If you are learning to paddleboard, there is a good chance that you might fall in the water, because of this it is better to be safe than sorry. As such, safety should be your top priority.
With that being said, a personal flotation device (PFD) and knowing how to get back on your paddle board after falling into the water will save your life in case of an emergency. Moreover, according to the Coast Guard, any SUP boards outside of swimming, surfing, or bathing areas are considered vessels. Therefore, you are legally supposed to be wearing PFD.
In this article, we will review the seven best PFDs for stand-up paddleboarding.
- Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest
- Onyx Unisex Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life Jacket
- O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest
- NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket
- Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket
- Astral Airbelt Inflatable PFD
- Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
- What To Consider When Looking For The Best Paddleboarding PFD
- Summing up
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest
Reliable & flexible protector!
The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is the reliable protector for the SUPer. With a flexible design, it conforms comfortably to most body shapes. Moreover, unlike the majority of life vests, it stays in place!
The vest features soft, lightweight flotation foam and heavy-duty nylon fabric. There is also SOLAS grade reflective materials for ease of spotting.
It includes a lash tab, high back mesh, heavy-duty zipper, storage pocket, attached whistle, and adjustable neoprene shoulder comfort pads.
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is unisex. Furthermore, it is a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type III PFD.
- Fantastic reliability
- Offers excellent mobility
- Takes some time to find the right size
The overall best life vest for stand-up paddleboarding.
Onyx Unisex Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life Jacket
Low profile & high performance!
Onyx Unisex Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life Jacket has a shallow profile. However, it still packs a punch with 26.5 lbs of buoyancy!
The life jacket features a protective cover of 200 denier nylon oxford and heavy-duty polyester fabric. In addition, it has reflective piping for visibility.
Onyx Unisex Belt Pack comes with zippered pocket, Relia Pull Guide, and a convenient carry bag.
The Onyx Unisex Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life Jacket is unisex. Moreover, it is a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type V PFD.
- Low profile
- Performance is similar to type III PFD
- Manual CO2 charge
- Almost no restriction on mobility
- Not suited for children
- Requires decent swimming skills
The best life jacket for the experienced swimmer, paddleboarder.
O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest
Attractive & comfortable!
The O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest has an elegant design. With a lightweight and fitting shape, the vest offers an excellent degree of comfort. In addition, it has wide armholes for paddleboarding.
It features soft BioLite materials. However, the outer fabric is 1.5mm neoprene.
O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest comes with zippered front, two adjustable belts, squeeze-style side-release buckles, and multiple hinge points.
The O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest has optimizations for female paddlers. It is a Coast Guard approved Type III life jacket.
- Easy to use
- Hard to find the right size
The best-looking PFD for women paddleboarders.
NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket
Low profile & well-ventilated!
The NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket has a lof profile design. As such, the jacket offers an athletic performance. It also has an excellent ventilation system.
NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket features soft PVC free-foam panels. In addition, there is air mesh fabric on the shoulder straps.
The jacket comes with a front clamshell pocket, inner ventilation panels, zippers, and adjustable six-point side-entry.
NRS Ninja Kayak Lifejacket supports all paddlers. It is a Coast Guard certified PFD.
- Low profile
- Excellent ventilation
- Enables a wide range of movements
- Frosty-beverage compatible pocket
- Adjusting takes time
- Not suitable for large torso
Excellent PFD for the SUPing youth.
Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket
Playful design & beginner-friendly!
With a bright outlook, the Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket is fit for kids. It is lightweight and is easy to use. This PFD is great for boosting confidence in kids. Moreover, parents can rest easy as the safety buckle snaps in the back out of the kid’s reach.
The Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket features soft fabric with woven polyester. On top of the inner materials, It has a nylon shell for durability.
It comes equipped with adjustable straps and a safety buckle.
Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket is suitable for kids. In addition, it is Coast Guard approved.
- Entertaining design
- Supports starters
- Fits well
- Kids can not accidentally take it off
- It isn’t good when weight goes over 50 lbs
Playful yet efficient PFD for the kid paddleboarder.
Astral Airbelt Inflatable PFD
Top-notch design & nature-friendly!
Astral Airbelt Inflatable PFD boasts an elegant design. What’s more, it’s entirely free of toxic PVC!
The PFD belt features heavy-duty Acetal with 200 Denier high-tenacity nylon liner fabric. Plus, the shell fabric is of 200 x 400 Denier Ripstop nylon and has polypro webbing.
It comes equipped with a non-corrosive coil zipper, hip pocket, and a stretch mesh body.
The Astral Airbelt Inflatable PFD is a universal fit. Moreover, it is a USCG certified Type V PFD.
- Elegant design
- No toxic PVC
- A bit bulkier
An excellent PFD for warm, calm waters.
Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
Lifesaver & fisher aid!
The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket performs well as a PFD. Plush, it holds the essential fishing accessories!
It features 400 Denier nylon oxford with a high-foam back. Along with this, it also has a mesh lower back.
Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket comes with neoprene shoulder pads, pockets, hanging loop, lash tab, and elastic attachment points.
The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is a versatile PFD. In addition, it is Coast Guard approved.
- Suitable for fishing trips
- Well ventilated on the back
- The top of the back floats up on water
- Far from being simple
Best suited PFD for SUP fishing trips.
What To Consider When Looking For The Best Paddleboarding PFD
Safety, reliability is the first thing to look for in a paddleboarding PFD. Good buoyancy support, durable materials, and ease of use are the best qualities to seek out.
Mobility and comfort are well appreciated when paddleboarding. Mesh backs, adjustable straps, squeeze buckles, and soft floating foams offer an excellent range of movements and comfort.
Lightweight, portable, and low-profile PFDs are best suited for traveling, long-term paddling, racing, and fishing. BioLite materials, neoprene, and soft-woven fabrics make for an excellent lightweight, low-profile PFD. In addition, a dry bag can make carrying it around relatively easy.
It is best to avoid auto-inflation PFD for paddleboarding as it would waste a lot of CO2 charges.
Whether it is to stay safe or to have peace of mind, we highly recommend bringing along a PFD for SUPing. It would be even better to pick a PFD that is specifically suited for your paddleboarding activity.
Even experienced swimmers, paddleboarders should wear a life vest, belt when paddling the rough waters.