Best Fishing Backpacks [Top 9, 2020]: Everything You Need To Know

Published November 17, 2020

In this “backpack’s for fishing” guide below we’re going to look at the top backpacks on the market today. We are constantly on the prowl for the best setup on the water, though preferences vary according to the individual/circumstances, it is one of our missions to move toward becoming more comfortable and efficient on the water.

In This Guide, We Cover

  • Best fly fishing backpack
  • Best fishing tackle backpack
  • Best fishing backpacks for the money // budget
    • Spiderwire fishing backpack
  • Best waterproof fishing backpacks
  • What are the benefits of a fishing backpack?
  • What to look for in a fishing backpack?
  • Conclusion

Let’s jump in!

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Best Fly Fishing Backpack

This backpack below is BOMBER! Obviously, this backpack could also be used in spin or bait cast fishing, but some of the features are more exclusive to fly fishing gear. 

1. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack 

Specifications:

  • 25” x 18” x 7”
  • 2.8 lbs
  • 1,648 Cu. In

If you’re looking for a high quality and completely submersible fly fishing backpack, then look no further than the Fishpond Thunderhead. The Thunderhead is one of the toughest backpacks out there; made from waterproof cyclepond material. Cyclepond is made from repurposed oceanic fishing nets, and one of the many ways Fishpond is working on preserving our natural resources. 

Everything on the backpack is completely sealed. There are adjustable padded shoulder straps and a removable padded waist strap. The backpack is large enough to hold all of your essential gear and some extras for those long days on the water. 

Features of the Fishpond Thunderhead Backpack include:
  • 1680D TPU coated nylon
  • Waterproof zipper on main compartment
  • Molded back panel
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Removable waist strap
  • Waterproof daisy chain and D-ring for tool attachment
  • Rod tube holder
  • Compatible with Fishpond rod holder and many fishpond chest packs

Best Fishing Tackle Backpacks

Tackle boxes can be heavy and cumbersome making them challenging to use if you’re doing any fishing outside of a boat. Tacklebox backpacks are convenient in that they allow one to carry all of their tackle and gear on their backs. 

1. Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack

Specifications:

  • 5 lbs.
  • 18.5” x 17” x 8.5”

The Nomad fishing tackle backpack by Wild River has virtually anything and everything an angler could need.

There is one large main compartment that can hold 4 large tackle trays or 6 medium-sized trays. The upper compartment comes with a removable divider to stay organized, and 5 extra storage compartments on the exterior.

This backpack is unique in that it has a molded sunglasses holder on the top of the pack, removable pliers holder, and a small LED light to help see when the sun goes down. 

Features of the Wild River Nomad Tacklebox Backpack include:
  • Large adjustable shoulder straps
  • Reinforced bottom to prevent damage
  • Protective rain cover that fits over entire backpack
  • Large tackle tray compartment (comes with 4 large trays)
  • Upper bag compartment with removable divider
  • 5 external storage compartments
  • Mounted LED light
  • Molded sunglasses holder and protector
  • Removable pliers holder

2. Piscifun Fishing Tacklebox Backpack

Specifications:

  •  12.5” x 8” x 17.5”
  • 3.5 lbs.

With an average review of 4.8 out of 5 from 1700 reviews it’s hard not to include Piscifun’s fishing tacklebox backpack on our list. It is made from high quality and durable nylon fabric, and is surprisingly lightweight at only 3.5 pounds. 

The backpack is highly water resistant but also comes with a removable rain cover, and 4 rubber feet on the bottom to keep the bag off of the damp ground.

The main compartment is big enough to hold 4 large sized tackle trays (included). There are a ton of extra perks from an adjustable drink holder, mounted sunglasses case, waterproof interior pockets, and much more!

Features of the Piscifun Fishing Tacklebox Backpack include:
  • Water resistant nylon fabric
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Ergonomic padded back 
  • Main compartment holds 4 large trays (included)
  • Spacious upper storage compartment
  • Hard molded sunglasses case
  • Adjustable drink holder
  • 11 total compartments!
  • Protective rain cover
  • Affordable
  • 1 year warranty

3. Plano A-Series Tackle Backpack 

Specifications:

  • 12.5” x 8” x 18.5”
  • 5.2 lbs.

Plano has been a big name in tackleboxes forever, and I’m sure most of us remember our first tacklebox being a Plano. They have upgraded their gear to fit the more adventurous angler with the A-series tackle backpack.

This is a sleek and stylish backpack with ample room for 5 large tackle trays (included), and 3 exterior snap closure pockets. 

The heavy duty backpack is on the heavier side at 5.2 pounds but has a cushioned back and shoulder straps for added comfort. At under 100 dollars this is one of the more affordable tackle backpack options out there. 

Features of the Plano A-Series Tackle Backpack include:
  • Premium durable fabric
  • Large compartment which includes 5 large trays
  • 3 exterior snap closure pockets
  • Padded shoulder straps and back cushion
  • Internal dividers for optimal organization
  • Affordable
  • Heavy duty hardware and large zippers
chuck trout summer season

Best Fishing Backpacks For the Money

We have found two fishing backpacks that are ahead of the pack when it comes to quality and affordability. These backpacks are both under $100.00 but rival some of the higher-end backpacks in function and durability. 

Note: The spiderwire fishing backpack below is super popular, mostly amongst spin fisher’s. Check that out for best backpack for the money.

1. KastKing Day Tripper Fishing Backpack

Specifications:

  • 13.5” x 9.25” x 21.25”
  • 3 lbs.
  • 1,537 Cu. In

KastKing is a relatively new company less than 10 years old. Their mission is to provide high quality and affordable fishing equipment for anglers of all skill levels. Their day tripper fishing backpack makes our list because of the price, features, and plethora of positive reviews. 

The cushioned back panel, padded shoulder straps, and oversized waist straps are ideal for those arduous walks up and down the river or shoreline. The main compartment holds up to 4 large tackle trays with several additional pockets and organizers in the spacious upper compartment. The outside of the pack has even more pockets, a rod holder, and sunglasses pocket.  

Features of the KastKing Day Tripper Backpack include:
  • Water resistant 420D nylon material with an extra PVC layer inside to help keep moisture out
  • Cushioned shoulder and waist straps
  • Soft molded back panel with ventilation curves
  • Large bottom compartment holds 4 3600 tackle trays
  • Upper compartment comes loaded with extra pockets and organizers to keep everything in place
  • Rod holder
  • D-rings and daisy chains for gear attachment
  • Fleece lined sunglasses pocket
  • Affordable 

2. Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack

Specifications:

  • 8” x 15” x 16”
  • 4.5 lbs.

Spiderwire is mostly known for their fishing lines, but they have created a decent fishing backpack at an unbeatable price.

The backpack comes with 3 large sized tackle trays that fit in the bottom compartment. The upper compartment is divided into thirds to optimize organization.

This backpack is on the smaller side compared to some of the others on our list, but can still fit plenty of tackle, gear, and room for food or extra clothes. 

Features of the Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack include:
  • Polyester material
  • Flat bottom to ensure the backpack sits upright when on the ground
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Sternum and waist strap for added stability
  • Includes 3 large tackle trays
  • Plenty of inner pockets and pouches to stay organized
  • Rod holder
  • Molded sunglasses case
  • Cooler compartment
  • Removable plier holder
  • Affordable

Best Waterproof Backpacks

The majority of the fishing backpacks on our list feature a water resistant coating, but these four packs have been designed to withstand water in the most extreme storms or from taking a plunge in the river.

1. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack 

Specifications:

  • 25” x 18” x 7”
  • 2.8 lbs
  • 1,648 Cu. In

It is worthy to note that this was already listed above as our “best fly fishing backpack.” We could not help but to list this again here.

If you’re looking for a high quality and completely submersible fly fishing backpack, then look no further than the Fishpond Thunderhead. The Thunderhead is one of the toughest backpacks out there; made from waterproof cyclepond material. Cyclepond is made from repurposed oceanic fishing nets, and one of the many ways Fishpond is working on preserving our natural resources. 

Everything on the backpack is completely sealed. There are adjustable padded shoulder straps and a removable padded waist strap. The backpack is large enough to hold all of your essential gear and some extras for those long days on the water. 

Features of the Fishpond Thunderhead Backpack include:
  • 1680D TPU coated nylon
  • Waterproof zipper on main compartment
  • Molded back panel
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Removable waist strap
  • Waterproof daisy chain and D-ring for tool attachment
  • Rod tube holder
  • Compatible with Fishpond rod holder and many fishpond chest packs

2. Orvis Waterproof Backpack 

Specifications:

  • 20” x 12” x 7.5”
  • 2.25 lbs.
  • 1,282 Cu. In

This waterproof fishing backpack comes from Orvis. They have created a great backpack that can handle just about anything.

This backpack is 100% waterproof made from TPU coated 500D nylon, and can withstand heavy rains or a drop in the water. The backpack comes equipped with a rod tube holder/water bottle holder, D-ring for net, and gear station on shoulder strap. 

Another solid choice from one of the leaders in the fly fishing industry.

Features of the Orvis Waterproof backpack include:
  • 500D TPU coated nylon fabric 
  • Sealed zippers and seams
  • Adjustable shoulder straps with secure sternum strap
  • Water resistant molded back panel with air channels for ventilation
  • D-ring for landing net
  • Gear station on the shoulder strap
  • Padded bottom to prevent damage to vulnerable gear
  • Water bottle holder or rod tube holder

3. System G DAX Fishing Backpack

Specifications:

  • 17” x 15” x 25”
  • 4.4 lbs.
  • 1,708 Cu. In

If you’re looking for a great quality backpack that’s also customizable the System G fishing backpack has got you covered. The different components of the backpack are meant to be repositioned and adjusted based on the angler’s preference. 

The backpack is made from recycled materials and water resistant treated to ensure your gear stays dry. Furthermore, all seams are welded shut and the backpack has a roll down top  to keep moisture out. The main compartment is large enough to fit 7 medium sized tackle trays!

Features of the System G Dax Fishing backpack include:
  • Adjustable shoulder straps with sternum strap
  • Hard molded back panel
  • Customizable
  • Waterproof with welded seams and roll down top
  • Large main compartment that stores 7 medium sized trays
  • Lots of additional pockets and compartments for organization
  • Recycled materials
  • Compatible with all System G add-on accessories

4. Skog A Kust Waterproof Backpack 

Specifications:

  • 20” x 14” x 7.5”
  • 2,135 Cu. In
  • 2.3 lbs.

“Skog A Kust” is Swedish for, Forest, Creek, Coast. Their waterproof backpack is one of a kind, featuring a roll down opening, welded seams, and a completely waterproof TPU coating to keep all your tackle and gear dry from the elements. 

The “Skog A Kust” backpack also features a padded back support with adjustable shoulder straps and removable waist strap.

If you’re planning on doing any evening fishing the backpack consists of reflective materials making the bag and you more visible in low light. 

Features of the Skog A Kust Waterproof Backpack include:
  • Completely waterproof TPU nylon coating 
  • Roll down opening
  • Welded seams
  • Removable waist strap
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Exterior pocket for smaller items
  • Daisy chain and several D-rings
  • Elastic side pockets for water bottle or other gear
  • Reflective elements to be seen at night
  • Large main compartment

Benefits Of A  Fishing Backpack

There are several reasons why a fishing backpack makes more sense than a fishing vest or other type of pack. Most notably, a fishing backpack allows the angler to carry more than just specific fishing tackle and equipment. The added room is suitable for food, extra clothes, camera, and even backup equipment. 

I like using my fishing backpack (Simms Freestone) for those days when I’m going to be on the water all day and may need to bring some extra food or water. They can also come in handy for longer fishing trips when a back up reel and additional gear is required. 

I recently took a weekend trip fishing for steelhead in the UP of Michigan. The extra room with my backpack allowed me to carry a couple extra reels with different lines, food, and some warmer clothes for the unpredictable fall weather. 

Additionally, Tackle boxes are often heavy and bulky, making them challenging to use when moving up and down rivers or along lake shores. A backpack ensures you can always be on the move and can switch spots quickly. 

How To Choose The Right Fishing Backpack For You?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right fishing backpack. We’ve outlined a few of these important features to look for when you’re buying a fishing backpack

1. Comfort 

It’s imperative that the fishing backpack is comfortable. Because of the larger size, they can get fairly heavy and a long day on the water can start to strain. Finding a backpack with padded straps and a cushioned back panel are ideal. 

Many of the backpacks have a ventilation system on the back panel to allow for optimal airflow—keeping you cool and dry on those hot days. Lastly, a waist strap and sternum strap can be helpful in ensuring the backpack stays in place and supported. Furthermore, fishing backpacks come in a variety of sizes and weights, it’s important to find the right size backpack for your needs. 

2. Space & Organization

The amount of space you need depends on the amount of gear you plan on using. Additionally certain elements may inform the size and amount of space needed. For example, if you do a lot of fall and winter fishing having a backpack with additional room for an extra jacket or gloves can be very helpful. On the other hand, if you’re used to fishing smaller rivers with limited gear a smaller backpack is probably more practical. 

With bigger backpacks organization is prime, and having enough pockets and dividers to keep your gear in place will minimize any frustrations on the water. 

3. Durability

The majority of fishing backpacks are made from a base material of nylon. Nylon is fairly lightweight and durable, but what makes fishing backpacks even more durable is the use of a TPU coating for added water resistance. 

TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s a plastic material with similar properties to rubber. TPU is ideal in keeping water out of your backpack and your gear dry. There are other features that help improve the durability such as rubber feet on the bottom of the backpack to keep the bag off of the ground. 

Another feature that helps improve durability is high quality zippers and welded seams.

Conclusion

Overall, we hope you’ve found this article useful. Please leave us a comment letting us know what you liked or felt could be improved.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for our free email newsletter to be informed when we publish new articles. 

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