questionsis a lifejacket required when using a kayak?


Laws vary by state. Where will you be using this kayak?


I would. There are life jackets made especially for kayaking. Even if you're a good swimmer if you end up out there alone and have issues getting back in you could tire pretty quick. If the water is cold it'd be even worse. Basically, I'd rather have it and never need it.


Lots of factors.

What kind of kayak is it? Some are almost impossible to tip and some are made to roll.

How big is the lake?

Will there be other people with you or close by?

How cold is the water?

Are you a strong swimmer?

The safe choice is always to wear one, but how important it is varies quite a bit.


wouldn't the "necessity" of it be based on how well you can actually swim (not how well you think you can swim)? (oh yea, laws in the area too)


Well, consider this: Kayak flips and you're wonked on the head hard enough to become incapacitated. Would it help keep your head above water until some sort of rescue arrives?



I was going to write pretty much what @lavikinga did.

This question really isn't about the law (as there are no laws banning the use of life jackets) but rather safety.

Are you likely to need a life jacket? Depends on the conditions (temperature, companions) and how you handle getting dumped in the water (how well you swim, how much you panic).

Are you safer with a life jacket? Pretty much a no-brainer: Yes.


Either way, you should wear one if you can't swim. If you can swim, keep one as a spare if you're kayaking on the ocean. You never know what might happen out there.


@lavikinga: This is very true. Any type of kayaking done on rivers where there might be rocks, you should wear one.


Also any type of kayaking done where there might be swans. This guy would probably still be around if he'd worn one:


Coming from an avid kayaker, always. Better safe than sorry.


I have done plenty of ocean kayaking. I always wore a PFD. You can come up with plenty of cirumstances where you need one.