Flotation belts don’t change too much from year to year, but that doesn’t mean that picking one is easy. You’ll need to choose a shape, a level of buoyancy, and a material type (at the very least).
Since we’ve been working in the water exercise community for over 30 years, we thought we’d lend our expertise to create a list of the best flotation belts around. Check out our favorite models below:
AquaZulu Flotation Belt
The newest addition to our collection has quickly become the most popular flotation belt we carry. Zulu Fitness Systems debuted their AquaZulu Belt in 2014 to the delight of the water exercise and aquatic therapy communities. The AquaZulu Belt echoes the now-discontinued Hydro-Tone Belt and is arguably the best flotation belt on the market today.
Why is the AquaZulu Belt so great? It’s made from a material similar to Memory Foam, making it the most buoyant water jogging belt we’ve come across, even considering its slim design. The vinyl coating itself is also buoyant, allowing the AquaZulu to remain compact and manageable (about 1.25″ thick).
We love recommending this belt to runners and other cross-training athletes because it supports lean muscle (the densest and heaviest in water) and because it’s the least cumbersome model for full-body movements. It’s also great for therapeutic applications thanks to its uniform foam distribution which helps users remain upright or supine while simultaneously relieving pressure on the back.
Receiving returns of the AquaZulu is a very rare occurrence. When we do get one back, it’s typically because the belt was improperly-sized (an extension belt is available for any user exceeding a 60″ waist size). Best of all, it’s made in the United States.
Hydro-Fit Wave Belt
Best For Seniors
The Hydro-Fit Wave Belt has been around for decades. If you work out at a YMCA or other public facility, odds are you’ve seen this belt’s iconic aqua and gray coloring before. We think it’s the perfect match for seniors and people who have trouble with belts that constantly ride up.
Although it’s great for a wide range of users, we love the Wave Belt for seniors in particular because it can be threaded with a Velcro strap instead of a buckle. The hook-and-latch design is much easier to close, especially if you have arthritis or a weak grip. The Wave Belt’s gradual tapered design means you won’t have to work too hard to remain vertical and you’re less likely to find the belt sliding up into your armpits. Feedback on the Wave Belt confirms that it stays put better than its peers and conforms to a user’s shape with continued use.
The Hydro-Fit Wave Belt is made in the USA from high-quality EVA foam.
AquaJogger Pro Plus Belt
If a lean or muscular physique is weighing you down in the water, the AquaJogger Pro Plus Belt is the ideal solution. Though the Pro Plus is marketed to men, it’s appopriate for people of either sex who have a hard time floating on their own.
Compared to the AquaJogger Classic Belt, the Pro Plus offers about 30% more buoyancy due to it’s thicker design. The high-back cut means that the Pro Plus will tip you forward, encouraging muscles throughout the core to engage. If you have a weak abdomen or a bad back, we recommend steering clear of this model and opting for a design that is more evenly distributed around the body. The biggest downside is that the extra-thick foam (about 2″) can feel awkward to some users.
All AquaJogger flotation belts are made in the USA with closed-cell EVA foam.
Water Gear Instructional Swim Belt
When folks call us asking for the best flotation belt to grow with them, we typically recommend the Water Gear Instuctional Swim Belt. It’s not the highest quality, but it’s a great price point and it’s completely adjustable.
The youth version features four 5″ x 5″ foam modules threaded onto a lightweight strap (1.25″ wide); the adult version has a thicker strap (2″ wide) and comes with five foam modules. Each foam square moves independently, meaning you can slide them along the strap to fit your shape most comfortably. You can also remove squares to boost your workout’s potential or coach yourself to swim without flotation. Of course, if you’re a non-swimmer, you should always practice in the company of a strong, adult swimmer. We also love this belt’s modular design because it makes it so easy to fold and pack in a suitcase for away-from-home workouts.
Whether you’re trying to whip into shape or just trying to keep your head above water, the perfect water jog belt is out there. If you’re not sure about the belts listed here, contact us for knowledgeable assistance and help choosing the best flotation belt for your needs.
Flotation belts are not safety devices and should never be relied on to provide life-saving support. Always swim with a capable buddy or in the presence of a lifeguard.