Fishing vests are a classic piece of fishing apparel that many anglers choose to wear. Wearing a vest makes it easy to keep gear on-hand and makes it easier to find what you need while fishing. Fishing vests can make you more efficient while fishing, as you won’t have to fumble through a fishing backpack for tools.
Top Fishing Vests for 2020
The best fishing vests have lots of pockets for storage, as well as other storage features like tool loops. Choose from the best fishing vests on the market, chosen based on quality, storage, comfort, and more.
These are the Best Fishing Vests:
- NRS Chinook Fishing PFD
- Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Fishing Vest
- Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest
- Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
- Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack
- Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest
- Rothco Uncle Milty Travel Vest
- Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack
- Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo
- Master Sportsman Adult 26 Pocket Fishing Vest
NRS Chinook Fishing PFD
The NRS Chinook Fishing PFD is a favorite among anglers because it was designed for fishing. This versatile fishing vest is also a life jacket, so it works as a safety floatation device. While the NRS Chinook Fishing PFD was designed for kayak fishing, it works well for any form of fishing, especially in deeper waters where a life jacket may be needed.
Aside from its floating capability, the NRS Chinook Fishing PFD has seven pockets of various sizes for holding tackle. It also has a coil tool retractor, a strobe holder loop, and other attachment loops for tools. The NRS Chinook features rod holder loops to hold your fishing rod and multiple D-rings for net attachments or other additions. This waterproof life vest is made from urethane-coating rip safe nylon and has a mesh lower back. It comes in 4 colors.
Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Fishing Vest
This fishing vest is super lightweight and a favorite among fishermen, especially those who love fly fishing. The Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Fishing Vest has maximum storage with minimum coverage, as the back is simply straps rather than extra fabric. This makes this a great fishing vest for warm days. The padded neck strap keeps this vest comfortable, and it features a D-ring for your fishing net.
The Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Fishing Vest has zip-closure front pockets that can fit large fly boxes or other tackle. It has multiple exterior pockets to hold all of your gear, with heavy duty molded zippers to keep it dry. The front has interior mesh pockets for extra storage space. This vest is olive green, and one size fits most because of its lightweight design.
Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest
The Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest was designed to keep anglers comfortable while also storing all of their necessary gear. It has an adjustable suspension system, with adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a custom fit. The fishing vest is made with lightweight polyester and mesh, so it dries fast and allows for breathability. Padded air mesh shoulders allow comfort and coolness.
The Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest has an impressive eighteen pockets, with different sizes and shapes designed for specific functions. It has a D-ring on the back for a fishing net, a strobe holder loop, rod holder loops, a knife lash tab, and multiple tool hooks. The Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest comes in 6 colors, and is a great choice to hold all of your fishing gear.
Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket
The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jackets works great both as a floatation device and a fishing vest for storage purposes. This life jacket has four different pocket designs, made to hold all of your gear. It has a zippered chest pocket and zippered fleece-lined pockets to keep your hands warm on cold days. A one-button push drop tray pocket can hold a small tackle box.
In addition to the larger pockets, the Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket features a lash tab to hold a knife, whistle, keys, fly fishing tippets, or whatever you may need for your fishing trip. The vest was designed with strategically placed mesh for breathability, and ample drainage keeps the vest dry. This life jacket is a Level 3 Coast Guard Approved Life Preserving Jacket.
Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack
The Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack was designed with fly fishing in mind, but works well across all styles of fishing. It has plenty of storage, so your gear will be easy to find. With large pockets, small pockets, mesh pockets, and water resistant pockets, there’s a place for all of your gear to stay organized. There is also a rod holder and other tool loops, as well as a water bottle pocket so you stay hydrated.
This fishing vest has all of the storage you could need, but it is also comfortable and lightweight. The back is made with breathable mesh to keep anglers cool. It has adjustable shoulder and waist straps and padded shoulders. The Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack has serious storage space, and is made with ripstop nylon for durability. It comes in two colors.
Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest
The Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest is another great choice for anglers, whether you’re fly fishing, surf fishing, or for any other style of fishing. This lightweight fishing vest has a classic look, and is made with 65% polyester and 35% cotton. It has a mesh body fabric for ultimate breathability, and it is moisture wicking and fast drying.
While it is extremely lightweight, the Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest has plenty of storage space. This fishing vest has eleven pockets of different sizes, some zippered and some with velcro closures. It also features a D-ring for a fishing net and a tool loop. The Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest has a fabric collar for added comfort, and is available in a range of sizes.
Rothco Uncle Milty Travel Vest
The Rothco Uncle Milty Travel Vest is another great choice for anglers. This durable outdoor vest is made with polyester and cotton, for a lightweight but tough design. There is plenty of storage space, with thirteen front pockets and three interior pockets. The Rothco Uncle Milty Travel Vest even has a large, expandable back cargo pocket with side zipper closures.
This vest is made for a variety of outdoor activities, but works well for fishing because of its many storage features. It has three D-rings, two on the front chest and one on the back collar, perfect for a fishing net. The Rothco Uncle Milty Travel Vest has a belt loop, front zipper, and single snap closure for a comfortable fit. It comes in three colors and a wide range of sizes.
Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack
The Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack has serious storage space and features, so it is perfect for keeping all of your fishing needs on your body. It has plenty of pockets in various sizes to fit all of your gear, with pockets large enough for tackle boxes. This fishing vest has rod holders, tool loops, zippered and mesh pockets, and D-rings. It even has two shell pockets with fly patches protected inside.
While the Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack has plenty of storage, it’s also lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. It has mesh backing for airflow, and is made with lightweight and durable fabric. One size fits most, as the Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack has adjustable waist and shoulder straps and suspension structure to keep weight evenly distributed. It can be worn in all weather, and fits over a heavy jacket or a simple t-shirt.
Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo
Another great option from Anglatech, the Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo has extra storage space for the angler who needs all of their gear on hand. The Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo has lots of extra storage and features, like a 2 liter water bladder to keep you hydrated. Expandable storage works with your needs to fit as much or as little as needed.
The Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest Combo has adjustable waist and shoulder strap for a perfect fit. A breathable mesh back keeps you cool and dry, and ripstop nylon is durable and lightweight. This fishing vest has plenty of pockets of varying sizes, tool loops, a fishing rod holder, and more. For extra storage needs, this vest/backpack combo is perfect.
Master Sportsman Adult 26 Pocket Fishing Vest
The Master Sportsman Adult 26 Pocket Fishing Vest has plenty of storage in a lightweight, classic style fishing vest. With 26 pockets of different sizes, you can hold everything from tackle boxes to fishing line, tools, and more. This vest has removable fly patches and a rod holder for hands free use. For extra storage, there is a larger, zippered rear pocket.
The Master Sportsman Adult 26 Pocket Fishing Vest is made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester, so it is lightweight, comfortable, and machine washable. It features three D-rings, two on the front chest pockets and one on the back, ideal for holding a fishing net. The Master Sportsman Adult 26 Pocket Fishing Vest comes in sizes from medium to XXX large.
How To Choose a Fishing Vest
There are plenty of fishing vests to choose from, so how do you know which one is best for you? When picking a fishing vest, there are a few key factors to consider. Choose one of our recommended vests, or think about these elements before you pick your own.
The whole point of wearing a fishing vest is for easy storage, so this should be the first thing you consider when shopping for one. How much storage space do you need? What gear do you want to have easily accessible on your body? There are different kinds of storage you should consider – pockets, tool loops, rod holders, D-rings, and more.
Figure out what gear you want on-hand and look for a fishing vest that has pockets to accommodate that gear. Many vests have pockets big enough to fit tackle boxes as well as smaller pockets for other equipment. There are mesh pockets and zippered pockets, which offer different levels of safety from the elements. Often vests also featured loops for tools and fishing rods or D-rings to attach a fishing net or another piece of gear.
Depending on how much you want your vest to hold, you can choose a bulkier or lighter vest. You can also consider the season and weather when you think about storage space. While you may want extra storage, you could be sacrificing some breathability and weight on hot days, which can wear you out.
You don’t want a flimsy fishing vest. Even if you opt for a lightweight design, the vest should still be durable so that it lasts you a long time, not just one season. Consider the material of the vest – many are made with polyester and cotton blends, while others are made with ripstop nylon for added durability.
If you aren’t carrying much heavy gear, a lighter, polyester blend is fine. If you need to carry a lot of weight or expect rough conditions, choose a heavier, more durable fabric like nylon. Quality also affects durability, so splurging on a nicer vest can work out in the long run, as a high quality vest will last many years.
It’s vital that your vest is comfortable so that you can wear it all day without hurting your back or shoulders. Choose a fishing vest that fits comfortably, whether it is lightweight or heavy duty. Even heavier fishing vests can be designed with padded neck or shoulder straps or with evenly distributed weight systems.
Aside from weight, another factor influencing the comfort of a vest is temperature. On hot days, a heavy fishing vest can make you even hotter. Consider the temperatures you typically go fishing in and consider the weather when making a purchase. You can still have all the storage you need with a vest made with breathable fabrics, mesh for extra airflow, or other cooling features.
You very likely may get wet while fishing, so you vest should be able to handle water. Some fishing vests are made with water resistant or even waterproof materials, but not all are. If you are wading or expecting to get particularly soaked, look for water resistant vests.
Non-water resistant vests are great too, especially if they are made of lightweight fabric that dries quickly. A soaked vest can be heavy, so you don’t want one that is going to retain water. You should also look out for vests with waterproof pockets to hold gear that can’t get wet.
There are added features that may be more or less important to any specific angler. Some of the vests on our list are also life jackets and floatation devices. If you’re worried about going overboard or kayak fishing, find a fishing vest that doubles as a life jacket. There are models that work as floatation devices without sacrificing storage space or comfort.
Another feature you may be interested is a water compartment of some sort. Some vests have water bladders, so your water is kept cool and on your person at all times. Others simply have water bottle holders so that your water bottle is easily accessible.
Depending on your style of fishing, there may be other features that you’re looking for. Keep an eye out for details like special pockets for specific equipment, extra storage, lash tabs for knives and other tools, or added comfort features for longer days.
Fishing Vests and More Fishing Apparel
Choose from our favorite fishing vests, or find other fishing apparel like fishing hats, sunglasses, fishing gloves, and more on Fishmasters. Don’t want a vest? Check out the best fishing backpacks instead.