A Buyer's Guide To The Best Plus Size Life Jacket

 The Best Plus Size Life Jacket

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

No matter your size, you may still enjoy participating in water activities. But it's not always simple to locate a plus-size life jacket for both tall and large folks.

Whichever gender you identify with, you'll be able to choose from a wide variety of content. As a means of assisting you in finding a personal flotation device plus size life jacket that meets your specific requirements, we have compiled a brief guide outlining some of the personal flotation devices (PFDs) that we consider to be among the best currently available on the market for more prominent individuals who enjoy participating in

The Best Life Jackets For Big And Tall Men And Women

The following is a list of the personal flotation devices we believe are the best for larger kayakers.

The O'Neill Men's Reactor USCG Big And Tall Life Vest (Best Overall)

O'Neill Men Reactor USCG Life Vest

  • Between 47.5 to 50 inches across the chest (XXXL)
  • III is the type.

This O'Neill men's life jacket, the Reactor USCG PFD, is an authorized Type III PFD by the US Coast Guard. Because it is made of neoprene, it is lightweight and flexible, contributing to its overall pleasant appearance. It has a front panel that fastens with a zipper and benefits from adjustable straps that are discretely hidden within the tall life jacket. This provides additional safety and makes the life jacket less bulky. The two adjustable belts have a safety buckle closing at the front, making it simple to put on and take off the belts as needed. In addition, the vest features anatomical flex points, which allow it to move in concert with your body.

The inside flotation foam is also segmented to better adapt to your body's curves. This helps the vest provide a more comfortable and secure fit. This life jacket contains expansion panels, another beneficial aspect of the garment. Because of this, you will be able to get a more snug fit, and the panels allow you to move more freely and in more comfort.


  • Expansion panels
  • Flexible neoprene
  • Flotation foam with segmentation


  • Some people may think it's too quick.

O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest (The Largest)

O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest

  • Between 57 to 60 inches across the chest (4XL)
  • III is the type.

Because it comes in a wide variety of sizes and has extra room in the chest area, the O'Neill Men's Superlite Personal Flotation Device might be an excellent choice. Paddleboarders and boaters with larger chests may find the 4XL a more suitable alternative because it is made to accommodate bins measuring between 57 and 60 inches.

It is a Type III life jacket that has been authorized by the US Coast Guard and has a shell made of water-resistant polyester. On the inside, it has lightweight buoyancy foam to give flotation. Besides being lightweight, it has also been designed to provide little bulk, which results in increased comfort and the freedom to move around unrestrained. It has four adjustable straps, each buckle at the front, making it easy to get a more tailored fit appropriate for your particular body type.


  • Lightweight
  • Chest sizes up to 60 inches.
  • Several straps for the waist


  • No zip closure

Life Jacket By Stohlquist For Women, Model Flo (Best For Women)

Stohlquist Women's Flo Life Jacket

  • Bust Size: Available in sizes up to 46 inches.
  • III is the type.

Stohlquist's Flo life jacket for women is a personal flotation device (PFD) that has been approved by the USCG and is developed exclusively for women. Because it features built-in supporting cups, it may be a fantastic choice, especially if you have a larger bust. It can make it more comfortable and less restricting, allowing for a full range of motion when kayaking. This applies in particular to women with larger bust sizes.
A mesh lining and open sides enhance airflow in the big and tall life jacket, another benefit of the life jacket. A front zipper closes the vest, and the adjustable straps allow for a specific fit while also contributing to the vest's overall stability. Additional chest straps must be on all personal flotation devices (PFDs), not only plus-size life jackets because they are intended to stop the life jacket from riding up when the wearer is in the water.
This sturdy and lightweight tall life jacket has front pockets that allow you to keep small items like sunscreen or a whistle. It also has a neoprene back band that is comfortable and offers a soft neoprene back band. Its high-back design is also a fantastic personal flotation device (PFD) for kayaking. Additionally, it is one of the finest life vests for tall women because it provides additional comfort in the chest area.



  • Zippers might be challenging to use.

O'Brien Women's Impulse Neo Life Vest

O'Brien Women's Impulse Neo Life Vest

  • Bust Sizes Ranging from 44 to 48 inches (XL)
  • III is the type.

The O'Brien Women's Impulse Neo is a vast and tall life jacket made of lightweight neoprene that the US Coast Guard has authorized. Because it is made to conform to the natural curves of a woman's body, it can provide a more comfortable and secure fit. Because it is intended to accommodate bust sizes between 44 and 48 inches, the XL is a size choice that is useful for women with more significant than average busts.

This comfortable and long-lasting life jacket has a zippered front clasp, making it much simpler to put on and take off. The two adjustable straps can be fastened quickly and securely using the two buckles on the front of the vest. Activities in which you might desire more flexibility of movement are good candidates for using the bigger arm holes. The armholes on this vast and tall life jacket may not be large enough to prevent chafing when paddling for extended distances.


  • Neoprene that is both pliable and lightweight
  • Made for women's bodies
  • Large bust sizes


  • It is not recommended for extended distance paddling.

The Big And Tall Adult Version Of The Full Throttle Adult Dual-Sized Nylon Life Vest

Full Throttle Adult Nylon Life Jacket

  • Size of the chest: 60 to 70 inches
  • III is the type.

Full Throttle's Adult Dual-Sized Big and Tall Life Jacket was designed to accommodate those who are more extensive and enjoy being in the water. Because of its broad dual sizing, this jacket may provide a more comfortable fit for chests up to 70 inches in circumference.
You may personalize how it fits around your body with the help of the three buckled straps located at the front of the vest. While wearing the PFD, you can adjust the fourth strap across your chest to hold it in place and keep it from slipping up.
The United States Coast Guard approves this Type III Personal Floatation Device (PFD). It is designed with large arm holes, lightweight foam that wraps around your body for security, and minimal bulk for increased mobility. This important feature should be present in the best life jackets for big and tall people.


  • Large chest sizes
  • Additional straps for the chest
  • Lightweight


  • There are neither pockets nor other features.

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports big  tall life jacket

  • XL and 2XL sizes include chest sizes ranging from 44 to 56 inches.
  • III is the type.

As a result of its high back design, the Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports big and tall life jacket has the potential to be an excellent personal flotation device (PFD) for kayaking. This allows the flotation foam to rest above your seat, which results in increased paddling comfort. It also possesses several beautiful functions.

This Type III US Coast Guard-approved jacket has several adjustment points, giving you the flexibility to create a more tailored fit for yourself. Along with the adjustable straps that fasten at the sides, the neoprene-padded shoulder straps that are adjustable can be beneficial for securing the personal flotation device (PFD). Because the armholes are so roomy, you will have a lot of freedom of movement.

A mesh back provides comfort and drainage and a zipped front closing for added security. On the front of the jacket, there is a zippered pocket and a whistle that will keep you protected. In addition, there are reflective strips that help to improve visibility.


  • Strips of reflective material
  • Adjustable straps
  • Whistle
  • Style with a high back


  • It can appear to be cumbersome in the front.

Inflatable Personal Flotation Device By Mustang Survival Corp. (Best Inflatable)

Mustang Survival Corp Inflatable PFD

  • Size of the Chest: 30 to 52 Inches
  • Type: V

This Mustang Survival Corp Inflatable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) is a certified Type V recreational PFD by the United States Coast Guard. In contrast to many other huge and tall life jackets, this one features a simplistic design that allows it to provide more comfort while being used for recreational boating.

It is equipped with a technology that may inflate itself automatically to give buoyancy when the user is submerged in water. In contrast, this might not be the best choice for sports where you often want to be in the water, such as water skiing or wakeboarding.

This vast and tall life jacket is extremely lightweight and has a low profile. Also, it has an adjustable waist strap, which helps keep the life jacket in place while using it. In addition to that, it features a safety siren and manual inflation for added convenience. If you need assistance, the fluorescent strips will aid boost your visibility, and the D-ring will make it simple for you to attach rescue lines. In addition, it features a comfortable neoprene collar around the neck.


  • To a low degree
  • The automatic method for inflation
  • Strips of reflective material
  • Warning siren or horn


  • It is not recommended for those who cannot swim.
  • Not ideal for aquatic activities involving significant impact.

Life Vest From The Stearns Adult Classic Series Designed For Big And Tall Adults (Best Budget Jacket)

STEARNS Adult Classic Series Universal Life Vest

  • Sizes range from 52 to 62 inches in the chest (Adult oversized)
  • III is the type.

This is a Type III life jacket that has been authorized by the United States Coast Guard and features an open-sided design. It is available in big and tall sizes and may be an excellent solution for those on a budget who like boating or swimming.

It is not only incredibly lightweight but also has open sides, which improves its breathability. It comes in an oversized form that can accommodate chest sizes ranging from 52 to 62 inches. The two adjustable waist straps enable you to modify the vest to match your body shape while providing additional chest space.

While swimming, the large and tall life jacket comes with a third strap that adjusts to go over your chest and be fastened to help keep the coat in place. When you enter the water, you'll have instant buoyancy thanks to the foam core and lightweight, durable polyester shell that makes up this item.


  • Lightweight
  • Option with a larger size.
  • Adjustable chest strap


  • There are no other features included.

How To Get Fit For A Life Jacket If You Are A Plus Size

Chest Size

Chest Size

Most life jackets are measured in chest circumference, which implies that to measure your chest accurately, it might be helpful to measure around the thickest area of your chest. This is an even more crucial consideration when shopping for the most satisfactory life jackets for big and tall people.
If you are looking for the best life jacket for big and tall people, choosing one with expanding panels or adjustable waist straps is a good idea. This can help ensure that you get a snug fit that stays in place around the various contours of your body. This article is for those looking for the best life jacket for big and tall people.
An adjustable waist strap may be even more crucial if you have a wider waist size. Zippered front life jackets for big and tall people may not be as forgiving as some of the ones that merely have straps, so if your waist size is more significant than your chest size, you may want to steer clear of purchasing one of these types of life jackets.
When you pull up your life jacket, it shouldn't slide off your shoulders and shouldn't ride up around your waist. Your life jacket should fit tightly around your body. When trying to locate the right size for your large and tall life jacket, you may discover that it is more convenient to have another person pull up on the shoulder straps for you.

How to Properly Fit an Adult Life Jacket

Is There A Solution For Women Who Have Larger Busts?

Women With Larger Busts

If you are a woman, particularly one with a larger breast, you might find that it is more comfortable to use a life jacket designed specifically for women. These life jackets tend to be fitted to accommodate a woman's body, so they shouldn't cause discomfort while you wear them. PFDs designed for women frequently have bust cups, providing additional support and a more customized fit.
To determine your bust size, use a measuring tape to take a circumferential measurement around the largest area of your bust. Remember that this measurement will almost always be different from (and more significant than) your bra size.
This is because your band size, measured beneath your breast and around your back, is typically the same as your bra size (with the difference between bust and band sizes giving you your cup size).
Most of the time, the sizes of women's life jackets are designated according to their bust measurements. If you are looking for a men's life jacket, the sizes available will often be classified according to chest size.
Whether you go for plus-size life jackets or not, the measurement you'll need to match against the chest size on a man's PFD or a bust size on a woman's PFDs is your bust size. No matter if you pick standard or plus-size life jackets.

PFDs That Are Inflatable.

PFDs That Are inflatable

Inflatable personal flotation devices (PFDs) often only come in one standard size. Because of this, they may not provide as much adaptability as intrinsically buoyant personal flotation devices (PFDs) that come in various sizes.
If you have a more oversized frame, finding a secure fit with an inflated life jacket may be more challenging if you have a more oversized frame. Perhaps these don't offer the best solutions for very tall and prominent people.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Big Do Life Jackets Get?

Specific versions of big and tall life jackets can accommodate chest sizes up to 70 inches, but most only go up to roughly 50 to 60 inches.

Are Life Vests Unisex?

In most cases, life jackets are designed to fit men and women. However, you may obtain a significant and tall life vest created expressly for women, allowing you to wear it comfortably, especially if you have large breasts. This is an option.

Is A Rating From The USCG (United States Coast Guard) Important?

The USCG rating is a significant consideration if you are obliged by law to wear a life jacket certified by the USCG in a specific location or under particular circumstances. The rating can provide you with an indicator as to whether or not the life vest is appropriate for your activity and whether or not it will keep you afloat in the conditions that are expected.

Are Life Jackets Capable Of Providing Comfort For Large Individuals?

They need to be sufficiently comfy for you to be able to wear them during the entirety of your exercise. If the life jacket you wear does not seem comfortable to you, it is conceivable that it does not fit you well, and a proper fit requires that it be snug without being uncomfortable.

Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up

The O'Neill Reactor PFD is, in our opinion, the most significant overall Plus Size Life Jacket for people since it is suitable for accommodating bigger bodies of varying proportions. In addition to being lightweight and flexible, this life jacket comes in various sizes. As it is made to accommodate a woman's body, plus sizes are available, and supportive bust cups are included, we believe the Stohlquist Women's Flo life jacket is the best for more prominent women.
The United States Coast Guard has approved these personal flotation devices (PFDs), making them appropriate for a wide range of water activities where a life jacket is required. Plus, each option features lightweight construction and plush flotation foam, which provide a good fit and add to its overall comfort.
Make sure you measure your chest or bust to determine the correct size and look for a personal flotation device with plenty of customization options. Each of these life jackets will suit various body types differently.