My son is a bit small for his age, he recently turned 5 but doesn’t weigh 40 pounds yet. He has the ability to stay afloat in the pool by doggie paddling and early swim strokes, but he has yet to learn proper swim strokes like free style or back stroke or breast stroke. We thought we’d give the SwimWays Swim Vest a try and see how it works.
Our main goal was to give our son some support after a long afternoon of swimming when he was becoming tired. We wanted to see if it would hinder his “playing” in the water or if he would still be able to jump, swim, and cannonball without the vest impeding on his fun but still being comfortable.
We were quite pleased with the function of the vest. The fit was not too tight, it was easy for him to put on and take off by himself, and there is a strap between the legs to keep the vest in the proper place (so it does not float up into the child’s face). The sleeves were also a nice touch, protecting from the sun as well as keeping the vest in the proper position on the body. The vest allowed him to sink when jumping in which we like because our son is very close to that proper swimming stage. He still had to kick and move his arms properly (paddle) to keep his head afloat and get back to the wall. He was able to float both on his stomach and on his back with ease. He did not have difficulty changing swim positions. The vest did not seem to bother him at all during his play.
Overall, I would recommend this SwimWays Swim Vest to parents who are looking for a device to help children that can almost swim completely and properly by themselves. I would not leave a child unattended in any situation in or around a pool, even with a swim vest or other flotation device. This vest is for children who need to learn balance in the water, keeping the head above the water line, with a parents or instructors help. It can also be used to help those children who are still working on proper technique by keeping them at the top of the water but giving them the ability to freely move their arms and legs while learning swim strokes.
Also, check out our Swimways Swim Sweater Review!