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Buoyancy Jackets vs. Armbands: Which Are Best?

Buoyancy Jackets vs. Armbands: Which Are Best?
20 August 2014 15950 Views No comments

When it comes to your child's safety in the water, it can be difficult to know what buoyancy aids are best. As well as safety factors, you want to take into account comfort and how any aids might interfere with the development of their swimming ability. This can leave you a bit confused as to what the best choice is for your little one.

It is important to make the right choice, as you want to ensure that your child is happy in the water while also building up their confidence alongside their ability to swim. With this in mind, we've created a guide to help you choose between two of the more popular forms of children's buoyancy aids.

Buoyancy jackets

Buoyancy jackets – like the Original Konfidence Jacket – have grown in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. They allow you to customise the amount of buoyancy provided to your child, helping you to suit a single jacket with their needs as their skills develop.

Jackets provide a boost to a child's natural buoyancy, helping them get used to moving in the water in an organic way. This means that they are able to develop natural movements, helping them to swim correctly and in a way that will keep them afloat when it comes to saying goodbye to buoyancy aids.

With the Original Konfidence Jacket, you are able to remove any pairs of the eight foam floats that are interspersed throughout, to provide the wearer with a customised level of support. This is perfect for getting children more confident in the water, as they cannot see the floats while wearing the jacket so they will still feel safe if any are removed.

Jackets are suitable for wearing in swimming pools, at the beach or at water parks, making them the ultimate aid for your child as they learn to swim. Whether in or out of the water, the jackets are comfortable – ours make use of high quality soft neoprene material and Lycra binding, which stops chafing and stretches for a snug fit.

You also get the added benefit of sun protection, which is great for little ones as they have fairer skin than adults.


Armbands have been a popular choice for many people because of their blow-up-and-go nature. This means that they are small and easy to pack into beach bags.

However, unlike jackets, they don't provide all-round buoyancy. Instead, they just offer an extra lift to your child's arms, which isn't very natural. This means that they pull your child out of the water by the arms, resulting in different swimming movements that may not translate well when your child no longer needs the armbands.

They can also be quite restrictive as, when blown up fully, your little one may find it difficult to put their hands by their side or perform a full stroke without the armbands going in their face. This means that children alter their swimming style to suit the armbands, rather than the aids helping to develop their skills.

Many people find armbands uncomfortable, as the plastic they are made out of can chafe when used for extended periods of time. They also have hard joins that can be very uncomfortable when skin brushes up against them, which again can affect your child's movements.

The best thing to do when it comes to choosing a buoyancy aid for your little one is to get them involved in the decision. Have them look at each option and try the aid on when it arrives before heading to the water, to ensure that it is completely comfortable. This way, you can be sure that you are making the right choice with both safety and comfort in mind.