Best Toddler Swim Vests to Keep Your Kid Safe in Water

Does your little one seem eager to join you in the pool on a warm summer afternoon? It’s natural for toddlers and little babies to want a dip in the swimming pool if only to splash the water around. However, swimming lessons for kids this small aren’t designed to really teach them how to backstroke or freestyle like pros. They are just simple lessons to help you and the little minnow have fun in the water together and create some great bonding moments. To safely do this, your little one has to wear a toddler swim vest.

Safety is key when swimming with toddlers- it’s actually crucial even when adults are swimming. As your toddler floats and doggie paddles, you have to ensure that their head doesn’t go below the surface of the water. A swim vest is specially designed to give them buoyancy and boost their confidence to play around in the water. Usually, the toddler swim jacket is designed to ensure the hands and legs are free for easy movement.

There are particular features to look out for when picking a swim vest for your little one to ensure that they are completely safe when wearing it. We have compiled a comprehensive guide on the best toddler swim vests available in the market that will have your angel puddling around like a pro.

Top 10 Toddler Swim Vests of 2019 Reviewed

1. Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket

Best Inflatable Swim Vest

To ensure that your baby is safe around water be it a pool or near water body, you can invest in this masterly designed swim vest. It’s made of durable nylon material that is light in weight in a way that doesn’t pull your baby down. It easily inflates and is approved by the United States Coast Guard as safe for use by little children. The material is antimicrobial such that it doesn’t allow the build-up of bacteria even when wet.

It’s designed to fit kids that weight 30 to 50 pounds. It also have an adjustable buckle to ensure a better fit. Kids love colorful things and this swim vest is available in over 14 fun colors where some have funny graphics drawn on them that will definitely attract your kid’s attention. The swim vest has superior buoyancy and allows your kid a wide range of motion. It also has a floatation foam that helps keep your head well above water.


  • Antimicrobial construction
  • Has adjustable buckle
  • Many fun colors available


  • Not for kids who are a bit heavy
  • Size is small
  • Lots of counterfeits available

2. Speedo Kids UPF 50+  Classic Swim Vest

Best For Great Bouyancy

Speedo is one of the most reputable brands in the world of sports and is loved for its attention to safety details. Such high quality is evident in this toddler swim vest since it features UV 50+ Block the Burn protection that keeps your toddler’s skin well protected from harmful Ultra Violet A and B rays. It comes in a bright lime and orange color that will help you spot your baby anywhere in the crowd. It’s made of durable neoprene material that’s long lasting, warm and offers great buoyancy.

For safety, the swim vest has a safety strap that has a buckle closure for a better fit. It’s also fitted with a strong full zipper on the front that allows you to easily put the jacket on and off. It’s available in two sizes; medium for ages 2 to 4 years with a weight capacity 33 to 45 pounds and a large size for kids between 4 to 6 years.



  • Neoprene materials that’s warm
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Adjustable safety strap


  • Not ideal for kids below 2 years
  • Available in only one color
  • Not a life saver jacket

3. Speedo Kids UPF 50+ Begin to Swim Printed  Swim Vest

Best For Floatation

Add some color and fun into your toddler’s swimming routine with this sapphire blue printed swim vest from Speedo. It’s designed for kids already in swim level 2; those that have gained some confidence and are already familiar with being in water. The UV50+ Block the Burn protection will shield your kid’s tender skin against harmful UV rays.

It’s made using neoprene material that is not only light but also warm and has great buoyancy that will help your kid float easily. The inside has a soft lining made of polyester for added comfort. The full front zipper allows the jacket to easily come on and off. There’s also a safety closure that secures the zipper firmly in place. It also features adjustable leg straps for a better fit. The jacket comes in a medium size ideal for kids aged 4 to 6 years.



  • Inner lining for added warmth
  • UV50+ Block the Burn protection
  • Full front zipper


  • Not for kids unfamiliar with being in water
  • Shouldn’t get in contact with the skin
  • Not ideal for weight above 45 pounds

4. Speedo Water Skeeter Personal Life Jacket

Best For Infants

A lot has gone into the design of this life Skeeter life jacket that will ensure a safe and fun swimming experience for your toddler. It features a turtle design that will inspire active play from your little one. It has been approved by the US Coast Guard as a type III floatation device and has been licensed by the Red Cross society as safe for use in water. It also boasts of a six pack appearance at the front that helps improve mobility as you teach the little one to swim.

It also has tubular technology that which has a foam tubing around the edges which helps promote flexibility and increases the toddler’s range of motion when playing in the water. It also features a leg strap designed to ensure a more comfortable and improved fit. It’s only available in one size and comes in two colors; sea weed and berry.




  • US Coast Guard approved
  • Six pack front panel for better mobility
  • Foam tubing for mobility


  • Only available in one size
  • Can be large on small toddlers
  • Not ideal forbe

5. Zeraty Kids Swim Vest

Best For Infants

Designed to fit even a one year old toddler, this swim vest from Zeraty has a great unisex design that comes in a bright pink and blue color. The full length zipper ensures that the jacket is easy to wear and has two adjustable buckles over the zipper to ensure a better fit. It also boasts of a safety strap that prevents the swim vest from sliding off. It’s made of high quality thick material that’s soft and comfortable and doesn’t chafe your toddler’s skin.

The vest is suitable for kids between one and nine years. It’s designed for extensive use whether at the beach, during summer surfing or for swimming training. Once you purchase this swim vest, you will receive two arm bands with a beautiful flamingo design as a gift. Build your toddler’s confidence in the water with this toddler swim vest.





  • Unisex design
  • Safety strap and adjustable buckles
  • Designed for extensive use


  • Buoyancy factor needs improvement
  • Available in only one color
  • Can’t be machine washed

6. Speedo Kids’ Begin to Swim Float Coach

Best Gender Neutral Swim Vest

Coach your toddler how to swim with this kid friendly swimming floater designed by leading sportswear brand, Speedo. The vest is designed for kids who have already experienced the water and are in swim level 2. It comes in one size ideal for toddlers aged 2-4 years with a weight range of 33 to 45 pounds. The straps are made of soft fabric which provides comfort for the baby and prevents the skin from chaffing.

It also features shoulder and side straps that are easy to adjust giving a great fit for your toddler. It’s designed to give a perfect fit which ensures that your toddler is safe when in water. Features a padded safety leg strap that ensures a comfortable and secure it. The swim vest is great for helping your little angel build their confidence when in water.





  • Padded shoulder and side straps
  • Padded leg strap
  • Foam construction on the front


  • Available in one size
  • Not for beginners in water
  • Not easy to put on and off

7. SwimSchool Premium Swim Trainer Vest

Best Safety Features

The beautiful floral designs on this swimming trainer vest will draw your toddler’s attention to it immediately. It comes in eight varieties of blue and pink colors that will grab your little one’s attention. It boasts of a buoyancy collar that helps keep your toddler’s head afloat when in water. The shoulders are also padded for more comfort while the front has heavy duty zippers that easily open and close to allow your child wear the vest more conveniently.

It also boasts of built in foams that help with balanced flotation which goes a long way in building your toddler’s confidence when in water. The vest also has a fabric flotation device that helps push your baby forward by promoting the use of hands and legs. The soft UPF 50 fabric also ensures that your baby’s skin is safe from harmful UV rays. It also has an adjustable strap that ensures a better fit.




  • Buoyancy collar for better floatation
  • Heavy duty zippers
  • UPF 50 soft fabric for better skin protection


  • Available in only one size
  • Not for big bodied toddlers
  • Restricted floatation styles

8. Speedo Child Personal Life Jacket

Best for Beginners

When it comes to enhanced performance in the sporting world, then you can always count on Speedo. This toddler personal life jacket will provide your baby with balanced performance and increased flexibility when in the water. It’s ideal for swimmers of all levels even those little ones who have never been in the water.

The swim vest is made of polyester which helps keep the baby warm while in  and out of the water. It also has antimicrobial properties which helps prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria on the child’s vest. For safety, the jacket comes with waist and leg straps that ensure a better fit. The weight range for this swim vest is 30 to 50 pounds.




  • Ideal for swimmers of all levels
  • Comes with safety straps on the waist and legs
  • Has antimicrobial properties


  • Available in only one size
  • Doesn’t have adjustable buckles
  • Doesn’t come with UV protection

9. Body Glove Dinosaur Swim Jacket

Best Fun Print Swim Vest

When it comes to safety of your toddler when in water, nothing can be left to chance. With this child friendly swim vest, it has approval from the US Coast Guard as a safe ‘Learn to Swim’ vest for toddlers. The attached arm bands are great for you toddlers movement when in water. For added safety, the swim vest has a shoulder safety harness strap which ensures that the baby doesn’t remove the swim vest without parental assistance.

It has superior comfort with a multilayer panel design and doesn’t cause chaffing on the toddler. It’s designed to fit kids with a weight range of 30 to 50 pounds with a quick release buckle in case of an emergency. It also features fun designs that most kids love and are often drawn to.



  • Emergency safety release buckle
  • Safety harness strap
  • Doesn’t cause chaffing


  • A bit short
  • No buoyancy collar
  • Not for infants

10. CONHENCI Swim Aid Vest Trainer

Best for Building Confidence

Improved buoyancy is one of the great features of this swim vest trainer that will help your child build their confidence in water. It’s made of polyester material that feels comfortable on your baby’s skin. The arm bands are also great for floatation and allowing your kid to easily move in the water. It also has an adjustable strap that ensures a better fit. The chest panel also helps protect your child when in the water.




  • Made of warm polyester material
  • Arm bands for easy movement
  • Foam chest panel for added protection


  • A bit short
  • No buoyancy collar
  • Not for infants

Toddler Swim Vest Buying Guide

From a tender age, kids are for some reason drawn to water. They want to take a bubble bath in the tub, mess around in the backyard with your garden hose and even join you in the pool for an afternoon dip. However, very young kids say the age of one to three can’t really swim but usually puddle around the water. For this reason, you need to ensure that their head is safely above the water to prevent them from going under which may cause distress. It’s absolutely necessary for your toddler to have a swim vest that will help them remain afloat as they play around in the water.

Is my kid a toddler?

Well, you may be wondering whether your child can be classified as toddler. When buying a life swim vest you need to get the right one depending on the age. Manufacturers refer to any child weighing less than 35 pounds as a toddler. However, there are smaller swim vests designed for infants who are barely a year old.

Benefits of Wearing a Toddler Swim Vest

  • Safety – It goes without saying that one of the most important reasons why your toddler should always wear a life jacket when in water is for safety reasons. Kids below four years don’t have the capacity to safely swim on their own. Yes, they may have successfully completed multiple lessons on swimming but it’s important to keep them safely above water by wearing a floatation device.
  • Ease of movement – With a swim vest, kids usually have room to move their arms around without any restrictions. Such allowance allows them to easily move in the water and gain the confidence necessary to learn how to swim.
  • Warmth – Some of the swim jackets come with a thick lining which helps keep your toddler warm when in water. This lining can be stripped away when necessary but it’s important for the little ones to remain warm at all times.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Toddler Swim Vest

  • Size – As a parent, it’s common to always buy clothes that are a size larger for your toddlers. However, this should never be the case when buying a swim vest. It needs to fit snugly to prevent it from slipping out as they play around in the water. When picking the right size, ensure that it fits snugly but not too tightly that the buckles are difficult to undo.  It’s not necessary to get those huge styro foam ones that are bulky and a burden to your kid.
  • Safety Features – Some of the features that will help ensure that your kid’s floatation device is safe is a safety buckle that is usually adjustable to meet the child’s size. Some also have a leg strap that also helps with ensuring a better fit and added comfort for the toddler. You can also have a reflective strip that helps with visibility especially in times of emergency. The zippers should also be resistant to corrosion and if possible be full length so that the baby can easily put them on and off.
  • US Coast Guard Approval – With so many imitations and substandard products in the market, you need to look out for those that have been certified by reputable industry players and regulators. For swim vests, one that has been certified by the US Coast Guard and licensed by the Red Cross are quite safe to use. You can tell from the label on the item or check at the item’s description when buying online.
  • Colors – Go for gender neutral colors that will ensure your toddler doesn’t cause a fuss since you bought certain colors that are associated with a certain gender. It’s also advisable to go for bright colors since kids love colorful and attention grabbing items. It also makes it easier to spot them when out in the water.

Ensuring the safety of your toddler when swimming is of paramount important. No matter the life vest you opt for, you have to ensure that its fits nicely on your toddler and won’t be a distraction as they gain their confidence in water. Hopefully this review has shed some insight on what to look out for in the best toddler swim vest that will turn your little minnow into a ‘baby shark’.

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I'm a mom of 2 boys, avid cooker and active lifestyle propagandist spending 8+ hours/week to stay fit and healthy. Took my boys to travel hiking since they were 6 months old. As an contributing editor to a small local newspaper, I occasionally also write for Forbes, USAToday, etc and I care about democratic values of our Nation a lot.