The TOP 11 Best Fishing Backpacks Reviewed 2020 (A buyer’s guide)


Fishing is one of those sports/pastimes/hobbies that can require a lot of stuff – especially for diehards.

Tackle, bait, fishing rods, pocket knife, insect repellent, rain jacket, sunscreen, change of clothes…the list can be seemingly endless of practical and useful gear you might need to take with you on your trip.

Not to mention a packed lunch and a cold beer or three.

So, you need something decent to store and transport it all and that’s where the best fishing backpacks of 2020 come in.

Read on to discover the right gear to help you have the best day at the water possible. A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

The 11 Best Fishing Backpacks of 2020

Plano A-Series Premium Tackle Bag

As far as fishing tackle boxes go, Plano needs little introduction when it comes to premium quality products. They have been innovating your fishing gear since 1952, after all.

This bag is a super-stylish inclusion to their impressive range, with a smart, vintage look and feel.

It includes five utility boxes, and features three outer adjustable snap closure pockets and dual side lash tab attachments allow you to easily access essentials such as your phone, keys, or sunglasses.

Padded shoulder straps and breathable back ensure comfortable use all day long, while the internal divider keeps things separate and organized in this versatile design.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Attractive design.
  • Heavy-duty hardware.
  • Tough and durable construction.
  • Choice of bags in the full range.

Cons

  • None apparent.

Takeaway

Designers of the best-selling tackle boxes in the world, Plano have reinvented the wheel with their innovation down the years, and this fishing backpack is part of that legacy. And it’s simply gorgeous to look at.

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

You have to go a long way to find a more popular fishing tackle backpack than this effort by Piscifun – easily the most highly rated of the products in this review.

That’s probably because it’s a giant, extra-large bag that’s packed with useful features and smacks of quality throughout.

Made with premium materials, it’s superior water-resistant 1200D high-density nylon fabric, paired with durable KAM buckle and SBS zippers ensures it will take a beating and is built to last.

It comes with four tackle trays, and that handy hard-case sunglasses holder on the top.

Pros

  • Ergonomic padded back design.
  • Movable internal clapboard.
  • Protective rain cover.
  • Rubber feet.
  • Reflective safety strip.

Cons

  • No rod holders.
  • Fixed compartment dividers.

Takeaway

There’re more compartments here than you can shake a fishing rod at, and given what you get here for the price, this could well be the best fishing tackle backpack on the market.

FishPond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

I’ve included this bag for obvious reasons, although it’s not strictly marketed as a fishing backpack and it might well lack some of the more obvious features that sets such tackle storage and transport options apart.

But the fact that this thing can be fully submerged in water and not get the contents wet, warrants its inclusion here.

Made from 1680D TPU coated recycled nylon, if you anticipate a soaking on your fishing trip and you don’t want your stuff to follow suit – then this is the bag for you.

And it still has plenty of extra options for attaching or storing gear – including fishing pole Velcro straps on the sides.

Pros

  • Marketed as “bombproof.”
  • Foam molded back panel, shoulder, and hip straps.
  • Fully waterproof zipper enclosures.
  • D-rings and accessory attachments.
  • Highly versatile for all water sports.

Cons

  • Very expensive.
  • Not many organization pockets or compartments.
  • Might be on the small side for lots of tackle.

Takeaway

A top-quality submersible backpack made with premium materials – there’s a reason that it’s at this price point. And the fact that you can use it for just about anything on the water makes it a real winner, and easily the best waterproof fishing backpack out there.

Blisswill Fishing Tackle Backpack

This fishing backpack from Blisswill takes its cue from more expensive brands and creates an affordable, sling-style shoulder pack that’s as practical as it is compact.

Designed to be carried in a variety of ways, with three adjustable and detachable straps, it can be off the shoulder, as a back or front pack or in your hands for quick access.

Made from a durable 1000 Denier water-resistant nylon, it has multiple storage compartments and exterior pockets, including the option to secure a fishing pole for ease of transport. The choice of colors/camo is a nice touch, too.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Breathable materials.
  • Reinforced buckles.
  • Full-length zippers.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • It’s on the small side.
  • Straps are very narrow.

Takeaway

A great budget-friendly fishing bag that can be carried multiple ways for a practical day at the water.

Just so long as you don’t need to carry the kitchen sink – this is perfect for lightweight use.

Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack

This fishing backpack from one of the leading fishing line brands is made from 100% polyester, with their distinctive Spiderwire embossed emblem.

With an advanced organizer compartment, it keeps all your tackle and gear right where you need it, and three medium utility boxes are included to get you started.

The main section is adjustable and divided into three, with the top designed for your personal items, the middle section is a cooler and keeps food, drinks and baits cold, and the lower section holds tackle boxes.

And the fishing rod carrying system lets you add two poles with ease.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Name to trust.
  • Durable and well-made.
  • Foam-molded sunglasses pouch.

Cons

  • Pliers pouch isn’t the best.
  • Aesthetics might put some people off.

Takeaway

If you can get past the school-bag aesthetic, this is an affordable and highly rated option, making it one of the best backpacks for fishing for the price.

Aventik Fishing Chest Pack Bag

Next up we have something that isn’t your stereotypical backpack, but more a combination front and back storage/transport option.

Ideal for fly-fishing or other angling scenarios where you’re on the go, this fishing vest from Aventik is designed to keep you mobile, while still having access to your most important gear.

Both packs can be detached and worn independently, with the back providing three large cargo pockets, and an expandable main compartment.

The front pack offers zippered compartments, and it can be used as a zip-down work station with fly patch. There’s a lot to like here.

Pros

  • Highly compact and portable.
  • Breathable mesh back.
  • Adjustable straps.
  • Lightweight, weatherproof construction.

Cons

  • Not suitable to carry much extra gear.
  • Really only designed for fly-fishing.

Takeaway

Easily one of the best fly-fishing backpacks on the market, this keeps you mobile, offering nonrestrictive freedom of movement, and a place to keep your essential gear within easy reach.

Check out this review if you’re looking for more excellent fishing vests.

KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack

Based out of New York, KastKing have been offering popular and affordable fishing tackle and gear to a global market since 2013.

This is one of their rod and tool storage bags, made from a tough and durable 420 Denier rip-stop nylon that is water repellent, with a protective coating on the outside and PVC inside.

The bag can take up to four utility boxes, with the main compartment reserved for your extra kit, or you can remove the false bottom for one large main section. And with a padded back and shoulder straps, it’s super comfortable to wear to and from your favorite fishing spots.

Pros

  • Reinforced carry handle.
  • Fleece-lined sunglasses compartment.
  • Rod tie-down bungee.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Super easy to open and close.

Cons

  • Storage boxes sold separately.
  • External pockets on the small side.

Takeaway

A decent fishing backpack option from the New York based angling company. It just might be a little too compact for anyone wanting to pack more gear.

Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack

Bassdash is a relatively new fishing company operating under the ethos of finding time for this great sport in an otherwise crazy, hectic world – as their name would clearly suggest.

This is a well-made, tough, and durable backpack, produced from 600 Denier polyester, with a water-resistant finish.

It also comes with a handy protective rain cover in case of downpours, and the adjustable main compartment is generous and offers the ability to be divided into two smaller sections.

Large front and side external pockets can also accommodate a variety of tackle boxes and accessories, and daisy-chain webbing provides extra storage options if required.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Molded sunglasses holder.
  • Rod-holder pockets with Velcro.
  • Hard impact, water-resistant base.
  • Whistle safety-buckle.
  • Available with or without tackle boxes included.

Cons

  • Might still be on the small side for some.

Takeaway

Another stylish and practical fishing backpack that is versatile to be used for many outdoor activities. Just as good for camping as it is for throwing a rod in the creek.

Shimano Blackmoon Fishing Backpack

The Japanese company might be more familiar for its cycling components, but they’re also famous in the fishing world for their angling products, too.

This is a sharp, stylish backpack that’s designed to be compact and yet functional, with a durable, textured fabric construction, and full zipper closure.

And speaking of zippers, the front is of a two-way opening design for easy access, and the hardware is all custom Shimano zipper pulls – so you know they’re going to be top drawer.

Made with heavy-duty materials, this bag has quality stamped all over it.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Durable construction built to last.
  • Thick padded shoulder straps.
  • Two Plano boxes included.

Cons

  • Rainfall cover only with the medium-sized version.
  • Compact might be too small for some.
  • It’s on the heavy side.

Takeaway

Quality this good doesn’t come cheap (or light, it seems). Still, this is a rugged fishing backpack that will take a beating – and it looks pretty badass to boot. If Samurai warriors used fishing backpacks – this would be it.

Calissa Offshore Tackle Rolling Backpack

We’re getting serious now with this huge ‘Recon’ fishing backpack from Calissa Offshore Tackle. So big that it even comes with its own luggage-style telescopic handle and a set of wheels.

Designed to help you pack everything you need and find it easily once you’re out by the water, this is an all-purpose organizer that is built to last.

Made from lightweight, breathable polyester, it comes with its own rain cover for extra protection from the elements, and a whole host of pockets and compartments to fit just about all your gear.

A foldable flap keeps water off the main zipper, and it fits five 3650 containers which are also included.

Pros

  • Large rod holders.
  • Loads of room.
  • Well organized.
  • Extra padded back straps.

Cons

  • Can tip over.
  • Not strictly a fishing backpack.
  • Zippers not the best.

Takeaway

It’s a nice idea having wheels and a telescopic handle for your fishing tackle bag, and when the ground gets rough you can hoist it onto your back to keep on moving.

But is it more of a gimmick and just not as durable as other bags in this review? Judge for yourself.

Wild River Nomad Tackle Backpack

If you were to imagine the Swiss Army knife of fishing backpacks, then the Wild River Nomad might well be it.

It comes with a quite frankly astonishing amount of useful pockets, compartments, storage options, and gadgets, and there’s even scope to add more.

There’s a three-level LED light system so you can see everywhere in the bag from dawn until dusk, while the main compartment can handle up to four 3600 tackle boxes.

And aside from all the usual refinements, this bag comes with an 5000mAh rechargeable USB power supply, so you can keep your devices charged up and let your loved ones know why you’re not home for supper.

This is for any fisher-person who loves being out all day.

Pros

  • Tough, durable construction.
  • Removable pliers holder.
  • External and internal mesh pockets.
  • Rubberized feet.

Cons

  • Extra gadgets and gizmos won’t be for everyone.

Takeaway

This thing might just be able to catch fish for you, and there’s even the option of adding a solar charging panel. Probably one of the most useful fishing backpacks on the market.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Backpack for You

There are several factors you should keep in mind when you’re in the market for a new fishing backpack, and I’ll explore these in detail below.

Here’s what you should be looking out for.

spinning fishing equipment with backpack and caught Pike

Size and Weight

Your first decision when it comes to looking for the best tackle backpack is the size you need it to be.

So, you should really be considering what you’re using the pack for. Are you throwing a rod in at the end of a pier? Is it an afternoon of fly-fishing? Are you planning on a full day – or possibly an overnight fishing experience?

Perhaps you want something versatile enough to cover multiple fishing excursions, or even be used for other activities – such as hiking or camping?

The weight will also be a factor, as obviously larger packs will be heavier without even adding any extra gear and equipment.

That said, there are smaller, heavy-duty fishing backpacks that weigh a fair bit from the get-go, due to their durable construction.

Whatever you choose, try to suit it to your chosen activity or style of fishing – so you’ve got just the right amount of bag to carry your kit.

Pockets and Compartments

Perhaps the most obvious factor that sets fishing backpacks apart from ordinary backpacks – is the amount of pockets and compartments that are available.

However, this isn’t always the case, as there are plenty of storage options available in tactical bags, laptop backpack, and other carry-on luggage.

The main difference with a fishing backpack, is that it will have one main compartment that’s easy to access, specifically designed to carry tackle boxes.

Aside from this, look out for fishing backpacks with storage options for extra gear, such as a durable sunglasses pouch, or cooler compartments for food and drink.

Materials

I like my stuff built to last – and if it’s not rugged enough for me right out of the box, someone’s going to hear about it. (Usually, that’s my long-suffering wife.)

And when it comes to fishing backpacks, you need something that’s going to be put through its paces and come out the other side intact.

So, when checking out what the product is made from, look for materials that are made with a high Denier number. The higher this is, the tighter the weave, and the more durable the bag will be.

Fishing bags are usually made out of nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two. PVC might be used as an inner lining, and often some kind of coating is used to improve weatherproofing.

Aside from the main body of the bag, don’t overlook the hardware, such as buckles, zippers, and clips.

I can guarantee that one of the most common complaints a product receives is when these break – so make sure you’re getting something that isn’t likely to. At least not until after several years of use.

fishing rod and yellow tackle box on table

Weather/Waterproofing

And since we’re just speaking about weatherproof coatings, it’s worth mentioning properly here.

Remember that even the very best tackle backpacks won’t be 100% waterproof. It’s very rare that any textile, garment, or bag actually is – they will all let water in eventually.

Even submersible fishing backpacks and dry bags designed to keep your stuff from getting a soaking can be compromised given the right circumstances.

This is a friendly reminder so you don’t write a negative review for a product that says it’s water-resistant, and then the contents get wet when you have it out in a monsoon.

Look for fishing backpacks with an additional rain cover built in if you’re concerned about your gear getting wet.

Shoulder Straps/Padding

Backpacks of any kind are only as good as their straps, and this is especially true of fishing bags that are designed to carry all kinds of gear.

You don’t want it giving out on you when hiking to your favorite fishing spot.

Look for bags with reinforced straps and handles, and the more padding – the more comfortable it’s going to be on your shoulders.

And backpacks with vented, breathable backs are essential for minimizing sweat and moisture build up when worn – particularly if you’re out on warmer days or traveling some distance.

Color/Design

Having something that looks as good as it performs doesn’t have to be reserved for fashion. Fishing backpacks can look super-sharp, too.

In the review above, you’ll find plenty of options that cater for a variety of tastes when it comes to backpack color and style.

Decide if you want something that’s designed to be seen, or something a little more muted with camouflage or woodland/outdoor colors.

Extra Features

Aside from the essentials listed above, fishing backpacks can come with a variety of extras to make the life of a fisherperson that much easier.

  • Rod holder systems might be the most obvious inclusion, using straps, webbing, or Velcro so you can carry one or two poles on your back.
  • Look out for extra webbing/bungees for storing things like these awesome fishing pliers.
  • Cooler compartments for food and drink have already been mentioned, but they are classed as an extra feature and not every fishing backpack will have one.
  • Safety whistles on the straps are a nice touch – just in case you ever get into difficulty on the water. Reflective strips or flashes also boost the safety factor.
  • Many bags will have external storage/accessory options, such as D-rings or daisy-chain links.
  • And if you want a USB charger – that’s even possible, too.
  • Finally, do they come with tackle boxes or not? Check to see if a good-quality box is supplied. If you have them already – make sure that a particular bag is going to accommodate them.

Top Tip – remember to double-check this before ordering, as it’s easy to select a product that either does or doesn’t supply tackle boxes, and you might end up purchasing the wrong one for your needs.

Cost

Feel free to spend as much or as little as you like on a top-quality fishing backpack, as even the more expensive models are still reasonably priced for what you get.

It’s only when you start looking into the submersible products that prices can skyrocket.

Always buy the best you can afford and you won’t go far wrong.

fishing backpack and rod close-up on the riverbank

FAQs

Do I need a fishing backpack?

It depends on if you think it will benefit your fishing game or not. If you’re currently attempting to lug all your tackle several miles in a plastic bag – perhaps it would be a good investment for you?

Fishing bags are also available in other designs, such as trolleys, shoulder and duffel bags, and other styles to suit individual needs.

But fishing backpacks have been created to maximize storage space and portability – so you can be sure to get your equipment and gear to where you need it with minimum fuss.

Who should buy a fishing backpack?

First, anyone who doesn’t already have a decent hold-all for their fishing gear should seriously consider a fishing backpack. Or, they make a great gift for the angler in your life who doesn’t have one.

But in general, anyone who walks or hikes to their favorite or new fishing spots could do with one of these great products. Also, if you’re planning on being out there for a long time, a fishing backpack is ideal for storing all your supplies.

Alternatively, if you’re a fisher-person who also enjoys camping, a multi-purpose fishing backpack might be a fantastic idea for use during both activities.

Which fishing backpack type should I get?

That’s up to you and your needs. Check back through the buyer’s guide above for some top tips on how to choose the right model for you.

Just keep in mind the type of fishing you enjoy – and where you do it. Suit the backpack to that and you won’t go far wrong.

What to put in a fishing backpack?

The answer to this great question could use a whole article to itself (one for the future maybe), but for now, check out the video below for some excellent suggestions on what to put in your fishing backpack.

Just don’t forget a pair of these awesome fishing gloves while you’re at it.

What is the best fishing backpack?

Well, that’s difficult to say and it would depend on what you need to use it for, how much you’re carrying, and other factors.

And it’s a subjective answer, as everyone has their own opinions, and one fisher person’s dream backpack might be another fisher person’s nightmare.

That said, I gotta say I love the Plano A-Series for its style, functionality, and premium-quality manufacture. But it’s also hard to see past the Piscifun for the sheer number of quality reviews around the web.

Let me know which one you think is the best in the comments.

What is the best tackle box?

That’s another tough question as you have a great selection out there from some top brands. However, I think that Plano is hard to beat. They did revolutionize the product after all.

Still, the best tackle box will be the one that works for you and your needs. It might not even be a branded product – and something you’ve fashioned for yourself at home.

Whatever floats your boat, man.

What makes a fishing backpack better than a regular one?

It’s perfectly accessible to use regular backpacks to carry your fishing gear – but they’re just not going to have dedicated pockets, compartments and storage options for your tackle.

Specially designed tackle box compartments, tool-holders, rod-carrying systems, bait pockets, and more ensure that the best fishing backpacks on the market really are worth it for keen anglers everywhere.

Can I only use my fishing backpack for fishing?

Not at all! Feel free to use it however you like.

In fact, the very best backpacks for fishing will be adaptable and versatile to use during other activities.

There’s no reason a fishing backpack won’t make an excellent storage and carrying option for your camping equipment and supplies.

And the more compact products would make a great day-pack for touring cities, hiking, climbing, or even biking.

Summary

The best fishing backpacks in 2020 will offer anglers all kinds of benefits when it comes to sorting and transporting their gear, tackle, and extra equipment.

Let me know which one you’ve gone for and why. As we speak, after writing this review I’m very close to adding a new one to cart myself…

Happy fishing!

Bob out.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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