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10 Best Fishing Vests Reviewed w. Buying Guide

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Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest Adjustable for Men and Women

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Adjustable waist and shoulder straps
  • Lightweight, breathable, quick-drying material
  • 18 total pockets
  • Reflectors on front and back

Cons:    

  • Material gets caught on things frequently
  • Zippers can get stuck 

 From Bassdash comes their Strap Fishing Vest. This vest is made for both men and women.

It’s adjustable waist and shoulder straps allow for a custom fit, no matter the person. This vest is made of breathable and lightweight material to keep you cool while you’re on the water all day.

This material also dried quickly in the event you get wet. The shoulder straps are also mesh, providing even more air flow and breathability. 

There are 18 total pockets in this vest. 14 pockets are zippered with smooth conceal zippers so as not to add unnecessary bulk.

Each pocket is designed to have its own function; from thermometers to fly boxes, everything has its place in this vest. The added D-ring on the back of this vest attaches securely to a variety of gear that you may want to carry hands free.

Wide reflectors on both the front and back keep you safe while fishing at night as well. This vest also comes in many attractive and natural color options.

Flygo Mens Summer Outdoor Work Safari Fishing Vest

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and breathable fabric and mesh combination
  • 16 pockets of various sizes
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes

Cons:

  • Material is too light—not sturdy enough
  • Not adjustable

The Flyo Mens Summer Outdoor Fishing Vest is the number one best seller for Men’s Fishing Vests on Amazon.

This vest is made from a super lightweight fabric blend that is specially designed to be both breathable and durable.

The mesh on this vest provides the perfect amount of air flow and ventilation to keep you cool on a hot summer’s day. The think, linen-style fabric dries quickly when wet to ensure you remain cool and dry all day. 

This vest is incorporated with 16 pockets of varying sizes. There is a combination or open pockets, Velcro pockets, and zippered pockets to fit all of your storage needs.

This keeps your hands free so that you can focus on fishing. While most of the pockets reside on the front of the vest, there is one, large zippered pocket on the back of the vest that is almost as large as the entire vest.

This vest comes in x-small to xxx-large to fit a wide variety of people.

Mounteen Fly Fishing Vest Pack

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Adjustable for all shapes and sizes 
  • 15 pockets of varying shapes and sizes
  • Storage is spread out around vest
  • Included fishing rod holder

Cons:

  • Thinner shoulder straps
  • Slightly bulkier than other vests

The Mounteen Fly Fishing Vest is highly rated among its customers. It is made of a combination of high-quality mesh fabric and breathable polyester.

These fabrics combine to give you a light fishing vest that absorbs sweat and provides proper air circulation. It’s fifteen pockets in total give you an assortment of different size and shape pockets to store your gear and accessories in.

Pockets are located on the front, back, sides, and inside of this vest to evenly distribute your storage and give you the largest pockets possible. As an added bonus, there is also a fishing rod holder included.

This Mounteen Fly Fishing Vest is easy to adjust. It has shoulder and waist straps that allow you to fine-tune your fit to customize it perfectly to you.

This makes the vest perfect for both men and women. This vest is also equipped with reflectors on the back and shoulders to provide some safety when worn in the dark.

Kylebooker Fly Fishing Vest Pack Adjustable for Men and Women

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • 23 ounces total
  • Combination of lightweight fabric and mesh back for breathability
  • 17 total pockets, both exterior and interior
  • Many places for rod and accessory attachments

Cons:

  • Shoulder straps can loosen with use
  • Doesn’t hold up to serious, long-term use

The Kylebooker Fly Fishing Vest is designed to be a professional fishing vest.

It is made with lightweight and breathable fabric, combined with mesh back to allow for ample air flow. In total, the entire vest weighs only 23 ounces, so it will not weigh you down on a long day of fishing.

This vest comes in one size, as it is highly adjustable in both the waist and shoulders. Straps in both places allow you to perfectly customize the fit of your vest exactly how you want it. 

This Kylebooker Vest is equipped with 17 exterior and interior pockets. These pockets come in a multitude of shapes and sizes to fit the wide range of tools and accessories that will be stored in them.

These pockets close with easy-pull zippers so that you can access your supplies at a moment’s notice.

In addition to pockets, there are also many rod holder loops, accessory loops, and D-rings to allow you to attach other equipment as necessary.

Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Expandable vest
  • Water-resistant zippers
  • Included 2-liter water bladder
  • Rip stop nylon and mesh

Cons:

  • Pricier than other options
  • Water bladder makes vest heavy to wear

The Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack Vest is made of a mix of comfortable, lightweight fabric and breathable mesh to allow air to flow freely.

This keeps you cool and dry, no matter the temperature. Adjustable straps around the waist and on the shoulders allow you to adjust this vest for the perfect fit to accommodate both men and women.

The pockets in this vest are made of rip stop nylon and finished with water-resistant zippers to keep your possessions safe and dry. 

The pockets on this vest are large and deep, perfect for toting snacks or rain gear or anything else you need.

This vest also is equipped with a zippered, expandable section that gives you more room as you need it. A useful addition to this vest is the included, 2-liter water bladder.

This bladder fits perfectly in one of the zippered pockets, and has a long straw that laces through the shoulder, allowing for hands-free drinking while fishing.

Lixada Fly Fishing Vest

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • 11 Storage pockets of different shapes and sizes
  • Rip stop polyester and mesh
  • Doubles as flotation device for people up to 209 pounds
  • Loops and accessory attachment ladders

Cons:

  • Zippers and zipper pulls are not well-made
  • Only good for people up to 209 pounds

The Lixada Fly Fishing Vest is a universal size fishing vest (for people under 209 lbs.) with adjustable straps around the sides and shoulders to help you find the perfect fit.

This vest is made with premium rip stop polyester and mesh panels to deliver high breathability and comfort.

Inside the vest is also replaceable EPE foam that makes this vest a floatation device as well. 

The pockets on this vest, eleven in total, provide a wide range of storage for your belongings.

Four large chest pockets, four zipped front pockets, two side mesh pockets, and one large back pocket all offer ample storage for anything you need to carry.

In addition to multiple pockets, there are also many loops and accessory attachment ladders to add as much equipment as you’d like to carry, hands-free. Back and shoulder reflectors are also in place in case of emergency. 

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Two drop-down fly bench pockets
  • 17 exterior and interior pockets
  • Gear attachments, cord loops, and D-rings
  • 24.5 ounces

Cons:

  • Zipper pulls break easily

The Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack holds everything you need in one, convenient, easy-to-access vest.

This vest comes equipped with 17 exterior and interior pockets to keep all your gear handy. There are also gear attachment tabs, cord loops, and D-rings to attach other equipment you may need to the vest.

Two hard pockets include, drop-down fly benches with replaceable foam inserts to protect your flies. There is also a built-in rod holder for easy rod holding and carrying. 

In total, this vest weighs only 24.5 ounces when empty. This, combined with lightweight fabric and mesh backing, make this vest sit light on your body and keep you cool all day long.

The shoulder straps on this vest are adjustable for optimum fit and weight control when the vest is fully packed. The waist strap provides an extra level of adjustability as well so that you can find the perfect fit. 

ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket, Tan

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Fishing vest and lift jacket in one
  • One button-push drop down pocket for tackle box storage
  • Back padding for protection from kayak seat
  • US Coast Guard approved

Cons:

  • Plastic zippers
  • Padding uncomfortable on seat back of kayak

The Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is a combination fishing vest and life jacket, and is made specifically for kayak fishing.

This vest is made with four different pocket designs and functions to hold everything you need close by. The one button-push drop down tray pocket is unique to this vest. This pocket opens down with the push of one button to hold a small tackle box in a convenient location.

Other pockets are designed for specific fishing equipment. Elastic loops on this vest make attaching things like compasses or sunglasses quick and simple.

As far as material goes, this Onyx fishing vest is made of lightweight material combined with mesh for perfect breathability.

Neoprene shoulder pads keep the weight from the vest from cutting into your shoulders, and adjustable straps allow you to find your perfect fit.

Because this vest is designed for kayak fishing, it has a high back that does not get in the way of the seat. Also, the back incorporates foam as well to keep your back comfortable for a long day of fishing.

This vest also serves as a flotation device in case of emergency. It provides about 15 pounds of lift pressure, and is approved by the US Coast Guard.

Allen Gallatin Ultra-Light Fishing Vest & fly fishing vest

best fishing vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • A less bulky vest with lots of storage
  • Lightweight and comfortable 
  • Zippered and mesh pockets
  • D-ring for net attachment

Cons:

  • Not waterproof or water resistant
  • No side or back storage

The last vest on our list is slightly different than all the others. The Allen Gallatin Ultra-Light Fishing Vest has all the pockets included in the front of the vest. This is because there is no “back” to the vest.

There are simply adjustment straps on the back of this vest, and no fabric at all. This vest is made of a combination of nylon and mesh to keep it light and comfortable.

It comes equipped with two front panels with both interior and exterior panels made with enough room to hold your essential fishing gear and belongings. The large, zipper pockets in the front of the vest hold large fly boxes. 

While this vest does not have a back to it, it still has some additional useful features. First, the neck strap of this vest is padded. This will keep you comfortable while hauling lots of equipment in your vest all day.

Second, there is a D-ring located on the neck strap for attaching a net. The zippers on this pack are also heavy-duty, molded zippers for durability and protection. 

Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest

Where I’ve found the best price:

  • Amazon with worldwide shipping 

Pros:

  • Water resistant
  • Adjustable
  • Drink holder
  • Special fly storage pocket

Cons:

  • Fly pocket not as pictured
  • Very large

Yet another vest from Aglatech is their Fly Fishing Vest Pack for Trout Fishing. This vest uses a combination of rip stop nylon and mesh to provide you with the air flow that you need to stay cool on a long, hot day of fishing.

While this vest is water resistant, it also dries quickly, so if you get too wet, it is only a short amount of time until you are dry again. Adjustable straps in two places give you a customized fit, no matter your size.

There are a large number of pockets on this Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest. One whole pocket is dedicated to fly storage.

While most of the pockets are located on the front and sides of this vest, there is one large storage pocket on the back, perfect for carrying rain gear.

Additional loops are placed on the vest as well for attaching equipment. There is also a drink holder located on the side of this vest so you can carry water with you to stay hydrated.

Best fishing vest w. buying guide. For me the best fishing vest doesn't have to be the most expensive. It's the one that matches YOUR needs. #fishingvest #fishingvestoutfitmen #fishinggear #fishingtool #fishingtips #fishingvestfashion #fishingvestcard #fishingvestoutfit #fishingvestpattern

Fishing Vest Buyer’s Guide (2020)

Before purchasing a fishing vest, it is first necessary to think about what qualities you would like in your vest.

While many fishing vests have similar qualities, they all have different materials, constructions, designs, etc. When it comes to these qualities, it is all about personal preference.

Do you prefer zipper pulls or no zipper pulls? Do you like all external pockets? Would you like your vest to be adjustable?

All of these questions are necessary to ask yourself before shopping for a fishing vest.

Before beginning your search, think about what qualities are important to you in a vest. Then, take a look at our buyer’s guide to get an idea of what qualities you should consider in addition to your preferences.

Making these considerations will allow you to weed through the vests you don’t like and find the perfect fit for you.

Pockets, pockets, and more pockets 

One of the most important qualities in a fishing vest is its pockets. If you see a fishing vest with two or three pockets, keep on shopping.

When shopping for a vest for fishing, you want to see almost a countless number of pockets. Within this category of pockets, you should consider a few things.

Number

As mentioned above, you should look for a large number of pockets in your fishing vest. 

There is a lot of equipment that anglers need, and keeping it close by is convenient and necessary. Having enough pockets to carry your essentials is a quality you need in a

Vest.

If you don’t have enough pockets, you will find your vest to be relatively ineffective

as you will still have to frequently enter your tackle box to find things that you need.

Size

When it comes to fishing vest pockets, size does matter. You do not want the pockets available in your vest to all be the same size. With a fishing vest, you are looking for a wide assortment of size and style pockets.

Large pockets are helpful for carrying small tackle boxes or snacks to bring with you while fishing. Some vests that are made specifically for fly fishing have a large pocket with a foam insert for carrying flies safely. 

Smaller pockets are great for holding extra line, hooks, and other small items that you need to use.

Finding a vest with an assortment of pockets allows you to organize your equipment in a successful way so that it is helpful.

How do they open/close

Another thing to consider is how the pockets on your vest open and close. Typically, the answer to this question comes down to a personal preference.

Fishing vests offer a wide variety of pocket closures. There are zippers, snaps, Velcro, elastic, and more. 

Sometimes all of these types of pocket closures can be found on the same vest. If you are looking for a vest that has some type of water resistance, then zippers will be your best bet to keep the contents of your pockets dry. If easy access means more to you, then Velcro pockets may be more of your preference.

Some anglers prefer open

pockets with a strap of elastic at the top to prevent things from falling out. If you aren’t sure what you’d like, look for a vest with a healthy mix of all different types of closures.

Where are they located

The last question to consider about pockets is their location. Once again, this mainly

comes down to preference. Fishing vests come in all shapes and sizes.

Some offer

pockets only on the front of the vest. Some offer pockets on the inside of the vest too. Some even offer pockets on the back of the vest. 

When thinking about your preference for pocket location, think about how you’d like to access the things that you are carrying. If carrying everything on the front seems easiest to you, look for a vest with only front pockets.

These vests may be a little bulkier when completely loaded with equipment, but they will have pocket placement that is

comfortable to you. If you’d like to have your pockets spread out so that your vest is not as bulky, look for a fishing vest that has pockets on the outside and inside, front, sides, and back.

Either way, you will be able to access the things that you need quickly. 

Material

Another important quality to consider in a fishing vest is the materials that it is made of.

Most fishing vests are made of a combination of materials to offer features like durability and air flow. Peruse the materials below to see what sounds like a good fit for you.

Mesh

Most fishing vests have some sort of mesh on them somewhere. Mesh is a necessary component to a fishing vest because it allows air to flow into and out of the vest almost completely freely.

Mesh is useful on a fishing vest if you plan to be fishing in warm weather. It will allow you to stay cool when the sun is beating down on you. Mesh also allows water to move through the vest freely.

This is obviously helpful if your vest gets wet at all. The mesh parts will not remain wet and will help your vest to dry more quickly. 

Rip Stop Fabric

Rip stop fabrics are woven fabrics, typically made from nylon or polyester, that are made to be especially strong. These fabrics are woven with a special reinforcing

technique that makes them resistant to ripping and tearing. Any rip stop fabric will be a good material choice for a fishing vest as it is lightweight, yet durable to resist rips or tears.

Quality

As with any product you buy, you want to look for something that is high-quality. A poor-quality vest may serve its purpose in the beginning, but will not last long or be a good investment in your fishing supplies. 

How do you look for quality in a fishing vest? The easiest things to do to look for quality in a fishing vest are to inspect the fabric and the stitching. It’s typically easy to feel the difference between cheaply made and nicely made fabrics.

When it comes to the stitching, look closely around the pockets, zippers, attachment loops etc. to see if there are any places where thread is coming out or fabric is pulled. These are indications of poor quality.

Comfort

A fishing vest is typically worn all day, so it is something that should be comfortable for you to wear for long periods of time. If there are sizes to choose from, make sure to look carefully at the measurements online to make sure the vest will fit comfortably. When in doubt, size up.

The last thing you want is a snug vest or one that is too small to zip. Fishing vests are best in a larger size. Because of their storage capacity, a little more room for you makes all the difference.

Another comfort feature to look for in a fishing vest are cushioned shoulder or neck pads. While the construction of most fishing vests is lightweight, once they are laden with accessories and supplies, they can get quite heavy.

While it may not be super noticeable to you at first, after a few hours of wear, you will notice the weight pulling down on your shoulders or neck.

If this is something that concerns you, look for a fishing vest with light shoulder or neck padding to help keep you comfortable.

Adjustability

Adjustability plays a huge part in fishing vests. Many vests that you find will be a “one-size-fits-all” with adjustable straps.

These straps are typically located at the shoulders and waist of the fishing vest. The shoulder straps can be adjusted to make the vest sit longer or higher on your torso, while the waist straps give you more room horizontally.

Make sure the straps on your vest adjust easily and stay in place once you are done adjusting.

Places for attachments

In addition to pockets, it is helpful for fishing vests to have places for accessories to be attached. Many vests have something called an attachment ladder.

It is a sewn-in system of thick loops, like a ladder, where equipment can be attached with carabiners, or in other ways. 

Many vests also have individual loops where equipment can be attached. Some of these loops may be fabric loops sewn into the vest.

Others may be D-rings that are attached to nylon straps. Typically, a D-ring on the back of a fishing vest is in place for carrying a fishing net.

Weight 

While a fishing vest filled with accessories and equipment may be slightly heavy, an empty fishing vest should be extremely lightweight. Look for the weight of the vest in the description and make sure it is light enough on its own.

How to Clean the Fishing Vest

Look

While a fishing vest is most definitely not the fashion statement of the century, you should still enjoy the way that the vest you choose looks.

Look for a design that is pleasing to you and flattering to your body type. This will make you more likely to wear it, and happier when you do.

Also, many vests offer a multitude of color options. While most of these options are neutral colors, you can still choose between greens and greys and browns and reds. 

Water Resistance

Surprisingly enough, most fishing vests that you find are not waterproof. While this is the case, many do offer a low level of water resistance. Their fabric will resist light rain or splashes of water.

Some vests offer water-resistant zippers that help to keep the contents of your pockets dry as well. Think about if this is something that interests you when looking for your vest.

Price

Last, but certainly not least, is the price of the fishing vest. Before shopping, come up with a price range or budget that you are comfortable with, and stick with it.

Fishing vests are offered in a wide range of prices. A more expensive vest does not always mean that the vest is better or of higher quality.

Use your judgment by looking at the combination of all the vest’s qualities. If the vest has everything you want and need, then that is what you should go by. 

Why do I need a vest for fishing?

If this questions ever crosses your mind, you are not alone. Is it really necessary to have a fishing vest for fishing? If you fish only a few times a year, it may not be necessary for you to purchase a vest specifically for fishing.

However, if you are a frequent fisherman, or are interested in beginning, a vest is a wonderful piece of gear to have. 

Fishing vests are extremely convenient. They are designed to hold all the necessary pieces of equipment that you need handy. This allows both of your hands to be free to fish or do whatever you need to do.

Fishing is a sport that keeps your hands busy. There are lots of tools in a fisherman’s kit, and a vest keeps everything in one place so you don’t have to constantly be rooting through a tackle box.

Once you get used to where things are stored in the vest you choose, it will seem second nature to access the things that you need.

Best fishing vest w. buying guide. For me the best fishing vest doesn't have to be the most expensive. It's the one that matches YOUR needs. #fishingvest #fishingvestpattern #fishingvestoutfitmen #fishinggear #fishingtool #fishingtips #fishingvestfashion #fishingvestcard #fishingvestoutfit
Best fishing vest w. buying guide. For me the best fishing vest doesn't have to be the most expensive. It's the one that matches YOUR needs. #fishingvest #fishingvestfashion #fishingvestcard #fishingvestoutfit #fishinggear #fishingtool #fishingtips #fishingvestpattern #fishingvestoutfitmen
Best fishing vest w. buying guide. For me the best fishing vest doesn't have to be the most expensive. It's the one that matches YOUR needs. #fishingvest #fishingvestfashion #fishingvestcard #fishingvestoutfit #fishingvestpattern #fishingvestoutfitmen #fishinggear #fishingtool #fishingtips
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