Best Life Jacket for Bass Fishing – Our Top 5 Picks

Life jackets are a staple piece of safety gear when going out bass fishing. However, choosing a life jacket for you and your family isn’t as easy as it sounds.

There are dozens of factors you need to consider from material to buoyancy. No need to worry; we’ve got you covered with the 5 best life jackets.

Our 5 recommended life jackets for bass fishing are as follows:

  1. Stohlquist Fisherman Fishing Life Jacket – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. NRS cVest Mesh Back Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Stohlquist Piseas
  4. ONYX Kayak/Fishing
  5. NRS Chinook

Before purchasing your fishing gear, the first on your list should be safety equipment, including a life jacket. When you are out on the water, your safety depends on your life vest. A lot of things could happen when you’re fishing, and it’s always best to be extra prepared.

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Read on to learn more about the best life jackets for bass fishing, including the features for each.

Also, for an excellent life jacket for bass fishing, take a look at our top pick, the Stohlquist Fisherman Life Jacket PFD:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Best Life Jacket for Bass Fishing – Our Top 5 Picks

As an avid fisherman, the best way to enjoy a bass fishing trip is to have reliable gear around you. These life jackets are designed to be functional without neglecting your safety.

With the proper life jacket, you will have safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable fishing trips.

1. Stohlquist Fisherman’s Personal Floatation Device

If we’re talking about compartments, the Stohlquist Fisherman Fishing Life Jacket is my personal favorite life jacket. It has six pockets that are durable and very comfortable.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Best Features: 

  • 500 denier Cordura shell and 200 denier oxford lined pockets that resist abrasion and UV rays, guaranteeing value for money
  • Type III life vest that provides 16 pounds and 12 ounces of buoyancy
  • Adjustable neoprene shoulders that do not restrict movement
  • Made of eco-friendly Gaia PVC-free foam that provides a soft, flexible interior that does not break under humid conditions
  • Added air ventilation by the mesh side panels with wide cinch-straps
  • Internal pockets for small tools and valuables
  • Multiple tool hangers perfect for securing forceps, nippers, and pliers
  • Quickly secure your rod with unique loops
  • Offers three size variants and cactus green or bright yellow colors to choose from

2. NRS cVest Mesh Back PFD

Though it is a tad expensive, the NRS cVest Mesh Back PFD is one of the top-tier life vests you can rely on. 

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It is a reliable life vest that provides comfort and safety with three different colors and four sizes to choose from. You can be stylish and safe on every fishing trip.

Best Features:

  • Made with 400 denier ripstop nylon fabric that ensures tear and abrasion resistance
  • With 16.5 pounds of buoyancy, the NRS cVest is a Type III, medium profile life vest
  • The high back floatation pads fit perfectly on most seats, together with added ventilation by the lower back mesh
  • Numerous d-rings and two lash tabs are perfect for attaching rescue knives, whistles, and other accessories
  • Two small, clamshell pockets that can fit up to the bulkiest of phones perfect for spending long hours on the water. Two large zippered pockets for added organization
  • Three colors to choose from and four different sizes. Each vest has six adjustable straps that will guarantee a perfect fit
  • US Coast-Guard certified

3. Stohlquist Piseas Personal Floatation Device

Made with 100% Nylon, you can rest assured that the Stohlquist Piseas Personal Floatation Device will withstand the test of time. It is made with 420 denier shell and 210 denier oxford liner.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It can be a longtime companion with high back flotation pads that allow you to sit comfortably on almost any surface.

The Stohlquist Piseas is a durable, lightweight life vest that offers three different sizes and two different colors to choose from. 

The life vest has four pockets for ease of access: two that are zippered up and two subsets with Velcro straps. Take note that this life vest must be hand washed with soap and water to preserve its durability.

4. ONYX Kayak/Fishing Vest

When comparing Type III personal flotation devices, the Onyx’s Kaya/ Fishing Vest is one of the most impressive life jackets with its high-quality material and great features.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Best Features:

  • The best feature of the Onyx Kayak/ Fishing vest is the material used, with 400 denier nylon and oxford lining that guarantees a durable and worthwhile investment.
  • Ease of access pockets and drop-down tray pockets that can be accessed by pressing a single button
  • Six adjustment straps that guarantee the perfect fit
  • High foam back that accommodates almost every sitting option
  • Comfortable, Neoprene shoulder pads that provide safety and movement
  • Added ventilation supplied by the lower back mesh. 2-inch woven elastic attachment points and hanging loop for drying out your tools
  • It comes in two sizes that provide 15 pounds of lift pressure

5. NRS Chinook Fishing PFD

The NRS Chinook Fishing PFD offers comfort and ample accessory storage.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It is perfect for fishers who want to pack light or people who have to trek for a few minutes before arriving at the fishing grounds. The Chinook is breathable, and despite the storage allotment, it does not feel bulky.

Best Features: 

  • The NRS Chinook provides 16.5 pounds of buoyancy as a Type III, medium profile PFD
  • 200 denier urethane-coated ripstop nylon and lower back mesh for comfort and durability
  • Offers seven front pockets for all your accessory needs
  • Has eight adjustment points ensuring the perfect fit every time
  • A coil tool retractors allow you to clip on forceps, line snips, and other tools you need to access quickly
  • Includes D-rings on the back for your net and strobe holder for long hours on the water
  • Three sizes to choose from and four colors to match your personality

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Life Jacket


First things first, you need to be sure which activities you will use your life jacket for. Fishing and kayaking often require large armholes that do not restrict or hinder your movement.

Some design features such as mesh backs are essential if you plan on staying on the water for long hours. They can provide ventilation and maximum comfort.


Life vests come in a wide array of sizes and adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit. The PFD you choose should fit snug and comfortable. Make sure that your life vest is the perfect size and decreases the chances of you falling in the water. The comfort that an ideal fit provides allows you to enjoy bass fishing for long hours.


There are various types of life vests, depending on what body of water you would most use them. For bass fishing, sailing regattas, water skiing, and canoeing, a Type III Flotation Aid is best used. It is perfect for inland water near shore use.

Although it is not meant to be used for surviving rough water, it is more comfortable than Type I and Type II PFDs. To keep your chin above water, the buoyancy of an adult-sized life vest should be between 12-15.5 pounds.


The color of your life vest is a crucial factor to consider. It allows rescuers to spot you during worst-case scenarios. Thankfully, today’s manufacturers offer a wide range of colors that will enable you to be easily located and stylish at the same time.


The storage and ease of access to your tools and equipment are vital in any activity. That is why choosing a life vest that offers the right amount of storage is essential. Many life vests include highly durable pockets and slits that keep all your tools organized and handy.


Most life vests are accredited or certified by the Coast Guard. This is a critical factor in choosing your life vests. The Coast Guard has set criteriums for life vest manufacturers to ensure that the life vest is durable enough to support you should worst-case scenarios come.

Conclusion – Best Life Jacket for Bass Fishing

If you want the absolute best life jacket for bass fishing, consider these five:

  1. Stohlquist Fisherman Fishing Life Jacket – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. NRS cVest Mesh Back Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Stohlquist Piseas
  4. ONYX Kayak/Fishing
  5. NRS Chinook

Safety is an essential feature of any adventure you go on. Likewise, life vests are as important as the fishing rods you will be using.

They provide you the comfort that no matter what happens on your fishing trip, you can rest assure that you have something to hold on to. The US Coast Guard has certified each vest, so no need to worry; your life is in good hands.

Whatever your preference may be, you need to consider all factors before purchasing life vests. It is not just a matter of looking cool, but it is a matter of staying safe and maximizing your fishing trip.

A reliable, high-quality life vest will tend to be higher on the price range; however, it is an excellent investment that you are sure to use on numerous fishing trips.

Related reading:

6 Cool Sailboat Accessories You Need to Get