This is my new and updated guide to the 10 best fishing backpacks for 2020.
At BonfireBob, I recommend products based on unbiased research, but I will earn a commission if you shop through the links on this page.
I’ve been using fishing backpacks for years now and I’m fully confident reviewing them for you to just get a bit closer finding the perfect fishing backpack for you.
I Aim to Find the Best Fishing Backpack
For me, the best fishing backpack doesn’t have to be the most expensive or the one with most equipment. It’s the one that matches YOUR needs.
In order to help you find the perfect fit for you I break up the fishing backpack buying advice as:
- Best value for money (price, performance and quality)
- Most user friendly (useful features, container storage, size)
Beneath I’ll elaborate what there is to know about each fishing backpack. Enjoy!
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
The Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack is a high quality backpack made out of high quality nylon fabric materials.
There are eighty six precise sewing procedures done to the pack to ensure that it will not unravel, and this helps contribute to the extra water resistance of the pack as a whole.
Another great feature about the Piscifun is the fact that there are eleven different compartments on the inside the pack, so you have plenty of space and organizing your fishing gear and supplies will be a breeze.
The main compartment itself contains a large amount of room with enough space to fit a large tackle box.
However, this compartment also narrows from the bottom to the top, rather than being a square space like most other fishing packs.
The back part of this backpack is also very padded and breathable for superior comfort.
Piscifun Fishing Sling Bag
Another fishing bag option from Piscifun is their fishing sling bag.
This is another high quality and water resistant pack, built out of 1000D nylon fabrics and high quality hardware in the form of the SBS zippers and KAM buckle.
One of the standout features of this sling bag is the strap, which is thick, padded, adjustable, and detachable. The strap can be extended out to fifty one inches or lowered in length to thirty six inches.
The pack is designed to be used as a sling bag, shoulder bag, hand bag, chest bag, tackle bag, or even as a normal backpack.
There are multiple pockets and storage compartments on the inside and outside of the pack for ease of organization as well.
CLC Wild River
The CLC Wild River backpack is a lighted fishing tackle pack that utilizes an LED light system integrated into the pack itself.
The purpose behind these lights are to allow you to fish throughout the day or night, including when it’s dark out such as at dawn or dusk.
Additional noteworthy features of the CLC Wild River include the removable plier holder that make it very easy to move your pliers between the bag and the belt, a front pocket cover that can fold down into a more handy work surface, a lower tray compartment, and a protective rain cover that can be deployed very quickly if need be.
Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack
The Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack comes with three 3600 stowaway boxes, which is a feature that most other fishing tackle backpacks do not come with.
The straps on this pack are very well cushioned and air meshed for superior comfort.
There are multiple mesh pockets on the outside of the pack as well, which makes it easy for storing items that you need to access quickly such as your sunglasses or your smart phone.
All in all, this will be a great pack to use for a variety of different fishing related applications, including paddle board fishing, pier fishing, or creek fishing.
Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack
The Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack is built out of a very durable 600D polyester construction.
The main compartment is actually adjustable in size, in that it can be treated either as a single compartment or it can be divided into two different inner compartment with a movable clapboard.
The impact resistant and waterproof base is designed to fit up to one 367-0 sized box. There are Laos numerous pockets on the inside and outside of the pack that are designed to fit various fishing materials.
Meanwhile, the back is padded and very breathable, while both shoulder straps are adjustable and padded for good comfort as well. There’s also a rain cover that’s been built-in to the the back zippered pocket.
Wild River CLC WT3606 Multi-Tackle Large Backpack
The Wild River CLC WT3606 Multi Tackle Large Backpack is a pack that comes with a ton of storage space.
The main large upper storage area comes with a divider that is removable and can convert the tackle backpack into storage for larger sized items.
Both shoulder straps are padded and adjustable, and come with a sternum strap for better fit as well.
A front pocket cover that folds down gives you a good work surface, while another waterproof clear internal pockets helps to keep your most essential valuable items such as your phone and your wallet dry.
Wild River by CLC WN3604
The CLC WN3604 Wild River backpack is a lightweight pack that comes with an LED integrated light system like Wild River has been known for.
This allows you to fish at any time during the day (or night), such as during dawn or dusk when the fishing is best.
Examples of features that this fishing pack comes with include a permanently mounted sunglasses holder, a lower tray storage compartment, and a front pocket cover that can fold down in order to provide a good work surface.
Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack
The Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack is made out of 100% polyester construction for good durability and water resistance.
This pack comes with a number of neat features that will make your fishing adventures a greater convenience.
Examples included a foam molded sunglasses case, an advanced organizer compartment, an adjustable main compartment that can be divided into three separate inner compartments, and a fishing rod holder and carry system.
As an added bonus, this backpack even comes with three medium sized utility boxes, which is not something that too many other fishing backpacks on the market can boast about.
KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
The KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack is a very tough and water resistant fishing backpack made out of 420D nylon ripstop material, making this one of the more durable and long lasting fishing backpacks on the market.
The hydrophobic coating over the surface also greatly helps with water resistant and repelling moisture, while the PVC layer on the inside provides even more protection from the elements.
This rod also comes with double rod pocket that make transporting your fishing rod(s) incredibly easy.
Meanwhile, there are also numerous side zipper pockets large enough to hold normal sized 3600 utility fishing boxes.
The back section of the pack, shoulder straps, and waist straps are padded and fleece lined for superior comfort.
Calissa X-Large ‘Blackstar’ Fishing Backpack
The Calissa X-Large Blackstar Fishing Backpack is a larger sized fishing backpack with plenty of room to carry all of your extra fishing gear.
Measuring twenty inches tall and seventeen inches wide, it’s large enough to fit four normal 3650 fishing containers.
The exterior of the pack, while not fully waterproof, is still very corrosion resistant against both fresh water and salt water.
The straps to this pack are very thick and adjustable for added comfort, and the overall backpack even has a balance point so it can rest evenly on the ground.
The quick access pockets on the side, while small, are excellent for additional organization.
Fishing Backpacks Buying Guide (2020)
Any one of the fishing backpacks that we have covered here today will be a solid option for a fishing backpack.
However, arguably more important than knowing the best fishing backpacks available on the market is knowing what to look for in a fishing backpack to begin with.
That’s what we’re going to discuss next.
What Are The Top Reasons To Have A Fishing Backpack?
You may be wondering: is it even completely necessary for you to have a fishing backpack in the first place?
The answer is no, you don’t have to have one. You can still obviously go fishing and enjoy yourself without having a backpack built specifically for the task.
But there’s also no denying that a fishing backpack will make your fishing adventures significantly easier.
For one thing, a fishing backpack is a place for you to store and transport literally all of your fishing related gear, from the rods to the lines to the hooks to your tackle boxes to your gloves and anything else you want to bring with you.
Not only can you therefore store and transport your items, a fishing backpack also shields those items from the elements, such as rain and water.
As we will soon discuss, at the bare minimum your fishing backpack should be either waterproof or very water resistant.
Furthermore, fishing backpacks are built specifically for the purpose of fishing. They commonly come with compartments that are large enough to carry around tackle boxes, for instance.
What Components and Features Do Fishing Backpacks Usually Consist Of?
Why not just use a normal backpack as your fishing backpack?
You could if you wanted to, but the reality is that a true fishing backpack will be a better choice because it’s designed specifically for fishing and therefore comes with compartments, accessories, and/or features that are designed for the purpose as well.
Examples of these components and features that a fishing backpack can come with include, but are not necessarily limited to:
These can sometimes even be integrated into the fishing backpack itself.
The purpose behind the lights is to make it convenient for you while accessing the contents of the pack during the darkest hours, such as dawn or dusk, when the fishing is actually the best.
Many fishing backpacks also come with a sunglasses pocket located on the outside of the pack near the top.
This pocket will usually be hardened for further protection against the elements and to ensure the glasses will not get broken.
Pockets for valuables
Most fishing backpacks will also come with at least one pocket (or more) made for storing valuable possessions such as wallets, phones, car keys, fishing licenses, and so on.
Fishing Rod Holders
Fishing rod holders are designed, well, for holding your fishing rods. The idea is that you can walk around from your car to your fishing location without having to have the rod in your hand as you walk.
Most fishing backpacks will come with two rod holders – at the very least, make sure that the bag you choose comes with at least one.
Divided Main Compartment
Most fishing backpacks will have multiple compartments for added storage and ease of organization.
Often times, there will be a very large main compartment that can be divided with removable spacers or dividers provided with the pack.
What Kind of Gear Can You Carry In A Fishing Pack?
You can carry literally anything and everything you want to in your fishing pack (so long as it fits, of course).
Examples of items that people generally like to carry in their fishing packs include a tackle box (which contains lures, flies, lines, hooks, sinkers, etc.), reels, rods (in the rod holders), fishing permits and licenses, bait, extra clothing, food and snacks, first aid kits, and any other accessories that are necessary (sunglasses, sunscreen, knife, fish gutting kit, etc.)
Top Qualities To Consider With A Fishing Backpack
At the bare minimum, your fishing backpack should come with the following qualities and features:
This one is a given. As with other kinds of backpacks, fishing backpacks come in all different sizes. You need to have a backpack that is large enough for your needs, so you will first need to assess everything that you will bring with you on an average fishing trip.
Often times, the amount of storage space doesn’t matter as much as how that space is divided. For example, say you take one backpack with one single massive compartment and then another backpack with the same amount of space but with that compartment divided into multiple smaller ones.
Even though both of these backpacks have the same amount of space by volume, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to fit more gear into the second backpack because you can divide everything rather than just jamming it all in there.
This is why most fishing backpacks come with multiple compartments on both the inside and outside of the pack. Most backpacks will also have a particularly large compartment for storing your larger items and tackle boxes, but they may also ship with dividers to split that larger compartment into two, three, or four spaces. This is definitely preferable.
Ideally, your fishing backpack will not only have plenty of space but also lots of pouches, side pockets, compartments, and so on. Space is one thing, but organization and how that space is utilized is something else entirely.
Thick and Adjustable Shoulder Straps
Fishing backpacks are already among the more heavy kinds of backpacks on the market. They become heavier (much heavier) when you fill them up with all of your fishing gear.
This is why well-designed shoulder straps (and a waist strap and sternum strap for the larger packs) are an absolute must. Both straps should be thick, adjustable, and well padded.
There should also be wide strap placement on your shoulders, so you get better weight distribution. Steer clear of any fishing backpacks that offers straps that are thin and not adjustable.
While not an absolute necessity, it will also be a nice feature for the backpack to have meshed material over the straps, because this will help reduce sweating as you carry your fishing backpack to your destination.
Fishing backpacks are available in a wide variety of different materials, including polyester and nylon, which allow a good degree of water resistance.
While not all fishing backpacks are waterproof, you should at the very least go with a pack that is very water resistant, and both internally and externally. For example, some backpacks will offer a hydrophobic and PVC coating over both the outside and the inside of the pack for the best water resistance possible.
Most fishing backpack manufacturers should outright indicate the level of waterproofness that their backpacks offer (such as a ‘three minute water submersion guarantee’ or something to that effect).
Water resistant backpacks are also good because beyond repelling water and other elements, they also do not contain murky smells that many non water resistant backpacks develop when they get.
Comfort and Ergonomics
While comfort may not seem to be as essential as water resistance and space, the truth is that if you don’t like wearing your backpack, you’re not going to use it very much when you go fishing.
The best fishing backpacks have a good degree of soft padding on the back and in the shoulder straps. The less padded a fishing backpack is, the more it’s going to cause you to fill fatigued.
A padded backpack, besides feeling comfortable, while also reduce strain in your neck and shoulders while providing more support to help you carry the weight of the items inside.
A mesh backing on the shoulder pads and in the back will also be very beneficial for comfort because it will help you to reduce sweating and ‘breathe’ better with your backpack on all day long.
It’s also very important for your fishing backpack to be very durable and strong. Obviously you’ll want a backpack that will last you longer than the manufacturer warranty.
The best fishing backpacks will come with fibers built out of either polyester or nylon, and with fibers that are woven and reinforced together.
The zippers should be molded for good anti-corrosion resistance, while the stitching should be double throughout and tripled at the seams to prevent the bag from popping open.
A cooling compartment will be another great feature to have in your backpack to help keep your bait from rotting throughout he day, and also to keep snacks or beverages cool if necessary.
This is honestly one of the most overlooked features when it comes to fishing backpacks in general because it’s not something that most people think about, as most figure that they can just bring a cooler along with them.
But assuming that you don’t want to have to lug a cooler around too, a cooling compartment within the backpack will be a major plus (ideally, the compartment will come with two different chambers – one for food and one for bait).
Checklist of Features to Have in a Fishing Backpack
Use the following checklist when looking for a fishing backpack:
- Polyester or nylon construction
- Woven and reinforced fibers
- Double or tripled stitching, especially at the seams
- Plenty of storage space
- Plenty of spare compartments
- Pockets to store your valuable items
- Water resistance
- Molded, anti-rust zippers
- At least one rod holder
- Smart, strategic pocket locations
- Thick and adjustable shoulder straps
- Padded shoulder straps and back
- Mesh design to reduce sweating
At the end of the day, a fishing backpack can be one of the best tools to help make your fishing trips more convenient and easier.
A true fishing backpack will come with each of the features and components that we have covered here today while also being built out of high quality materials like we’ve discussed.
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