Best Offshore Life Jacket for Sailing

A life jacket is an essential floatation device. It is in the form of a vest designed to prevent the wearer from drowning in a body of water. It does this by keeping his/her head above the water surface. This comes in handy for civilians or any other person in a profession like the military when on water bodies.

This may include sailors, recreational boaters, ferries or cruise ship passengers, and cargo crew. It’s always recommended to wear your life jacket while boating or sailing, regardless of one being a swimmer, non-swimmer, or in that matter, age.

As much as it is fun, sailing has its hazards, and it is prudent to have a good life jacket. As important as who or when to wear a life jacket, what kind, type, or model can also matter a great deal. Here are some examples of the best life jackets for sailing compiled for ease of decision-making during a sailing expedition.

1. Spinlock Deck Vest 170n Inflatable Lifejacket

This is the perfect ultra-lightweight lifejacket, weighing approximately two pounds. It is soft, flexible, and challenging for extreme conditions, with the material being easy to clean. Its comfortability when wearing by sitting around the shoulders with no turning or moving difficulties gives it an ergonomic design notch compared to other life jackets.

It might be the better choice when on a sailing expedition with children. This life jacket also has an additional feature of a LED light that enhances easy spotting of one in a water body even during dark conditions in rescue operations.

It also comes in different sizes from small to extra-large and thus fits a wide range of those who wish to use it regardless of age or body size. It can also inflate automatically apart from having a manual option, thus aiding a great deal when unconscious. These features might make the deck vest quite expensive, but it is worth the tag.

Spinlock, the company behind this lifejacket model, is a widely acknowledged company with over thirty years of experience designing and manufacturing water safety equipment. The company also boasts the Deck ware series not limited to the Deck vest, which is the award-winning, world-leading life jacket harness. It has championed aesthetic and technical change over the years, which gives it a yes over other companies sticking to a stagnant design.

2. Helly Hansen Sail Safe Race 170 Auto Lifejacket

This life jacket is majorly developed for racing, but has the versatility to be used throughout any sailing occasion. It sits closely against the body and may come with additional thigh straps that may appear slightly intricate to fit.

However, they are an aesthetic alternative in place of the regular crotch strap. It has undergone modifications by preferring aluminum in place of steel buckles to reduce the weight. It has a buoyancy of 170 Newtons, which is quite well off. It inflates quickly, but it has a lower freeboard than the manufacturer’s intended achievement.

The neck arch provides sufficient support with no difficulty or tiredness hence an ergonomic advantage too. Compared to the Spinlock Deck vest having a flashing red light, the Helly Hansen life jacket has fluorescent strips placed well on either side of the head for accessible location and visibility. It can also be used by kids, but preferably by adults.

3. Onyx Move Vent Dynamic Life Jacket

This happens to be among some of the best sailing life jackets among others. The Onyx Move vent boasts of a tough nylon fabric resistant to wear and tear and any infiltration, be it in the form of punctures. Sizes vary from extra small to extra-large hence can accommodate various body types. However, availability of large sizes tends to be limited. Its zipper is heavy-duty, therefore, preventing the life vest from getting so close to the point of riding up.

It is comfortable wearing on the shoulders due to two pads on either side. A breathable mesh at the lower back keeps you cool hence no heat build-up. This is also a feature that adds to its lightweight dress, weighing a paltry of 1.7 pounds. An additional feature of an expandable pocket enables you to store any essential things without drowning away safely.

A safety feature that comes with it includes an attached whistle that you can blow to raise the alarm for any lurking assistance by rescue troops. This gives it an advantage over Helly Hansen’s safe life jacket, which happens to lack this feature.

4. Crew Saver Crew Fit 40 Pro-Life Jacket

The Crew saver crew fit 40 is the ideal day-to-day automatic inflatable life jacket. It comes with waist adjusters on either side for proper fitting. Packaged with an indicator window, one can establish the firing mechanism status. It has good chin support to keep the airway out of reach of the water level.

A light attachment point also tags along, which may be essential for visibility and location for any assistance during an emergency. This comes in handy when you wish to make a night voyage, and you may spot one quickly.

A reflective tape is also fitted to improve visibility. Its dimensions in length, width, and height are 21, 14, and 3, respectively, and it weighs 2.75 pounds, making it bulkier compared to the Onyx Move vent dynamic life jacket. The designation 40 means it can avail 40lbs of buoyancy on inflation. Its fabric is flexible, and you can give it a go if you wish to go sailing since it is the ideal type.

5. Stohlquist Edge Life Jacket

The Stohlquist offers various products, including the incredible Edge model with the most versatility when sailing for utmost comfortability and ease of movement. Compared to many other life jackets with a central zipper, the edge comes with a unique side zipper, hence conforming to the morphology of different body sizes.

It also matches body size by varying foam bulk. For instance, small dimensions of the edge life jacket pack less foam to cancel out bulkiness, whereas extra-large sizes pack more FAM in its body to provide sufficient buoyancy.

This life jacket also has contours that naturally are in place on the body for utmost comfort. Wide arm spaces also enhance paddling and movement. This life jacket features high visibility reflective strips, enabling easy spotting even in poor light conditions. A front pocket allows one to store any essential item. However, the bags appear not to be fully waterproof; hence this shortfall is one of its cons.

It may also tend to be bulky due to varying foam quantity and may not be ideal for women, but perfect for men. For that matter, if it is a men’s day out sailing, then one would urge his buddies to carry along a Stohlquist Edge life jacket!

Stohlquist also boasts over 40 years of experience in the design and development of safety equipment and has always strived to put customer satisfaction and safety on top. This is just an assurance of its safety standards that are integrated into the Edge life jacket.

The Stohlquist edge life jacket can is available in different sizes and colors.

6. Mustang Survival Sailing Life Jacket

The Mustang survival sailing life jacket suits all your needs on recreational sailing or adventure. It is designed to offer utmost comfort and new fitting with approximately 30 lbs buoyancy, which is a good capacity compared to most regular life jackets.

This gives it an edge and preferability for use by infants and children. The unique feature of this life jacket is a harmonized hydrostatic inflator technology integration, which boasts an accolade on to it.

This jacket is US Coast guard approved.


Having explored some of the best offshore life jackets for sailing, so many factors come in hand on choosing your pick for a day or night out sailing voyage.

Voyage crews also consider this for their passengers to ensure the safety of everyone on board. Having a go at one jacket type or model over another is a challenging task.

However, all this comes back to one. A top pick would be the Spinlock Deck vest inflatable life jacket. It is less bulky and boasts comfortability and a global award-winning reputation of its safety standards over the years.

The manufacturer has also managed to infuse improvements from previous models, suiting the changing scope in safety, technology, and style. Forage variation, generally, the rest of the life jackets are a choice to be spoilt for. However, the Mustang life jacket would be best for kids and teen adults’.

All in all, with the above life jackets for sailing, one is assured of utmost safety.