Packing up for your fishing trip used to be a lot less forgiving back in the day. Going out to fish meant you had to choose between a functional fishing jacket or a safer life vest. It’s something that would cause a divide between a lot of fishing hobbyists out there. 

But these days, you don’t have to go for one or the other when you can have both. You can have something that will have enough pockets to keep all your fishing gear safe in one place while also making sure you’re perfectly safe if something does happen to you. 

With so many different types of brands that offer fishing life jackets you might find yourself staring down too many options to make the right call. Luckily for you, we’ve narrowed down your choices to the top of the line so you aren’t too lost with your choices. 

Best Life Jackets for Fishing 

When getting a life jacket for your fishing trip, there are a lot of key considerations you have to make. A lot of the time, your decision will be influenced by the type of fishing you’re doing, the gear you want to bring, how long you plan to fish, and so on. 

But besides this, there are some general characteristics you can look at like how much space the life jacket offers, its material quality, and any notable features. You can use this to evaluate a life jacket at face value without diving too deep into it. With that in mind, here are some of the best life jackets for fishing that you can get today.

Autovox Adult Inflatable Life Vest

The Autovox Adult Inflatable Life Vest is one of the more basic and functional life vests that you will find. It looks like you what you would expect an ordinary life vest to look like. It comes in orange and yellow both of which provide the high visibility needed. 

The life vest comes in a horse collar design that’s easy to put on and take off. On top of that, it’s lightweight which makes it really easy to handle. 

Don’t expect to find much in the way of anything else, however. This life vest only offers functionality with next to no options for storage pockets. 

Pros

Cons

Best Suited For

The Autovox Adult Inflatable Life Vest works best for those going on a boat fishing trip or those that only fish once every so often.

Value

There isn’t much in the way of value here thanks to the lack of any pockets or features

Stohlquist Fisherman’s Personal Flotation Device

IF you don’t mind paying a bit over the normal price then the Stohlquist life jacket is an excellent option. It provides all the space you need to carry your things while also being really comfortable. It works great for fully fledge fishing trips. 

If there was one fault worth pointing out here, it would be the fact that this life jacket tends to be much bulkier than a lot of other options which doesn’t make it practical for fly fishing.

Pros

Cons

Best Suited For

This life jacket works great for anglers that need to have space for all their gear on hand. 

Value

While this life jacket does offer a good amount of space and features, it is expensive than some other options. It doesn’t have the worst value out there but it certainly could be better. 

Stearns Comfort Series Angler Vest

The Stearns Comfort Series Angler Vest is a great option for a coast guard approved life jacket with all the essentials. This life jacket has everything from a breathable fabric to large zipped pockets that make it easy to bring almost all your gear with you. If you don’t mind a little bulkiness then this can be a great option. 

Pros

Cons 

Best Suited For

This life jacket is ideal for an experienced fisherman that does his fishing in boat or near shore. It has all the pockets you would ever need while providing that extra bit of coast guard approved security should something happen. 

Value

This life jacket provides decent enough value for the amount of value and practicality that it offers. 

NRS Chinook Life Vest

If you’re looking to do some serious fishing, then NRS Chinook is your best bet for a fully-fledged fishing life jacket. It comes with an arsenal of 7 front pockets coupled with D hooks to keep all your possessions in place. 

The storage options not only allow you to have your essential fishing accessories on you but they let you bring in some tools like your knife. It makes it a good option for when you have just enough gear to lug around through a trek but not enough to have to bring a dedicated bag. 

The design of the life jacket is top notch too with multiple color options that you can use to match your rods or your boat. If that wasn’t enough, this life jacket also happens to be really comfortable. It provides back support to anyone looking to sit in a kayak. 

Pros

Cons

Best Suited For

This life jacket is the perfect option for professional photographers and fishers alike. It offers enough space to help you save space where you can especially when wild fishing. 

Value

While the price of the NRS Chinook Life Vest tends to be a bit high, it offers great features and build quality for that price point.

Summing Up the Best

From the current lineup, it’s clear that the best life jacket for fishing happens to eb NRS Chinook Life Vest. It does everything you need, it’s practical, reliable, and most of all, it provides great value. 

Personal Pick: Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest

The Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest is a decent fishing vest that does everything except work like a life jacket. It provides all the space you could ever need for your fishing needs with cord drawn quiet clos zippers. 

The biggest problem here is that it won’t work to save you if something happens, you might have to use a life jacket in combination with this to get properly suited up for your fishing trip. Another drawback is that the zipper is low quality and tends to snap. 

Pros

Cons

Best Suited For

This fishing vest is only suited for those that want to get their fishing done in shallow water where you might not need a life jacket. 

Value

The price tag for this fishing vest does tend to run higher than it should. It does offer a lot of good space and comfortability but you can easily find a lot of other options that do more for less.