What is the best pfd for kayak fishing (Complete kayak PFD Guide)

what is the best pfd for kayak fishing
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What is the best pfd for kayak fishing? PFDs are not exactly the most comfortable things globally, but they’re necessary if you want to stay alive.

If you don’t wear a PFD when kayaking, your chances of drowning increase by 90%. So it’s not worth it!

The best PFD for kayak fishing is the one that fits you well, is comfortable, and will keep you safe if something goes wrong.

With so many choices of PFDs on the market these days, it’s hard to know which one will work best for your needs.

So we’ll take an in-depth look at each type of paddle fishing vest available today and help narrow down your options based on price, comfort, durability, and more!

Here are the Top 5 Kayak Fishing Life Vest and PFD:

Are PFDs required for kayaking?

Before you jump in the water, make sure to have a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), or what’s commonly called a life jacket. A PFD works only when it is on your person and can help save lives!

The law requires that everybody has one for every boat they are riding, so don’t forget kayaks, canoes, SUPs either!

You may have noticed that PFDs are a little bulky. When you’re trying to paddle your kayak, a bulky vest can be annoying!

Don’t worry, though; there are plenty of choices available for fishing vests that provide the best level of flotation while being lightweight and compact enough to store easily in your kayak or hold on to while you are in the boat.

If you’re using a float tube, your best bet is to use a vest with handles on the sides. This will allow you to hold onto it more effortlessly and prevent being tipped out of your kayak if there’s significant water around!

What are the 5 different types of PFDs?

the 5 different types of PFD
The 5 different types of PFD

When it comes to recreational water activities, a personal flotation device can help keep you afloat. U.S Coast Guard certifies and regulates these devices in 5 categories classified as either inflatable or inherently buoyant. The latter is more common for whitewater paddlesports due to their durability and stability while on the surface of moving bodies of water like rivers and Lakes.


Type I life jackets are the most buoyant and suitable for any water condition, including rough or isolated waters where rescue may be delayed. Although bulky compared to Type II and III PFDs, it will turn an unconscious individual face-up while also providing stability if they were knocked out of a boat by waves. In addition, it comes in sizes from adult to child, providing optimal protection no matter what age you happen to be!


A Type II Personal Flotation Device is designed to keep an unconscious person’s face out of the water while providing more than 15.5 pounds of buoyancy and helping them turn from a downward face position into either a vertical or slightly backward position.


Type III PFDs are perfect for people who enjoy prolonged paddling and have a chance of being rescued quickly. They offer comfort so the wearer can wear it continuously without discomfort, but they will need to tilt their head back to avoid facing down into the water if placed upside-down on rescue.


A Type IV PFD is an approved device designed to be thrown at someone in the water. It has 16.5 pounds of buoyancy and consists of a cushion or ring with buoys on either side, set near each other for stability purposes, so it doesn’t float away from its intended target when being tossed into the air towards them by way of boat crew members who are standing nearby waiting patiently until they’re called upon to do their job!


Type V devices are intended for specific activities, such as windsurfing and kayaking. They can only use them in the specified conditions! Deck suits, work vests, board-sailing vests– these types of items fall under Type V devices. This is not what you want if you’re looking to catch some waves or do a little fishing on deck with friends.

What type of PFD is used for kayaking?

The best way to ensure your PFD fits snugly and comfortably is by trying it on at a department store. You want the fit of a good life jacket so that when you wear it, there are no gaps between body parts and nothing pressing against sensitive areas like ribs or armpits.

When shopping for something new, look for affordable options like having an adjustable waistband with velcro straps, as they offer better support than tie-on belts!

Our 10 Top picks of fishing life Vests.

SaleBestseller No. 1
ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket, Universal, Tan
  • Six adjustment straps to cinch vest up for a snug fit
  • High foam back accommodates high back seats
  • Pockets designed for your essential gear
  • Breathable mesh lower back
Bestseller No. 2
NRS PFD Foam Chinook Unisex Fishing Kayak Lifejacket, Bayberry, Size...
  • Comfortable fishing lifejacket provided to make your fishing...
  • Designed to be roomy in the front with a great fit in the back
  • Soft, PlushFIT foam fits to your body type
  • Comes with multiple adjustment points so you can tailor it to fit...
Bestseller No. 3
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Lure Angler Men's Life Jacket (Moss, L/XL)
  • Old Town's Lure Angler Men's Life Jacket is designed with the...
  • Made from tough ripstop nylon, the Lure Angler features...
  • Designed to carry a lot of gear, the Lure Angler features...
  • The Lure Angler's AirComfort System provides unmatched...
SaleBestseller No. 4
NRS Chinook OS Type III Outdoor Boating Fishing Life Jacket Vest PFD...
  • the dark; Zippered front entry for a secure and snug fit
  • GREAT FOR: Perfect for easy access to fishing equipment while...
  • TONS OF STORAGE: Store lures and line in the large and small...
  • BREATHABLE: Mesh lower-back offers ventilation on those hot...
Bestseller No. 5
Astral, V-Eight Fisher Life Jacket PFD for Kayak Fishing, Recreation...
  • BREATHABLE: Airescape patented system eliminates excessive heat...
  • DURABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT: Made with 400 x 200 Denier Ripstop Nylon...
  • BUILT FOR FISHING GEAR: 2 large mesh pockets, an external pocket...
  • MADE FOR SAFETY: Features PE and EVA foam inserts with a buoyancy...
Bestseller No. 6
Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation, Fishing and Touring...
  • MADE FOR SAFETY: Stay afloat with PE and EVA foam inserts;...
  • RECREATIONAL FIT: Pre-shaped foam in the front and back makes for...
  • BREATHABLE: Airescape system eliminates excessive heat and...
  • DURABLE: Made to last for many adventures; 200 x 400 Denier...
Bestseller No. 7
Astral V-Eight Life Jacket PFD for Recreation, Fishing and Touring...
  • MADE FOR SAFETY: Stay afloat with PE and EVA foam inserts;...
  • RECREATIONAL FIT: Pre-shaped foam in the front and back makes for...
  • BREATHABLE: Airescape system eliminates excessive heat and...
  • DURABLE: Made to last for many adventures; 200 x 400 Denier...
Bestseller No. 8
Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket (PFD), Orange, L-XL
  • Fishing PFD that features exclusive Graded Sizing and a higher...
  • EVA pockets act as fold-down work surfaces and padded shoulders...
  • Mounting locations for tippets, retractors, nippers, leader-line,...
  • Cross-chest cinch harness for zero ride-up
Bestseller No. 9
Old Town Treble Angler Unisex Life Jacket
  • Old Town's Treble Angler Unisex Life Jacket is designed for...
  • Made from durable 200D nylon, the Treble Angler features...
  • Built to carry a lot of gear, the Treble Angler features two...
  • The Treble Angler is a simple, lightweight unisex design that...
SaleBestseller No. 10
Stohlquist Fisherman Lifejacket (PFD)-OliveGreen-L/XL
  • Graded Sizing creates a better, more appropriate fit for a wider...
  • Higher mesh-back design offers increased clearance for tall seat...
  • EVA pockets act as fold-down work surfaces
  • Type III PFD with sea level buoyancy of 16 lbs 4 oz

Which type of PFD will turn most?

Type I PFDs are designed for rough or remote waters where rescue could take some time. They’re bulky but have the most buoyancy and will turn you into an upright position should you pass out in them.

I would likely find These types of devices on commercial vessels as well. Those who kayak in protected areas, on the other hand, likely won’t need any personal flotation device to turn them upright if they passed out.

What’s the best PFD for kayak fishing?

You can’t go wrong with a lifejacket. It’s an essential piece of safety gear that will keep you afloat and safe in any situation. Plus, it has plenty of other benefits like being lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear.

If you’re looking for a new life jacket or want to learn more about them, check out our website! We’ve got all the information about different types of jackets and how they work so that you can make an informed decision when buying one. Check below our top picks and best seller.

Bestseller No. 1
AIRHEAD Adult General Purpose Life Jacket-4 Pack, Red
  • Fits Adults over 90 Pounds
  • 3 Body Belts, Open-sided to fit a wide range of sizes
  • USCG Approved Type III
  • Lightweight Poly-E Flotation Inside
SaleBestseller No. 2
O'Neill Men's Reactor USCG Life Vest,Black/Black/Black,Large
  • USCG Approved Personal Flotation Device; Perfect for Wake Sports,...
  • Segmented Foam Core And Anatomical Flex Points Allow Unrestricted...
  • Quick Release Safety Buckles And Heavy Duty Front Zipper Create...
  • Minimal Bulk Design Allows Full Mobility, While Expansion Panels...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest, Aqua, M/L
  • Mesh in lower back fits high back seats
  • Shoulder adjustments with neoprene comfort pads
  • SOLAS grade reflective material for visibility
  • Expandable zippered pockets with mesh drainage
SaleBestseller No. 4
Onyx 121900-100-004-17 Universal Paddle Vest - Red
  • Low profile, lightweight, compact design
  • High foam back accommodates high back seats; Breathable mesh...
  • Six adjustment straps to cinch vest up to fit snug; Comfortable...
  • Large front pocket
Bestseller No. 5
Airhead Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Approved Life Jacket, Orange
  • Basic flotation for the boating enthusiast
  • Designed specifically to provide minimum buoyancy and turn an...
  • Waist belt, Absolute Outdoor Kent Adult Over 90-Pound Compliance...
  • Less bulky and affordable. USCG approved

What is the best life vest for kayaking?

We all know that life jackets are essential for kayaking, but which one is the best?

There are a lot of different types of life vests on the market today. For example, some people prefer wearing a vest with armholes, and others like to wear a jacket-style PFD.

The type you choose will depend on your personal preference and what kind of kayak fishing you do most often. If you’re looking for an easy answer, we recommend trying out both styles before making your decision!

It’s worth it to find something that fits comfortably and meets your needs so you can spend more time enjoying the water and less time worrying about safety. Check our selection of high-quality PFDs for kayak fishing!


The decision of which PFD to purchase can be difficult. We hope that this article has helped you make a more informed choice about the type of life vest you should buy for your next kayaking adventure. If so, please share it with friends and family who require some guidance on what kind of pfd they should get! 

Remember: if there is ever an emergency while out on the water, don’t forget to wear your PFD at all times. You never know when something unexpected will happen, and help could arrive too late for someone without one. Thanks again for reading our blog post today; we’ll see you soon with another helpful tutorial or guide from UpIceFishing!

We hope this article has been helpful, and we’ve helped you find the best PFD for kayak fishing. If you have any questions or comments, please make a comment below! Also, please share how our blog post was helpful to your friends who enjoy kayaking too! Thanks so much for reading, and happy paddling!

Frequently Asked Questions about kayak fishing PFD & kayak life jackets (FAQ)

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