What is the difference between the Vaikobi VXP life jacket and the V3 life jacket?

June 28, 2022

VXP downwind Vaikobi

An athlete’s choice of gear can be the ultimate make or break in determining a successful day on the water. Well-designed equipment should only enhance performance by working with your body. For this reason, a good paddling life jacket will remain comfortable over extended periods of intense upper body movement. 

Manoeuvrability and shape are two vital factors to consider when in the market for a sports PFD. Vaikobi has two paddling lifejacket designs that are durable, visible, and made from super-soft foam for the best fit: the VXP and V3 PFDs. 

Both life jackets have an action-focused cut with a low profile and minimal bulk for activities like kayaking, surf skiing, and downwind paddling. They have large, sculpted arm and neck openings that allow for a full range of motion and movement. 

The VXP and V3 Lifejackets have several specific design features. The choice for wearers ultimately comes down to personal preferences for features and aesthetics.

The Vaikobi VXP Life Jacket 

The VXP Life Jacket is an ultralight PFD with a sleek, low-profile design for performance paddling. It has a side-entry design that slips easily over the head and fastens on its side. It also features neoprene shoulder straps for extra comfort, meaning it will contour to all body types for the best possible fit. This life jacket has no side panels to maintain maximum breathability and heat regulation during intense exercise. Removing the bulk that dominates traditional life vest designs not only satisfies comfort expectations but makes it super-efficient for packing and travel. This PFD also has reflective detailing for safety in low-light conditions – perfect for early morning or late evening paddles. 

VXP Life Jacket


The Vaikobi V3 Life Jacket 

The V3 Life Jacket is also a lightweight design that has fully adjustable shoulders with super soft padding. Unlike the VXP, it has a front centre zip with an adjustable waist area for a fully customised fit. It also has a slightly slimmer fit on the torso and sits a bit lower down under the armpits, compared to the VXP. The absence of side panels in its design allow the wearer to breathe and move unimpeded. While the V3 jacket is smaller, we use top-quality, comfortable foam with a high bubble count that provides maximum buoyancy for less bulk. It also features double side adjuster straps to prevent the vest from riding up when lifting and rotating the arms. 

V3 Life Jacket


Both lifejackets are purpose-built for high visibility inshore and offshore in colours including cyan, orange, yellow and pink. The VXP PFD is also available in a stylish black colourway. Similarly, the two designs have a large hydration pocket on the back that can hold up to 1.5L in a water bladder. They are both fitted with hydration tube guides that position the mouthpiece for hands-free use, meaning water is conveniently accessible without having to muck around with a bottle. All Vaikobi lifejackets are ISO 12402-5 (Level 50) certified for maximum safety and wearer confidence on the water. 

The difference: how do I choose between the Vaikobi V3 and VXP life jackets?

Life Jacket Entry and Fitting

The defining difference between our life jackets is how they are fitted. The VXP Lifejacket has a side entry configuration for a sleeker profile, and requires the wearer to slide it over the head when fitting. It has a more minimalistic design that uses only clips and simple neoprene shoulder straps. We pride this design on being specifically ultra-lightweight and flexible. 

The V3 has a convenient front and centre zip used in conjunction with clips for adjustable contoured fitting. It mimics a vest style similar to traditional lifejackets and has fully adjustable shoulders with buckles. 

Overall, the VXP has a flatter, wider and higher sitting design contour. The V3 has a slightly slimmer placement on the torso with a larger scoop under the arm for activities with more sustained, intense movement. 

Life Jacket Storage Pockets 

As a result of the entry designs, pocket placement is also a distinguishing feature between the Vaikobi paddle PFDs. If you prefer one larger pocket on the front of the lifejacket for carrying bulkier items, the VXP is the right choice for you. Its main centre pocket can hold bigger things like water bottles and waterproof mobile phone cases. The VXP pockets are fully covered, to hide and protect critical items, but with an internal drainage mesh to release water. 

For a more compartmentalised design, the V3 has two secure closable mesh pockets with a secure internal lanyard for holding smaller items. The pockets are made from mesh, which gives visibility from the outside and allows the wearer to locate items more easily and quickly. 


Still unsure? Speak to one of our representatives in-store to ensure you have the best PFD for you, or visit the Vaikobi website for more information.

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XXS   161 167  54 58 76 81 62 66 78 82
XS   165 172  56 63 82 87 66 70 82 89
S   169  176  61 68 88 96 71 76 90 96
M   174 181  66 73 97 104 77 85 97 102
L   178  185  76 85 106 114 86 95 103 108
XL   183  190  86 95 116 122 96 105 109 115
XXL   187  194  96 105 124 132 106 114 116 122


Size HEIGHT (Feet + Inches) WEIGHT (Pounds) CHEST (Inches) WAIST (Inches) HIPS (Inches)
XXS   5'3"  5'6"  119 128 30 32 24.5 26 30.5 32.5
XS   5'5"  5'8"  123 139 32 34.5 26 27.5 32.5 35
S   5'7"  5'9"  135 150 34.5 38 28 30 35.5 38
M   5'9"  5'11"  146 161 38 41 30 33.5 38 40
L 5'10"  6'8"  168 187 41.5 45 34 37.5 40.5 42.5
XL 6'  6'3"  190 209 45.5 48 38 41.5 43 45.5
XXL 6'2"  6'4"  121 232 49 52 41.5 55 45.5 48




Y-S 132 139 30 34 60 65 56 61 68 72
Y-M 140 148  33 39 65 71 61 68 72 78
Y-L 147 155  40 47 70 76 67 73 77 84
Y-XL 152 162 47 54 75 82 72 79 83 89







    HIPS     (IN)
Y-S 4'3" 4'8" 66 75 24 26 24 26 27 28


4'8"  73 86 26 28 26 28 28 31


5'  88 104 28 30 28 30 30 33
Y-XL 5' 5'4" 104 119 30 32 30 32 33 35

Fit Tips

If one of your body measurements is in between two sizes, order the smaller size for a tighter fit or the larger size for a looser fit. If your body measurements for hips and waist correspond to two different suggested sizes, order the one indicated by your hip measurement.

How To Measure

WAIST: Measure around the narrowest part (typically where your body bends side to side), keeping the tape horizontal.
HIPS: Measure around the widest part of your hips, keeping the tape horizontal.
CHEST: Measure the fullest area of your chest. Stand up straight and breath normally.



Vaikobi size guide