★★★★★ 3109 real customer reviews average rating: 4.7 stars
5 Stars By Candi on 2014-09-04
We love this for our little mermaid
We love this for our little mermaid! She is 18months and 20 pounds. We were struggling this summer with pool parties bc she wanted to splash around with the big kids and hated the baby rafts. The first 4-5 times she used it we kept her in our arms and taught her to keep her head up. After that she got the hang of it and can float freely now! Her face can still get in the water but as she gets stronger she remembers to lean back and even leaning all her weight back she still stays upright. We have an above ground pool and whenever we are outside or near the pool she keeps it on and is still able to play! Would reccomend this for all little swimmers. She is below the weight recommendations for this but the back buckle tightens very tight so it fits properly.
5 Stars By AmyRiger on 2016-07-01
Safety and Confidence Bulding
After asking for recommendations from a moms group, almost every single one recommended the puddle jumper. I am so glad I listened. We love it. I wanted something for my toddler that specifically would keep her face out of the water while we were in the pool. I wanted her to learn to be comfortable in the water before exposing her to her face getting stuck in. I'm with her 100% of the time but because she is new to the pool she is clingy while in there. To get her more confident I wanted something that would allow me to be next to her without physically holding her- and keep her face out of the water. With my older daughter everything I tried would bob her forward and she would get a mouth full of water. This does the trick perfectly. If she does nothing at all she simply bobs onto her back, face up. She is loving the freedom without the fear and I am loving knowing she is safe and learning to love swimming as much as I do.
5 Stars By B.Taylor on 2014-06-22
******Never assume that this is a replacement for full/direct parental supervision of any child wearing a Puddle Jumper. *******
Was at the pool and saw a group of young children playing with puddle jumpers on (pre-k)asked their mom where they got them, she said amazon. It really seemed to me that those kids really enjoyed swimming more than my daughter which wore a water-ski style floatation device/ jacket from a local wholesale club.
Although this particular design I could not find locally, they do carry these in other designs locally ['marts (you'll have to look around) ]but my little Ariel didn't want those. Had to be this one. Using an iPad to view this, the colors match the Puddle Jumper I received. This amazon item was not overpriced either; PLEASE do not pay over 30+s&h.
My daughter is 47lbs 3'6" and she swam the length of the pool several times, like a pro. It really seemed to boost her confidence while in water, while not exactly timid or hydrophobic before hand, she was reluctant to leave the shallow end where her feet could touch and actually practice the kicking / arm movements she was being taught. I think it is enough of a crutch that it will eventually be unnecessary in a few seasons.
The thing I really liked about Puddle Jumpers is it did not chafe her, it did not slide up to her neck, and it was not cumbersome. It's Coast Guard certified for a certain size boat, idk what size but it did say on the tags which were attached to the life vest. Stearns' website was just as vague as BTA-MALLs specs. These are Inherently buoyant, IIRC.
Never mind I'll dig it out, per the vest: (condensed)
SPECIAL USE -TYPE V PFD / INTENDED USE: Flotation Device.
USER WEIGHT: 30-50 lbs. (14-23 kg)
Blah blah blah....This is a substitute for Type III PFD-- ONLY WHEN WORN. USCG approved wearable device for uninspected commercial vessels less than 40 ft (12 m) in length not carrying passengers for hire and for recreational boats. Not approved for personal watercraft , for skiing, or similar towed uses.
Blah blah blah.... MUST BE WORN WITH BUCKLE IN BACK.... Blah blah....DO NOT CARRY HEAVY OBJECTS- HEAVY OBJECTS IMPAIR FLOTATION.
Not designed to turn an unconscious wearer face up in the water... It's design provides a stable position in calm water with their head tilted back...Blah blah blah.
UL LISTED FLOTATION AID.
---------------------------------------------------(Forgive me I do not want to write the entire listing on the PFD as there is a great deal of counterfeiting on the internet, and I do not wish to contribute to it. I hope the readers understand.)--------------------------------------
What I got from the above is, USCG Approved if your boat is for pleasure not for hire, then this PFD is a substitute for a type III PFD --at your own risk of course. Made for calm water, no chop. Also bear in mind that if a person/child were to grab the wearer of a puddle jumper it would impair flotation by adding additional weight. Something to think about if swimming in pools or lakes, crowded or not, with other children or unseasoned swimmers which ties to my very first statement.
This review I intended for it to be short, so thanks for reading!
5 Stars By Hyoun Kim on 2016-07-22
Great Item, Wish I Found it Sooner For My Own Daughter
My daughter loves water and swimming. Unfortunately, she likes it so much she is ready to jump in with zero hesitation. We tried using a infant/toddler life jacket before in the swimming pool, but those are just too bulky for her to enjoy the water properly.
That's when we heard about the Puddle Jumper product. After purchasing one, it only took 1 day's worth of trying to get her acclimated to the Puddle Jumper. During that time, she screamed, cried, wailed about how she hated it. The next day, she knew that if she wanted to swim, she had to put it on.
Now putting it on is a routine she tolerates without issues. It keeps her afloat in swimming pools and I have the piece of mind that I know my daughter can now swim without me holding her 100% of the time. Word to the wise though, don't leave her fully unattended. As I'm not sure what kind of malfunctions would/could occur but the last thing you want is for something to happen to your child.
Also a slightly funny story is due to the construction of the Puddle Jumper, I found once that my daughter laid down on her back on the ground. When she did that, she couldn't get up (think Ralphie's brother in the snowsuit in Christmas Story). She cried for help because she couldn't get up/roll over. I got a slight chuckle out of this.
I didn't realize how much of a monopoly Stearns has on the baby/toddler/kid life jacket market until I actually bought one for my own toddler. Literally every kid I've ever seen at every swimming pool has a Stearns Puddle Jumper....
If you have a toddler/kid and they like to swim, BUY THIS.
5 Stars By Cheshire Kat on 2017-06-20
Terrific design for skinny kids
My boys are 4 & 6 and they ask for these - they love them. I appreciate that these come in a pattern that's not "babyish". We don't have a pool at home, but they've had swim lessons and they're comfortable in the water, although not super strong swimmers. These are essential for those times we're at friend's houses and I don't want to be in the water with them the whole time. The can paddle around the whole pool regardless of the depth. I always supervise closely, but it's nice to not always have to be in arm's reach.
My boys are both super-skinny, so this design fits better than traditional vest-style PFDs that always ride up, even when tightened all the way. Our local city pools don't allow these, though (their allowable PFDs must be type 3 vests with crotch strap) so don't assume that just because these are coast-guard approved that you'll be able to use them in public pools.
5 Stars By amy felix on 2017-04-30
Best lifejacket for a kid. Must buy!
I love puddle jumpers! If you are looking for a life jacket for your kid trust me and don't waste time with any others. This has made swimming with my toddler actually enjoyable for us both instead of me chasing him around panicking. I can relax knowing his head will stay out of the water and he has a blast in it.
5 Stars By Kristi S. on 2015-07-16
an additional safety measure
My daughter is 20 months old, 24 lbs, 32 inches. Pulled as tight as possible, this Puddle Jumper vest fits her well. We do still have to hold her while she wears the vest, because she tends to put her legs too far in front / behind and tips over. We tested her swimming solo in the vest and she tipped face forward into the water, so small children MUST be attended by a nearby adult AT ALL TIMES while in the pool. We provide a small amount of support (either holding on to the back belt or the arm bands) and she loves having the freedom to move her feet however she likes. I would not count solely on this vest to keep her safe in the pool. Rather, I think of it as an additional safety measure and as a means to let my daughter move around in the pool without being trapped in my arms. Overall it's been an excellent purchase. Also, I'm sure that when she is older she will be able to swim more independently in the vest without tipping over, because she is already learning how to balance and redirect herself.
5 Stars By shae s. on 2017-06-02
Love it, just wish they made it in a bigger size too
My daughter just turned 7 and is at the high end of the 40 pound spectrum, but we've tried everything possible to get her confident in swimming. She LOVES the water, but panics as soon as she does not have some type of flotation device.
We've tried just the arm floaties-nope, tried a neoprene swim vest-nope, so we tried this one.
Other that she is at the very end of it fitting, it really did give her confidence. She was swimming all over the pool, with us chasing her and she really had a blast with it.
I wish they made this for bigger kids as we will probably have to try and modify it a little, to fit her longer.
5 Stars By Tkolive on 2017-07-02
Best invention ever
This saved our vacation to the beach! I have a 3.5 year old that cannot swim and has zero fear, so this puddle jumper was amazing for our recent trip to the Dominican Republic at the pool and the beach. He had a blast and we didn't have to hang onto him the entire time in the pool because he always kicks and screams for us to let him go. Swimming lessons for him this summer, but for now this is amazing!
5 Stars By Tracy Mound on 2017-08-21
It seemed to me that it still ought to fit if she was below the recommended weight (even if that wasn't the suggested use)
My 3 year old loves the Stearns Puddle Jumper and maneuvers around the pool (5ft and deeper) with confidence. It keeps her head well above the water and provides balanced support. I also noticed that it is approved by the US Coast Guard, so it's a real floatation device, not some gimicky pool toy.
It's interesting because the specs state that it is for 30-50lbs kids and sure enough, it didn't start fitting my daughter well until she was at least 30lbs. It seemed to me that it still ought to fit if she was below the recommended weight (even if that wasn't the suggested use), but her fat baby arms needed some persuasion to slip through the arm holes. Apparently, her arms still needed to lengthen out. As soon as she reached 30lbs, it was a perfect fit and she started enjoying it. Perhaps she coincidentally reached the appropriate level of maturity at the same time?