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Best Floaties For Toddlers 2023

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Oh, the delight of introducing our energetic toddlers to the pool! Whether at your local swimming spot or on a vacation, those moments of them learning to swim or just gleefully splashing around create priceless memories.

Best Floaties For Toddlers

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Navigating the sea of flotation devices for toddlers can be overwhelming for your family trip to an outdoor or indoor pool.

To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of  the best floaties for toddlers available online, along with their pros and cons. Let’s dive in!

In HURRY? Here’s a quick pick for your convenience!

Comparison table for floaties for toddlers

NameImageAge rangeShoulder StrapsSafety buckleMore info
StearnsSTEARNS-floaties-for-toodlersSuitable for kids who weigh 30 to 50 lbsNo1See reviews and price here
ChrifferChriffer-Kids-Swim-Vest.From 2 to 7 years oldYesDouble buckle strapsSee reviews and price here
SwimSchoolSwimSchool-floaties-for-toodlers4-6 years old with up to 50 lbsYes1See reviews and price here
SpeedoFor kids from 30 to 50 lbsYes1See reviews and price here
Back Float Safety Swim Trainer Floaties alternativeFloaties-alternative.No2See reviews and price here
Sunlite Sports Back Float Floaties alternative3 to 10 years with between 20 to 50 lbsNo1See reviews and price here

Best Floaties For Toddlers

Stearns

The Stearns Original Puddle Jumper is a simple and budget-friendly floaty that comes in various vibrant colors. Each one features a different aquatic friend, from pink clams to octopi, so your little swimmer can choose their favorite buddy to join their expeditions.

Most parents and purchasers claim that this is one of the best swim floaties for toddlers due to the comfort it offers without pushing your kid’s face forward.

For the more savvy families, there’s also a slightly higher priced variant that changes color in the water!

Pros:

  • Rest assured of the quality and safety of the Stearns floaties, as they are rigorously tested and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • With durable nylon shells, these floaties are built to withstand rough play. They offer a secure fit that doesn’t restrict your toddler’s movement or slide up the neck.
  • The floats are very lightweight, making them super easy to put on and take off, wet or dry.

Cons:

  • While being one of the top choices for children between 30 to 50 pounds, it’s important to note that if your child weighs significantly less, there’s a possibility they might tip forward or backward, or that the vest could slide off.

Chriffer

Looking for something quirky and vibrant? The Chriffer Kids Swim Vest will make your tots stand out from the rest, thanks to its funky themes and colors!

The only thing better than the look of this toddler flotation device is its functionality, designed to allow comfy and safe wading for kids between 2 to 7 years of age.

Pros:

  • Chriffer has floaties with dinosaurs, unicorns, and mermaids, making swim time fun for every kid.
  • It comes with two anti-slip shoulder straps and childproof buckles for a tight fit. 
  • The ergonomic U-shaped design and soft nylon of the vest prioritizes the comfort and freedom of your toddler.
  • Include this in your lineup of the best floaties for toddlers under 30 lbs, as it’s an excellent choice for smaller children, even those weighing as little as 22 pounds.

Cons

  • Some users have reported concerns about the quality of the armbands. Always ensure you do a thorough check of the build quality before you test it in the waters.

SwimSchool

Even the safest floaties for toddlers should do more than just help kids float! Safety is paramount, but the best ones should provide little ones with a sense of security while allowing them to swim with confidence, free from the constraints of bulky vests.

This is precisely why Floaties by SwimSchool are perfect for your child. With a wide array of colors, sizes, and customizable add-ons, these floaties ensure your child’s comfort and enjoyment in the water.

Pros:

  • SwimSchool’s trainer vest is available in two sizes: S/M and M/L, ensuring a proper and snug fit for toddlers and older kids up to the age of 6.
  • Padded shoulders, foam pads for balance, and an adjustable safety strap enhance comfort and fit.
  • The soft fabric offers UPF 50 sun protection, keeping your child safe from harmful UV rays.
  • With a capacity of up to 50 pounds, the vest accommodates bigger kids. Chin-up collars suit older children, while sleeves provide a comfy fit for younger ones.

Cons:

  • Not Coast Guard certified, which might limit its use in public pools, beaches, or activities requiring certified products.

Speedo

Even with the best toddler swimming aids, many parents remain uncertain about letting their toddlers swim independently due to concerns about the floaty’s stability or weight.

Enter the Speedo Safe Splasher: weighing a mere half a pound, it empowers you to relax and enjoy as your child takes a dip. With a maximum weight capacity of 50 pounds, it provides a secure fit, solidifying its position as one of the finest beach gears for toddlers.

Pros:

  • Unlike most floaties that encircle the neck, causing discomfort and cheek grazes, the Speedo Safe Splasher secures around the chest, allowing unrestricted movement without irritation.
  • Arm pieces integrated into the torso offer extra stability and eliminate the risk of armbands detaching.
  • Feedback from satisfied customers highlights its remarkable durability, maintaining pristine condition even after years of use, solidifying its place among the best floaties for toddlers in its price range.

Cons:

  • Over time, the colors on the floaty may fade. If you intend to use it outdoors, be cautious of prolonged sunlight exposure.

Alternatives to Floaties

Back Float Safety Swim Trainer

For active kids who wriggle out of bulkier vests with attached armbands, a back float offers a simpler yet equally effective alternative. The Back Float Safety Swim Trainer is not only comfortable and waterproof but also budget-friendly.

Its adaptability to your child’s needs ensures unrestricted arm and leg movement as they enjoy their swim.

Pros:

  • It comes with four foam bubble layers that are individually removable, allowing you to adjust the buoyancy of the float. As your child’s swimming proficiency increases, you can remove the foam layers to match their skills.
  • Aside from providing proper support, the back float comes with an easily adjustable spring buckle mechanism that helps to keep the float in place during playtime.
  • The back float itself is incredibly lightweight, ensuring comfort and ease of transport, making it an excellent choice for travel. This advantage could potentially outweigh even the best toddler swim vests available.

Cons:

  • Over time, the safety clip and buckle tend to wear out, so be wary of the clip coming undone while it is on your child. Make sure to thoroughly check the quality and sturdiness even at the time of purchase.

Sunlite Sports Back Float

Is that a shark fin gliding through the water? Nope, it’s just your toddler confidently navigating with the Sunlite Sports Back Float.

With its innovative design, this toddler flotation device offers excellent balance and buoyancy, sure to spark excitement in your little ones.

Pros:

  • For new swimmers, a swim vest with all its straps and clasps can be a lot to handle. A cool shark fin, on the other hand, might be just the thing to give them the push they need to enjoy swimming!
  • Adjustable straps ensure a secure fit, offering peace of mind for parents.
  • Crafted from premium EVA foam, this back float boasts impressive durability, chlorine resistance, and a long lifespan.
  • Designed for unrestricted arm movement, the back float lets kids enjoy their aquatic adventures to the fullest.

Cons:

  • The straps might cause discomfort on bare skin and could lead to friction marks. To prevent this, it’s recommended that your child wears a swimsuit underneath.
  • Tether clips for the straps may not be as sturdy as desired, and mishandling could lead to breakage, rendering the back float unusable.

Best Floaties For Toddlers: FAQs

1. What is a swim floaty?

A swim floaty is a tool that helps you stay afloat in the water. It’s handy, especially if you’re learning to swim. Kids often use them, and they come in different types, like inflatable armbands.

2. Are swim floaties safe?

Absolutely! Swim floaties go through tests to make sure they’re safe. Look for ones approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or meeting safety standards.

3. Who should use a swim floatie/armband?

Floaties are for anyone who’s not a strong swimmer yet. Kids and adults learning to swim can use them.

4. What’s the best floatie for a 2-year-old?

For a 2-year-old, a swim vest with attached armbands is great. It helps them swim and play comfortably. An adjustable back float is good for more confident swimmers.

5. Which floaties are safe for toddlers?

Look for certified safe floaties. Make sure they fit well and check all the parts before swimming.

6. Should a 2-year-old wear floaties?

Yes, floaties are good for 2-year-olds learning to swim. They make swimming fun and safe.

7. Is a life jacket or puddle jumper better?

Puddle jumpers are better for enjoying water activities. They give more freedom to move.

8. What’s a good alternative to puddle jumpers?

Back floats and inflatable arm bands are good alternatives. They help with swimming posture and leg practice. Both are safe for learning to swim.

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