best floaties for toddlers

8 Best Floaties for Toddlers: Product Review & Buying Guide

One of the things you can’t miss to pack when going swimming with little children are floaties.

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Drowning follows birth defects as the top cause of death among toddlers 1 to 4 years old in the US. It is also the second leading cause of unintentional mortality in this age group, next to motor vehicle accidents.

Needless to say, more should be done to keep little ones safe on, in, and around the water. We’ll show you how to shop the best floaties for toddlers that are not only cute but are, more importantly, designed to keep your child safe, secure, comfortable, and happy.

Best Floaties for Toddlers for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons

Packing for a swimming trip can be absolutely challenging for any parent — trust me, even if both you and your partner are involved. But, what you should never forget to pack are things that can help keep your entire family safe and secure during your trip.

Other than that, you need to sit everyone down to set some rules and remind everyone, most especially younger children, about how to stay safe in the water. Orient children about what to do if they find themselves or somebody else in danger.

For now, here are the top floaties we’ve tried and tested that meet our criteria for style, convenience, and comfort. But, most of all, these products meet high standards of toddler safety in the water.

ImageBrandProduct DimensionsProduct WeightAgeMax. Weight of User Details
BEST OVERALL
Genwiss 12.96 x 12.6 x 1.97 inches9.6 oz.18 months up to 2 years old28 lbs.Check price
PREMIUM PICK
Konfidence 12.2 x 8.66 x 3.15 inches11.29 oz.18 months to 7 years old
  • S: 44 lbs.
  • M: 55 lbs.
  • L: 66 lbs.
  • Check price
    BEST VALUE
    SwimSchool 3 x 13.5 x 15.75 inches5.61oz.2 to 6 years old
  • S/M: 33 lbs.
  • M/L: 50 lbs.
  • Check price
    Speedo Not specified3.2 oz.Not specifiedNot specifiedCheck price
    BLUEMARS 12.1 x 7.5 x 6.3 inches5.61 oz.Not specified50 lbs.Check price
    Greus 9.13 x 8.27 x 1.93 inchesNot specified1 to 5 years old55 lbs.Check price
    RHorse 10.94 x 9.25 x 3.15 inches14.11 oz.6 months up to 3 years oldNot specifiedCheck price
    LAYCOL 10.5 x 10.5 x 2 inches1.56 lbs.3 months up to 3 years
  • S/M: 18 lbs.
  • L: 25 lbs.
  • XL: 48 lbs.
  • Check price

    1. Genwiss Swim Vest for Babies & Toddler

    BEST OVERALL
    Highlighted Features
    • Variations: Pink, Blue
    • Made with neoprene
    • Full zipper

    Looking for ways for your nervous little one to start enjoying the sun, sand, and water? Don’t forget to pack confidence your child can literally put on when he or she ventures out into the sea or pool. This swim vest is made for safety and comfort. Just keep in mind that swimming accessories like this still require your child to be accompanied by an adult.

    Pros
    • Full front zipper ensures comfort and best fit.
    • Foam inserts support the child for added buoyancy while in the water.
    • This product is low maintenance and does not require special care.
    • No special drying is required other than hanging out to dry.
    Cons
    • Use requires adult supervision.
    • This product is not intended to be used as a life-saving article.
    • It may not be suitable for older or bigger framed toddlers.

    2. Konfidence Swim Vest/Jacket

    PREMIUM PICK
    Highlighted Features
    • Comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large
    • 8 color variations and combinations to choose from
    • Made with neoprene material

    This vest is priced higher than most for a reason. Unlike the Genwiss Swim Vest for Babies & Toddler, for example, children anywhere over a year up to 3 years old can fit into one of these. This product is conveniently available in three sizes and 8 color variations. That way, your little one can stay safely snuggled and not struggle with a poorly fitting vest while having fun in the water.

    Pros
    • This product is available in several sizes and color variations.
    • Its 3mm thick neoprene vest material protects covered areas by as much as 100 percent.
    • Combines zipper and velcro lock to always keep the vest on your child and ensure safety while in the water.
    • Baby skin-friendly materials won’t hurt your toddler’s sensitive skin.
    • Removable and replaceable pads make this vest quick to dry and easy to maintain in great shape.
    Cons
    • Poor size selection can affect your child’s fit and comfort.

    3. SwimSchool Swim Vest with Safety Strap 

    BEST VALUE
    Highlighted Features
    • Colors: Pink/Aqua, Blue, Pink, Blue/Orange
    • Comes with an adjustable safety strap
    • Designed with Flex Form Technology
    • Available in 2 sizes: S/M, M/L

    Most floaties will usually irritate toddlers but the soft fabric that this vest is made of hardly bothered our little bug. We liked how it helps put our child in a proper swim position. Most other swim vests out there will buoy up a child but randomly move your child around the water. After a few years of shopping seasonally for this product, we learned that the best floaties for toddlers are the ones that come with mechanisms that help you adjust the fit. This one does come with an adjustable safety strap.

    Pros
    • This product comes in two sizes.
    • The safety straps allow you to make additional adjustments if needed to get the right fit.
    • The vest provides UPF50 protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
    • The zipper lock makes it easy to remove and put back on.
    Cons
    • Smaller toddlers might require additional flotation devices to keep from sinking inside the vest.
    • It isn’t as convenient to move around if you get the wrong size so make sure to measure carefully.

    4. Speedo Swim Life Vest Unisex — BEST BRANDED SWIM VEST

    Highlighted Features
    • Made with 100% polyester
    • UV50+ sunblock protection
    • Thick, full front zipper

    Looking for a brand you yourself trusted when you didn’t know how to swim? It’s not so hard to figure Speedo is the answer if you need a brand you can rely on for your child’s safety. Zip up/down closure and buckled straps give you the peace of mind you need to make sure your little one stays on top of the water when he or she is out in the water.

    Pros
    • This product comes in 5 color variations: Berry/Grape, Bright Pink, Lime/Orange, Purple Printed, and Blue Printed.
    • Zip up/down closure makes this vest easy to remove and put back on.
    • An adjustable buckle strap secures the vest on your child’s body.
    • Available in two sizes: Medium and Large
    Cons
    • Only the area covered by the vest is protected from harmful UV rays.
    • Your toddler may require arm guards if you want to keep him or her from burning out in the sun.

    5. BLUEMARS Floaties with Vest for Swimming — BEST VEST WITH FLOATY

    Highlighted Features
    • Comes with a security buckle
    • Double sewn for durability
    • Ready-to-wear

    Parents like us know that there’s no point arguing with a toddler. The tinier they are, the more impossible it is to win an argument. But, safety in the water is non-negotiable. When your child isn’t amenable to wearing a vest that can indeed feel tight, you may be able to entice them with this set of floaties from Bluemars.

    Pros
    • An adjustable and secure buckle belt keeps the floaties on your child’s body.
    • Available in 5 designs: Rainbow Unicorn, Dinosaur Red, Hope, Magic Forest, and Rocket.
    • You don’t have to inflate it every time you go swimming.
    Cons
    • These floaties are sold in one size only.
    • This product may not be suitable for older and bigger toddlers.

    6. Greus Kids Lake Boat Pool Float — BEST POOL RIDE FLOATY FOR BOYS

    Highlighted Features
    • Cute design like a car, suitable for both boys and girls
    • Easy to set up in just 5 minutes
    • Easy to fold and carry
    • 2 handles for easy grip

    Spend unlimited playtime in and on the water with your child using a floaty that they can ride on the water. The Greus Lake Boat Float is the kind of toy you’d want to take with you. It’s perfect for little boys or girls who are only starting to get acquainted with the water and need to build up that confidence to be in and on the sea or pool water.

    Pros
    • It’s a toy that also helps your little one learn to be more confident getting wet with sea or pool water.
    • The steering wheel has a honking horn that helps keep little hands busy and entertained.
    • Inflatable nature makes it easy to pack and takes up very little space in your bag.
    Cons
    • This pool toy requires undivided adult supervision.
    • This product needs to be inflated before every use.
    • The Greus floaty is suitable for smaller and younger toddlers only.

    7. RHorse Flamingo Print Pool Float with Steering Wheel — BEST POOL RIDE FLOATY FOR GIRLS

    Highlighted Features
    • Made with PVC material
    • Comes with a steering wheel and honking horn

    Make swimming and trips to the beach something for your tiny daughter to look forward to every time. Give her the best experience by allowing her to ride this toy car while on the water. This product will keep your little one safe and conveniently playing on the water.

    Pros
    • PVC material makes it durable and easy to store.
    • The wheel and the honking horn keep active little ones busy.
    • So cute and adorable, you wouldn’t want to miss taking your daughter’s photo while inside it.
    Cons
    • It comes in only one design and none else to choose from.
    • This floaty may only be appropriate for smaller toddlers.

    8. LAYCOL Float Ring with Canopy — BEST FLOATY WITH CANOPY

    Highlighted Features
    • For indoor and outdoor use
    • Comes with a safety buckle
    • A removable canopy protects against harmful UV rays

    Want to train your toddler to become an Olympic swimmer? Yeah, that might be too much to aim for but this floaty from LYCOL will definitely give your little one a great headstart. Smaller toddlers can ride it in. But, as your child grows, this floaty can keep supporting him or her. Use it to teach your child breaststroke and backstroke.

    Pros
    • Designed with five-point safety protection, this product definitely makes your child’s safety its Number 1 priority.
    • Canopy is made with SPF50+ material that provides protection against harmful UV rays.
    • This product comes in 3 sizes.
    • The seller presents in detail how you can get the best fit for your child.
    Cons
    • The Laycol floaty may not be suitable for bigger and older toddlers.
    • This product must be inflated before every use.
    best floaties for toddlers

    How to Shop the Best Floaties for Toddlers: Buying Guide

    How do you know you’re shopping for products that meet the same rigid criteria we’ve set for ourselves when shopping for floaties? Well, first of all, don’t think that you’re just looking for floaties. Remind yourself during the process that what you’re really shopping for is your child’s safety and your peace of mind.

    Here are the top factors to consider when shopping for floaties:

    Product Design and Construction

    The best swim floaties for toddlers out there are designed and constructed to meet standards of quality. These help guarantee to keep your child safe in, on, and around bodies of water. But, keep in mind that not even the best and most expensive products out there can be expected to keep your child 100% safe and protected while on the water. That’s why children should never be left unattended when swimming or near anybody or pool of water.

    Make and Material

    Buy floaties that can keep up with active kids and toddlers who are always on the move. Never settle for cheap and low-quality floaties. You’ll never have peace of mind.

    You should look for non-inflatable floaties if you don’t want to have to worry about floaties bursting all of a sudden. Or, look for inflatable floaties that are made of thicker materials.

    Your Toddler’s Age and Weight

    Two of the top things you need to take into close consideration are your child’s age and weight. This will help you select the right product and size that can support his frame above water. Any material used to make a floaty will only be able to support buoyancy up to a certain weight.

    Make sure you have the right measurements and you can’t go wrong. If you’re still unsure, validate your measurements twice using a weighing scale and a measuring tape. Communicate with the seller and provide him the measurements you’ve taken to double-check what size you should order.

    Where You Plan to Swim

    Some floaties are not designed for outdoor use. Some are best suited for pools only but not for swimming on the beach or lake.

    The same is true for how your floaties are constructed and what materials were used. When swimming on the beach, you want your child to be wearing floaties that will not only be able to buoy him or her up in the water but also be able to withstand rough sand, extreme heat, and strong winds.

    Child’s Swim Level

    Children who have some level of swimming abilities cannot be kept on toy vehicle floaties! They would prefer to get soaked and jump into the water all day rather than steering wheels and honking horns! That’s why older toddlers will be best kept safe and secure with swimming vests. The SwimSchool Swim Vest, for example, can be used as a practice tool for kids learning how to swim backstroke and breaststroke style.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What type of floaties is best for active toddlers?

    Swim vests that have built-in buckle belts are the best pool floaties for toddlers who are older and more active. These help swim vests stay on your child despite constantly moving, running, and swimming around. The Genwiss Swim Vest and Speedo Swim Life Vest Unisex  are two of the best products out there that meet this requirement.

    Q: Can inflatable floaties keep toddlers safe?

    Yes. Just pay attention to the design and material used. Make sure that inflatable floaties contain just enough air to be useful but not burst.

    Extreme heat and other weather conditions may increase the chances of inflatables bursting. Check the pressure gauge and fill it only with the volume of air recommended by the manufacturer.

    Q: What’s the best way to keep floaties in good condition to last the season?

    Take your time to select products that are made with durable materials to begin with. One of the most durable materials used for floaties and swim vests is neoprene.

    Always look for materials that are quick to dry, and easy to clean, maintain, and store. Never store wet floaties and don’t hang them near heat-emitting dryers to retain their shape and buoyancy.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to safety, it always takes top priority. If it involves making a safe choice for your toddler, it’s first and foremost your responsibility too. Shop the best floaties for toddlers and gain peace of mind knowing you chose only what’s best for your little one. No ifs or buts. No compromises.

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