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Old 05-22-2011   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1
Question about/looking for infant-toddler life jacket

Hi everyone - your advice is needed in buying a good life jacket for my 9-month old son. I'm looking for something that will be appropriately safe for moving water; i.e. a "real" life jacket and not a Walmart type of thing.

I'd be interested in buying one used, if it's in good shape and safe enough to pass along.

It looks like Stohlquist makes one - anyone have experience with this one, or another that worked well for your kids?


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Old 05-22-2011   #2
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
These guys seem to make the best.

More on Salus - they seem to have great designs and good features.

Life Jacket Personal Flotation Device For Sale Life Vest PFD Life Preservers PFDs

Haven't seen such a variety of designs for all ages from an American company. I would for sure look at these for toddlers. My kids are big enough now for NRs youth jakcets or junior and they like them and fit them well enough to pluck out easily.

Edit to add: obviously mountainbaby is a distributor not the manufacturer. Sorry if any confusion.

Haven't seen one in person yet, but I think I will have a Salus for me in the near future.

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Old 05-23-2011   #3
CUBuffskier's Avatar
Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
I just got the stohlquist one for my 2 year old and he liked it for swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman. Works well, although he's a little over 30 lbs so not sure your 9 month old would fill it out yet.
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Old 05-23-2011   #4
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Just make sure it has the crouch strap and the head "pillow". Most infant pfds meant to turn the baby face up and have the head rest on the pillow. I am not sure how well that would work in whitewater though.
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Old 05-23-2011   #5
mgpaddler's Avatar
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 61
Alex, we went through the Extrasport series both infant and youth vests for my daughter. Worked well, had crotch straps and a grab loop on the collar which was great for dipping when she got hot. Problem is they are USCG rated as a type 2, could be an issue on some rivers, especially those you frequent. Deso was especially problematic. Would have been tuned back except that we launched at Ouray. I also asked the ranger to find me a type 3 in an infant size with a collar. Safety and common sense prevailed but it may not always when dealing with reg's.
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Old 05-23-2011   #6
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
That makes sense. I haven't started my kid until he was 5 and at that time I was using a normal life jacket for him with a strap.
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Old 06-29-2011   #7
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
I just received a SALUS Nimbus pfd for my 4 year old. He's just shy of 40 lbs. I've been looking around and there really doesn't seem to be anything I liked out there for his weight range. So, on the recommendation of Carvedog, I went to the SALUS site, checked out their stuff, and ordered one. I really like this PFD. Since it's Canadian made, it doesn't notate on the vest what class it is (they' don't go by the USCG ratings up there apparently) but this is definitely much better than a class II pfd, I would rate it a class III. The fit is great, and he has really good mobility in it. This isn't a scaled down adults vest for little little kids - it seems well thought out. Float test in the hot tub coming up.

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