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The 8 Best Wakeboard & Wakesurf Life Jackets & Vests of 2021

Let’s all just stop and take a moment to be thankful for what we have in the world of wake vests these days. If you grew up riding in one of the stiff nylon life jackets of yesteryear you know exactly what I’m talking about. Even more recently, some neoprene Coast Guard Approved (CGA) vests were rather bulky and had a tendency to limit mobility. Luckily for all of us, its 2021, and wakesurf jacket design has progressed alongside everything else in the sport. Weights are down, flexibility is up, and impact protection is better than ever before. Performance that had once only been available in non-Coast Guard Approved (NCGA) comp vests is now available in their CGA counterparts. This is great news as there aren’t as many tradeoffs to make between safety and functionality.

So if wakeboarding life jackets have come so far in recent years, what sets them apart? Below we’ll break down our favorite vests of 2021. We’ll cover the different materials, design, impact protection, and safety. We’ll also touch on each of the price points so you can snag all the features you need and skip the ones you don’t. Oh, and sorry for those of you that still love the classics - the old school orange jackets your uncle has on the canoe at the cabin didn’t make the list of best wakeboarding life vests this year.


Liquid Force Flex Comp Wake Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

The Liquid Force Flex Comp checks all the boxes for a rider looking for a highly flexible comp vest that doesn’t compromise in any way on padding or range of motion. Built on an advanced 38-panel design using Flex-Span neoprene and an extremely lightweight stretchy foam, this vest moves with you no matter what position you’re in. The maximum stretch and tapered fit allow for a snug fit that never feels restricting or overly tight. Ease of entry is no issue with the front zip system. Another great design feature on this wake boarding life vest is that it’s reversible so you can swap out your look without paying up for another – bonus!

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Comp Vest (Non-CGA)$129.99

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Follow Surf Edition Plus Wake Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

If you’ve ever been out on the boat, and every vest on it feels about 3 sizes too small, this is the vest you’ve been waiting for. The ProFit cut provides a clean looking performance appearance no matter the size. Follow’s Super Stretchy Neoprene combined with 2x2mm flex panels take customized fit and flexibility to the next level. The Follow Surf Edition Plus Wake Vest allows big guys to shred the gnar while still feeling comfortable, protected, and looking great. What more could you want?

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Comp Vest (Non-CGA)$129.99

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O’Neill Outlaw Comp Wake Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

The O’Neill Outlaw Comp is one of the lightest, strongest, and fastest drying wakeboard vests in the game. The Outlaw uses a unique Nytrolite closed cell foam technology that absorbs less water and offers more buoyancy than its competitors. It offers maximum protection while utilizing anatomical flex points and carefully placed seams to keep you moving freely without any hint of restriction. The single belt system gives you an extra bit of security and customization on the wakeboard comp vest, and the wind-proof smoothskin material cuts down the chill a bit on those cooler dawn patrol sets.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Comp Vest (Non-CGA)$119.95

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Connelly Reverb Neo Impact Wake Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

The Connelly Reverb is a straightforward comp vest that just plain works – without a bunch of extras that drive up the cost. We love this wakesurf vest for its ability to perform well above what its price would suggest when comparing it to its direct competition. Using 4-way stretch neoprene and x-shaped rear panels, this vest offers mobility that you have to experience to believe. Omitting straps and buckles removes excess bulk and adds to the simplistic design. We didn’t find we missed the buckles either. With the stretch of the materials, the contoured armholes, and front-zip entry, the fit provides plenty of snugness without riding up or restricting movement.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Comp Vest (Non-CGA)$89.99

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Obrien Flex V-Back CGA Wake Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

A safe and eco-friendly option that offers one of the comfiest fits in the Coast Guard Approved wakeboard life jacket market. We really like this vest for the unique materials used. Instead of a standard neoprene that contains rubber foam or volatile organic compounds, Obrien uses an environmentally friendly BioLite Outer material that is light and breathable. The design also utilizes a stretchy v-back panel that maximizes mobility and keeps the overall weight down. Ease of entry is no problem thanks to the convenient front zip design. Two adjustable belts keep the vest locked in place even when you take a heavy slam.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Coast Guard Approved$79.99

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Hyperlite Indy Neo CGA Wakeboard Vest

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

The Indy Neo from Hyperlite is a great option for those not looking for all the bells and whistles, and just focused on what matters most: a good fitting and proper floating wake vest. Segmented foam panels give good range of motion, while the concealed straps keep it lower profile. Don’t overcomplicate things, just grab this Coast Guard Approved vest and fire up the boat.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Coast Guard Approved$49.99

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Follow Surf Edition Wake Vest - Women’s

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

Fear not ladies – you haven’t been forgotten in the high-performance comp vest category! The Follow Surf Edition Wake Vest is here to offer female riders an incredibly light, comfortable, and flexible option for those long sessions behind the boat. The Featherweight Foam keeps the overall weight down by using some of the lightest materials on the market and reducing the amount of water that’s absorbed when wet. Something we really like about this vest is the Dual-Layer Neoprene. Oftentimes, vests that fit well when dry will feel stretched out and loose in the water, the dual-layer material helps minimize this effect and keeps the vest fitting comfortably for the whole day. The Surf Flex Panels in the chest and back are so flexible you’ll probably forget you even have a vest on, making it one of the best women’s wakeboard vests.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Comp Vest (Non-CGA)$119.99

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Obrien Flex V-Back CGA Wake Vest - Women’s

The best wakeboard life jackets & vests of 2021
 

The same sleek, flexible, and eco-friendly wakeboard life vest you’ve come to love from Obrien – now in a women’s fit with eye-catching colorways that are sure to keep you comfortable and looking stylish all summer long. Offering tons of mobility for a Coast Guard Approved life jacket, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lighter vest in this category that stretches and moves with you as well as this one does, all while keeping you as safe as possible in the water. We think the eco-friendly materials are a nice touch as well. So go ahead and treat yourself to this wakeboard jacket– we think you deserve it.

 CategoryOriginal Price 
Coast Guard Approved$79.99

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