10 Best Fishing Vests

10 Best Fishing Vests
Best Overall 🏆
Flygo Zhusheng Men's Mesh 16 Pockets Photography Fishing Travel Outdoor Quick Dry Vest Breathable Waistcoat Jackets (X-Small, Army Green)
Best Runner Up 🥈
BASSDASH Strap Fishing Vest Adjustable for Men and Women, for Fly Bass Fishing and Outdoor Activities
Third Place
Gihuo Men's Summer Cotton Leisure Outdoor Pockets Fish Photo Journalist Vest Plus Size (Small, Army green)
Flygo Fishing Vest
BassDash Strap Fishing Vest
GIHUO Men's Summer Vest With Pockets
Pros
  • Loads of storage options.
  • Padded, meshed straps.
  • Additional large back compartment.
  • Adjustment straps at the side included
  • Excellent choice of colors and camouflage.
Cons
  • Picking your color might be a difficult one.
Pros
  • Affordable price point.
  • Name to trust.
  • Reflective strips.
  • Knife lash tab.
  • Webbing hip strap.
  • Choice of great colors available.
Cons
  • It's a bit bulky
  • The collar is not well padded
Pros
  • Versatile use.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Snap pockets.
  • Water-resistant shell.
  • Breathable lining.
Cons
  • Tackle-heavy anglers found the pockets and compartments a bit light
Best Overall 🏆
Flygo Zhusheng Men's Mesh 16 Pockets Photography Fishing Travel Outdoor Quick Dry Vest Breathable Waistcoat Jackets (X-Small, Army Green)
Flygo Fishing Vest
Pros
  • Loads of storage options.
  • Padded, meshed straps.
  • Additional large back compartment.
  • Adjustment straps at the side included
  • Excellent choice of colors and camouflage.
Cons
  • Picking your color might be a difficult one.
Best Runner Up 🥈
BASSDASH Strap Fishing Vest Adjustable for Men and Women, for Fly Bass Fishing and Outdoor Activities
BassDash Strap Fishing Vest
Pros
  • Affordable price point.
  • Name to trust.
  • Reflective strips.
  • Knife lash tab.
  • Webbing hip strap.
  • Choice of great colors available.
Cons
  • It's a bit bulky
  • The collar is not well padded
Third Place
Gihuo Men's Summer Cotton Leisure Outdoor Pockets Fish Photo Journalist Vest Plus Size (Small, Army green)
GIHUO Men's Summer Vest With Pockets
Pros
  • Versatile use.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Snap pockets.
  • Water-resistant shell.
  • Breathable lining.
Cons
  • Tackle-heavy anglers found the pockets and compartments a bit light
Table of Contents
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    As a fly angler, the hip packs, sling packs, chest packs, and even backpacks designed for fishing are the several options for storing your gear but amidst all these options, the classic fishing vest keeps tackle and gear handy.

    While some may prefer a big tackle box or bag to carry equipment such as tippets, nippers, pliers, or an extra reel, a fishing vest is a great option when wading and spot-hopping that keeps your gear in an organized and easy-to-access manner.

    Made with durable fabrics, these time-tested garments do not only fit better but also better at withstanding the elements. However, the market is full of fly fishing vests of various sizes and shapes. 

    To help you choose the right fishing vest for your needs, our guide gives you an overview of the recommended best fishing vest out there as well as their pros and cons and what to pay attention to when purchasing a fishing vest.

    Our Top 10 Picks at a Glance

    1. Flygo Fishing Vest

    Flygo Fishing Vest

    Flygo fishing vest is a stylish, breathable, and highly versatile lightweight jacket that has all the bases covered when it comes to any type of angling you can think of such as hiking, hunting, sports, safari, backpacking, fishing, river guide adventures, and can also be worn as daily casual wear, etc.

    Made from a lightweight, quick-dry fabric blend that’s designed to offer a minimal amount of waterproof protection, this travel fishing vest is the ideal garment for those damp and drizzly, early morning starts.

    This highly practical and versatile summer jacket is well ventilated, durable, and quick dry, ensuring the wearer remains cool and comfortable all day. It’s washable, packable, and doesn’t easily shrink.

    It features multiple pockets and compartments of various sizes, high-quality zippers that operate smoothly, webbing adjustable straps that offer a comfortable fit, reflectors that enhance visibility when out in low light, attachment ladders, and D-rings offer extra space to hold and store gear while ensuring that your hands are free to focus on whatever you are engaged in.

    Flygo fishing vest comes in a wide range of classic and traditional colors as well as 3 various sizes and styles. It all depends on the color and size you want. So the next time you’re thinking of gifting your father, boyfriend, husband, or son, this budget-friendly vest from flygo, is a great choice.

    Pros

    • Loads of storage options.
    • Padded, meshed straps.
    • Additional large back compartment.
    • Adjustment straps at the side included
    • Excellent choice of colors and camouflage.

    Cons

    • Picking your color might be a difficult one.

    2. BassDash Strap Fishing Vest

    BassDash Strap Fishing Vest

    After painstakingly sorting through the plethora of fishing vest options out there, Bassdash is one of the best around. The Bassdash strap fishing vest is loaded with features to help you stay organized throughout the day and it is suitable for all types of angling.

    Bassdash strap fishing vest features multiple pockets as well as ample room for everything you may need to reel in that trophy catch. Concealed zippers offer a wealth of storage options and net holder loops, rods and D-rings help to keep the essentials you need on hand at all times.

    Made of premium polyester and mesh fabric in the back of the vest, the padded mesh shoulder straps offer breathability, and unbeatable ventilation and distribute the weight of the vest equally. Thanks to its versatile system that is fully adjustable to fit women and men of different builds.

    This Fishing Vest is by far one of the cheapest and comes in one size, but given the number of pockets loaded in it, at 19.4oz (550g), the Bassdash vest is one of the heaviest fishing jackets. In addition, Bassdash comes in a traditional green and grey version but for those that are into colors, a bright red or blue is a good color choice.

    Pros

    • Affordable price point.
    • Name to trust.
    • Reflective strips.
    • Knife lash tab.
    • Webbing hip strap.
    • Choice of great colors available.

    Cons

    • It’s a bit bulky
    • The collar is not well padded

    3. GIHUO Men's Summer Vest With Pockets

    GIHUO Men's Summer Vest With Pockets

    Made from a durable nylon shell with a polyester lining, this is a super-lightweight and quick-dry fishing vest that is suitable for three-season outdoor activities, as well as perfect for camping, hunting, fishing outdoors, safari, traveling tactical, volunteer, and other various activities.

    This traditional garment keeps you comfortable all day and can be easily worn to the pub after a day on the water. With consistent and neat stitching, it keeps flat even without ironing and it’s not easy to shrink.

    The mesh style provides a minimal amount of waterproof protection, quick dry performance, and easy to deal with drizzle rain, and morning dew.

    The Gihuo men’s multi pockets utility vest features a stand collar to keep out the chill, a drawstring hem, and multiple pockets with zip closures that are designed for safety, to protect your valuables.

    It will interest you to know that this super-stylish vest comes at a very attractive price.

    Pros

    • Versatile use.
    • Choice of colors.
    • Snap pockets.
    • Water-resistant shell.
    • Breathable lining.

    Cons

    • Tackle-heavy anglers found the pockets and compartments a bit light

    4. Obcursco Fishing Vest

    Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest for Men

    Made with high-quality light mesh material and premium ripstop breathable polyester shell, Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest is a lightweight fishing vest that offers sweat absorbency as well as breathability.

    The adjustable shoulder and waist straps offer a perfect fit experience for both men and women and the reflectors on the back and shoulder provide a professional safety sense for life-saving.

    Included in this fishing jacket are 4 zipped front pockets, four side mesh pockets, 4 chest pockets, and a back pocket. So, your fishing accessories can be distributed in different pockets.

    The large and expandable storage with a fishing rod holder keeps in place your tackle box, phone, waller, pliers, and other essential accessories.

    Pros

    • Durable and lightweight
    • Affordable
    • Enough storage space and breathable mesh help keep cool
    • Fits great and has tons of pockets

    Cons

    • The zippers don’t last for a long time

    5. Fishpond Gore Range Tech Pack

    Fishpond Gore Range Tech Pack

    The Colorado-based FishPond describes this beautifully made fishing vest as a pack because of its plenty of storage options, compartments, and attachments to keep gear organized.

    Made of a Polyester-cotton blend, FishPond Gore Range Tech Pack is durable, and tough and keeps the angler comfortable and happy.

    The outermost fly-box pockets fold down to reveal foam fly benches that create a mini table off your chest to make viewing and selecting flies easy and the stacked frontal fly-box pockets accommodate small and large fly boxes.

    This isn’t the cheapest, but for the price, you get a well-thought-out garment with everything that you need for many seasons to come from the hemostat holder that keeps your pliers close to hand, from tippet to floatant.

    The adjustable shoulder strap can be customized fit, but plus-size and slim anglers can be limited by those adjustments.

    Pros

    • Premium quality materials.
    • Gear attachment tabs.
    • D-ring net lash.

    Cons

    •  
    • Runs a little on the large side.

    6. Fishpond Tenderfoot Youth Vest

    Fishpond Tenderfoot Youth Vest

    When it comes to outfitting your young angler with the best gear, the Fishpond Tenderfoot Youth Vest is just the best fly-fishing vest for him.

    This vest is designed with the same quality, features, and pockets as an adult-sized vest, it’s made in a smaller package for kids.

    The Tenderfoot Vest features 14 pockets and ample storage especially in its front two pockets and in its large back pocket to keep bait, lure and other fishing essentials organized and within reach, a lightweight mesh interior for comfort and breathability in warm weather, D-ring attachment on the back for net release, dual entry stash pocket and a zippered pocket for extra layers, lunch, or drinks integrated rod holder and various Hypalon tool attachment points for things like tippet holders and retractors.

    Crafted from a 210D nylon Cyclepond fabric with ballistic fabric accents, the Tenderfoot Vest is durable and the adjustable waist straps and shoulder are designed for the growing child.

    So, whether your young angler has been fishing for years or is just getting started, they’ll be sure to appreciate the quality and performance of this vest.

    Pros

    • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps
    • Lightweight
    • Durable
    • Comfortable

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • Does not come with a fly patch

    7. Orvis Men's PRO Fly-Fishing Vest

    Orvis Men's PRO Fly-Fishing Vest

    The Orvis Men’s PRO Fishing Vest is one of the top fishing vests made by the very popular brand Orvis and is an excellent vest for anglers wanting a great balance of features, function, comfort, storage, and build quality!

    This vest is mostly made of abrasion-resistant nylon with a water-resistant coating while still being lightweight and breathable.

    The PRO Vest delivers 18 built-in pockets (10 on the outside, six on the inside, and two on the back), a padded collar, a built-in stretch mesh interior for better comfort no matter the temperature,  a tri-ring net holder for easy net access, an Orvis custom hideaway tool port, an elastic loops to attach a tippet bar and two dry fly drying patches for keeping your flies close at hand.

    There is so ample storage space for just about everything else in the rest of the vest and the vest is also fully adjustable, so you should be able to get the perfect fit.

    Orvis Pro Vest isn’t a budget jacket but for the price, it’s a great value. Also, you can have this garment come in a fairly neutral grey/green color.

    Pros

    • Mesh interior makes it comfortable
    • Tippet holder
    • Tons of storage space
    • There is a net loop on the rear and tool ports

    Cons

    • Some of the pockets could be bigger
    • A bit longer than many other vests in its category
    • You might be tempted to fill the pockets when you don’t need it

    8. Columbia Men’s PFG Henry’s Fork: Best Quick-Dry

    Columbia Men’s PFG Henry’s Fork - Best Quick-Dry

    When it comes to quick drying fly-fishing vests, look no more than the Columbia Men’s PFG Henry’s Fork.

    Made from Columbia’s Omni-Shield material, it promises to withstand all liquids below 170°F from entering the material—avoiding stains and keeping you clean.

    Besides these quick-drying capacities, the Columbia Men’s PFG Henry’s Fork features 12 pockets to hold all your gears, a beverage-friendly pocket, a license window at the chest, a handy fishing net pocket on the back, utility attachment loops, and a retractable rod holder.

    The cushioned shoulder part evenly distributed weight and ensured all-day wearing comfort.

    Pros

    • Made with durable material
    • Durable and water-resistant
    • Comfortable
    • Multiple pockets for your gear included
    • Lightweight
    • The fabric dries faster than a conventional material

    Cons

    • The plastic clasp and fabric are small and not very secure
    • The pockets are small to hold some of the essentials

    9. Simms G3 Guide Vest

    Simms G3 Guide Vest

    Simms has long been at the forefront of fishing vest designs, and the G3 Guide is the pinnacle of Simms’ fly-fishing vest line which is mostly used by professional anglers and river guides.

    24 pockets make sure you can bring any gear you want, and the 2 big vertical pockets on the chest exterior allow for more storage without hindering your casting stroke.

    The Simms G3 Guide comes with 2 built-in retractors to attach your nippers or pliers, 4 molded weather-resistant pockets with 2 on the chest and 2 on the waist, and a Velcro band on the chest that can hold your rod in place as you change your fly and ample room in the back pockets for rain gear.

    The padded shoulders and neck make this vest so comfortable and the built-in mesh and padded collar is the reason this vest is durable and water-resistant.

    Crafted using lightweight material that dries quickly, it’s perfectly balanced so it doesn’t ride up or down in the back or the front and doesn’t dig in or rub around your neck as other cheaper vests can.

    One interesting thing about this vest is that even when you think you have seen it all, you keep discovering more pockets.

    Pros

    • Durable and comfortably
    • Water-resistant pockets
    • Ample storage with 24 total pockets
    • Well-organized design means everything is at arm’s reach
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • You are tempted to fill all of your pockets even if you don’t need them.
    • The Velcro on the inner pockets can wear out after a long period of use

    10. Fishpond Upstream Tech Women Vest

    Fishpond Upstream Tech Women Vest

    Built from ECONYL regenerated nylon fiber, Fishpond Upstream Tech Women’s is a fly fishing vest made especially for women.

    The women’s specific fit rides higher and has the option to be cinched down to ensure a more versatile fit.

    Designed with Comfort and durability in mind, it features padded, adjustable shoulder straps and lightweight mesh nylon on the back for increased breathability. 

    It also comes with an integrated net slot in the back, 14 interior and exterior pockets, various Hypalon tool attachment points for accessories, and a velcro fly patch to store your wet flies to dry.

    Pros

    • Lightweight and durable
    • Comfortable
    • Multiple pockets
    • Attachment points and velcro fly patch included

    Cons

    • The straps might not be cinched enough for small anglers

    Factors To Consider When Buying A Fly Fishing Vest

    Materials

    The kind of material used can affect the durability, comfortability, and even how weatherproof a vest is. 

    While most fishing vests are made from fabrics, others are a blend of fabric and mesh. Cotton is not a good material choice for a fishing vest, as it tends to hold water and as a result gets heavy quickly.

    Nylon is the most common fabric used for a fishing vest which can be made up of different weights of nylon thread. The denier rating indicated with a number and letter, such as 300D shows the measurement of an individual thread’s thickness. 

    When the denier is high, it results in a more canvas-like fabric but if the denier is low, you will have an almost silk-like fabric.

    Do well to invest in a vest made with nylon and polyester or a blend. But for a better result and if budget permits, go for a DWR—durable water repellent—coating or a proper waterproof garment.

    Comfort

    When choosing a fishing vest, another factor to consider is fit, especially if you intend to wear your jacket for a long time out on the water.

    A loose-fitting vest may feel comfortable when empty, but if loaded with gear, it can pull on your shoulders and back in all the wrong ways. Ensure you look out for a vest with adjustable straps and buckles that fits snugly without being restrictive.

    Also, bulkier, thicker vests can easily heat you on hot summer days. Likewise, during the fall, spring and winter, you may want to look for a more substantial vest that provides a bit more coverage. 

    So before you make a purchase, always try a few on to get an idea of what feels best.

    Durability

    As an angler, you’ll need a vest and gear that is durable enough to withstand the rigors of the outdoors.

    Fishing vests throughout their lifetime are at the mercy of the element and so you need to buy tough, well-made, and durable options that have been manufactured with premium materials and craftsmanship.

    it is also important you check the zippers and fastenings and ensure that you go through the product review to make sure they won’t disappoint you by falling apart after being out once on a saltwater excursion.

    Breathability and Ventilation

    You’re likely to build up a sweat if you’re moving, working, or standing all day in a fishing vest, especially during warmer days. 

    Also, most garments just happen to run warm anyway. In such cases, it is necessary to ensure that the vest you’re interested in has enough proper ventilation either on the sides, back, or even on the front of the vest for better breathability. 

    Having a sticky, uncomfortable, sweaty chest or back can ruin your day.

    Size

    The majority of fishing vests offer adjustable straps and buckles to suit the wearer. So it’s usually one-size-fits-all.

    You can go for options that can be used by both men and women(unisex) or you can pick up something that fits your frame the best from the options that come in a choice of sizes.

    To know if a product runs small or large, you can adjust accordingly, especially when in doubt or shopping online, check reviews and look for comments from people who share a similar build to you.

    Pockets and Compartments

    A good fishing vest must feature multiple pockets and storage compartments for your gear.  So if you intend to carry more stuff, then you must go for a vest with more pockets. 

    Also, an ultra-lightweight version with a smaller profile is preferable if you don’t need upwards of 18 zippered compartments.

    Water/Weather Resistance

    The ability of a vest to repel water is as important as its overall durability. Unless you’re paying a good amount of money, most clothing isn’t ever going to be 100% waterproof. 

    They’re only going to offer you water-repellent as standard but if you’re hit with a rogue wave or in the case of a downpour, it will still soak through.

    It’s a great idea to invest in a decent dry bag if you’re concerned about valuables getting wet.

    Style and color

    Many anglers will not bother over this, as long as the garment is practical. But for the rest of us that love going for something attractive, it is a factor to be considered.

    However, bear in mind that brighter fishing vests offer an extra safety aesthetic when it comes to visibility – particularly on those darker days or in poor weather.

    Additional Features

    Are you a professional angler? Higher-end vests from fishing-specific brands such as Orvis, FishPond, Simms, and others have dedicated storage and attachment points for almost any gear you need for a day on the water. 

    Buy for cheaper options, you might need to check if the vest has retractors and enough D-loops or attachment points for all of your tools.

    Cost

    It will cost you to get something that’s going to last you a long time. 

    Have in mind that these expensive fishing vests are made of much higher quality materials that could even be water-resistant or waterproof, better designed, more comfortable, more functional, and multiple pockets that also size better.

    They’re more durable and are also backed by a better warranty and better customer service, unlike the cheaper ones. However, you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a good, serviceable fishing vest.

    So long as it meets your needs and works for you, always buy the best you can afford.

    The Benefits Of A Good Fishing Vest

    Why Need A Fishing Vest When I Have A Tackle Box?

    The obvious advantage of a fishing vest is convenience. For anglers, having all your frequently used river fishing terminal tackle organized and within reach when you need it most is essential. 

    This reduces the stress of returning to tackle boxes, and it doesn’t take time away from fishing itself.

    • A fishing vest allows you to easily pack and organize all your gear and keep it with you at all times unlike having your gear in a tackle box that is left at the river bank where it could get stolen or you could forget about it
    • A fishing vest offers multiple pockets and storage compartments for lure containers, bait containers, fly boxes, weight, lines, leaders, hook containers, and even stuff like your drink bottle and lunch.
    • Most fishing vests come with rod holders to hold your rod when releasing a fish, you need to use two hands to tie knots or change baits or when taking pictures. You can as well hang your net off the back of many fishing vests.
    • Aside from having your gear handy, a fishing vest includes safety features like whistles or reflectors that can help you be heard or seen during emergencies or while walking at night. It also helps keep you warm during the winter or spring days. You can as well wear your fashion-conscious, versatile fishing vests for multiple activities, such as hiking, traveling, camping, or in the bar.
    • Finally, a good fly vest can make a difference to your whole angling experience. However, a fishing vest can’t save your life rather a PFD can as well double as a fishing vest.

    Fly-Fishing Vest Vs Pack

    The answer depends on what and how you want to go about your fishing activity. If you intend to carry much gear that will offer you a wider range of options when you’re on the water, you can as well get both, and spread your gear between a vest (the things you frequently used and need) and a pack.

    If you as a river angler think that a fly-fishing vest is not right for you, then a fishing pack is another alternative option and this fishing pack come as a waist pack (frees up your shoulders but can get wet if you wade too deep in the water), a sling pack (allows for more fluidity in movement, but it can make your shoulder sore), or a chest pack. Simply find what works best for you and go for it.

    In the exciting world of fishing vests, there are various types and while some are stylish, others are practical or even offer both. Mostly, is all about comfort since most sling packs, vests and hip packs greatly made are greatly made these days.

    As always, the best practice is to try them on before purchasing it if you’re permitted to. You can as well load them up with some items, this way, you’ll be able to get a feel of what it will be like to wear one all day on the water.

    Make your day on water memorable with the above-mentioned fishing vest and you won’t regret you did.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Aside from your rod and reel, a good fishing vest should be able to hold your weights, hooks, leaders and lines, lunch gloves, release tools, bait, flies, and a bottle of water.

     

    Most fishing vests are one-size-fits-most, with adjustable straps and buckles to ensure a comfortable wearing experience and fit just about any body type.

     

    However, some of the more traditional vests don't always fit and need to be sized appropriately. If that’s the case, use the manufacturer’s sizing guide to buy the appropriate size vest for you.

     

    In addition, we recommend you go up a size from what you normally would wear – so you can layer clothing underneath and have freedom of movement.

    Fishing vests tend to be shorter than a jacket because anglers wear them over their regular clothes.

     

    A shorter fishing vest can come in handy when wading deep since even the lower parts of it won’t get wet.

    For easy access, the fishing vest should always go on the outside of your clothes, outside of your jacket, and often even outside of your rain gear.

     

    That is up to you to decide and depends on what you need.

     

    While some fishing vests are made with a blend of mesh material and nylon that increases breathability on hot summer days, others have a slim outline and are great if you're few gear.

     

    Also, for fly anglers who love to carry many fly boxes for every possible fishing situation they may encounter, some vests give you the utmost flexibility in terms of bringing as much gear as you want.

     

    If you are one of them, you should look for a fly vest with zippered pockets and pockets with Velcro flaps that hold well and ensure that your gear stays put.

     

    These pockets will allow you to bend over to release your fish and nothing will fall out. In addition, go for a versatile and multi-use fishing vest if you'll love your vest when you’re not fishing – or for other activities, too

     

    Lastly, while some fly-fishing vests are rather short so you can wade deep when wearing them over your waders, others come with several neat little features such as rod holders, D-Rings, retractors, and much more.

     

    However, the best fishing vest is the one that best suits your needs.

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