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Top 5 Life Jackets for Kids in 2024

Three kids wearing bright orange life jackets on paddle board

Safety is key when it comes to children of any age, so having the correct life jacket is crucial when they’re playing in or near water. Children require smaller sized life jackets than adults and many designs will have specific features built into them that cater to kids of specific age categories. 

As well as being vibrantly designed, the top life jackets for kids will offer the wearer extreme buoyancy, freedom of movement, and durability on top of being easy to use. 

Keep reading to learn more about the global demand for kids’ life jackets and explore the options that are set to be the most popular among consumers in 2024. 

Table of Contents
Global market value of life jackets
Top 5 life jackets for kids in 2024
Conclusion

Global market value of life jackets

Family in canoe and wearing red and purple life jackets

When it comes to fun in the water, nothing ensures safety quite like a life jacket. Life jackets have been utilized in various forms for centuries by both kids and adults, and today’s options have a number of unique features that have developed alongside the latest advancements in technology. A large portion of the sales of life jackets come from the boating industry, and with the rise of tourism in the past few decades demand is expected to grow even further as more companies emerge offering boat tours and experiences.

Girl using floating donut ring while wearing floral life jacket

In 2022 the global market value of life jackets reached approximately USD 1.52 billion. By 2033 that number is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%, reaching at least USD 2.86 billion.

Top 5 life jackets for kids in 2024

Before deciding which life jackets for kids to purchase, consumers will look at a number of factors such as the overall fit of the jackets, what activity they’re intended to be used for, how much comfort and mobility they provide, and if they’re coast guard approved. Choosing the perfect life jacket for kids is crucial for any water activity and the market now has a number of styles available that are more suitable for specific uses as well as age groups. 

Mom buckling up life jacket on kid next to canoes

According to Google Ads, “life jackets” has an average monthly search volume of 135000, with the most searches coming in August at 246000.

By looking more specifically at the different types of life jackets for kids that are the most popular, Google Ads shows that “type 3 life jacket” and “type 4 life jacket” come out on top with 2900 searches monthly followed by “type 1 life jacket” at 2400, “type 3 life jacket” at 1900, and “type 5 life jacket” at 1300. Keep reading to learn more about each of these classifications of life jackets for kids.

Type 1 life jacket

Two kids wearing orange life jackets on small boat

Offshore life jackets, also referred to as type 1 life jackets, provide the most buoyancy among all of the classifications and are designed for use in rough waters where it can be difficult to stay above water without assistance. This is vital for kids since they’re not fully developed and won’t have enough strength to stay above water for too long without help. 

The type 1 life jacket consists of a large collar that supports the head and neck, reflective strips that sit against the bright color of the jacket, and it often includes a signaling device to help draw attention. Since they’re designed with rough or remote waters in mind, these life jackets will be made of  sturdy materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Consumers will also require the type 1 life jacket to be coast guard approved.

Google Ads shows that searches for “type 1 life jackets” were highest in August, coming in at 4400 monthly searches.

Type 2 life jacket

Two kids sitting in kayak wearing type 2 life jackets

Type 2 life jackets are also a very popular option with a similar buoyancy to type 1 life jackets. They’re designed to be used in calmer waters and during activities that take place closer to the shoreline so they are less bulky by comparison which allows kids the freedom to move and swim. If the wearer is unconscious the type 2 life jacket will ensure that the person remains face up to prevent drowning which is a unique and popular feature of this type of life jacket for kids.

Google Ads shows that searches for “type 2 life jackets” were highest in July and August, coming in at 3600 monthly searches.

Type 3 life jacket

Young boy at edge of pool with orange life jacket

The type 3 life jacket, or a floatation aid, offers the wearer only moderate buoyancy and is meant to be worn in calm inland waters such as lakes or pools. It’s significantly less bulky than the previous two types of life jackets for kids, meaning it can be worn for longer periods of time without causing discomfort. The type 3 life jacket is designed to keep the wearer afloat but it may not necessarily create face up floatation which can be a concern for some consumers.

Google Ads shows that searches for “type 3 life jackets” peaked at 6600 in July and August.

Type 4 life jacket

The type 4 life jacket is more like a throwable floatation device that’s designed to help keep a person afloat who may have fallen overboard. Although they are not wearable they’re incredibly important to have onboard boats or along the shore in the event of an emergency. They’re generally made of foam or hollow plastic with a durable outer covering that allows for extended use. Some of these devices will include handles and they can come in various designs such as horseshoe buoys or cushions.

Google Ads shows that searches for “type 4 life jackets” peaked similarly to type 3 life jackets, with July and August seeing 6600 monthly searchers.

Type 5 life jacket

Young boy windsurfing while wearing specialized life jacket

Type 5 life jackets are designed for special use so they aren’t able to be universally used in all water situations. Each life jacket will have specific features built into them to aid in certain activities such as paddle boarding, canoeing, or windsurfing. For kids, it’s important that these life jackets fit comfortably and provide them with the appropriate amount of buoyancy for them to carry out their activity safely.

Google Ads shows that searches for “type 5 life jackets” were highest in August, coming in at 720 monthly searches.

Conclusion

Young boy sitting on paddle board wearing life jacket

The top life jackets for kids vary depending on the activity being performed. Whereas some provide ultimate buoyancy and are designed for use in open waters, others are better suited to calm waters and provide more freedom of movement to the person wearing them. Keep in mind that all life jackets for kids need to comply with strict safety guidelines in order to ensure overall safety for kids of any age. But the options here are a good go-to choice for sellers aiming to meet the global demand for kids’ life jackets in 2024 and beyond.

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