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Guide to the Best Women’s Wakeboard Life Jacket


Updated November 14, 2021

Guide to the Best Women’s Wakeboard Life Jacket

Adrenaline junkies know the rush that wakeboarding brings. There’s nothing more exhilarating than reaching top speeds along the surface of the water. However, as most wakeboarders already know, the chances of wiping out and falling off your board are high. While wipeout is likely, that doesn’t mean you need to fear the water! Along with having good swimming skills, a trusty wakeboard life jacket is an absolute necessity when tackling water sports.

wakeboard life jacket

Wipe Out? Not a Problem.

Even the strongest of swimmers need protection from unexpected currents and waves created by boat engines. The best wakeboard life jacket you can buy is one that can keep you upright and floating with your head above water if you wipe out. At the same time, it should be lightweight and comfortable enough to move around in so you can easily shift your bodyweight as you wakeboard. However, it can be hard to know which brands to trust when the market is flooded with so many options. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list to make the search for the perfect wakeboard vest that much easier for you. Whether you’re looking for a vest for yourself or someone close to you, the women’s life jackets for wakeboarding on our list range in sizes from extra small to extra large, so there’s something for everyone.

Vests to The Test: Our Top Picks

We did the work for you and tested numerous life vests from Amazon. This list of 5 came out on top! Read on to learn why.

wakeboard life jacket1. Airhead

We chose this wakeboarding life vest brand because of its reliability. Straight away, this vest has the essentials: 2 sturdy belts to keep you snug and strapped in, and it’s made of a durable and quick-drying Neolite fabric. Secondly, this particular vest is a Type III USCG approved vest, meaning it is “US Coast Guard approved”. According to uscgboating.org, a Type III vest is “intended to support a conscious person in the water in an upright position”. And as we all know, safety is the most important feature. However, it’s a nice touch that this vest comes in a stylish pink camo pattern. If you’re the kind of person that likes to turn heads (especially when doing tricks on the water), then this hot pink vest will help to do just that.

2. wakeboard life jacketHyperlite

Hyperlite is another women’s life vest brand that caught our attention for its safety design as well as its color options. Compared to the last brand on our list, the colors are not as noticeable. Instead, you have the choice of a nice pop of color in Teal or Coral along the inner lining of the jacket. It’s a nice touch on an otherwise simple-looking black vest. As for the design itself, the vest is made of segmented and anchored foam panels. These panels help to keep your head above the water, and the segmented aspect makes this vest a bit more flexible. Lastly, this vest has “Harmonized Approval” according to HS Codes on trade.gov, meaning that this vest is an officially recognized Personal Flotation Device.

wakeboard life jacket3. O’Neill Wetsuits

This brand has a good mix of features for those looking for a specific design. Just like the Airhead brand, O’Neill vests are also USCG-approved. However, this vest also features segmented foam just like the Hyperlite brand. What makes this particular vest stand out from the rest is the fact that it touts a “relaxed fit”, a desirable feature for water sports enthusiasts who prefer wiggle room to move around in. This feature is not for everyone, as some prefer to feel tightly secure to their vests. However, this is a great option for strong swimmers wakeboarding in calm waters. Some other features to note is that this vest is made of a nylon material and comes in three colors: Black, Navy, and Turquoise.

wakeboard life jacket4. SWELL Wakesurf

This next brand is much different in design compared to the others, and that’s exactly why we chose to include it! This SWELL vest fits to the curves of the body better than most life jackets, with one caveat: this vest is not USCG-approved, as it has foam taken out in certain areas to achieve the “surf fit” wetsuit aesthetic. Also, unlike other vests on this list, this is the only jacket that does not feature belt clasps and relies solely on the front zipper to secure you in. According to the Amazon listing, this suit fits the body like a glove. There’s no doubt that this vest is comfortable and form-fitting. It’s made of an ultra-stretchy Neoprene material, and the foam inside the vest is Staylite Foam, designed to absorb 30% less water than other types of foam. This vest stays dry and is both lightweight and form-fitting! Choose from 3 colors: Aqua, Azure, or Violet. 

wakeboard life jacket 5. O’Brien

Last but not least, the O’Brien’s Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest is a Coast Guard-approved snug fit life jacket. Made from a Neoprene material in a whimsical black & purple design, this is a standard life vest that can be trusted to keep your head well above water when needed. Like previous snug-fit vest brands mentioned, this jacket also features a front zipper and two belt clasps in the front. Something that is worth noting: while all 5 jackets on our list are rated highly, this vest in particular has the most ratings by far. With an overall rating of 4.5 stars based on over 2,800 reviews, we’d say that this is a well-loved, tried and true product.

The Water Awaits

Now that you have some of the best life jacket options, you’re ready for all kinds of water activities! One of the most fun activities to do on lakes, rivers, and even at the beach is paddleboarding. Unlike wakeboarding, paddleboarding is less adrenaline-inducing, but still just as adventurous with a less-likely chance of falling off your board. Still, if you’re hanging out in deep waters, it’s always a good idea to wear a protective vest. While you’re at it, take a look at our list of paddle board recommendations. We’ll give you the scoop on what to look for in a quality paddle board at a reasonable price. 

Go forth and safely enjoy the open water!

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