15 Best Fly Fishing Vests: Compare & Save

fly fishing vest

123RF (Anton Estrada)

A vest is the classic approach to bringing all your gear along fly fishing. A new vest inspires and encourages you to reorganize your essential equipment and can also make a great gift. While there are several other carry options out there like chest and waist packs and fly fishing backpacks, many anglers prefer the aesthetic and functionality of a vest.

We’ve included a few different style vests here, some in the classic style and some more modern. There are even a few vest/backpack hybrid units for those anglers who prefer a vest but require a bit more storage. Whatever your style is, we’ve tracked down a variety of vests so you can find what’s right for you!

What Are The Best Fly Fishing Vests?

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 10 zippered front pockets and 4 additional inside pockets
  • Features Fishpond's signature zip down fly bench with replaceable foam
  • Padded, weight-distributing shoulder straps are adjustable for precise sizing customization
Price: $129.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 18 total pockets - 10 exterior, 6 interior, and 2 rear for a high degree of storage and organization
  • Upper pockets feature an Orvis custom hideaway tool port underneath two fly-drying patches
  • Light abrasion-resistant nylon with a DWR coating has a streamlined fit in order to conform to the body
Price: $198.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 92% polyester build is ultralight and quick-drying
  • Low-profile design and slim build keeps your gear load closer to the body
  • 11 pockets, 6 exterior, 4 interior, and 1 rear
Price: $139.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Filson mesf fly fishing strap vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High quality 8-oz. dry finish Shelter Cloth, polyester mesh with coated resin, and Australian sheepskin shearling construction
  • 4 bellows pockets, 2 zippered pockets, 2 side mesh bellows pockets and a rear expandable pouch
  • Gorgeous classic aesthetic
Price: $129.55 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Quick drying and cool on hot days
  • Simple, but effective pocket schematic
  • Packs impressively compact for fishing trips due to its mostly mesh design
Price: $39.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Somewhat minimalist pocket schematic provides you with all the storage you need without over cluttering the vest
  • Fast wicking mesh fabric provides great ventilation and dries quickly
  • Equipped to fit a 1 liter reservoir hydration system
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 19 total pockets are all designed intuitively for a high degree of organization without feeling cluttered
  • 100% Nylon fabric outer with a 100% Polyester mesh lining totals to just 17 ounces
  • Integrated fly patch and rod holder (with corresponding butt loop on the waist)
Price: $69.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
anglatech, fly fishing vest, fly fishing, fishing vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rip stop nylon build is both durable and super lightweight
  • Rod holder, water bottle sleeve and
  • Large pocket on the lower back is great for stashing an extra layer or other bulkier items
Price: $59.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
maxcatch, fly fishing, fishing vest, fly fishing pack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Operates as a fly fishing vest and backpack giving it more storage capacity than most vests
  • Expandable rear storage gives this option the ability to be truly high capacity when you need it to be
  • 2 main molded pockets and 3 main zippered compartments as well as an array of sleeves and tabs/attachment points to externally secure gear
Price: $58.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
maxcatch, fky fishing vest, fly fishing, fishing vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes quality forceps, nippers, line straightener and a zinger!
  • Rod tube compatible sleeve allows you to effectively transport a broken down rod
  • Highly adjustable and breathable
Price: $38.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kylebooker, fishing vest, fly fishing vest, fly fishing Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Impressive overall capacity for gear both internally and externally
  • Integrated rod holding system
  • Highly adjustable and breathable for a comfortable fit
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
amarine-made, fly fishing vest, fishing vest pack, Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tons of storage between the array of chest pockets, external attachment points and backpack storage
  • Mesh interior coupled with the low cut design of the vest makes it highly breathable
  • The three backpack compartments are expandable for either maximum storage, or a streamlined fit
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
autumn ridge traders, fly fishing, fly fishing vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Effective array of 16 total pockets provides a high carrying capacity without being to cluttered in front
  • Mesh lining can be worn on its own if you unzip the back for added ventilation
  • Large interior mesh pockets provide space for stashing more cumbersome gear
Price: $36.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Lamdgbway, fly fishing, vest, fishing vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Extensive array of chest pockets including some more unique storage spaces
  • Well suited for a wide variety of outdoor activities sucha as photography, hunting, bird watching and more
  • The fabric on the vest-back can be unzipped to provide full ventilation
Price: $29.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kylebooker, fishing vest, fly fishing, fly fishing vest Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Four zippered pockets and a fly patch provide you with adequate storage space without cluttering the vest
  • Low cut design and mesh skeleton give this vest awesome breathability
  • Excellent price point
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Editor’s Choice: Fishpond Sagebrush Mesh Vest

    Pros:
    • 10 zippered front pockets and 4 additional inside pockets offers a high degree of storage and organization potential
    • Large zippered pouch on the vest back can stash an extra layer, lunch and other cumbersome gear
    • Features Fishpond's signature zip down fly bench with replaceable foam for easy access and organization of your essential flies
    • Cool, full mesh fabric design is great for warmer climates
    • Padded, weight-distributing shoulder straps are adjustable for precise sizing customization
    • Nice array of attachment points and tool docks for securing gear externally
    • Sharp modern aesthetic
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • Some anglers might not prefer the all-mesh design if seeking something to also break the wind/weather
    • Pocket schematic might feel a bit cluttered for more minimalist style anglers

    The Fishpond Sagebrush Mesh Vest is a full-feature, highly equipped fly fishing companion for anglers who are seeking an exceptionally capable vest with extensive storage and organization potential.

    This vest is loaded with pockets and compartments – 10 zippered front pockets and 4 additional inside pockets to be exact. The pocket placement and overall schematic of the vest is brilliantly conceived, allowing for seamless access to all your essential on-the-water gear. There is also a large zippered pouch on the vest back that can be utilized to stash an extra layer, lunch, and other cumbersome gear.

    Aside from the extensive pocket schematic, there’s a nice array of attachment points and tool docks for securing gear externally so you can truly set up this option the way you choose to. Fishpond has thought of everything on this one!

    The full mesh construction of the Sagebrush Vest makes it an awesome warm weather option – but it’s also built with some extra room to comfortably accommodate for some layers if you end up wearing it out in the cold. Either way, padded, weight-distributing shoulder straps are adjustable for precise sizing customization.

    If you like the aesthetic and function of the SageBrush Mesh Vest but don’t prefer a mesh vest construction, then be sure to check out the Fishpond Gore Range Tech Pack Vest – it’s a highly comparable option from the brand that might be more up your alley.

  2. 2. Orvis Pro Vest

    Pros:
    • 18 total pockets - 10 exterior, 6 interior, and 2 rear with compression molded pocket construction for added rigidity
    • Light abrasion-resistant nylon with a DWR coating has a streamlined fit in order to conform to the body
    • Upper pockets feature an Orvis custom hideaway tool port underneath two fly-drying patches
    • Large pass-through game-style pocket underneath the full-zip rear pocket with a mesh panel divider for stashing your more cumbersome gear
    • Multiple daisy chain gear loops, elastic loops to attach tippet bars and D-rings to externally attach tools and your net
    • Padded collar and stretch mesh interior for enhanced comfort
    • Shoulders feature a lofted spacer mesh of nylon and spandex with adjustable closure that vertically slides for a more custom fit
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • No color selection
    • Some anglers might prefer a more relaxed fit

    The Orvis Pro Vest is a high speed, low drag full-feature fly fishing vest. It is integrated with an unassuming amount of practical features making it one of the ultimate angling companions for more serious fishermen.

    This vest is built with a light abrasion-resistant nylon with a DWR coating for enhanced weather resistance and is built with a streamlined fit in order to conform to the body. Fast-paced, on the go anglers will love the form-fit of this vest, allowing you to move and cast completely unrestricted.

    18 total pockets – 10 exterior, 6 interior, and 2 rear add up to quite a bit of overall storage. The large pass-through game-style pocket underneath the full-zip rear pocket is ideal for stashing your more cumbersome gear, while the chest schematic is really well outfitted for all your bells and whistles. 

    Multiple daisy chain gear loops, elastic loops to attach tippet bars, and D-rings to externally attach tools are also present, as well as a rear D-ring for your net.

    Perhaps coolest of all, the upper pockets feature an Orvis custom hideaway tool port underneath two fly-drying patches, allowing you to keep your essential tools on hand, but effectively out of the way.

    The shoulders feature a lofted spacer mesh of nylon and spandex with an adjustable closure that vertically slides for a more custom fit, so the Pro Vest is truly engineered to fit every angler. A padded collar and stretch mesh interior are also integrated for enhanced comfort.

    All things considered, this is a wonderfully designed fly fishing vest that will likely last a lifetime of angling for those seeking a full-feature option without owning a vest that comes off as overly cluttered. Orvis has come up with a truly versatile and long-lived fishing companion with this one.

  3. 3. Orvis Ultralight Vest

    Pros:
    • 92% polyester build is ultralight and quick-drying
    • Low-profile design and slim build keeps your gear load closer to the body
    • 11 pockets, 6 exterior, 4 interior, and 1 rear for a high degree of organization and storage potential
    • Large vertical chest pockets for fly boxes, two of which have internal stretch mesh organization pockets
    • Two tool docks are nested underneath the two multi-function hook-and-loop fly patches for out of the way placement
    • Soft poly/spandex blend lined foam collar for enhanced comfort around the neck
    • Two elastic cords on the exterior of the chest pockets for attaching accessories and/or a tippet bar
    • Tri-ring net holder on the upper back
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • Some anglers might not like how form fitting this option is
    • No color selection

    The Orvis Ultralight Vest is the fly fishing companion you’re looking for if you want to remain as streamlined and low profile on the water as possible, and without the added bulk most vests create.

    The 92% polyester build is ultralight and quick-drying while the low-profile design and slim build keeps your gear load closer to the body. Engineered for maximum range of motion, you’ll feel like a Navy Seal ready for any fish-mission in this vest.

    There are 11 pockets present here – 6 exterior, 4 interior, and 1 rear for a high degree of organization and storage potential. Two tool docks are nested underneath the two multi-function hook-and-loop fly patches on the upper chest for out of the way placement, while two elastic cords on the exterior of the chest pockets are integrated for attaching accessories and/or a tippet bar. The rear pocket also provides you with a place to stash more awkwardly sized, cumbersome gear.

    The brand has built the Ultralight Vest with a soft poly/spandex lined foam collar in order to enhance the overall comfort around the neck, so this is an impressively cozy vest to wear aside from its snug fit and low weight. No corners have been cut regarding comfortability nor practicality here.

    For such a streamlined and low profile vest, Orvis has successfully integrated a full array of highly practical features and materials with this one.

  4. 4. Filson Mesh Fly Fishing Strap Vest

    Pros:
    • High quality 8-oz. dry finish Shelter Cloth, polyester mesh with coated resin, and Australian sheepskin shearling construction
    • 4 bellows pockets, 2 zippered pockets, 2 side mesh bellows pockets and a rear expandable pouch add up to a lot of storage potential overall
    • Cotton webbing shoulder straps are adjustable for a customized fit
    • Open rear pouch holds more cumbersome miscellaneous gear like a rain shell or your lunch
    • Removable sheepskin shearling pad for attaching the flies you want on hand
    • Cotton webbing for externally attaching zingers and other tools
    • Quick-drying mesh back for highly breathable comfort
    • Snap closure versus a zippered closure will hold up better longterm
    • Drainage grommets in pockets keep gear from rusting
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Gorgeous classic aesthetic
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • No color selection
    • Not ideal for anglers who prefer higher-up chest storage

    The Filson Mesh Fly Fishing Strap Vest is a highly functional, downright gorgeous option for the stream that fans of heritage-style gear will instantly fall in love with. 

    Filson is renowned for the top quality of their equipment and apparel. Although their products are certainly expensive, it’s the type of gear that’s a longterm investment. A Filson fly fishing vest is an irreplaceable item once you own one – it’s a steep price to pay but by no means whatsoever a poor value. One day of fishing in this bad boy and you’ll see what the hype is about.

    The Mesh Strap Vest is a great option for anglers who enjoy full freedom of motion when it comes to their torso. The design only employs pockets on the lower half of the vest, leaving your chest free of weight and clutter. While it may seem at first glance that this is only in effect, half a fly fishing vest, upon further examination you’ll see that this option is in fact loaded with features and storage capacity. 

    Four bellows pockets, two zippered pockets, two side mesh bellows pockets and a rear expandable pouch all add up to quite a bit of organization and storage potential. The overall schematic of this option allows for awesome customization – including a removable sheepskin shearling pad for attaching the flies you want directly on hand.

    The open rear pouch effectively holds more cumbersome miscellaneous gear like a rain shell or your lunch, and a nice array of cotton webbing is present for externally attaching zingers and other tools. There is also of course, a rear D-ring for net attachment.

    Filson has furthermore built this option with drainage grommets in the pockets to keep gear from rusting, as well as a quick-drying mesh back for highly breathable comfort. Although it has a vintage aesthetic, the brand has built this option expecting you to get it wet – because you’re probably not fishing hard enough if your vest always stays dry!

    Adjustable shoulder strapping is a unique, but highly practical feature employed with the Mesh Strap Vest that’s both a brilliant and underrated design for a fishing vest. The strapping allows you to tighten or loosen the vest based on how you’re layered, and also allows for greater customization of fit overall.

    Make sure to check out the Filson Cover Cloth Fly Fishing Guide Vest for a more traditional style, full-feature option from the brand.

    All things considered, this is a truly an excellent quality, lifetime purchase from Filson that you’ll likely pass on to a grandchild someday with the proper care and treatment.

  5. 5. Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • Mesh material is quick drying and cool on hot days
    • Simple, but effective pocket schematic
    • Integrated rod holder system acts as an extra pair of hands when re-rigging, taking photos and more
    • Rear pocket for stashing more cumbersome gear
    • Packs impressively compact for fishing trips due to its mostly mesh design
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Youth sizing available
    • Excellent overall value
    Cons:
    • Not a ton of storage space compared to some other vests
    • Longterm zipper integrity is questionable
    • Lacks external attachment points for securing tools you want on hand

    The Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest is affordable for anglers seeking a simple, warm weather vest.

    This is a quick-dry, mesh vest that will keep you cool on those hot days and then dry off in a jiff if you take a dunk. It’s built durably from nylon knowing that you’re going to be hard on it – so as long as you’re easy on the hardware this one should last you many seasons of fishing.

    What you see is what you get with this one. There are nine external zippered and Velcro pockets that add up to a solid amount of storage space without overloading and cluttering the vest. It should be noted that the Clark Fork Vest lacks external attachment points, so be mindful of how you utilize the available D-rings and gear loops.

    There’s is however and integrated rod carry system built into the chest with a corresponding loop at the waist to recieve the rod butt. This allows you to re-rig, snap photos, roll a cigarette and more without worrying about losing your rod in the drink!

    Redington also offers this vest in youth sizing so if you’re shopping for a youngster this is a great go-to!

  6. 6. Redington First Run Fly Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • Somewhat minimalist pocket schematic provides you with all the storage you need without over cluttering the vest
    • Fast wicking mesh fabric provides great ventilation and dries quickly
    • Equipped to fit a 1 liter reservoir hydration system
    • Integrated rod carryr system
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive for such a minimalist option - but built to last
    • Lack of external attachment points for securing tools
    • No color selection

    The First Run Fly Fishing Vest by Redington is a stellar option of warm weather vest for the minimalist angler seeking a fly fishing companion that has all the features and storage they need, and nothing they’ll neglect to utilize.

    A straightforward pocket schematic offers an adequate degree of carrying capacity and organization while an integrated rod carry system provides an extra pair of hands. A fly patch is also present on the upper chest so you can stash your favorite go-to flies.

    What you see is what you get with this one – it’s a fairly bare-bones design yet it shouldn’t leave the average angler searching for more storage space.

    The full mesh design is great for catching a breeze and furthermore dries out rapidly if you soak it, so go ahead and get a little wet on those hot mid-summer days. Redington has even equipped the First Run Vest to fit a 1-liter reservoir hydration system – a unique and thoughtful feature that anticipates the thirst of anglers who require a particularly breathable vest.

    While this option may not be equipped with some of the fancy bells and whistles that have become commonplace in the industry, it’s a stellar go-to vest for fishermen seeking a traditional option that’s very well suited for beating the heat.

  7. 7. Simms Freestone Fly Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • 19 total pockets - 4 chest pockets, 2 side-entry pockets, 6 waist pockets, 6 internal pockets, and 1 rear pocket
    • Nice array of gear loops, tabs and D-rings for external tool attachment
    • Integrated fly patch and rod holder (with corresponding butt loop on the waist)
    • 100% Nylon fabric outer with a 100% Polyester mesh lining totals to just 17 ounces
    • Simple, yet super extensive design is great for both gear-heavy and minimalist anglers
    • A padded collar and lightweight, breathable shoulders enhance the overall comfort level
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Some anglers might prefer a zippered, rather than buckled closure when carrying heavier gear loads given the design of this vest
    • All the color options are quite comparable

    The Simms Freestone Fly Fishing Vest is a straightforward, yet unassumingly equipped fly fishing vest that’s loaded with intuitively designed pockets and features.

    What you see is NOT what you get with this one. There are 19 total pockets here despite having the appearance of a normal, traditional fly fishing vest. An extensive array of gear loops, D-rings and external clips furthermore allow you to outfit the Freestone with all your essential tools and on-hand equipment.

    Perhaps most practical of all, there is a tab for securing your fly rod located on the upper chest, with a corresponding loop for the rod butt on the waist – effectively holding your rod for you while you re-rig, clear ice from your guides, or snap some fishy photos.

    The 100% Nylon fabric construction and 100% Polyester mesh lining furthermore totals to just 17 ounces, so this vest wears remarkably lightweight considering all of its integrated features. Simms has truly engineered both a minimalist and impressively extensive fishing companion with the Freestone that’s great for both gear-heavy anglers and more bare-bones fishermen.

    If you like the look and functionality of this option but are seeking something more suited for warm weather, consider the Simms Headwaters Pro Mesh Fishing Vest – it’s essentially the same design but built with greater ventilation in mind.

  8. 8. Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • Rip stop nylon build is both durable and super lightweight
    • Extensive pocket schematic on the front as well as lots of clips and tabs to externally attach gear and tools
    • Rod holding clip acts as an extra pair of hands while you re-rig
    • Large pocket on the lower back is great for stashing an extra layer or other bulkier items
    • Water bottle sleeve is integrated at the hip
    • Adjustable shoulder strapping allows for a more customized fit
    • Half-mesh back for improved ventilaton
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Multiple color options available
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive but you get what you pay for with this one
    • Not for those anglers who prefer a more classic look
    • Zipper quality is not terribly impressive

    Here’s a top-notch, durably built vest by Anglatech that offers an impressive array of pockets and overall organization potential for the price point. 

    This ripstop nylon vest is both super durable and impressively lightweight. It should handle trekking through brush well and won’t snag up like some fabric vests do. The upper back has some mesh employed in the design for ventilation while there’s another, large zippered pocket on the lower back for stashing extra gear.

    The front pocket schematic is reall well thought out here – there are both larger and smaller zippered pockets, a solid array of loops and clips for externally attaching gear and even some outer mesh pockets for stowing smaller equipment you want to have directly on hand.

    There’s furthermore a rod clip on the chest to act as an extra pair of hands while rigging up, and a space to stash a water bottle (or beer) near your waist. Two waterproof pockets for your wet-sensitive items are present on the chest as well as two molded, fold-out pockets for effectively stashing flies. Anglatech has really hit all the bases with this one.

    All in all, this vest option provides a ton of space for all sorts of tackle and gear in an exceptionally lightweight and rugged package.

  9. 9. Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack

    Pros:
    • Operates as a fly fishing vest and backpack giving it more storage capacity than most vests
    • 2 main molded pockets and 3 main zippered compartments as well as an array of sleeves and tabs/attachment points to externally secure gear
    • Expandable rear storage gives this option the ability to be truly high capacity when you need it to be
    • Backpack component is detachable
    • Can carry a rod tube on the underside of the pack - making this a great expedition option
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Attractive, low profile look with different color options available
    • Excellent price point
    Cons:
    • The construction of this vest is not terribly durable - you won’t be able to beat up on this unit for more than a season or two if you’re someone who’s particularly hard on your gear
    • Some complaints about shoulder straps popping loose
    • Some anglers might not like how cluttered the vest front is

    The Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack is an innovative approach to on-the-water storage. This vest/backpack combination is a brilliant solution to the issue of needing just a bit more storage than a traditional vest provides.

    This is essentially an effective, normal fly fishing vest that’s capable of being loaded up for those longer treks out to the stream. There are two main molded pockets on the front for stashing your flies and three expandable zippered pockets for the rest of your gear located on the back.

    The front of the vest is fully functional – there’s space for flies, forceps, clippers, tippets and whatever else you might need. There’s an attachment point for a net on the side of the pack as well as several other D-rings and loops. You can even secure a rod tube to the underside of the pack making this a great expedition vest/pack.

    Essentially, this is a nice quality fly fishing vest with some added storage on the back for bringing along more gear. The fabric is water-resistant and lined with mesh for breathability and the vest itself is highly adjustable for a good fit. This unit has a pretty tough, low profile aesthetic that’s furthermore bound to turn heads.

    Overall, this is a versatile and effective fly fishing companion that can be easily customized to match any angling style offered at a more than reasonable price point – no doubt a stellar option from Maxcatch.

  10. 10. Maxcatch Breathable Mesh Fly Fishing Vest with Accessories

    Pros:
    • Includes quality forceps, nippers, line straightener and a zinger!
    • Extensive pocket schematic on the chest without overloading the vest
    • Rod tube compatible sleeve allows you to effectively transport a broken down rod
    • Tons of tabs, D-rings and las points for externally attaching tools and gear
    • Internal mesh pockets and a zippered pocket on the lower back offer even more storage potential
    • Highly adjustable and breathable partial mesh contruction
    • Rear D-ring for securing a net
    • Excellent overall value
    Cons:
    • This vest may feel a bit cluttered for more minimalist style anglers
    • No color selection
    • Design of the upper zippers doesn't support heavy pocket loads well

    Maxcatch has come up with an awesome value and versatile option with their Breathable Mesh Fly Fishing Vest, and they’ve even thrown in some extra accessories.

    With the purchase of this unit you also get a pair of forceps, a line clipper and a fishing zinger – pretty righteous! The vest on its own is a great deal for the price point that’s built with a well-designed schematic ideal for all sorts of angling styles.

    There’s a large array of zippered pockets as well as D-rings and loops for attaching gear externally. One great feature of this vest is that it has a space to attach a rod tube so you can hike with your rod safely broken down instead of assembled in your hand when there’s a trek required.

    The mesh back provides adequate ventilation and the strapping is adjustable for finding the right fit. If you’re looking for a straightforward, yet seriously loaded vest that can furthermore accommodate for a rod tube, then this is an awesome value option that even includes some added gear.

  11. 11. KyleBooker Fly Fishing Vest Pack

    Pros:
    • Impressive overall capacity for gear both internally and externally
    • Mesh back for enhanced ventilation and a highly adjustable design for a comfortable fit and feel
    • Integrated rod holding system
    • Lower front pockets fold down to operate as effective work stations
    • Drain holes built into the main pockets to effectively drain and avoid sitting water
    • Large rear pocket on the lower back for stashing more cumbersome gear
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Several color options
    • Excellent price point
    Cons:
    • Might look silly to some anglers with all the orange accents
    • Some might find this vest front to be a bit cluttered - it's a matter of preference
    • Zipper quality is not terribly impressive - go easy on this one

    Here’s an awesome, high capacity fly fishing vest that’s offered at a more than reasonable price point. The KyleBooker Fly Fishing Vest Pack really has it going on with its extensive array of pockets on the front of the chest as well as its impressive carrying capacity on the lower back.

    The storage on this one is bolstered by the added zippered pockets on the upper chest and the plethora of external attachment points. A rod holding system, molded pockets for storing flies, attachment loops and D-rings are also present – It’s all there!

    The back is designed with a mesh fabric for heightened breathability on hot days and the strapping is highly adjustable so you’ll stay comfortable in this vest without issue. It might have a bit of a silly appearance to some anglers, but I personally find the color scheme on this vest to have a pretty tough aesthetic.

    For those fly fishermen who never seem to have enough space on their vest, this could be an affordable and effective solution!

  12. 12. Amarine-made Fly Fishing Backpack Vest

    Pros:
    • Tons of storage between the array of chest pockets, external attachment points and backpack storage
    • Backpack compartments are expandable so you can keep the vest slim and form fitting when you don’t need the extra storage space
    • Integrated rod holder system
    • Mesh interior coupled with the low cut design of the vest makes it highly breathable
    • Lots of adjustment points allow for a customized fit
    • Fair price point
    Cons:
    • Despite the ability to collapse the backpack compartments, this vest wears a little bulky
    • Loud orange accents might be offputting to some anglers
    • Not hydration bladder compatible, but can be modified

    The Amarine-made Fly Fishing Backpack Vest is another vest/backpack hybrid that offers a particularly large amount of storage without overloading the vest front.

    The pocket schematic on the front of this vest is brilliantly designed for maximum carrying capacity and organization, yet leaves the upper chest more or less blank in order to keep the vest from becoming too cumbersome. Two molded pockets for stashing flies make a huge difference on the water when trying to find what you need quickly while a solid array of D-rings and attachment points compliment the zippered storage beautifully.

    The backpack component of this unit furthermore has three main compartments, so there’s even some solid organization potential there too. The three backpack compartments are even expandable, so this vest/pack can remain minimally deployed and retain a slim profile on days you don’t have a need for the added storage.  

    I personally like how the chest of this vest is low cut and how the shoulder fabric tapers to be narrower up top. The design of the vest itself coupled with the mesh-lined fabric gives it great ventilation – because if you need backpack-status storage you’re probably doing some rigorous hiking.

    This option is no doubt a steal for the price point – those seeking a high-capacity vest/pack would be wise to perk their ears to this one!

  13. 13. Autumn Ridge Traders Fly Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • Effective array of 16 total pockets provides a high carrying capacity without being to cluttered in front
    • Large interior mesh pockets provide space for stashing more cumbersome gear
    • Mesh lining can be worn on its own if you unzip the back for added ventilation
    • Material is water resistant and quick drying
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Several color options to choose from
    Cons:
    • This option could use some additional D-rings and tool attachment points
    • This vest runs a bit small - consider ordering a size up for an optimum fit
    • Longterm integrity of the zippers and hardware is questionable

    The Autumn Ridge Traders Fly Fishing Vest is one of the best value classic style fly fishing vests worth buying.

    This simple and straightforward option has a sharp aesthetic available in multiple color options and provides the typical fly fishermen with plenty of storage. The simplicity of this vest is appreciated by a lot of anglers – there’s ample space for all your essential gear without the front of the vest becoming too cluttered.

    An interior, mesh chest pocket provides an extra space to stash a larger item so there’s some added carrying capacity for when you need it.

    The back of the vest zips down to expose the mesh interior so you can ensure you get adequate ventilation on the hotter days you need it. The water-resistant polyester fabric is furthermore quick-drying if you take a dunk – so don’t worry about wetness.

    There are several sizes available so fitting this vest to your build is a piece of cake – just be mindful that customer reviews claim this option runs a bit small.

  14. 14. Lamdgbway Quick-Dry Fishing Vest

    Pros:
    • Extensive array of chest pockets including some more unique storage spaces
    • Well suited for a wide variety of outdoor activities sucha as photography, hunting, bird watching and more
    • The fabric on the vest-back can be unzipped to reveal the mesh "skeleton" providing full ventilation
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Breathable and wear-proof nylon fabric
    • Several color choices
    Cons:
    • Is sold in Asian sizing only so be mindful and big
    • Poor quality zippers have questionable integrity
    • Some anglers might find the vest fron to be a bit cluttered

    The Lamdgbway Quick-Dry Fishing Vest is a highly affordable and versatile option that isn’t limited to just fly fishing.

    Of course, all of the vests on this list have a number of practical purposes – but this unit is particularly well suited for a wide array of activities such as photography, hunting and more due to the somewhat unique array of pockets and storage devices.

    For fishing purposes, this is a fairly high-quality, classic style vest. The chest pockets are extensive and intuitively designed for a high degree of organization, while there are plenty of D-rings and external loops to secure forceps, clippers and whatever else you want to have directly on hand.

    While it may not be the most durable vest in the longterm, the back fabric unzips completely exposing the mesh skeleton. It’s a brilliant system for controlling the amount of ventilation your vest allows for, making this a great all-season option.

    All things considered, for those shopping for a classic style vest on a budget, you can’t go wrong with this option from Lamdgbway,

  15. 15. KyleBooker Camo Print Fly Fishing Vest Pack

    Pros:
    • Four zippered pockets and a fly patch provide you with adequate storage space without cluttering the vest
    • Low cut design and mesh skeleton give this vest awesome breathability
    • Integrated rod holder system
    • Rear zippered pocker for stashing more cumbersome gear
    • Rear D-ring for net attachment
    • Excellent price point
    Cons:
    • Some anglers might not like the camo print aesthetic
    • Not a ton of organizational potential - just a few larger pockets
    • Buckles are not of impressive quality

    Here’s a great vest for the angler who doesn’t require a ton of organization or much gear. The KyleBooker Camo Print Fly Fishing Vest Pack is a super affordable option that might be all you need for the stream.

    There are four zippered pockets on the front for stashing fly boxes, tippets or whatever else as well as an interior zippered chest pocket. There’s an additional large pocket on the back of the vest giving this compact unit some decent carrying capacity overall for its minimalist design.

    It can’t compete with the higher capacity vests on this list when it comes to toting larger gear loads, but there’s still decent storage for a day on the water. Bare-bones type fishermen will love the lower weight, clutter-free design of this option.

    Fortunately, there are a few D-rings on the front of the vest for externally securing gear like clippers and forceps as well as a rod holding system. For a simple, ultra-budget vest, this unit is impressively well thought out and equipped for fishing.

Mesh Fly Fishing Vests

Those anglers that struggle to keep cool during the warmer months or that fish in more southern latitudes, will be wise to purchase a fly fishing vest with a mostly mesh construction.

While breathable fabrics have come a long way, nothing beats mesh when it comes to nice and breezy ventilation.

Some of our favorite mesh fly fishing vests include:

High Capacity Fly Fishing Vests

If you're seeking a fly fishing vest that's loaded with front pockets, external attachment points, and hidden storage, you're going to want to take a look at our top picks for high-capacity options.

Gear heavy anglers seeking a full-feature vest with all the bells and whistles should check out the following:

Minimalist Fly Fishing Vests

Many of us anglers prefer a vest that's minimalist in design - solely providing the wearer with the necessary storage and organization for their essential on the water gear.

If you're the type of fishermen who hates cluttered gear and simply wants a vest to effectively carry their fly boxes, tippets, and tools, some of our favorite minimalist options include:

Fly Fishing Vest/Backpack Hybrids

Don't overlook the benefits of a vest/backpack hybrid if you're shopping for a higher capacity fly fishing companion. 

Vest packs offer the best of both worlds - low profile, wearable storage that operates as a work station, as well as higher capacity compartments for toting more cumbersome gear and apparel. If you're an expedition type angler than perhaps you can ditch your fishing backpack and your old vest and trade both in for vest/pack hybrid.

Our top picks for fly fishing vest packs include:

Vintage Fly Fishing Vests

Ya gotta love the look of a vintage style vest. There's something just downright awesome about the age-old aesthetic of a canvas or tin cloth fly fishing vest that almost makes you feel like you're starring in a nature film or classic western whenever you wear one.

While modern advancements have taken over the fly fishing scene and replaced vintage style gear in many contexts, heritage-type vests have kept up with the times and persisted!

Some of our favorite old-timey style vests that are also top performers include:

Fly Fishing Backpacks

Sometimes the carrying capacity of a fly fishing vest just doesn't cut it.

If you think your gear load might call for a specialized fly fishing backpack instead of or in addition to a vest, make sure to check out our post on the best backpacks for fly fishing.

Fly Fishing Waist Packs

Waist packs offer a different carrying style for your essential gear than do vests, and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes for virtually every fishing style.

Check out our top list of waterproof waist packs for some fly fishing companions that don't mind getting wet and wild.

Fly Fishing Sling Packs

Similar to waist packs, there are tons of different fly fishing sling packs on the market geared towards all sorts of different style anglers and fishing contexts. 

Sling packs are oftentimes preferred by anglers because they offer larger storage compartments than vests, and sit a bit higher on your person then waist packs. The body placement of sling packs, therefore, doesn't ride up on you and create frustrating buoyancy (like some hip packs can) if you're wading above your waist.

Our favorite sling pack options include:

Fly Fishing Chest Packs

Last but not least, chest packs offer their own pros and cons for fly fishermen.

If you need vaster storage than a vest provides but also prefer not to have your waist or back bogged down by a hip or sling pack, you might be a chest pack kind of fisherman.

Our list of the best fishing chest packs has some awesome value options worth checking out!

See Also:

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