What Everyone Is Saying About Best Fly Fishing Vest – Top 5 Picks

What Everyone Is Saying About Best Fly Fishing Vest – Top 5 Picks

If you fly fish, you know that even a simple trip to your local stream can quickly become a gear nightmare. Between the floats and weights, leaders and line cleaners, tools and boxes of flies, tackle can quickly overwhelm you and suck much of the fun out of the whole experience of fly fishing. If only there was a simple way to organize all of this essential fishing stuff.

There is, and it’s called a fly fishing vest. These wearable tackle boxes provide you with a simple way to organize your gear and take everything with you when you wade out into the river, lake, or stream. 

With the right zippers and compartments, you can place all of the necessary fishing gear in several multi-pockets for easy access. Some vests even double as a life jacket!

Unfortunately, poor-quality vests abound, particularly online. This guide casts beyond those to examine some of the best fly fishing vests on the market. We highlight the features you should be focusing on, the factors that go into a high-quality vest, and what you can expect to pay for them.

Some vests incorporate a large back pocket, which can double as a compact day pack to store your lunch, snacks, or other items you don’t need immediately at hand.

Quick Recommendations

Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.


PRICE:$64.9

WEIGHT:1.54lb / 0.7kg

MATERIAL:Mesh / fabric combination

NUMBER OF POCKETS:18

PROS:

  • Made of high-quality light mesh fabric and oxford canvas breathable shell to stay sweat absorbency
  • Quick-drying, light, and comfortable, which is breathable
  • The size of the vest can be adjusted according to height and weight
  • Rear D-ring for net attachment
  • The integrated rod holding system
  • Drain holes built into the main pockets to effectively drain and avoid sitting water
  • Large rear pocket on the lower back for stashing more cumbersome gear
  • The suspension structure spreads the weight to make you feel no weight of your gear
  • With floating board, can be used as a life jacket
  • Multiple colors to choose
  • Trustworthy brand
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS:

  • Sometimes out of stock
  • Some people think the vest are not so good-looking

PRICE:$158

WEIGHT:1.5lb / 0.68kg

MATERIAL:Nylon and spandex

NUMBER OF POCKETS:18

PROS:

  • Light abrasion-resistant nylon with a DWR coating has a streamlined fit
  • Upper pockets feature a hideaway tool port underneath two fly-drying patches
  • Large pass-through game-style pocket underneath the full-zip rear pocket with a mesh panel divider
  • Multiple daisy chain gear loops, elastic loops to attach tippet bars, and D-rings to externally attach tools and your net
  • Padded collar and stretch mesh interior for enhanced comfort

CONS:

  • Expensive option
  • No color selection

PRICE:$129

WEIGHT:1.32lb / 0.6kg

MATERIAL:Mesh

NUMBER OF POCKETS:20

PROS:

  • Plenty of pockets for storage
  • Great old school look with mesh material
  • Mesh back for lightweight and breathability
  • Lightweight, breathable shoulders with padded rib knit collar
  • Net D-Ring in the center back
  • High performing, durable wearing zippers

CONS:

  • Some find it too short
  • A little on the pricy side
  • Sizing runs a little small

PRICE:$88

WEIGHT:1.19b / 0.54kg

MATERIAL:Nylon

NUMBER OF POCKETS:8

PROS:

  • Foam collar provides comfort and equalizes weight distribution
  • Vertical front pocket design provides low-bulk storage and easy access
  • The stacked upper pocket on the back is set high on shoulders to keep contents dry during wading
  • Multiple interior zippered pockets for tippet spools

CONS:

  • Less pocket space
  • No inner pockets
  • The Fleece fly patch is too high on the left shoulder

PRICE:$59

WEIGHT:1.32lb / 0.6kg

MATERIAL:Polyester

NUMBER OF POCKETS:8

PROS:

  • Multiple storage options
  • Ability to hold a hydration pack
  • Polyester vest knit padded collar
  • Moisture-managing and quick-drying material
  • Quick-release buckle
  • Integrated fabric loop/rod storage

CONS:

  • Pocket sizes are too small for the larger fly boxes
  • L shaped front pocket zips make it easier for stuff to fall out of
  • Lack of external attachment points for securing tools

Why Is the DECENTRAVELER™ Fly Fishing Vest Rated #1 of 2022?

  • Made of high-quality light mesh fabric and oxford canvas breathable shell to stay sweat absorbency.
  • Quick-drying, light, and comfortable, which is breathable.
  • The size of the vest can be adjusted according to height and weight.
  • 18 total pockets, including 14 zippered pockets with smooth conceal zippers.
  • Rear D-ring for net attachment.
  • The integrated rod holding system.
  • Drain holes built into the main pockets to effectively drain and avoid sitting water.
  • Large rear pocket on the lower back for stashing more cumbersome gear.
  • The suspension structure spreads the weight to make you feel no weight of your gear.
  • With floating board, can be used as a life jacket.
  • Multiple colors to choose.
  • Trusted by 11,000+ cycling fishing enthusiast
  • Best value for your money
  • Money-back guarantee

How To Choose The Best Fly Fishing Vest?

Material

Obviously, a fishing vest isn’t used as a normal vest, it’s not going to keep you dry if it rains and it’s not going to really keep you warm when it gets cold. It’s there to provide you with easy access to your vital pieces of equipment such as your clippers, weights, and toppers among other items. Therefore the material they are made out of needs to be strong enough to handle the items but also breathable as well.

You have two primary options when choosing a material: mesh and fabric.

  • Mesh. This netted material breathes better than fabric and can be cooler on hot days. It can also stretch, which improves your mobility.
  • Fabric. While not as breathable as mesh, the fabric does tend to be more durable, although actual durability can vary depending on what type of fabric it is. Some popular fabrics used in fly fishing vests are nylon, polyester, and cotton.

Some who fish find that a mesh/fabric combination provides both strength and breathability. A number of these combination vests feature fabric that can be zipped down and tied/stored (similar to a tent flap), leaving mesh panels that aid in cooling.

Size

Is the vest available in various sizes? Check size charts carefully to be sure that what you are buying is going to fit (and consider buying a size or two up, as fly fishing vests tend to run on the short side). Some vests are “one size fits most,” although these should have some way to adjust them, so that the “one size” may actually have a fair degree of flexibility built into it.

Weight

Your vest – when fully loaded with gear – is going to be heavy enough. You don’t want to be dragging around a bunch of extra weight in the form of the vest itself. A lighter-weight vest will be more comfortable when the summer heat starts kicking in.

Comfort

Both size and weight are important elements in a larger question: How comfortable is the vest? A quality vest should evenly distribute weight over your shoulders and back, so there are no stress points that form with repeated use. A vest should have shoulder straps or a belt that can help distribute the weight.

Padding in a vest will improve comfort, as will have enough room in the vest to allow for a full range of motion to cast, set hooks, and perform other essential fishing moves.

Fasteners

Pockets aren’t going to be all that beneficial if your gear keeps falling out of them. You should be able to secure some, if not all, pockets on the vest. Velcro is the easiest and cheapest method, but try to find a vest with rugged zippers to really secure your belongings.

Accessory loops

Accessory loops or straps provide another way to carry additional equipment. These are particularly well-suited for use with rods, nets, water bottles, and other larger tools or equipment.

Pockets

When you think of fly fishing vests, pockets are probably the first feature that immediately springs to mind. A quality vest should have enough pockets of varying sizes to handle all the items you use for fly fishing. Large pockets are best for tools and fly boxes, while smaller ones can be used to store weights, leaders, and other gear. Specialized pockets can also be used to hold a beverage.

While pockets are essential, having too many can also be a hindrance, prompting you to overpack. This will leave the vest bulky, heavy, and maze-like every time you search for something.

Why Trust Us?

We fully understand how tough it is to find trustworthy gear advice, and that’s one of the main reasons we build this blog section. We live for outdoor adventure, and we take these guides very seriously. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us:

  • Our choices are completely independent and based on personal experience.
  • We’ve logged over 10,000 trail miles and test outdoor gear for a living.
  • We own and field test every product we recommend, which is sadly not the norm.
  • We travel to industry trade shows to learn about upcoming product innovations.
  • We constantly update our guides when new products launch.
  • We treat our recommendations as if they were for our family and friends.
  • We’re lifelong learners and we’re always open to constructive criticism. If you think we’ve missed a product or got something wrong, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.