best inflatable life vest for fly fishing
best inflatable life vest for fly fishing

You’ll be on the water often if you’re a fly-fishing fisherman.

This means that safety is important to you and your loved ones.

With all the different inflatable life vests available today, choosing the best inflatable life vest for fly fishing that suits your needs can be complex.

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How to choose the Best inflatable life vest (Complete Guide)

In this article, we’ll help guide you through what features matter most in an inflatable vest so you can decide which one will work for you!

-Inflatable life vests come in many different styles, from wearable pouches to full body suits with back support-Different sizes are available based on height and weight restrictions.

There’s also a range of colors, like camo patterns or bright.

Recommended inflatable fly fishing vest (2023 Top picks):

Mustang inflatable life vest for adults
Onyx inflatable life jackets
Coast guard approved inflatable life vest
Xps deluxe fishing life vest
Eyson inflatable life jacket automatic

Are inflatable life vests reliable?

Some fishermen are skeptical about using these types of life vests because they look and feel fragile.
Their concerns are not without merit either since inflatables have been known to deflate during critical situations.
This is why we’ve compiled a list of reliability features below to help you find the best inflatable life vest for fly fishing!

Strong Air Chambers: Since the inflatable consists of multiple chambers, the size and strength of the air pockets are essential.
The more chambers present in a vest will give you more time to activate your flotation device before it starts to deflate.
Multiple Buoyancy Ratings: The buoyancy of an inflatable life vest will indicate how much weight it can hold before the air chambers deflate. Some models can hold up to 200 lb but are usually for commercial use only.

Some inflatables that are designed for recreational use have multiple buoyancies as well: a high buoyancy for adults (around 5 lbs) and a low for kids (approximately 3 kg)
Automatic Inflation Devices: If an inflatable vest does start to deflate, it’s essential to have some backup, such as CO2 can

How many pounds of buoyancy do I need?

Buoyancy is needed to keep an adult’s head and chin above water.

The average person needs just 7-12 pounds of buoyance not to sink below.
However, most quality PFDs provide more than this amount, so you don’t have to worry too much!

Read Next – Life Jackets for Adults For SUP

How much should you spend on an inflatable life jacket?

When it comes to price, most quality vests cost around $80, and there are even some good models that go for less than $40.
However, more features like a higher buoyancy rating or multiple air chambers add to the cost. If safety is your number

ABSOLUTE OUTDOOR Onyx A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket

 in stock
7 new from $119.99
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Onyx A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket, Blue

$119.99  in stock
53 new from $119.99
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

ONYX A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket, Green

 in stock
38 new from $119.99
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Vest, Red

 in stock
9 new from $82.95
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Onyx A/M-24 Deluxe - Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket

$149.68  in stock
38 new from $149.68
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

How do you choose an inflatable life vest for fishing?

There are many factors to consider when looking for the best inflatable life vest for fly fishing.
So, to help you get the most out of your fly fishing trip, we’ve compiled a list to guide you through this process!
Know the differences between Type I, II, and III inflatable life vest

What size vest should you get for fishing?

I always wondered what the right size fishing vest was, so I asked an old fly fisherman.

He told me that it should be about two sizes larger than your regular clothing size—
if you wear a small shirt, get a large fishing vest.

After trying out his idea on my own and seeing how well this worked with different shirts in various weather conditions (and noticing people looking at me strangely), I got one just like him: A big extra-sized fishy friend!

Read Next – Best Life Belts Buying Guide

How to know if your life vest is in good condition

The life jacket should be snug but allow you to move freely. Ensure that there is no spare room above the arm openings and that it does not ride up your chin or face, as this will make breathing difficult for a user who cannot hold their head out of the water on their own.
To work correctly, the life jacket must also be in good serviceable condition, with all straps securely fastened so they don’t come loose during an emergency.

Read Next – Best Life Belts Buying Guide

What is the best life vest for non-swimmers? This life vest is perfect whether you’re a pro or have never been in the water.

The USCG has approved it, but that’s just icing on the cake, as this neoprene and polyester combo ensures superior floatation regardless of your skill level!

The best part about these non-swimmer life vests is that you can rely on them to keep your head above water no matter how bad things get because not only does its approval from USCG make sure everything goes according to plan.

But with high-quality materials like polyester and neoprene, there are zero worries when it comes time to swim out into deep waters confidently, knowing these fabrics will do their job.

Best inflatable life vest for bass fishing (inflatable PFD for bass fishing)

Buying a life jacket is hard. There are many options, and they all seem to be the same.
Choosing which personal flotation device (PFD) suits you can be confusing. Many choices are on the market today, but not all inflatable PFDs are created equal.

Some aren’t safe or comfortable enough to wear while fishing in your favorite boat or kayak.
The best inflatable PFD for bass fishing is a fantastic product from Onyx Company called Onyx A/M-24 Automatic Manual Inflatable Life Jacket.

This lightweight vest has been designed specifically with anglers in mind, and it’s perfect for any water sports activity like kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, boating, swimming, and more! It’s durable, comfortable, and looks great!

Read Next – Big and Tall Life Jackets For SUP

Best life jackets for boating

It’s hard to find a good life jacket for boating. There are so many options, and they all look the same.
The best life jackets for boating have four main features: comfort, safety, durability, and style.
But it’s challenging to know what you’re looking at when shopping online or in stores because these features aren’t always apparent on most products.
You also need to ensure that your jacket is Coast Guard-approved if you plan on using it while cruising around lakes or oceans with friends and family.

What is the difference between a life jacket and a PFD?

PFDs are more comfortable than traditional life jackets because they are designed for constant wear.
They do not offer the same level of protection as a standard life jacket but can help keep you afloat and turn an unconscious person’s head so that their face is out of water.

Read Next – Tubes of Repair PVC Glue for Inflatable Boat

When can you wear an inflatable PFD?

You can wear an inflatable PFD anytime, anywhere. It’s designed for people who risk falling overboard or getting into trouble in the water.

It’s also great for kids playing around on boats and docks.

And because it’s lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your life jacket again!

What is a hydrostatic life vest?

The Hydrostatic Inflator Technology (HIT™) offers reliable inflation in a low maintenance design that will only automatically inflate when submerged in 4” or more water pressure and not inadvertently due to rain, spray, or humidity.

The best part about this product is you don’t need any tools for installation!

Here are the top Recommended Hydrostatic life vests

Mustang Survival HIT Inflatable PFD with Sailing Harness for Adults (Black - One Size Fits All) Designed for Sailors, Auto Hydrostatic and Fluorescent Inflation Cell

$299.99  in stock
4 new from $299.99
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Mustang Survival - HIT Inflatable Work Vest for Adults (Orange & Black - One Size Fits All), Auto Hydrostatic, Enhanced Mobility and Reduced Heat Stress, 35 lb. of Buoyancy

$339.99  in stock
12 new from $339.99
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Mustang Survival Corp Elite Inflatable PFD (Auto Hydrostatic), Black

$269.95  in stock
3 new from $269.95
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Read Next – Onyx Universal Paddle Kayak Life Vest

Is a life vest suitable for swimming?

Swimming is the best exercise, but it can be dangerous.

Every year, thousands of people drown in swimming pools and oceans worldwide.
Most of them were not wearing a lifevest! Wearing a good life jacket is the best way to protect yourself while swimming. We have designed a unique new product that will keep you safe, comfortable, and stylish at the same time when you swim.

It’s called Waterproof Life Jacket for Adults & Kids – Swim Vest with Pockets for Phone, Keys & Money (Blue).

This waterproof vest has pockets for your phone, keys, and money, so you don’t need to bring anything else except sunscreen, lotion, or cream because this vest has everything covered!

And if you want something more colorful than blue, we also offer these vests in 10 other colors, including pink, red/orange, white/black, etc.

Read Next – Onyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD

What is the best life vest for swimming?

Picking the best inflatable life vest is essential, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve done all the research for you and found five perfect vests for fly fishing.

Check them out below!
Check our top picks of the best inflatable life jackets below.

ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest, Medium/Large, Aqua

 in stock
49 new from $55.07
Free shipping
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket, Oversize, Tan

 in stock
53 new from $70.43
3 used from $58.37
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

NRS cVest Type III PFD Adjustable Adult Sea Kayak Life Jacket Vest with Mesh Back, Lime, L/XL

$147.95  in stock
6 new from $147.95
Free shipping
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest, 3000004475, Blue, Universal

$34.99  in stock
3 new from $34.98
2 used from $21.77
Free shipping
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest,Pacific/Smoke/Black/White,Large

 in stock
2 new from $38.34
2 used from $35.27
Free shipping
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

STEARNS Adult Watersport Classic Series Life Vest, Blue

 in stock
2 new from $31.49
5 used from $25.81
Free shipping
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Frequently Asked Questions about inflatable fly fishing life vest (FAQ)

Are inflatable life jackets reusable?

Inflatable life jackets are not ideal for water sports such as skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding. They require regular checks by the user to ensure they’re still in good condition.

After each use, after inflating them with CO2 from a cylinder that needs replacing every time, you turn it on again or refill its gas supply.

Inflatable life jackets have limitations but can be used safely if precautions are taken for specific activities like surfing, where waves might get rough enough to make flipping over possible.

What is a manually inflatable life jacket?

Manual inflatable PFDs have a straightforward design and are famous for kayaking because of the concern that you could flip over while fishing and wind up in the water.

You can pull on this cord to trigger an air cylinder to fill with CO2 gas.

How do manual inflatable life jackets work?

Inflatable life jackets are compact and lightweight, perfect for use on a boat or other outdoor activities.

When inflated with air, they provide 45% more buoyancy; you’ll float higher in the water so rescuers can find you quickly!

Once deflated, it folds into an easy-to-carry pouch designed to repack easily when not in use.

Read Next – Onyx Movevent Dynamic Life Vest UK Review

How long do inflatable life jackets last?

With daily maintenance and a little luck, your inflatable life jacket should last up to ten years.

This includes checking the CO2 cylinder and inspecting for rips or tears before every use, as well as “daily” checks of all components by looking at their condition after you take them off each time they are worn.

Can you take an inflatable life jacket on a plane?

You can always be prepared for a water emergency with multiple life jackets.

IATA regulations allow you to carry up to four inflatable-type jackets and two replacement CO2 cylinders in your checked or hand luggage.

How often should you replace the CO2 cylinder in an inflatable PFD?
Hydrostatic inflatable devices can go without maintenance for up to 5 years before the activation mechanism and carbon dioxide (CO2) cartridges need replacing.

Is inflatable PFD good for kayaking?

Inflatable PFDs are suitable for kayakers because they don’t provide enough protection in fast-moving rivers and other areas where you could be knocked unconscious.

They also cannot fit children or non-swimmers.

Are self-inflating life jackets reusable?

Inflatable life jackets involve a lot of maintenance, but they are the safest option for surfing and kayaking.

After every use, you need to replace the CO2 cylinder.

Regular checks should also be done on your inflatable jacket for any rips or holes that may appear over time with regular usage!

Is a swimming vest the same as a life jacket?

Swim vests are a comfortable way to protect your little one in the pool without making them uncomfortable.

They look similar to life jackets but offer less protection because they’re designed for children, not adults.

These special flotation devices usually come with zip-up fronts, so it’s easier on you when checking their diaper or changing clothes as needed!

Do inflatable life jackets have to be worn?

As a safety precaution, inflatable life jackets are not approved for people under 16. Inflatables should also never be worn on PWCs or while water-skiing.

Additionally, many inflaters require them to be used instead of just carried in a bag or stored in storage areas when traveling with one onboard your boat.

Best Life Jackets For Paddle Boarding [2023 Update]

Here are some of the best paddleboard life vests to buy:

Onyx M-16 Manual Inflatable Belt Pack

A relaxed, non-obstructive personal flotation gadget is desirable for water activities like stand-up paddleboarding. The Onyx M-16 belt pack is super relaxing and low profile but is the best insurance if you need it.

The M-16 is a USCG-verified Type III PFD, which is pretty famous for stand-up paddleboarders for its lightweight relaxation and freedom of movement. It manually inflates with a sixteen-gram CO2 cartridge that is added.

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddlesport

The Onyx MoveVent dynamic is made of nylon and comes in 4 different color choices and three sizes. It has bubble foam on the back, making it more relaxing for long-term wear.

Front and back ventilation also permits the highest air flow and helps keep you chill. It is a USCG-verified Type III personal flotation device, which is best for SUP. There is an expandable, zippered pocket with mesh for drainage and a drying loop on the back.

Stearns SOSpenders manually Inflatable Belt Pack.

The Stearns SOSpender is a manually inflatable belt pack accessible in Real Tree and Blue camo. Inflate it in seconds by pulling the lanyard for CO2 inflation, or inflate it orally using the inflation tube.

The belt inflates into a complete, complete-sized adult life jacket around your waist and offers 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.

The compact design will not inhibit your motion range, which makes it best for SUP. It does not get in your way while paddling, yet it is right around your waist if needed.

It is so light that you forget it is even there. It is also best for warm days because it does not limit airflow.

Best SUP Life Vest In 2023 – For Your Safety!


Inflatable life vests are fantastic for fly fishing because they can be stored in a small space and don’t take up any room on the boat.

They are also lightweight, durable, easy to put on, and comfortable. Most importantly, however, is that inflatables will keep you afloat should you fall overboard or go into water over your head.

Make sure you purchase one before taking off with your friends next time!

Eyson Inflatable Life Jacket Life Vest Basic Automatic/Manual (Blue Auto)

$69.99  in stock
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Eyson Inflatable Life Jacket Life Vest Highly Visible Automatic for Adults (Black)

 out of stock

Eyson Inflatable Life Jacket Inflatable Life Vest for Adult Classic Automatic (Neon)

$69.99  in stock
as of June 23, 2024 9:57 am

Guide to Choosing an Inflatable PFD | Expert Advice

Q: What is an inflatable life jacket?

A: An inflatable life jacket is a personal flotation device that can be inflated manually or automatically in an emergency to keep the wearer afloat.

Q: What are the benefits of using an inflatable life jacket?

A: Inflatable life jackets are lightweight and comfortable, perfect for outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, and fishing. They also provide peace of mind in case of an emergency.

Q: How does an inflatable life jacket inflate?

A: Inflatable life jackets can be inflated manually or automatically. Manual inflation requires the wearer to pull the inflation handle or blow into an oral inflation tube, while automatic inflation occurs upon immersion in water.

Q: How much buoyancy does an inflatable life jacket provide?

A: Most inflatable life jackets provide a buoyancy of 22.5 lbs or more, which is suitable for most marine activities. However, the buoyancy required may vary depending on the wearer’s weight and activity.

Q: What is a low-profile inflatable life jacket?

A: A low-profile inflatable life jacket is a type of personal flotation device designed to be lightweight and less bulky than traditional life jackets. They are perfect for activities where freedom of movement is essential, such as swimming or kayaking.

Q: How do I ensure that my inflatable life jacket fits properly?

A: To ensure a proper fit, follow the manufacturer’s sizing instructions and adjust the straps and buckles accordingly. It’s also essential to wear the jacket regularly to get a feel for how it fits and make any necessary adjustments.

Q: Is it necessary to have a re-arming kit for my inflatable life jacket?

A: Yes, it’s essential to have a re-arming kit for your inflatable life jacket in case it needs re-armed after use. Check the expiration date on the kit and replace it as needed.

Q: Can I use an inflatable life jacket for sailing?

A: Yes, inflatable life jackets are approved by the US Coast Guard for use in sailing and other marine activities. Just make sure to choose an approved Type V life jacket and follow any additional guidelines the manufacturer sets.

Q: What is a convertible inflatable life jacket?

A: A convertible inflatable life jacket is a type of personal flotation device that can be worn as an inflated or uninflated vest, depending on the situation. They offer versatility and ease of use in emergency scenarios.

Q: What is a harness on an inflatable life jacket?

A: A harness on an inflatable life jacket is a safety feature that allows the wearer to clip onto a safety line or rope. It’s essential for activities such as sailing or boating, where the wearer may need to be secured to the deck.

Q: What are inflatable life vest jackets?

A: Inflatable life vest jackets are a type of personal flotation device that uses either manual or automatic inflation to provide flotation in an emergency.

Q: Why are inflatable life vest jackets important for safety?

A: Inflatable life vest jackets are essential for safety because they provide buoyancy in emergencies such as falling overboard or a capsizing kayak.

Q: How does inflation work in inflatable life vest jackets?

A: There are two types of inflation in inflatable life vest jackets – manual and automatic. Manual inflation requires the wearer to pull a cord to inflate the vest, while automatic inflation uses a CO2 cartridge that inflates the vest when it comes into contact with water.

Q: What is Mustang Survival?

A: Mustang Survival is a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing personal flotation devices and other safety gear for outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, and boating.

Q: What is re-arm, and why is it important?

A: Re-arm refers to replacing the CO2 cartridge in an automatic inflatable life vest jacket after deployment. It is important because a properly re-armed life jacket will be ready for use in another emergency.

Q: What is a re-arming kit?

A: A re-arming kit contains all components necessary to re-arm an automatic inflatable life vest jacket after deployment.

Q: What is a Coast Guard-approved Type V life vest?

A: A Coast Guard-approved Type V life vest is a life vest that meets specific design and performance standards set by the United States Coast Guard for use in specific water activities such as kayaking or fishing.

Q: What is the difference between manual and automatic inflation?

A: Manual inflation requires the wearer to pull a cord to inflate the vest, while automatic inflation uses a small CO2 cartridge that inflates the vest when it comes in contact with water.

Q: What maximum weight can an inflatable life vest jacket support?

A: Most inflatable life vest jackets can support wearers weighing less than 80 lbs.

Q: Can inflatable life vest jackets be easily and quickly equipped?

A: Yes, inflatable life vest jackets are designed to be lightweight and easy to equip in case of emergencies.

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Tom Leithner
Hi, I'm Tom Leithner, a SUP Paddle Board expert and enthusiast. With years of experience and a passion for all things SUP, I'm excited to share my knowledge and tips on the website As a dedicated paddler, I have had the privilege of receiving several prizes and rewards for my expertise in the field. My journey with SUP began with a deep appreciation for the serene beauty of the water and the sense of freedom it provides. Over the years, I have honed my skills and explored various SUP techniques and gear, allowing me to offer valuable insights and advice to fellow enthusiasts. Through this website, I aim to provide comprehensive guidance on choosing the right SUP board, essential gear, and techniques to optimize your paddleboarding experience. Whether you're a beginner looking to get started or a seasoned paddler seeking new challenges, my goal is to equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to make the most of your SUP adventures. I believe in the power of sharing experiences and fostering a strong SUP community. Join me on this exciting journey as we dive into the world of SUP and discover new destinations, techniques, and gear together. Let's make every paddleboarding experience unforgettable. Stay tuned for regular updates and fresh content, as I continue to explore, learn, and share my passion for SUP on Together, let's make waves and elevate our paddleboarding adventures to new heights.