredibly durable. It sure has some great design features, such as flotation panels at the back and front with buoyancy foam. This makes sure your child is afloat at all times as well as comfortable.

Unlike the life vests that Stohlquist makes for infants, this one is much less bulky as it is designed for older children.

To make your child feel secure, it has a sturdy zipper along with a belt at the waist.

That’s not all, it also features buckles with a quick-release system. This is one of the few life vests that features a flat pocket, which can be used to hold a safety whistle.

The shoulders are also padded for added comfort.

The padded shoulders allow additional comfort and reflective accents add safety.

There is also a hi-vis reflective strip on the chest, and the logo on the upper back is reflective too. 


  • Good price point as it is quite affordable without compromising on quality.
  • High durability 
  • Secure fit
  • Pocket for safety gear.
  • The reflective strip on the chest and logo at the back provides great visibility.
  • Colors; Blue or Orange.


  • No crotch strap, which would prevent the life jacket from riding up.

View Price

7. Stohlquist Youth Fit Life Jacket

This comes as no surprise that this brand made it to this list twice. It is truly one of the best life vests for kids between 50 lbs and 90 lbs. in fact, the fit is big enough for an adult to use without the adult encountering any type of issues with floating.

It is US coast guard approved and is one of the best type iii PFDs. The armholes are large, which provides added mobility. The fit can be customized to the three different adjustable straps.

The design prevents the chest area to ride all the way up to your child’s head, whether they are standing or sitting. It also keeps them floating at all times. The great thing is that the price point of this kid and adult life vest is quite affordable. 


  • Good mobility
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used by an adult


  • The fit isn’t very snug
  • No crotch straps

View Price

What To Consider When Buying A Youth Life Jacket

There are a variety of factors that you as an adult should consider when buying a youth life jacket for your child. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Is the youth life jacket USCG approved?
  • Is the youth life jacket a type iii personal flotation device?
  • What is the fit of the youth life jacket? Is it a snug fit or a relaxed fit?
  • Does it feature crotch straps?
  • Does it have adjustable straps and buckles? 
  • Is the color bright enough to ensure visibility?
  • Will the material be comfortable enough?
  • Are the armholes large enough to ensure easy mobility?
  • Is the price in your range?
  • Will your child use it to swim or for water-related activities, such as boating and paddling?


How do I store a personal flotation device after use?

I would recommend rinsing the life jacket with clean water and hang it in the sun to air dry. Be sure to avoid direct heat of any type. Then store it in a location that is dark and dry.

Can a life jacket be worn during snorkeling?

A life jacket is designed to keep your head floating at all times. I would recommend a snorkel vest instead.

Does my child need to wear youth life jackets for every water activity?

If your child is 13 or below, according to federal regulations they must keep their life jacket on at all times while on a boat. If they are out for a swim, it is up to the adult to decide whether their child needs a swim aid.

Safety Tips

  • Take it out for a swim and test it beforehand.
  • Ensure visibility and purchase one with a bright color.
  • Buy according to the current weight of your child
  • Make sure it is USCG approved.
  • Should have adjustable straps to ensure a tight fit.

All in all, a youth life jacket is the perfect purchase when you see your child generating an interest in water-related activities.

While they should have fun, it is of course the responsibility of the adult to make sure that their child is having fun in a safe and secure manner, particularly when it comes to water bodies, such as a lake.

Each of the youth life jackets that made it on this list are worth the purchase and have their own sets of strengths. So, find the perfect one for your child and have loads of fun. 

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