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There’s nothing better to beat the heat than swimming or even a dip in the swimming pool. The experience was special this year because I would be spending time in the water with my toddler.

Toddler Swim Vests That You Can Rely On

  1. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids LifeJacket
  2. Speedo Kids’ UPF 50+ Swim Vest
  3. Body Glove Paddle Pals Swim Life Jacket
  4. AmazeFan Kids Swim Life Jacket Vest
  5. Swimschool Swim Trainer Vest
  6. Konfidence The Original Jacket
  7. TEWENE Kid Toddler Swim Vest
  8. Speedo Water Skeeter Personal Life Jacket
  9. Zerlar Floatation Swimsuits
  10. Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Life Jacket

But I knew that I couldn’t afford to take things lightly. Anything can happen in the water when they begin to swim, especially without any protective gear. And being the curious toddler she is, I knew that she would not only love the blue water but also enjoy exploring it.

The best option I had was to find the best toddler swim vests for her. But once I started looking for one, I noticed that EVERYTHING looked great! There are all multi-colored and designed and, most importantly, options available in different patterns.

Best Toddler Swim Vests – Comparison Table

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight Capacity: 30 to 50 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: 100% Neoprene
  • Weight Capacity: 45-60 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Great For: Beginners
  • Weight Capacity: 30-50 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: Woven Polyester & Soft Nylon
  • Weight Capacity: 30-50 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: UPF 50 Fabric
  • Weight Capacity: 20-33 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: 3 mm thick Neoprene
  • Weight Capacity: 30-50 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: Woven Polyester & Soft Nylon
  • Weight Capacity: 22-66 lbs
  • Price: $$
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  • Comes with: Padded Leg Strap
  • Great For: Beginners
  • Price: $$
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  • Offers: Quality & Safety
  • Great For: Beginners
  • Price: $$
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  • Material: Durable Polyester
  • Weight Capacity: 30-50 lbs
  • Price: $$
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I learned a lot while conducting my search for the best type I would buy. So I thought I might share whatever I learned with the many other parents out there looking for the best swim vest for toddlers.

I assure you, the time spent looking for the best product is worth it. Especially considering the look in their eyes as they splash water around, and enjoy themselves in the swimming pool!

Besides, it’s also a great aid at teaching my baby to swim because it helps my child to safely float in the pool. To me, investing in the best toddler swimsuit helped keep my toddler safe in the blue water, and to learn swimming.

However, I also have to let you know that these swim vests are only swimming aids that help build your child’s confidence in the water. They are not lifesaving devices and little ones need adult supervision as they begin to swim.

How to choose the best toddler swim vest

Okay, now let’s get down to learning more about the attributes that make the best toddler swim vests. I always thought that size and fit were all that matters! It’s while researching that I learned that there are many more things to consider!

1. Size

As always, you have to get the right size swimsuit for your child. However, it’s better to make sure you know the weight the vest can carry, than its size. Each suit keeps children of a specific weight, and not age, buoyant. The wrong sized suit will leave you with a useless classic swimsuit.

2. Fit

The swimming vest should be the perfect fit. It shouldn’t be too tight and restrictive, but it should be secure enough to not ride up in the water. I always suggest first testing the swim vest in the safer shallow end of the pool.

3. Support

The amount of support the vest has to provide depends on where your toddler will be swimming, and how comfortable they are in the water.

If they aren’t strong in the water, and you are heading to the beach, then they may need more support. However, if they are comfortable in the water and you are heading to the pool, then something with the limited backing might be enough.

4. Age

The age isn’t as important as the child’s weight while looking for a swim vest for toddlers. The product should be able to keep your child’s weight buoyant in water. So it doesn’t matter how old your child is. It’s their weight that’s important.

5. Construction

When it comes to the build, the vest material should be thick enough not to tear easily. It might also come with secure straps and buckles, which your child cannot easily undo.

6. UVA/UVB protection

UV sun protection is a useful feature for swim vests to come with. It’s especially considering the amount of harmful UV rays exposure your child goes through to in the blue water.

7. Coast guard (CG) approval

Coast guard approved vests are a better and safer choice. However, not all get approved, especially since they are not all PFDs.

8. Reviews

Reading reviews help a lot while looking for a new top toddler swim vest. I got a good idea of the vest’s actual functioning, just by reviews written by past customers, and how they rated them.


What are boating vests?

Boating or swim vests are flotation devices and not a life jacket or floaties. They are more a swim aid that provides support and helps keep your child buoyant.

It is an important, and useful feature for children learning to swim. However, not all models keep your child’s head above the water.

Most of the products, however, are attractively designed or colored to make them more attractive to toddlers resistant to wear them.

Is it okay to use swim vests on a boat?

Yes, as long as the U.S. CG approves it as a Type III personal flotation device. If you want the best security for your child on the boat, then get a specialized life jacket that’s safe if your kid ends up in the water.

How different are a life jacket and swimming aid?

The name itself may give you an idea! Swimming aids do just that, help your child gain water confidence, and slowly swim on their own. Life jackets float and save your child, and anyone wearing it from drowning if they fall in the pool.

Are there flotation vests for kids over 50 pounds?

Yes, just do some searching. You will find adjustable options that are perfect at helping even kids weighing not 50 lbs, but as much as 120 pounds to learn to float.

Are there learn-to-swim vests for adults?

Yes, there are. They aren’t that popular, which is why only a few different brands sell adult options.

How different are floaties and swim vests?

There are a few differences between the two. While floaties are not attached to the child, children have to buckle into swim vests. Some vests even have leg straps that keep the jacket on the child.

Toddler floaties are, however, more like toys for children to hold on. Also, the arm floaties quickly come off and may not help a child float like swim vests.

When should children wear swim vests?

It’s better to start using flotation vests when your child reaches the vest’s ideal minimal weight. While it’s usually three, it can always be earlier.

How beneficial are swimming vests?

Flotation vests make spending time in the water more fun for everyone. It helps provide support while introducing toddlers to the water. It helps because kids are usually clingy and afraid when first exposed to it.

Teaching children swimming can get difficult, especially if they are afraid of the water. You should make your child feel confident, and look forward to spending time in the water. What better way to do this than by using accessories like a classic swim aid!

Besides, you not only want to teach your child swimming but also make them independent in the water. Swim aids prevent automatic sinking and make children feel more in control of the situation.

They also let them play in the water without diving or entering water dangerously. In short, swimming vests are products that make toddlers enjoy the water, but with some safety.

Product Reviews

1. Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids LifeJacket – Best U.S. Coast Guard-approved swim vest

Any kid will love this attractively designed Original Stearns Puddle Jumper kid’s life jacket. The playful designs make the water feel safe, and even give them the confidence to learn swimming.

I liked the fact that it has been tested and approved by the U.S. CG for Type V/III personal floatation devices. It makes them safe to use on boats, public pools, and water parks needing CG approved devices.

The suit fits kids 30-50 lbs snugly for added safety while its nylon shell provides for added durability. It also has back safety buckle snaps that they can’t remove if adequately tightened.


Made in the USA using

Domestic and foreign parts

Secure adjustable buckle

Snaps at the back

U.S. coast guard certified

Attractively designed


Complaints of poor stitching

Poorly printed labels and warnings

2. Speedo Kids’ UPF 50+ Swim Vest – Best UV protection swim vest

The highlight of the Speedo Kids UPF 50+ swim vest is that it comes with U.V. Block the Burn technology. I like that it protects against harmful U.V. rays, and meets 50+ UPF protection. The Speedo suit is the perfect choice if you worry about the amount of U.V. your child is exposed to while swimming.

The classic, low profile traditionally designed Speedo flotation vest is of soft but durable neoprene. I like that it’s not bulky and buoyant, and doesn’t need any inflation.

Besides, the Speedo suit is not bulky, making the toddler feel more comfortable wearing it. It is also easier to learn swimming with this suit.

It comes with a front zipper that provides for more comfortable wearing and removal. There is also a buckled crotch strap as an additional safety feature.


Available in medium size for 33-45 lbs and large with a 45-60 lbs capacity

Made of soft neoprene

Buoyant and ready for use

Zipper closure

UV 50+ protection


Not U.S. CG certified

Complaints of it not keeping all kids afloat

3. Body Glove Paddle Pals Swim Life Jacket – Top Toddler Swim Vest with Shoulder Straps

The Body Glove Paddle Pals Swim Life Jacket is U.S. Coast Guard III approved and comes with floaties or attached armbands.

The feature that stood out in this vest is its safe shoulder straps. It not only gives a secure fit but also prevents children from removing the vest without parental help.

The buckles at the back are an added security feature because children can’t remove it on their own.

The vest also has built-in drain holes that keep the jacket as light as possible once in the water. Its multi-panel designed and made of superior, comfortable, and durable polyester material that prevents chafing.


Comes in more than 10 fun styles

U.S. Coast Guard-approved patented life jacket

Fits children sized 30-50 lbs.

Hologram design provides for fun motion graphics

Safest product for learning swimming


Complaints of the swim vest flipping children face down in the water

Claims that the armbands easily slide off

4. AmazeFan Kids Swim Life Jacket Vest – Top Swim Vest with Pouches

Kids love learning swimming wearing the AmazeFan Kids Swim Life Jacket Vest. Why? It’s because it’s soft and comfortable to wear, made of woven polyester and soft nylon fabrics.

Besides, it’s skin and environment-friendly, flexible, and has cute cartoon designs. It comes with arms wings while the back secure buckle gives a tight, comfortable fit.

The adjustable strap fits children and toddlers weighing between 20-50 lbs. A three-keyed, double security buckle that kids can’t open without parental help safely fastens the strap.

The swim vest is ready to wear without needing any inflation. Just pull it over the arms and buckle up and use it in swimming pools, beaches, boats, or by the lakeside.

I especially like this swim vest for its accompanying waterproof phone pouch and storage bag.  The transparent phone pouch protects devices well while the storage bag is useful to store the product.


Includes waterproof phone pouch and storage bag

Soft, comfortable and flexible to wear

Double-safety back buckles

Woven polyester has compelling buoyancy

Digitally and laser printed images


Complaints of the child not floating well

5. Swimschool Swim Trainer Vest – Most Affordably Priced Toddler Swim Vest

The Swimschool Swim Trainer Vest is, to me, one of the most affordably priced toddler swim vests. It’s perfect in building confidence in toddler boys and girls weighing up to 50 pounds.

Its UPF50 sun protection sleeves protect your child’s hands from excessive U.V. exposure and developing possible rashes.

The vest comes with an adjustable crotch strap that is important at preventing the vest from sliding or coming off in the pool.

It also has a sturdy zip closure for security and padded shoulders for comfort. I liked its built-in flexible buoyant pads that keep your little one in the prone position to learn swimming.


Affordably priced

Soft UPF 50 fabric offers UV protection

Comes in 4 colors and two sizes for boys and girls

Recommended for children aged 2-4

Has a heavy-duty zipper and adjustable safety strap


Complaints of the vest rising up and hurting a child’s private area

Accusations of it slipping off when not in use

6. Konfidence The Original Jacket – Best Swim Vest for Versatility

 The Konfidence original jacket makes a great choice if you are looking for comfort and safety in a vest. It’s comfortable and made from high-quality neoprene offering 100% UV protection on the parts it covers.

 Its additional Lycra binding adds to the comfort, and though the jacket wraps around your kid’s torso, the arms remain free for swimming. Not only does the vest have a secure, YKK self-locking zipper closure, but its internal zip guard prevents it from rubbing against the skin.

The vest has a bright yellow back that improves your toddler’s visibility, which is useful in busy beaches. Another exciting feature is the vest’s versatility. It’s designed with eight different removable flotation panels.

It lets you tailor the suit’s buoyancy based on your child’s needs and comfort. The Konfidence swim jackets come in 7 different colors and three sizes for kids aged between 18 months to seven years.


Not bulky but safe and comfortable fit

Bright yellow back for added visibility

Easy and padded zipper closure

Has removable flat pads

Lightweight and comfortable to wear and take off


Complaints that it fits small

No safety strap

7. TEWENE Kid Toddler Swim Vest – A Toddler Swim Vest with Storage Bag

The Tewene toddler boating vest comprises high-quality materials like woven polyester and soft nylon for increased comfort and reduced chafing. It’s environmentally friendly, comfortable, and thick for increased durability.

 The boating vest fits a child weighing 22 pounds to 66 lbs with a chest circumference of 23-29,” giving children the freedom they need. The jacket is complete with an adjustable chest strap and a quick release rear safety buckle. It is thus safe to use in pools, the beach, and the ocean.

 The high-quality foam offers high float potential while the colorful cartoon designs provide for increased visibility. The designs are digitally and laser printed for more brightness and clarity.

I found the accompanying storage bag useful for carrying the vest and accessories around, and for storage purposes. And of course, there’s the customer lifetime guarantee that will give you an idea of how really confident Tewene is about their life jackets.


Safety buckle

Adjustable chest strap

Safe for kids weighing 22-66 pounds

Comes with a storage bag


Complaints of stitching coming undone

Accusations of it being too big

8. Speedo Water Skeeter Personal Life Jacket – Top Overall Personal Life Jacket

This floatation aid from Speedo is one of the best in the market for your little ones. It has USCG approval, making it excellent to teach your child to stay confident while swimming.

I like the Speedo suit’s unique turtle-like design where it doesn’t wrap around your child. It will in the process give their arms enough room to move. The side straps and crotch strap are more than enough to keep them snug and secure.

The Speedo suit works both as a swimming aid while kids splash water around, and a life jacket in emergencies.

Its segmented floaties add to the flexibility and ease of use while the padded leg straps provide for additional comfort. Besides, the Speedo tubular technology around the edges promotes flexibility and movement in the water.


Speedo suit has U.S. CG approval

Available in different designs

Flexible and comfortable to wear

Ideal for kids weighing 30-50 pounds



Not meant for toddlers who don’t know how to swim.

9. Zerlar Floatation Swimsuits – Best Swimming Aid for Big Girls

The Zerlar flotation swimsuit is my personal favorite because unlike most swim vests; it’s fit for girls aged 1 to 10 years. This meant I could depend on it to give my child support as long as needed to build her confidence in the pool.

The suit comes in seven sizes and includes eight removable buoyancy panels to remove as your child gets confident and learns swimming. It’s made of 100% polyester fiber and is thus soft, smooth, and comfortable to wear. It retains its shape well even with regular use.

Most importantly, it provides for full range motion, something your child needs while learning to swim.

You can also buy armbands to use with the swimsuit, to prevent them from tipping forward. It’s ideal for kids who want to swim on their own, and to overcome their fear of water. They can jump in and out of the pool without worrying about it coming off.


Available in 9 colors and seven sizes

Has eight removable buoyancy panels

Perfect for building water confidence

Can be used in the pool or beach


Complaints of it being cheaply made

Color tends to fade quickly

10. Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Life Jacket – Top Life Jackets for Small-Sized Children

If you are looking for safety in toddlers when they begin to swim, the Body Glove Paddle Pals life jacket is worth checking. It’s the safest patented life jackets with U.S. CG approval attached armbands that safely teach kids to swim.

It comes with a safety shoulder harness that prevents children from removing the vest on their own. Besides, I like it that it prevents the vest from sliding off from kids weighing 30-50 pounds. It’s a feature that’s especially important for small-sized children.

It safely keeps the child’s head above water as they begin to float and swim. It’s made of durable polyester and has a multi-panel design for optimal comfort. It also has a quick-release rear safety buckle.


Perfect for use in pools, lakes, and beaches

Hologram design with fun, moving graphics

Keeps kids secure in the water

Ideal for kids small for their age


Some complaints of its too small fit


The best toddler swim vest goes a long way at helping children begin to swim. it makes them feel comfortable in the pool, and can slowly learn swimming.

I enjoyed myself looking for the best products because there are so many brands, sizes, and options available in the market.

It’s difficult deciding which the best toddler swim vests are because each has its strong points and benefits. I’ve, after my search, rounded up my options for the top toddler swim vest according to how I would select them:

  1. The Original Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jacket is the best if you want something with U.S. Coast Guard approval for your child.
  2. If you want something with safety pouches for your mobile so that you can use it in the water, then the Amaze Fan Kids Swim Life Jacket Vest is best.
  3. The Zerlar Floatation Swimsuit is the right choice if you want something that even big girls can wear when they begin to swim.
  4. The Speedo Water Skeeter Personal Life Jacket is an overall great product to float, for a child who’s learning to swim.
  5. And lastly, if you want something for kids small for their age, then you might check out the Body Glove Paddle Pals Motion Hologram Life Jacket.

Live Your Aloha Toddler Swim Vests Review

Toddler Swim Vests


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  • Katalina M

    Aloha! I’m Katalina M. I’m a PADI Certified Scuba Instructor and I’m responsible for writing about scuba & snorkeling trips based on my experience as a scuba diving expert in Hawaii. I grew up in a small town on the east coast, but I’ve called Hawaii home for the past five years. It’s an amazing place to live – there’s always something new to explore, and the people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. When I’m not swimming or diving, you can usually find me enjoying Hawaiian nightlife and culture. Mahalo for reading!

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