Life Jackets for Recreational Water Sports
Today's life jackets may not be what you think — many are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport. There are even ones for pets! Click on a jacket to find out more about it and get tips on proper fit. Click here for life jackets that are best for angling and hunting.

Child Hybrid Inflatable Child Life Jacket
Child Hybrid Inflatable
for general recreational boating
Child Life Jacket
for general recreational boating

The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:
  • U. S. Coast Guard approved
  • The proper size for the intended wearer
  • In good and serviceable condition
  • Properly stowed (readily accessible)

Under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity. The law does not apply to children under 13 years of age who are:
  • on a sailboat and are restrained by a harness tethered to the sailboat;
  • in an enclosed cabin;
  • on a vessel engaged in an emergency rescue situation.

Note: Boating out-of-state? There may be a different age requirement. Check with that state's boating authorities before heading out on the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard has more life jacket information here.

National Safe Boating Council
Boat US Foundation
U.S.Coast Guard