Product Review - Puddle Jumper

I received a whole box of cool stuff from MOM Magazine at the beginning of the month... and in it was a new Puddle Jumper for Liam... it was good timing, because his old one, which we've had for two years is starting to show a little bit of it's age... mostly because we use it in harsh climates - the salty ocean and the chlorinated pool...

The question that begs to be asked is ... what is a Puddle Jumper?

Well, it's my favorite PFD ever!  It is a Type V PFD to be precise... and rated such by the United States Coast Guard.

Here are a couple of pics of Liam wearing his:


I love it because, unlike traditional lifejackets, it allows for freedom of movement in the water and allows Liam to swim on his stomach more easily!  Traditional children's life jackets are designed to turn the wearer over so that they float on their back -- and for good reason -- you don't stay face down in the water... but for teaching my little guy to enjoy the pool and even the beach - the Puddle Jumper offers so much more freedom!

It's also miles better, in my humble opinion than either a) water wings or b) floatie swimsuits.  Water wings can slip off or be pulled off by your child and rendered ineffective - plus, they are usually made of inflatable plastic that can be punctured or leak.  Floatie swimsuits are awkward to get your child into, and I find that my little guy grew out of his extremely quickly!

The Puddle Jumper is adjustable for children from 30-50 lbs and stays on securely by fastening behind their back!

It's comfortable enough for Liam to wear for hours at the beach and he doesn't even take it off while playing in the sand.

The Puddle Jumper does have limitations, as I mentioned previously - it requires the wearer to maintain head control and body control to avoid going face-down, and doesn't prevent an unconscious wearer from remaining face-down.  It's not intended for survival in rough water and it's not approved for use on personal watercraft, for water skiing or similar towed uses.

If your little one isn't ready to swim entirely on their own, but wants some freedom in the water - I heartily recommend this product!    You can check it out at Stearns Flotation  for more info!