When planning for a fishing trip, having the right gear can make all the difference. And when it comes to gear, a fishing backpack is a must-have item for any angler. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the best one. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect fishing backpack for your needs. From types of fishing backpacks to care and maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your fishing rod, and let’s dive in to discover the best fishing backpacks available today.
Our Top Picks
If you're looking for an absolute beast of a fishing backpack that can hold all your tackle while being able to wear comfortably all day long, read on. Rodell made this with durable polyester water phobic material, knowing anglers often hike through rough wet terrain to get to the best fishing spots. In fact, everything down to the zippers is quality. In regards to its storability, it was designed to be able to carry two rods on the side, with the ability to lock rods securely with a bungee rope. You have the ability to adjust tackle storage needs with a divider inside the bag, you can set it up to what's best suited for you. The included 4 tackle trays really add even more value to this great fishing backpack because a lot of brands do not include them.
- Priced competitively
- 4 trays gives plenty of space for multiple species without feeling cramped
- Included water bottle holder and sunglass case
- You need a external sunglass case as the inside of this one is quite rough
- 4 tray front compartment
- included trays
- Plier holder, water bottle holder
- 2 rod tie down straps
KastKing carries a variety of products, all being quality. Starting off, this backpack is light, water-resistant, and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Offering a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses and a bungee strap rod holder for 2 rods, on the side of the backpack. This backpack has enough space in the main compartment for four 3600 tackle boxes, which is enough storage for even the most addicted angler. In regards to innovation, they included different ways to set up your backpack, with the ability to add or remove a false bottom so you can stack gear on top of your tackle trays, which further increases storage capacity, using every inch. Going the extra mile with usability and wearability, adding tons of space in often unused spots, and adding mesh backing to the backpack for all-day comfort while carrying. This is a winner in our book.
- Fleece lined sunglass holder
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Plenty of space
- Sunglass case is lined but a little on the small size
- 25 L
- Made of 420D ripstop
- Water resistant
- 4 3600 tackle boxes
All we can say about this one is wow! You can tell this company actually fishes because they thought about things that only anglers will know and care about. With the built-in flashlight, you're now able to view your backpack's contents, even at night! A built-in plier holder will stop you from losing yet another pair, and we're sure you will love the retractable lanyard for clippers. When we say it has everything, we mean it. You also get a sunglass holding pocket, in addition to all the other main pockets, that will allow you to pack it full of every lure you own, with space to spare. With the lower holding 4 trays, as well as additional main pockets for spools, and spare reels, you simply won't need another fishing backpack for life.
- The light makes fishing in the dark a breeze
- Also has a rain cover to protect your bag
- Will not fit 3700 style tackle trays
- Led light so you can see in the dark
- Storage for 4 3600 tackle boxes
- Removable plier holder
Coming straight from the kings of tackle organization is the Plano E-series. While being basic and minimalistic, it still has the ability to hold three 3600 tackle trays, with a divider allowing you to store items on top. With side mesh pockets for a water bottle or alternatively more fishing gear. This would make a great fishing backpack for any angler. With Plano, you don't have to worry about quality, as the tackle box maker has it down to a science. One of the best fishing backpacks on our list for the minimalistic fisherman.
- This bag is the perfect size for most day trips, not so big that its difficult to find tackle
- Wish there was reinforced stitching but otherwise fine
- Fits 3 3600 style trays
- Side mesh pocket
Want a minimal fishing backpack? Check out Piscifun's lightweight pack with just enough space for what you need, all while maintaining mobility, as a lot of fishermen travel long distances on foot covering water. If that's your case, then you should take a look at this one. With the ability to wear it four different ways, there's bound to be one style of wearing for you. It includes 3 main compartments, as well as 3 external zipper pockets for small items like keys. You're sure to love its durable, lightweight nature, all with the ability to hold every single one of your favorite lures.
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- Frees up both arms to cast more efficiently
- Needs a bigger water bottle holder
- 3 main compartments
- Cross body design
- Water resistant
- Plastic buckle design
- Adjustable strap
Coming with a lot of features we haven't seen at all in other bags is the plastic zipper sleeves, which bass and steelhead fishermen will love. Every compartment or zipper pocket is wide and roomy, making it easy to find what you need quickly! It has more than enough room for your gear and a sweatshirt as well. Included is a waterproof cover, to completely keep your inside gear bone dry, which wintertime and rainy climate anglers will adore. When looking for the best fishing backpack, you need to make sure you're going to have the space for your personal amount of gear, and we feel confident this will appeal to 98% of anglers. A solid choice you cannot go wrong with.
- Comfortable on the shoulders
- Roomy enough for 4 3600 tackle trays
- The most basic backpack design
- Rain cover
- Reinforced handle
- Zipper bag
- Plastic mesh bag
When looking for the best fishing backpacks, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you make an informed decision. Here’s a comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the right fishing backpack for your needs:
- Size and Capacity: The size and capacity of the fishing backpack are crucial considerations. Choose a backpack that can accommodate all the gear you need for your fishing trip, including rods, reels, bait, and other equipment. However, be careful not to choose a backpack that is too large or heavy to carry comfortably.
- Comfort: A comfortable fishing backpack can make a big difference in your overall experience. Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps, adjustable waist belts, and back panels that provide good ventilation. This will help you avoid discomfort, fatigue, and back pain, especially if you’re carrying heavy gear for long periods.
- Durability: Fishing backpacks are exposed to harsh environments, including water, dirt, and abrasion. Choose a backpack that is made of durable materials such as nylon, polyester, or Cordura. Also, look for features such as reinforced seams, robust zippers, and waterproof coatings that can withstand the elements and last for many fishing trips.
- Storage and Organization: The organization of your gear can make or break your fishing trip. Look for backpacks that have multiple pockets, compartments, and attachment points for your gear. Consider the accessibility of your gear and choose a backpack that allows you to easily access your equipment when you need it.
- Style and Design: Fishing backpacks come in a range of styles and designs, from classic to modern. Choose a backpack that suits your personal taste and fishing style. Consider features such as color, camouflage patterns, and other design elements that can enhance your fishing experience.
- Price: Fishing backpacks can vary in price, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Set a budget and choose a backpack that offers the best value for your money. Look for features that are important to you and avoid paying for unnecessary features that you may not use.
By considering these factors, you can choose the best fishing backpack that meets your needs, provides comfort and durability, and enhances your overall fishing experience.
Types of Fishing Backpacks
There are several types of fishing backpacks available on the market. Each type has its unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. Here are the most common types of fishing backpacks:
- Sling Packs: Sling packs are a popular choice for anglers who want quick access to their gear. They are designed to be worn over one shoulder, leaving your other arm free to fish. Sling packs usually have one large compartment, several pockets, and attachment points for fishing accessories. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear, making them an excellent choice for short fishing trips.
- Waist Packs: Waist packs are similar to sling packs, but they are worn around the waist. They are an excellent choice for anglers who prefer to keep their gear close to their body. Waist packs usually have one or two compartments and several pockets for organization. They are also lightweight and easy to access, making them an excellent choice for wading in the water.
- Chest Packs: Chest packs are worn on the chest and provide quick access to your gear. They are an excellent choice for anglers who want to keep their gear within reach without having to take off their backpack. Chest packs usually have one or two compartments and several pockets for organization. They are also lightweight and comfortable to wear, making them an excellent choice for short fishing trips.
- Backpacks: Backpacks are the most versatile type of fishing backpack. They are designed to be worn on both shoulders, distributing the weight evenly across your back. They usually have multiple compartments, pockets, and attachment points for the organization. Backpacks are an excellent choice for anglers who need to carry a lot of gear for long fishing trips. However, they can be heavy and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.
- Dry Bags: Dry bags are designed to keep your gear dry and protected from the elements. They are usually made of waterproof materials such as PVC or nylon and have roll-top closures to seal out water. Dry bags are an excellent choice for anglers who fish in wet conditions or carry expensive gear that needs to stay dry. However, they are not as easy to access as other types of fishing backpacks.
- Tackle Boxes: Tackle boxes are not technically backpacks, but they are designed to be carried like one. They are usually made of plastic and have multiple compartments for organizing your fishing tackle. Tackle boxes are an excellent choice for anglers who need to carry a lot of fishing gear but prefer to keep it separate from their personal items. However, they can be bulky and heavy to carry.
By considering the type of fishing you’ll be doing and your personal preferences, you can choose the best fishing backpack that suits your needs.
Care and Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of your fishing backpack can help extend its lifespan and ensure it functions well on your future fishing trips. Here are some tips to keep your fishing backpack in top condition:
- Clean Your Backpack Regularly: Dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate on your backpack over time, especially after a fishing trip. Use a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth to wipe down your backpack and remove any debris. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the fabric.
- Dry Your Backpack Thoroughly: After a fishing trip, make sure your backpack is completely dry before storing it. Hang it up in a well-ventilated area or use a fan to dry it out. Avoid exposing your backpack to direct sunlight, as it can fade color and weaken the fabric.
- Store Your Backpack Properly: When not in use, store your backpack in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid folding or compressing your backpack, as it can damage the fabric and deform the shape. If possible, hang your backpack on a hook or hanger to maintain its shape.
- Check for Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect your backpack for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed seams or broken zippers. Address any issues immediately to prevent further damage. If your backpack is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for repairs or replacement.
- Use Waterproofing Products: If your backpack is not already waterproof, consider using a waterproofing spray or coating to protect it from moisture. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid getting the product on the zippers or other hardware.
- Avoid Overloading Your Backpack: Overloading your backpack can put undue stress on the straps, zippers, and fabric, causing damage over time. Make sure you pack only the essentials and distribute the weight evenly across your backpack.
By following these tips, you can keep your fishing backpack in excellent condition and ready for your next fishing trip.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your fishing backpack:
- Pack Strategically: When packing your backpack, think about what items you’ll need and when you’ll need them. Pack frequently used items in easy-to-access pockets, and less frequently used items in the main compartment. This will help you avoid having to dig through your backpack to find what you need.
- Use Compression Straps: If your backpack has compression straps, use them to compress your load and reduce its overall size. This will help distribute the weight evenly across your backpack and make it more comfortable to carry.
- Attach Accessories to Your Backpack: Many fishing backpacks have attachment points for fishing accessories, such as rod holders, tool loops, and hydration packs. Use these attachment points to customize your backpack and make it more functional for your needs.
- Use a Rain Cover: If you’re fishing in wet conditions, consider using a rain cover to protect your backpack from moisture. Rain covers are usually sold separately but can be a valuable investment to keep your gear dry.
- Choose the Right Size Backpack: Make sure you choose a backpack that fits your body size and the amount of gear you need to carry. An ill-fitting backpack can cause discomfort and strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Practice Good Posture: When wearing your backpack, practice good posture to avoid strain on your back and neck. Stand up straight and avoid slouching or leaning to one side. Adjust the straps to distribute the weight evenly across your body.
By following these tips and tricks, you can maximize the functionality and comfort of your fishing backpack, making your next fishing trip more enjoyable and productive.
Alternatives to Fishing Backpacks
While fishing backpacks are a popular choice for anglers, there are alternatives that may better suit your needs. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Fishing Vests: Fishing vests are a lightweight and compact alternative to fishing backpacks. They typically feature multiple pockets for storing gear and are worn over your clothing like a vest. Fishing vests are a good choice for anglers who prefer to keep their gear close at hand.
- Waist Packs: Waist packs, also known as fanny packs, are a small and versatile option for carrying essential gear. They can be worn around the waist or slung over the shoulder and typically feature multiple compartments for storage. Waist packs are a good choice for anglers who want to travel light and keep their gear easily accessible.
- Tackle Boxes: Tackle boxes are a classic option for storing and organizing fishing gear. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, from small plastic boxes to larger, more robust models. Tackle boxes are a good choice for anglers who want to keep their gear organized and easily transportable.
- Sling Packs: Sling packs are a hybrid option that combines the best features of backpacks and waist packs. They are worn over one shoulder and can be rotated to the front for easy access to gear. Sling packs typically feature multiple pockets and attachment points for gear.
- Waterproof Dry Bags: Waterproof dry bags are an excellent option for anglers who fish in wet conditions. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used to store gear and clothing. Waterproof dry bags are a good choice for anglers who want to keep their gear dry and protected from the elements.
By considering these alternatives to fishing backpacks, you can choose the option that best fits your needs and preferences as an angler.
Pros and Cons of Fishing Backpacks
Fishing backpacks are a popular choice for anglers who need to carry a lot of gear on their fishing trips. Like any piece of equipment, fishing backpacks have their pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a fishing backpack:
- Lots of Storage Space: Fishing backpacks typically feature multiple pockets and compartments for storing gear, making it easy to keep your gear organized and easily accessible.
- Comfortable to Wear: Many fishing backpacks are designed with padded straps and back panels, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
- Hands-Free Convenience: Wearing a backpack frees up your hands for other tasks, such as casting, reeling, or baiting your hook.
- Versatile: Fishing backpacks can be used for a variety of outdoor activities beyond fishing, such as hiking, camping, and hunting.
- Customizable: Many fishing backpacks come with attachment points for accessories, such as rod holders, tool loops, and hydration packs, allowing you to customize your backpack to fit your specific needs.
- Can be Heavy: Fishing backpacks can be heavy, especially when loaded with gear. This can cause discomfort and strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Limited Mobility: Wearing a backpack can limit your mobility, making it harder to navigate through tight spaces or rough terrain.
- Not Ideal for Short Trips: If you’re only going on a short fishing trip, a backpack may be overkill and unnecessary. A smaller pack or waist pack may be a better option.
- Vulnerable to Water Damage: While some fishing backpacks are water-resistant, most are not fully waterproof. This can leave your gear vulnerable to water damage in wet conditions.
- Can be Expensive: Fishing backpacks can be expensive, especially those with advanced features or made from high-quality materials.
By weighing these pros and cons, you can determine whether a fishing backpack is the right choice for your needs as an angler.
What is Better, a Fishing Backpack or a Tackle Box?
Whether a fishing backpack is better than a tackle box depends on personal preference and the type of fishing you plan to do. Here are some pros and cons of using a fishing backpack compared to a tackle box:
Pros of Using a Fishing Backpack:
- More storage space: Fishing backpacks typically have more space and pockets than traditional tackle boxes, allowing you to carry more gear.
- Hands-free convenience: Wearing a backpack frees up your hands for other tasks, such as casting, reeling, or baiting your hook.
- Versatile: Fishing backpacks can be used for a variety of outdoor activities beyond fishing, such as hiking, camping, and hunting.
- Customizable: Many fishing backpacks come with attachment points for accessories, allowing you to customize your backpack to fit your specific needs.
Cons of Using a Fishing Backpack:
- Can be heavy: Fishing backpacks can be heavy, especially when loaded with gear, which can cause discomfort and strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Limited mobility: Wearing a backpack can limit your mobility, making it harder to navigate through tight spaces or rough terrain.
- Vulnerable to water damage: While some fishing backpacks are water-resistant, most are not fully waterproof, leaving your gear vulnerable to water damage in wet conditions.
Pros of Using a Tackle Box:
- Easy access to gear: Tackle boxes are designed for easy access to your fishing gear, allowing you to quickly find what you need.
- Lightweight: Tackle boxes are typically lighter than fishing backpacks, making them easier to carry.
- Protection for gear: Tackle boxes can offer better protection for your gear against damage from water, dust, or other elements.
Cons of Using a Tackleox:
- Limited storage space: Tackle boxes may not have as much storage space as fishing backpacks, which can limit the amount of gear you can bring.
- Not hands-free: Tackle boxes require at least one hand to carry and use, which can be inconvenient.
- Limited versatility: Tackle boxes are designed specifically for fishing and may not be as useful for other outdoor activities.
In summary, both fishing backpacks and tackle boxes have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the amount of gear you need to carry, your preferred level of mobility, and the types of outdoor activities you plan to do before deciding which option is best for you.