While traditional, hard plastic tackle boxes are handy, they aren’t exactly the most convenient way to carry your fishing gear. Whether you’re fly fishing for salmon in the backcountry or slinking around a small farm pond for carp, an old-school tackle box gets heavy and cumbersome pretty quickly.
The best fishing backpack provides an easy and convenient way to carry your fishing supplies while keeping your hands free for more important things – like fishing.
Although you could use a regular backpack to haul your gear, there are a slew of fishing-specific packs on the market that do a much better job. Built for all types of angling, some carry just the basics, others will help you lug enough gear for several days of fishing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the options available to modern anglers, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite models to help you find something that will work well for you. There’s something on this list for every budget, fishing style, and location. From urban ponds to saltwater surf to remote mountain streams, there’s something on this list to help you make the most of your angling experiences. They might even help you catch more fish.
- Best Fishing Backpacks on the Market Reviews
- Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad
- KastKing BlowBak Tactical Fishing Sling
- Piscifun Waist Bag Fanny Pack
- Plano A-Series Tackle Backpack
- Flambeau “IKE” Ritual Backpack
- FishPond Summit Sling Fly Fishing Pack
- Bassdash Tackle Backpack
- T-H Marine Tackle Titan TravelBoss Fishing Backpack with Cooler
- Allen Company Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Vest
- Rodeel Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Wrapping It Up
Best Fishing Backpacks on the Market Reviews
The Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad is the luxury SUV of fishing backpacks. It has everything you need to fish in style, plus some extra bells and whistles to make your fishing trips a little more special.
This stylish bag is comfortable enough to wear all day. The adjustable padded shoulder straps and lumbar padding make hauling all your gear surprisingly comfortable, even if you have to wear the pack all day.
In addition to the spacious main compartment (which holds six medium or four large trays), the Nomad features plenty of extra storage options. It has multiple internal and external pockets. It even has a molded case for your sunglasses and a removable pliers pouch.
The Nomad also features an integrated LED light, so you can fish from dawn until dusk and still see the built-in fold-down workspace. The lights are powered by two AAA batteries, which you’ll have to buy separately.
Another handy feature is the bag’s protective rain cover, which keeps your bag and your gear dry, even when the weather turns wet.
Our favorite feature: the rechargeable USB power supply. This cool feature lets you recharge your cell phone, GPS, or other electronic devices no matter how far away from civilization you roam. It even has a clip-on solar panel so you can keep your technology fully charged on longer fishing trips.
If you prefer your packs to have a tactical flair, the KastKing BlowBak definitely meets the criteria. It even comes in four tacti-cool colors – black, desert brown, sand storm, and Prym1 blackout.
Built tough, the BlowBak is perfect for tough environments. It is made from 600D polyester Big Duck Canvas. The fabric is treated with a water-repellent coating to keep your gear dry in wet environments.
Although the BlowBak has a lightweight, low-profile design, it offers plenty of space for all the fishing essentials. The main compartment holds two 3600-size utility trays. It also features a die-cut tactical MOLLE hold-down system, so you can customize your bag with extra compartments and accessories.
With a price tag well under $50, the affordable KastKing BlowBak is a fantastic buy for the money.
Our favorite feature: the open bottom neoprene side pocket. This is the perfect place to hold your rod and reel while you hike to your favorite fishing spot.
Although this isn’t technically a “backpack”, the Piscifun Fanny Pack offers another convenient way to carry your fishing tackle on your body.
This definitely isn’t your grandma’s touristy fanny pack. Designed to be worn around the waist, this functional fishing bag frees up your hands for casting, reeling, and catching fish. In some ways, this fanny pack is far better than a backpack, because all of your stuff is right on your waist and easy to get to.
The bag features a double-zippered main compartment that is surprisingly roomy, plus five exterior pockets for easy organization. Made from durable, lightweight nylon, this hip pack is perfect for short fishing trips that don’t require a ton of gear.
Other notable features include a mesh water bottle holder and an adjustable waist belt.
Our favorite feature: the hidden anti-theft pocket. It sits flush with your back and is the perfect place to stow your cell phone, wallet, checkbook, passport, or fishing license.
Built to last, the Plano A-Series Backpack features heavy-duty hardware, oversized zippers, and faux leather pulls. It comes with five 3600 plastic Plano Stowaways, each with adjustable dividers to accommodate lures for everything from pan-sized trout to monster striped bass.
The bag comes with dual side lash tab attachments so you can tie down cumbersome gear to the outside of your pack. With three exterior adjustable snap-closure pockets, there’s plenty of space for your phone, keys, sunglasses, and snacks.
This is also a pretty stylish bag. With its old-school green canvas design and faux leather accents, the Plano A-Series Tackle Backpack is sure to turn heads on the river. Although it is priced under $100, it looks like a much more expensive pack.
Our favorite feature: the internal divider that separates your Stowaways from your other gear.
Designed by professional angler Mike “Ike” Iaconelli, the “IKE” Ritual backpack from Flambeau Outdoors perfectly balances simplicity and functionality. The backpack features breathable, padded shoulder straps and a back pad with an adjustable chest tether, so you can comfortably carry all your gear to your favorite honey hole.
The pack includes two hard utility boxes that slide conveniently into the main compartment. For extra storage, the “IKE” Ritual has two side compartments for miscellaneous gear, interior tool sleeves, a waterproof vinyl phone pouch, and oversized outer mesh pockets.
The side pocket also has an integrated line spool purse with an exterior grommet so you can quickly and easily access your fishing line. The outside of the bag is even fitted with rod holder attachments.
Constructed with UV and water-resistant 600D and 420D polyester with a tough vinyl backing, the “IKE” Ritual is one sturdy fishing backpack. It also features rubber feet and rubber-coated mesh that both hold up well in soggy conditions.
Our favorite feature: Zerust Anticorrosion Technology. Flambaeu’s hard plastic bait organizers are infused with a proprietary VCI formula that releases corrosion inhibiting vapors. The vapors create a protective layer on all your metal hooks, jigs, and lures. The trays will literally stop rust in its tracks, even in extreme marine environments.
This sling bag from FishPond is lightweight, comfortable, durable, and has everything a fly fisherman could want in a pack. It’s also made with recycled fishing net nylon, so you can do your part to keep the planet healthy.
As a bonus, the Summit Sling also happens to be one of the best-rated and most popular fishing bags on the market today.
The design of this bag is well-conceived and obviously dreamed up by a serious angler. It features a built-in sleeve for carrying your net, conveniently located Hypalon sleeves for fly rods, and a lash point for additional gear. The bottom of the bag is equipped with a sleeve pocket for your water bottle.
The Summit Sling has seven total exterior and interior storage compartments, so you can keep all your gear separated and well-organized. Although the main compartment is sizable, the dimensions aren’t compatible with standard plastic trays.
Our favorite feature: The molded drop-down fly bench. It even has outside Velcro, so you can attach your favorite fly patch.
The Bassdash Tackle Bag is made of tough water-resistant 600D polyester. It also features a hard molded, impact-resistant, waterproof base that actually holds a small 3670-size plastic organizer.
This fishing backpack has storage space for days. It has ample front pockets and large side pockets that fit most plastic lure box sizes. The top main compartment is spacious enough for your lunch, rain gear, and fishing reels. It even has daisy chain webbing on the bottom front pocket so you can attach even more accessories.
The Bassdash Tackle Backpack has a ton of premium features, including two rod holders, a molded sunglasses case, a side-mounted water bottle holder, a pocket-mounted plier sheath, and a built-in rain cover.
The only thing this affordable tackle bag doesn’t have is an expensive price tag.
Our favorite feature: the adjustable main compartment. Not only is the main section super spacious, but it can also be divided into two separate inner compartments with the included movable clapboard.
If you want to haul your lunch, a few cold ones, or need to keep your catch cool, the Tackle Titan TravelBoss from T-H Marine has a built-in cooler. The main compartment is heavily insulated, and with the addition of some ice or a cold pack, it will keep the interior cool, even on the hottest days.
This bag also has plenty of space for tackle trays and four spacious exterior pockets for accessories. It also has daisy chain loops for attaching extra gear, two slotted rod holders, and a surprisingly comfortable fit.
Our favorite feature: the cooler. Obviously.
If you prefer taking a minimalist approach to your fishing excursions, the Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Vest from Allen Company should be right up your alley. With a lightweight, low-profile design, this may be the best way to carry the essentials without your gear getting in the way.
Engineered with fly fishermen in mind, the Bear Creek Chest Vest holds a medium size fly box. It also features multiple interior storage pockets, multiple D-rings to attach extra gear, heavy-duty molded zippers, and a comfortable padded neck strap.
Our favorite feature: the fold-down workstation with a built-in tippet tender and fly patch.
Rodeel’s Fishing Tackle Backpack is a top-notch, professional-style gear bag. It is made from sturdy 600D polyester material with heavy-duty zippers and buckles. The exterior is coated with a hydrophobic PVC layer for extra waterproof protection.
Rodeel included plenty of space for your gear. The bag’s lower tray holds up to four plastic tackle trays and the front panel folds down to provide a convenient flat working space. The bag also features two rod holders on one side, an expandable pocket for your water bottle, hideaway side pockets, and plenty of mount points so you can attach more goods.
The Rodeel Tackle Backpack is also refreshingly comfortable. Made with adjustable padded shoulder straps and ventilated padding on the back panel, this bag is designed to reduce carrying fatigue.
Our favorite feature: the built-in case for your sunglasses.
Wrapping It Up
Fishing definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all sport. The type of tackle bag you need depends on where you’re fishing, what you’re fishing for, and what you can carry comfortably on your back. We’ve tried to include something for every budget and style of fishing in this list of the best fishing backpacks. Every model that made this list is a high-quality option, and we feel confident in their ability to improve your fishing experiences.