4 Best Life Jackets for Paddleboarding to Keep You Safe

Float like a boss, paddle like a pro, and conquer the waves with confidence! Let’s dive into the world of water and why life jackets for paddleboarding are the ultimate wingmen for your aquatic adventures. Here are the top 4 life vests for paddleboarding for you to decide between.

life jackets for paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is a lot of fun but it’s vital that you stay safe and wear the right kind of equipment.

A life jacket is a must for any sort of water sport and if you want to paddleboard often, you should invest in your own life jacket – but where can you find the best life jacket for you? 

Here are the top recommendations for life jackets for paddleboarding. Check them out below and find the best paddleboarding life jacket for you! 

Best pfd for paddleboarding

Here are all the best personal floatation devices for paddleboarding.

1. Jobe Adult Unisex Bodywarmer

I love this life vest bodywarmer, and have one myself. This is my favourite life jacket for paddle boarding, as it doesn’t look like a life jacket, and it keeps you warm too. Jobe designed this life jacket to encourage users to wear it on the water. It’s design means it’s a secure and cool option that suits everyone.

The bodywarmer is 50N ISO certified and is made from a strong and lightweight nylon, with a strong YKK zipper. This is a great paddle board life jacket if you want to go paddleboarding in winter.

Other features of this paddle board buoyancy aid include a front zip for quick entry, an inner pocket with snap hook, and a safety D-ring for attaching an emergency cable. This would make for a great gift for paddleboarders!

The Jobe Adult Unisex Bodywarmer Buoyancy Aid can be purchased on Amazon, or from Jobe directly

2. Helly Hansen Sport II Buoyancy Aid

This life jacket from Helly Hansen is a unisex buoyancy aid that ticks all the boxes.

Firstly, Helly Hansen is a recognisable brand name here known for putting out a lot of high-quality sportswear, apparel, and equipment. Because of this, you know that the product you are getting is high quality and well-designed. 

This life vest for paddle boarding is comfortable to wear and adjustable so you can easily keep your life jacket in place while you paddleboard.

It’s secure and easy to use, making it a popular choice when it comes to life jackets for all kinds of water sports beyond just paddleboarding. 

However, it’s important that you check the sizing for this life jacket. A few British buyers have been stung by the different size systems used abroad and felt that the jacket was too small.

So, measure yourself first and always use the size guide given by the manufacturer when you’re selecting your life jackets for paddleboarding! 

The Helly Hansen Sport II Buoyancy Aid can be purchased on Amazon, or from Helly Hansen directly. 


  • Helly Hansen is a trusted brand known for their high-quality products. 
  • This life jacket is easy to use and comfortable to wear with no distracting pockets, zips, or extra features. 
  • It’s also adjustable so you can use it for other water sports too. 


  • The sizing fits a little small so always measure yourself first! 

READ MORE: Where to Go Paddleboarding in Hampshire

3. Leader Accessories Sport I Buoyancy Vest Aid

If you don’t want a bulky vest getting in the way of your manoeuvrability while paddleboarding but don’t feel comfortable going out on the water without one, then give this life jacket a try. 

The Leader Accessories’ Buoyancy Vest Aid is a very lightweight and comfortable-to-wear life jacket.

While neatly fitted, it’s not at all bulky and it’s very easy to wear and move your arms so your paddleboarding is not impeded.

This makes it a great life jacket to wear if you are a confident paddleboarder but still need some kind of floatation device just in case you ever get in trouble. 

It’s great if you are caught in a pinch in calm waters and need help straightening yourself up.

You can purchase this life jacket on Amazon at some very affordable prices. Why not get yourself some paddleboarding shoes while you’re there too!


  • This life jacket is lightweight and comfortable to wear, making it a great choice for confident paddleboarders. 
  • It also doesn’t impact or get in the way of your own manoeuvrability while you are paddleboarding. 
  • It’s available for some very affordable prices compared to other life jackets out there. 


  • Its lack of buoyancy makes it unsuitable for sea paddleboarders. 

4. Typhoon Buoyancy Jacket

If it’s security and practicality you are most concerned about with your life jacket, then check out this life jacket from Typhoon

It’s one of the best life jackets thanks to its adjustable waist belt, detachable double crotch strap, and ergonomic design.

The double crotch strap is an optional accessory that helps comfortably secure your life jacket and also prevents it from riding up. The adjustable belt is fitted with a quick-release clasp so you can change out of your life jacket quickly if you need to! 

Plus, there is a zip-up pocket to store your keys or any other little items you want to take with you on your paddleboarding journey.

Although it is one of the more expensive life jackets on our list, it’s still one of the best life jackets out there for paddle boarders.

To purchase this life vest for paddleboarding, you can find it on Amazon.


  • The Typhoon Buoyancy Jacket has lots of design features for extra security including an additional strap and quick-release buckle. 
  • There is a zip-up pocket for practicality. 
  • It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear, making it perfect for paddleboarders. 


  • This life jacket is one of the most expensive on my list.

READ MORE: The Best Inflatable Paddleboards

What to look for in a paddleboarding life jacket

When looking for the right life jackets for paddleboarding, there are many different things to consider. Here’s a quick look at these factors so you can get a better idea of what to look for.

Carefully consider each point and how they affect you! 

Buoyancy of your paddleboarding life vest

When buying a life vest for paddle boarding, you’ll obviously want one that works.

Different life jackets feature different levels of buoyancy that are better suited for the type of water you are in and how well you can swim. 

For example, a 275 Newtown (N) inflatable life jacket is a great buoyancy aid in rough sea water, while a 100N life jacket is great for children or for sheltered inshore waters. 

So, the right kind of buoyancy depends on where you will be paddleboarding.

As most people paddleboard on very calm, sheltered inshore waters, most use life jackets with a buoyancy of 50N.

However, if you are going out into the sea or somewhere with a strong flow, then you may want to up the buoyancy of your life jacket.

Keep this in mind when looking for the right life jacket for you! 

Inflation Method of your paddleboarding life jacket

Different life jackets have different methods of inflation. Some automatically inflate once it senses you are in the water, while others require you to manually inflate them. 

Most people opt for an automatic life jacket as they are the safest option.

They’ll inflate automatically so if you fall ill or lose consciousness, you’ll be kept safely above the water until you receive aid or regain consciousness.

Because of this, most modern life jackets are built to automatically inflate but there are still manual options out there.

However, these can be a pain if you know you often fall in the water while paddleboarding. 

So, consider your options and try talking to other paddleboarders to see which inflation method they recommend.

They may be able to give you some really valuable insight based on their own personal experiences. 

Size of your life vest for paddleboarding

Each life jacket brand will have its own range of sizes and some are even adjustable so you can wear your life jacket comfortably.

It’s important to get the right size for many reasons but mainly for your own comfort while paddleboarding and so the life jacket is securely attached to you if you ever get into trouble! 

It’s recommended that you measure your chest size, waist size, and weight prior to purchasing your life jacket and use each brand’s sizing guide to find the right size for you. 

Price of your life vest for paddle boarding

Finally, we have come to the price. 

Everyone will have their own budget when it comes to purchasing pretty much anything and it’s important to remember to stay within your budget.

Most paddleboarding life jackets cost around £40 while others (especially premium branded life jackets) can cost a lot more. Remember – just because it costs more doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better! 

Best life jackets for paddleboarding

So, those were the best life jackets for paddleboarders. Check out the options above and keep the buyer’s guide in mind when doing your own research on pfds for paddleboarding. Good luck!

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