Our family is headed for a multinight/day stay on a houseboat anchored in one place surrounded by water. I have a very busy curious boy who will be required to wear a lifejacket at all times onboard and off. I'm looking for help in finding the right lifejacket for our situation.
DS is very petite, only about 28 pounds I believe. We currently have a lifejacket for him like this http://www.boatinggearcenter.com/p-9148-stearns-child-youth-boating-vest.aspx but we tried it out yesterday and while DS ADORES the water and spends enormous amounts of time underwater (no float device) in the shallow end, he panics over his head and somehow manages to swallow huge amounts of water in this lifejacket. NOT what I want should he fall (or jump) off the boat. And considering we will be in the water where we cant touch, not a good option for relaxing in the water to stay cool in the 110 degree weather.
Suggestions? I need him to stay afloat without turning on his face in the lifejacket. At the same time, since he is wearing it 24/7, I'd prefer something not so bulky.
You need a life jacket that will keep him on his back if he falls overboard, which the one you purchased will not. You need one with no padding on the back and the head support thing like this one: http://www.sell.com/29L519
My family is shopping for a sailboat and I've been investigating lifejackets lately. There is ONE child's life vest which seems to have unanimous endorsement from boating families, and it is the Mustang Lil' Legends. By weight, your child would still wear the infant size, but you might want to call them and ask whether the Child size would be better (30 - 50 lbs). If it would work properly, it would be more economical since he won't outgrow it for a while; and I'm also concerned that the infant size may be too short for him.
I found the best prices on Amazon.com and Overton's.com (about $43). It's certainly not the cheapest life vest you can get, but it has a great reputation and does a good job turning children onto their backs. It is a Type II floatation device; the one you posted is only a Type III, I think. Be sure to research the different types because they're appropriate for different kinds of situations. Type II and Type I life vests are kind of hard to find in infant and child sizes.