Fly Fishing Gear

10 Best Fly Fishing Vests

The best fly fishing vest comes down the particular use that it needs to fill. The most important uses are tackle storage, carrying tools, and being a personal floatation device in rough waters.

In this guide, we walk through the 10 best fly fishing vests for each one of these uses.

Selecting The Best Fly Fishing Vest

best fly fishing sling pack

When selecting the vest, my goal is to take the conditions of the water and how much gear I need to carry with me into consideration.

For an entire day of fly fishing, a larger vest with more pockets to carry more gear with you to prevent having to come out of the water often.

For a quick fly fishing trip, a lightweight fly fishing vest will help you bring the essentials while keeping your upper body lightweight enough to remain agile to cover more of the water.

If the waters are very rough and/or deep, I like to make sure the vest also acts as a personal floatation device. Some of the best fly fishing life vests are the automatic inflation fly fishing vests, as they are less bulky and lightweight.

Below is a summary of the fly fishing vest options, then I dive into each of these options a little bit more.

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10 Best Fly Fishing Vest Reviews

Overall Best Fly Fishing Vest

Best PFD Fly Fishing Life Jacket Vest

Best Hydration Bladder Fly Fishing Vest

Best Ultralight Lightweight Fly Fishing Vest

Most Durable Fly Fishing Vest

Best Fly Fishing Vest for Minimalists

Best Saddle Fly Fishing Vest

Best Tactical Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

Best Cheap Fly Fishing Vest

Best Youth Fly Fishing Vests for Children

Best Fly Fishing Vest Reviews

The Anglatech fly fishing vest is one of the top options on the market today and it why we have considered it the best overall fly fishing vest. The vest is made from high-quality materials but features a breathable component that enables the user to use it for prolonged periods. It features ample storage room for all your fly-fishing gear.

It might not be a one size fits all design, but the vest can be modified to make it more comfortable and to adjust the fit for anyone looking for something more comfortable. Additionally, the unit includes a rod holder for your fishing rod. One of the best features is the waterproof component that will ensure you remain dry.


  • Lightweight materials
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable mesh overlay
  • Adjustable fit
  • Plenty of storage


  • Small fishing box

If you are looking for the best PFD fly fishing life jacket vest, the NRS chinook fishing PFD is one of the top options to go for. The unit features 7 pockets in the front that will hold all your personal belongings and numerous attachment points that will hold all your rods and other larger pieces of gear you might need.

At the back of the vest, there is a mesh insert and the mesh will ensure that the vest remains breathable and reduces the overall weight from sweat and water. Much like the others, it is made from durable materials and includes a safety aid. This can also be used as a personal tool kit in easy reach for the user to enjoy.


  • Durable design
  • Ventilated mesh
  • Features 7 pockets
  • Reliable brand


  • No nighttime reflectivity

The Anglatech fly fishing backpack vest with a water bladder is one of the larger fishing vests from the Anglatech brand. However, it includes a bladder, which makes it our pick for the best hydration bladder fly fishing vest. The unit includes multiple storage pockets at the front of the vest that will ensure you keep all your belongings safe.

Additionally, it features a state-of-the-art construction design that will insight durability and make sure that you remain waterproof. The mesh insert will evaporate any moisture to ensure the vest remains lightweight and dry. However, the 2-liter bladder is one of the main features to ensure that you constantly remain hydrated.


  • 2-liter bladder
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Durable design
  • Lightweight


  • Price

Orvis is one of the leading brands when it comes to outdoor equipment and the Orvis Ultralight Vest is the Best Ultralight Lightweight Fly Fishing Vest. The vest is constructed from threaded DWR and it is one of the lightest on the market today. However, it still features numerous pockets that can be used at the front of the vest.

In total, the vest has 11 different pockets, with all of them being spaced out around the vest to ensure that it remains durable and functional. There are 6 external pockets and with the materials, they remain waterproof. For all your personal belongings, you should consider looking at one of the internal pockets for more protection.


  • Reliable brand
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight
  • Features 11 pockets


  • Lacks ventilation

The fishpond gore range tech pack vest is one of the top options when you are looking for durability. Yes, it might be slightly heavier than many of the competitors but features a thick design that will also keep you warm. Aside from being the most durable fly fishing vest, it has decent ventilation to allow air to pass through.

However, one of the main features is the different pockets. There are 17 different pockets located around the vest that will ensure it remains durable and keep your personal belonging safe. The latches will hold your rods and many of your personal fishing equipment. However, it is one of the heavier vests available.


  • Durable design
  • Keeps you warm
  • Ventilated back
  • Includes 17 different pockets


  • Heavy

Allen is another one of the top brands on the market today. However, the Allen bear creek micro fishing chest vest is the best fly fishing vest for minimalists. It is made from durable polyester materials, but unlike other vests, it does not cover the entirety of your body. The vest is fully padded to ensure you have comfort.

Due to the unique design, it does not fully cover your body and will slide over your shoulders. This means that there is ample ventilation to ensure that you remain dry and reduce the risk of sweat. Since it is almost like a backpack, there is ample storage on the inside with compartments and zippered pockets.


  • Durable polyester
  • Minimalist design
  • Breathable and ventilated
  • Internal storage compartments


  • Does not cover the entire body

Much like the previous option, the Allen Gallatin ultra-light fishing vest is one of the options one will use when traveling as a minimalist. It does not have the traditional vest design and we have considered it the best saddle fly fishing vest. The unit features comfortable storage positions around your shoulders and will be breathable when used.

The one-size-fits-all mantra applies to the vest and it will comfortably slide around your body while ensuring that you remain in a position to access everything. There are two pockets located on either side of the font and these have zippered protection. The pockets are sure to keep all your personal belongings safe.


  • Breathable
  • Saddle design
  • One size fits all
  • Easy access to pockets


  • Not fully enclosed

Many people might be wondering why you need the best tactical mesh fly fishing Vest. However, versatility is one of the most important aspects when buying outdoor gear. The Tongcamo outdoor fly fishing vest is made from cotton and polyester and while it does not wick away moisture, it can resist it as far as possible. 

The vest features 16 different storage pockets for all your personal needs and all of these pockets will keep you and your gear safe. The internal pockets are waterproof. However, cotton is known for absorbing water. The mesh should try to mitigate the effect of water being absorbed by the vest as much as possible.


  • Durable construction
  • Sleek design
  • Includes 16 different pockets
  • Water-resistant


  • Cotton still absorbs moisture

Once again, we have a vest that is designed for the summer months and the Gihuo outdoor fly fishing vest is dedicated to those looking to save a few bucks on their gear. It is the best cheap fly fishing vest and includes a durable polyester overlay that will support the cotton. Having mesh on the sides and back could wick away sweat.

It might not have a ton of different pockets, but the main pockets are water-resistant and the heavy zippers will keep all your gear secure. One of the reasons for including the vest is the color combinations. The vest is not only made for fly fishing but can also be used for many of your outdoor adventures that include hiking and safari events.


  • Versatile vest
  • Affordable
  • Safari colors
  • Tactical design
  • Multiple meshes for ventilation


  • Lacks durability

If you like spending time outdoors, it is only a matter of time before your kids will also want to join in the fun. The Foxfire for kids junior fly fishing vest is one of the best youth fly fishing vests for children and it features a durable design and numerous colors to choose from. The vest is lightweight and available in many colors.

There are 7 pockets that one can use for storing some of your personal belongings and equipment. The D-rings are useful to ensure that the user can also add some of the gear and other things like rods for transportation. If you are afraid of heatstroke, the mesh ventilation will ensure that heat evaporates and moisture is wicked away.


  • Numerous colors available
  • Lightweight
  • Mesh design
  • Great fit for kids


  • White is not an ideal outdoor color

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