Whether you’re going out on a boat, kayak, canoe, or a beach trip with the family; Life jackets are essential. Luckily, buying a life jacket doesn’t always have to break the bank.
There are plenty of affordable life jackets that in no way lack in quality. Thus, after extensive reviews and research, we formulated a list of the 9 best life jackets under $50.
In Short, Here Are The Highest-Rated Affordable Life Vests Below $50
Seachoice Type I
Stearns (Comfort Series)
Airhead Type II (Adult)
Stearns (Kid Size)
Airhead Trend (For Women)
Airhead Ramp (Kids 50-90 Pounds)
AIRHEAD Value Series
First up, Stohlquist is a very popular life jacket. Not only is it very affordable under $50, but it’s highly rated among users, as well. It’s designed for anyone over 90 pounds with a chest size between 30″-52″. You’ll also appreciate that it is USCG approved.
Made with a 200D nylon outer shell, three adjustable buckles, and sculpted foam panels on the front and back; It has excellent build quality for the price. Overall, it’s a dependable choice for just about any recreational application!
Users Say: “Bought this for my mother who is 75 and a little plump and needed comfy, not binding life best for her kayaking. She fit comfortably, let her arms move freely, she loved the color combo too. Seems to be good quality. Only worn a few times. So far excellent buy.”
2. Seachoice Type I
Just recently, the Seachoice Type I had a hefty 20% price reduction. Although we’re unsure if this discount is permanent or temporary, we believe it’s, either way, an outstanding bang for the buck. This Life vest is USCG classified for commercial vessels. Made with a soft flotation foam and a polyester shell, it has robust build quality.
Another very beneficial, if not, the life-saving feature is it’s explicitly designed to keep an unconscious person faced upwards in the water. Along with that, its fluorescent orange color is very visible in the water adding to its overall safety. This life vest is a universal fit for just about anyone over 90 pounds.
Users Say: “You get what you pay for if you want the best you gotta pat for them.”
Coming in five different sizes, you can get the Onyx for an infant, child, youth, universal, or oversized. You also have the option to get it in either red or blue. This life vest is very popular and highly rated amongst users, as well!
Users Say: “Life jackets fit as expected and since I used these for hunting up north, they kept us nice and warm too. I will be ordering more for my family to have of their own. Good to have a red color just in case something happens, especially when we are on a sandy dark water river. Not a bad price too. Perfect. But I will be ordering again soon”
4. Stearns (Comfort Series)
This US Coast Guard-approved life jacket is an exceptional choice. With phenomenal construction, the Stearns is made with durable PVC and PE flotation foam. You’ll also appreciate the 200D nylon Oxford shell. We highly recommend it for anyone looking for a robust and high-quality life vest under $50. But keep in mind, it’s also just barely below $50.
Users Say: “I bought this PFD to use while fishing and paddling my canoe. The mesh is good quality and there is a comfortable paddle collar to prevent irritation on your neck. There are two pockets that are handy for holding your phone, fishing pliers, and other tools. I am 5’10’’ 175lbs and a medium still has adequate room for comfort..”
5. Airhead Type II (Adult)
For good reasons, the Airhead Type II is one of the highest-rated and customer-reviewed life vests on the market. Not to forget, it’s very affordable well below $50. This life jacket is USCG approved, provides a universal fit above 90 pounds, and a single belt. Another beneficial attribute is it’s a US Coast Guard-approved type II life jacket!
Users Say: “What’s not to like? They are very inexpensive, Coast Guard rated, comfortable, and adjustable… We got used to them very quickly and don’t even think about them when they’re on. We capsized once and found that they really work – wife and I are both good swimmers, but these PFDs allowed us to relax and just leisurely kick paddle ourselves back to shore while hanging onto the gear we didn’t want to lose.”
6. Stearns (Kid Size)
If you’re looking for a low-budget life jacket for kids under $50, the Stearns is a remarkable option. There are a plethora of reasons why we love it. For one, it has near-flawless reviews among customers. Providing two buckled straps, a nylon shell construction, polyester liner, and a PE foam build; it’s comfortable and built to last. We highly recommend it for kids between 30-50 pounds!
Users Say: “I purchased this for my 1.5-year-old son who is about the size of a two-year-old. It fits him perfectly! I did a lot of research to find the best life vest and I was really worried about my son being comfortable while safe. This vest is not too hot on him so he’s fine to run around in the summer heat with it on. The groin straps and the head-up feature are a MUST for toddlers. It did take my son a little bit to get used to it all but after about 10 minutes he had forgotten all about them!”
7. Airhead Trend (For Women)
The Airhead Trend is an inexpensive life vest explicitly designed for women. You can get it in three different sizes; x-small, small/medium, or XX-large. It’s made of tough material that is both stain-resistant and UV-resistant. The soft polyester shell is very comfortable, as well. You’ll also appreciate its four adjustable belts, USCG approval, and closed sides. We primarily recommend it for adult women over 90 pounds!
Users Say: “I got this for my husband who wears size 3XLT shirts. I have gotten lifejackets for him before that were supposed to be at least a 3XL, but they have been too small for him, so I ordered the 4XL/6XL size. This fits him with room to spare! The sides of the life jacket are black nylon material (without any foam filling) and can expand or contract (they fold on top of each other if the entire width is not needed) to fit different waist sizes. The straps are long enough to accommodate a chest size of at least 52″ and the 4 straps with clips can be tightened for a snug fit.”
8. Airhead Ramp (Kids 50-90 Pounds)
Also running well under $50, the Airhead Ramp is an outstanding choice for kids between 50-90 pounds. This open-sided vest is made out of 200-Denier Polyester. Not only is it resistant to stains, but it’s also UV-resistant, as well. You can get it in either red or blue. Along with that, you’ll surely enjoy the comfy fit and three secure belts!
Users Say: “Price was right. The daughter found it comfortable. Seems like quality construction.”
9. AIRHEAD Value Series
Last but not least, the AIRHEAD Value Series is another reliable life vest below $50. Better yet, it’s currently on a 19% price reduction, as well. This jacket comes in various sizes for just about anyone. With closed sides and an impressive USCG-approved type III, it’s a fabulous choice for the money!
Users Say: I had bought my twin boys the more expensive lifejackets with the zippers. They are pretty sturdy boys so they outgrew those fast even though they still fit the weight requirements. This is great because of the adjustments on the sides. Great buy and the fit is good!”
Here Are The Best Affordable Life Jackets Under $50 On The Market