We Review 5 Of The Best Stearns Life Jackets

William P. Hilger founded the Stearns manufacturing company in the early 1900’s.  This American-born family from the lake district of Minnesota, wanted to support the “American Dream”.  You know, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  


In the 1920’s, their first product was an electrically powered windshield heater.  In the decades to follow, the Stearns company would evolve into high quality plastic products for the outdoors, such as life vests. 


Federal laws changed in 1971, allowing companies to actually design a better looking life jacket.  There was a need for a more fashionable safety vest, and Stearns took advantage of the situation.  The race was on, and Stearns would easily win. 

In 2008, Coleman added the Stearn’s brands, the most recognized player in the life jacket business, to their family. It was a natural fit.  The rest is history!

Stern,s life vests are famous for their comfort, light weight, and high quality material.  Most have the 3 buckle connection, open at the sides for more comfort, and made with high quality durable nylon.  If the Coast Guard approves of them, you know they must be safe. 

Since we are all about the beach and its babies, we want to share what we discovered about safety vests made by Stearn, by taking a closer look at some popular favorites.

1.  Stearns Youth Boat Vest

stearns life jacket review

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This vest fits small, so the claim that it is best for 50-90lbs. is inaccurate.  It would be perfect for an average 6 year old.  Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and Stearns makes quality jackets.  It will last a very long time, so no worrying about that.  

2.  Stearns Watersport Classic Child’s Life Jacket

Stearns Watersport Classic Child's Life Jacket review

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This vest has closed sides because it is designed for the small child, under 50 lbs. for sure.  We wouldn’t want our young “beach baby” sliding out of the jacket.  It even has a leg strap for more “peace of mind”.  It has drainage holes to keep the jacket dry and light.  Your small child will be forced to sit upright, which in our opinion, is a good thing.  Stearns thinks of everything. 

3.  Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper

Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper Hydroprene Fish Print Life Jacket review

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Yes it is for an infant under 30 lbs.

Yes it is Coast Guard approved.

Yes it is high quality.

Yes it is under $30.

Yes it has a grab handle.

Yes it has a zipper in the back to allow you to get it on and off your child easily.

Yes it is perfect for your tot!

Puddle Jumper demo …


4.  Stearns Watersport Classic Life Jacket

Stearns Watersport Classic life jacket review

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Again, we like the webbed straps for a snug fit, great quality nylon, the price at $30, and it is a universal size for all adults, as long as your chest isn’t over 52”.

This is also a Type 3, and Coast Guard approved.

If your beach activity is fishing, kayaking or water skiing, this is the jacket for you, because the open sides again permit lots of flexibility. 

You might look like a bumblebee in it, but that will help with the rescue.  You will be easily spotted in the water.  Why not purchase the “bumblebee” coloured kayak to go with it.  The kayak is less than $100, and is called the Intex Explorer K2.

5.  Stearns Comfort Series Life Vest

Stearns Comfort Series Life Vest review

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This life vest has it all!  Safety approved, quality materials, straps, and even a zipper down the front.  But best of all, it has MESH!  It is so light, you won’t even know you have it on.  You will be cool looking with a cool body.  Show off your muscles for less than 30 bucks.  Black is our favorite color at the beach, and oh, it comes with 2 small pockets.  One for your car keys and one for your smart phone.

Beach Baby Bob

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Beach Baby Bob