20 Jul A Review: Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket
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This past April my family vacationed in Marco Island, Florida. We stayed in a vacation rental that had a private pool and my two year-old son could not wait to go swimming. As I was getting all of his stuff for the pool ready I realized that the water wings I brought from home were never going to work, as they were way too big for my little guy’s skinny arms. My in-laws rented some baby gear from a local store and when they realized that the water wings were a no-go they asked the store if they had any pool noodles or floatables that we could rent. When the gentleman from the store arrived with the other gear he had a Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket in hand. I had no idea that he was delivering one of my favorite toddler products of the summer!
I should mention that while writing this review I learned that there are actually three different models available – Original, Deluxe, and Ultra. I have the Original Puddle Jumper, so I’ll be reviewing that model. From my quick glance it looks like the primary differences are the materials used (nylon, polyester, and Hydroprene) and antimicrobial fabric option. Please refer to the table below from Stearns for the complete model specifications.
The Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket is amazing for a number of reasons. I’d like to start out by talking about safety. This cute life jacket is actually US Coast Guard-approved. My son has used this in multiple public pools and since it’s considered a life jacket he is allowed to wear it. Some other fun toys are typically banned from public pools and swim areas and I think it’s because they aren’t Coast Guard-approved floatation devices. I should mention that the product is intended for children who weigh 30 to 50 pounds. My son weighs approximately 25 pounds and it has worked perfectly for him.
The Puddle Jumper is constructed out of durable nylon material and there are many different colors and designs to choose from. I love the fun and bright colors! There is an adjustable buckle that snaps in the back. This was well thought out, as little ones are unable to release the buckle by themselves.
While it’s considered a life jacket, it’s also a great learn-to-swim aid for little ones. Earlier this year Chase was a bit hesitant in the pool. I couldn’t believe the confidence I saw in him the moment he started using the Puddle Jumper. All of the fear I had seen in him previously was gone. He likes his independence, so this is great for him! The design is fantastic, as he is able to easily move about while in the swimming pool or lake. It’s great that he is easily able to stand up if he is in shallow water and he has no difficulty walking up and down the stairs of the pool. This product is lightweight and comfortable! Other life jackets tend to ride up around his neck and that’s not the case with this product. I was shocked the first time he used the Puddle Jumper, as he was literally swimming around the entire pool without assistance. I know I’m stating the obvious, but even with this life jacket constant supervision is needed.
Just this past weekend my son swam with my husband in the middle of the lake off our boat with the Puddle Jumper. I already plan to purchase this product for my daughter once she is old enough to safely swim in a pool. Seriously, this product is awesome!