Last Updated on July 9, 2023
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Aldi sold this life vest again in 2023 for $9.99, which is a little less than what we purchased it for in 2021.
Aldi has sold flotation devices for years. Back in 2017, we tried out both the Fluid Aquatics U.S. Coast Guard Approved Paddle Pals and the Fluid Aquatics U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Vest: Child and Youth Sizes. We found both of them to be good for what we needed: namely, a way to keep safe in the water.
Earlier this year, I decided to take the plunge (figuratively speaking) on the Intex Explorer 200 Boat Set. With any boat, a flotation device is a good idea, but it seemed like an especially good idea with an inflatable boat that might be in the middle of a large lake. When I saw that Aldi was selling an adult vest, I decided to add that to our lineup.
The Fluid Aquatics U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Vest is an Aldi Find, which means it’s only in stores for a limited time. (And no, Aldi won’t ship it to you.) At the time of this post, the life vest costs $10.89. That’s less than the life vests cost in 2017, and far cheaper than you’ll find in most other places. The vests come in child, youth, and adult sizes. In addition, Aldi sells two adult sizes: adult and adult XL. Adult is for chest sizes between 30-52 inches, while XL is for chest sizes 40-60 inches. Both adult jackets are rated for 90 pounds and up.
Fluid Aquatics is a trademark of Stallion Sport Ltd., a Hong Kong-based manufacturer, and Fluid life vests are distributed in America by Sport Dimension, a California-based company. In the past, Stallion Sport has manufactured for several well-known brands, including Sea-Doo, Speedo, and Body Glove. Sport Dimension is the warranty provider for this vest, which is good for 1 year.
The vest comes with the usual care and maintenance instructions, including a warning not to store it wet.
There are various types of life preservers, ranging from Type I to Type V. Type I vests are the safest because they are the best at keeping unconscious people’s faces above water, but they are also more bulky and least comfortable. According to the Coast Guard, Type I vests are especially important in open ocean waters, while Type III is more suitable for calm inland waters.
The Aldi vest is a Type III device, which means that while it is the least bulky and most comfortable among Coast Guard-approved life jackets, it’s not designed to keep an unconscious person’s head above water the way Type I devices, and to a certain extent Type II devices, are. Also of note, the life vest is a Level 70 vest, which is the most common among Type III vests.
The Aldi vest does what it’s supposed to. It’s very easy to put on, and just as easy to adjust. I had no problem fitting it on either myself or other adult-sized family members in my house.
The Fluid Aquatics Life Vest is an inexpensive Type III life jacket, suitable for many typical water uses. You’ll have a hard time finding a jacket with this rating for this price.