When you think of a life jacket, whether for a baby or adult, you probably think of your basic design with buckles in the front. In fact, my last review was on a classically designed life jacket that you can read here! However, there are some really great new designs coming out regularly that can really turn your head. The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest is one of these unique designs that make you wonder, “why didn’t someone think of that years ago?” Read on to find out why I’m ga-ga over this cool new life jacket.
Harder To Flip
As I say in many of my posts, I think all parents would agree that safety is their number one priority when it comes to their kids. And this especially applies when dealing with recreational water activities. The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest is in my opinion, one of the safest infant life vests out there.
So what is the reason that they are safer than other life vests in their category? Well, one of the most common complaints about the classic life vests is that it is easy for babies to flip onto their stomachs and not be able to lift their heads out of the water. When your child is an infant, it can be very difficult to maneuver their body, especially when they are fighting the buoyancy of a life preserver. Most children don’t know what they are supposed to do to keep their head above the water and they panic.
The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest remedies this by only putting floating material on the front of the life vest and in the cushion that goes behind their heads. This design really is genius, yet so obvious when you think about it. I have struggled, like many moms with wondering why infant life jackets are so scary! It is so easy for children to get stuck with their face in the water. But this remedy works wonders and keeps your infant laying on their back in the water.
They might even relax enough to fall asleep in the water.
Though many of the life vests that I review are for babies 30 pounds and under, there are very few that advertise themselves as being 25 pounds and under. This life vest has a bit more leeway in the adjustments than other life jackets because it only has the float on the front of the baby. You can easily adjust the rest of the jacket to fit your baby snugly. Most of the other floats are much too rigid after a certain point to get a comfortable and snug fit on babies less than 20 pounds.
Okay, if you’ve read my other reviews, you might get a little tired of me talking about the crotch strap, but it’s a huge deal for me! I remember vividly even at a young age how uncomfortable and embarrassing it was to be hoisted out of the water and have the most enormous wedgie known to man from the crotch strap. I understand the necessity of the thing, but there are ways to get around the massive wedgie. For example, the Stearns Infant Puddle Jumper that I reviewed here has a great method of remedying this issue by using straps that go around the thighs instead of between the bum cheeks.
The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest has a different alternative. Instead of a crotch strap or a thigh strap, they just made the mesh liner a tad bit wider so it covers your baby’s bum similar to a swimsuit. This kind of forethought wins a lot of points in my book.
The safety handle, placed on the head cushion, is an absolute must when it comes to infant life jackets. This handle is essential for hoisting children out of the water and into a boat for safety. In fact, even in non emergent situations, the safety handle is the easiest way to get a child into a boat from the water. It can be difficult to get a child in from within the water, so pulling a child up from a higher position is the best way.
This handle is a necessary part of any child life jacket to be approved by the US Coast Guard. More on that below.
The Salus Bijoux Baby Vest is unfortunately not approved by the US Coast Guard or the Canadian Transport. However, this doesn’t reflect on the safety of the actual life vest. Apparently, there are no guidelines for approving infant life vests under 20 pounds. The other life jackets that I have reviewed that are approved are for 30-pound infants and lower and thus have different guidelines.
Even though it isn’t officially approved by the USCG, it did win the Canadian Safe Boating Award, which should count for something! If you have some misgivings about the effectiveness of this life jacket, then I urge you to try it out for yourself and see how great it works!
A Little Pricey
The one downside when it comes to the Salus Bijoux Baby Vest is that it is one of the pricier life jackets on the market. However, I would say that it is still a great buy, especially if you are a family that loves to be on the water, and this is for a few reasons:
This life jacket is by far the most comfortable one I have seen. Most other life jackets are bulky and stiff. You put up with them because they are safe for your baby, but they really are quite uncomfortable overall for your child to spend time in. Some kids are so excited to be on a boat that they don’t mind, but if you have a very young infant that needs to take naps, it can be quite the struggle to keep them happy in their life vest.
This one is so much more comfortable because it only has the float on the front and this float is quite short making it easy for your child to be able to sit up without it butting into their chin.
The head cushion is very oversized and comfortable so your child can lay on it and relax while they nap in the boat or even nap in the water with supervision. It is a very relaxing life vest.
This life vest is also just more safe in general. The other life vests can promise that your baby will float but they cannot promise that they will stay afloat with their head out of the water. This vest will force your baby to lay on their back until they can be safely rescued. So even if they are separated from you by some kind of emergency, you can be sure that they have their face out of the water and are breathing while they are waiting for rescue. This alone is enough to get me to invest in this life jacket.
Even though this vest is much more expensive than other ones on the market, you can resell it or you can keep it through several children. When you have a product this good, it’s one you might want to hang on to.
Another reason I love to support this product is because it is made in Canada, so you know that the factory workers are treated better than some sweat shop workers. And that is always something I want to support! You can see the factory tour in the video below:
Ultimately, the Salus Bijoux baby vest is my absolute top choice for an infant life jacket. Though it isn’t technically approved by the US Coast Guard because there are no guidelines for a life jacket that small, it has won awards that suggest that it is a great and safe option for your children that are under 30 pounds. If you are a family that basically lives on the water during the summer, then it can be difficult to stay home when you have a baby just because there is a life jacket that doesn’t fit properly. It is equally difficult to force your infant to wear a life jacket that isn’t very safe and doesn’t fit comfortably.
The US Coast Guard hasn’t completely vetted the Salus Bijoux Baby Vest because they aren’t used to having life vests that small, but it still fulfills the requirements for other approved personal floatation devices. It has buckles, crotch straps, a head cushion, and a safety strap. Salus Bijoux meets all the guidelines for larger life jackets–along with it being difficult to flip over, making it the safest infant floatation device out there, in my opinion. It also has a shorter chest float so that your child will be comfortable while sitting and it won’t choke them.
It is a really great design and the US Coast Guard should consider creating a guideline for life vests this small just so that it can be approved. Though it might be a bit pricey, it is well worth the investment, especially if you are planning on having multiple children.