My youngest daughter isn’t a strong swimmer yet, and feels much more comfortable when she goes “under the mushroom” and its cascade of water at her Grandma’s community pool while wearing a swim vest of some sort. So when I saw the sleek, lightweight, and super cool  Sea Squirts swim vests and children’s life jackets–complete with a fin protruding from the back–I knew she would be all over them.  Or really, it would be all over her.

Besides, it gives me another excuse to hum the jaws theme song when she gets into the pool.

The first thing you notice about them? Yep, that fin. It’s actually kind of squishy so it’s not going to bother children as they back against the wall, or (my bigger concern) poke anyone’s eye out. But I still might think twice about using one in a pool on the hottest day of the year when there are 60,000 other kids in there.


Sea Squirts Children's Life Vests with shark fins on the back


Also, there’s definitely a difference between the life jacket (above), which buckles up, is Coast Guard Certified as a personal flotation device, and you could easily take onto a boat; and the swim vest (below) which is more lightweight, zippers up, and is meant for swim lessons and a little confidence boost for beginning swimmers.

Both are made with neoprene,  which is so much nicer against the skin than those scratchy traditional life vests. And I love that they are designed with three flotation pads that you can remove one at a time as your kid becomes a stronger swimmer.

Sea Squirts Swim Assist life vests with shark fins on the back

We gave the orange swim vest a try and while there are other cool colors, I happen to love that I easily spot my daughter in the water in the neon orange. I’m sure your own kid will have very specific color preferences, and fortunately there are a few to choose from. Though I have to give the black a big nod for upping the fear factor as far as a shark fin in the pool goes.

Think you’ll ever get them your kid out of it when it’s time to pack the beach bags and go home? Good luck with that.

Find the Sea Squirts swim vests starting at $29.99 for small/medium, and Sea Squirts children’s life jackets starting at $46.99 at Sizes seem very accurate and go by chest size. Thanks to the company for providing CMP one for review.