Best Fly Fishing Packs of 2023

Welcome to my review of the best fly fishing packs for 2021. 

If you are new to the game of fly fishing packs, let me tell you something – they are an easy and comfortable way to carry a lot of gear out to the river or camping location.

Every fly angler has their own wants and needs.

This article will help you come to a decision on what you are looking for.

Below I have sling pack, back packs, vest+pack combos, fanny packs, chest packs etc.

These are the best overall fly fishing packs.

Best fly fishing packs for 2021

Quickly before we start, all 15 of the packs on this list are truly high quality.  We’ve spent a lot of time testing and researching fly fishing packs to come up with this list.  This is what we came up with.

Orvis Waterproof Backpack (Best Backpack)

The Orvis Waterproof Backpack is my first choice for fly fishing backpacks that I would recommend to someone.  Yes, it isn’t by any means cheap, but it’s easily one of the best packs that you can get.  For one, it’s very comfortable.

You can wear this pack all day without any problems of issues.

Secondly, it’s completely waterproof, if you missed it in the name.  You can dunk this one in the river and have your gear come out dry.  For three, it has a lot of room for your gear.  There aren’t a whole lot of pockets, but there is a lot of space.

A couple other reasons why I’m a fan of this pack is because it keeps you cool during the summer months.  It has built in ventilation so you aren’t going to overheat.  It also is built with durable material, has two water bottle/ rod holders and looks cool.  If you are interested in this backpack, you can check the price on amazon here.

Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Fishing Sling Pack (Best Sling Pack)

The Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Sling pack is the first and best sling pack on this list.  There’s a couple reasons for this, one – it’s quality is on another level.  There is no doubt that it will last a long time.  It’s also water resistant, has 18 liters of storage and only weighs 1.5 pounds.

Not only that, but it’s super comfortable.  You can wear it over either shoulder and it has many pockets.  If you are looking for an elite fly fishing sling pack, this could be the one for you.  You can check the latest price on amazon here. 

Fishpond Wasatch Tech Pack and Vest (Best Combo)

The Fishpond Wasatch Tech Pack and Vest is the best pack and vest combination you can get for fly fishing.  It’s biggest advantage it has to offer is the amount of gear that it can carry.

Because it has both a vest and a pack, you can imagine the room it has to offer.  It’s also very durable and made of recycled fish nets.

A large downfall of this combo pack is that it’s very expensive.  Not quite expensive as the Orvis Waterproof backpack above, but still not very cheap.  picture of fishpond wasatch vest and pack

Some cool features that it has to offer are the drop down fly bench or the compatible water bladder (which isn’t actually included which stinks).  It also has a lifetime warranty on it, if the damage is a manufacturing defect.

Overall though, you get to carry a lot of fly fishing gear to the river with this setup.  If you are taking a large fly fishing trip to Colorado or something of the sort, this combo could be a good option to consider.  You can check the price on amazon here. 

Umpqua Overlook 500 ZS Chest Pack Kit (Best Chest Pack)

The Umpqua Overlook 500 ZS2 Chest Pack Kit is the best chest pack that you can get.

As the name sounds, it does have the option to place a pack on the backside, so technically it isn’t only a chest pack.  But, since you can replace the backpack with a mesh net holder, in my eyes it’s qualified to be a chest pack.  Regardless, this is by far one of the more comfier chest packs.

It’s designed so that the straps DO NOT cut into your shoulders.  Which allows for you to carry it around all day without feeling any discomfort.

this is a picture of Umpqua Overlook 500 ZS Chest Pack Kit

It’s also designed in such a way that it’s very balanced on the chest.  There’s no push or pull from either side, it just sits naturally.

A super interesting feature that Umpqua has engineered into this pack is that tapered the chest pack.  It allows for you to actually see the rocks in front of you, unlike some other chest packs.

Lastly, it has 8 liters of storage.  I personally think this is the best chest pack of 2020.  If you are interested, you can check the price here on amazon.

Orvis Safe Passage Hip Pack

This is the best hip pack you can get for fly fishing.  It’s very similar to the Orvis Safe Passage but obviously is a hip or fanny pack.  The material used isn’t waterproof, but the bottom of it is water resistant which helps keep the water out when wading through deeper rivers.  The compartment area has two large pockets with several internal separators to put your flies and whatnot.

Orvis Safe Passage Hip Pack picture.It also has space to carry two water bottles, if you are taking a long day trip.  Room for streamer boxes.  Zinger attachments and a fly drying patch.

Lastly, the Orvis Safe Passage Hip Pack is quite comfortable.  It features a comfortable padded hip strap which allows for all day use.  You can also wear an additional neck strap as well (included).  You can check the latest price of the Orvis Safe Passage Hip Pack on amazon here. 

Simms Freestone Fishing Backpack

The Simms Freestone backpack is another one my favorite packs on this list.  The backpack is water resistant and has 35 liters of storage space.

It’s lightweight (2lbs), comfortable and features a ventilation system to stay cool and shorten drying times.

It has options to carry a rod and a net also.  Overall this pack is going to carry all of your essentials and have the durability to a long time. Check the latest price on amazon here. 

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Back pack

picture of fishpond thunderheadThis pack is the another option for those of you that like to swimming with their backpack on!  The Thunderhead will keep your gear one hundred percent dry, all of the time.

It doesn’t have internal compartments within the pack although, so it’s essentially just a large storage bag.  But, if you are ok with that – this fishing pack will definitely keep your gear dry!


Orvis Safe Passage Guide Sling Pack

picture of orvis safe passage sling pack.This sling pack has a lot of space for gear.  It’s very comfortable for long trips and is also breathable.

It also doesn’t weigh a lot… only 1.5 pounds.  Which is perfect for those of you that aren’t looking to carry excess weight out to the river.

It has several different compartments to throw your gear around, but isn’t super bulky.  The design of this pack is clean and efficient.

Bottom line, this sling pack is top of the line and it will not let you down.


Related: Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack Review

Orvis Safe Passage Anglers Day Pack

orvis safe passage anglers day pack picture.The Orvis Safe Passage Day pack is another elite back pack.  It’s very comfortable as it was designed for long day trips, whether you be fly fishing or camping.

The internal storage doesn’t have a ton of compartments, but it isn’t completely empty.

This pack isn’t water resistant, but it does have water resistant nylon on the bottom of the pack.  The pack is also streamlined so fishing hooks won’t catch on the pack easily.  Overall, this is one of the best fly fishing back packs that you can get, simply because of it’s high end performance and comfort.


Fishpond Cross Current Chest Pack

Fishpond Cross Current Chest Pack picture.Another Fishpond pack makes the list, although this time it’s a chest pack.  This pack has decent storage and the front pocket is magnetic, very convenient.

The main compartment is pretty empty with only one internal pocket.  Probably my favorite of this chest pack is that is has a back pad on it, designed to hold a long handle net.

It also has zippers on both sides of it the back pad store something slim.

Overall this chest pack isn’t massive, but it’s high quality and gear is very accessible.


Fishpond Arroyo Fly Pack – Chest and Waist

Fishpond Arroyo Fly Pack - Chest and Waist picture.The Fishpond Arroyo is an interesting one, it can be worn around either the waist or chest.  It has one main storage compartment with three internal pockets to place gear.

This pack isn’t very big by any means and you probably won’t fit a lot of your fishing stuff in here.  I do like that it has a drop down fly bench although, very nice.

I’d say if you want a small pack that isn’t going to break the bank, this one’s for you.  Especially if you like to wear waist or fanny packs.


Fishpond Summit Sling Pack

Fishpond Summit Sling PackThe Fishpond Summit pack is more known for its quality compared to actual performance.  It’s a small sling pack so I actually wouldn’t recommend this pack for a taller person because it might get uncomfortable, but for shorter people (like me), this pack works well.

What I mean by “know for quality rather than performance” is that it is going to last you a long time, but might not be the most comfortable of all the packs on this list.  I especially wouldn’t recommend this pack, if you are over 6 ft.

It has decent storage for the its size and it also has a drop down fly bench.  If you don’t want to spend over a hundred dollars on a pack, I would suggest this one for you.


Related: Summit Sling Pack Review

Bass Pro Shops Stalker Pack

picture of bass pro shops stalker back pack.I really like the look of the Bass Pro Stalker Pack, its got a cool design.  This pack is water resistant and is also comfortable.  It does have the option to store a water bottle too.

This pack is actually designed for the standard angler, but it will work for fly fishing.   It does have a storage slot on the side of it for tackle boxes, you’ll want to put something else in place of it.

This pack would be really good for camping too.


Umpqua Rock Creek ZS Chest Pack

this is a picture of Umpqua Rock Creek ZS Chest Pack.Here is one of the most ideal chest packs on the market.  The Rock Creek ZS chest pack only has 3 liters of space, but it’s very comfortable.

The design was specific to create no chafing in the neck area unlike other brands on the market.  The only intentions of this pack was to create something small and comfortable.

So if you want something very small with easy access to your gear right in front of you, I would recommend you this chest pack.


Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

This sling pack comes in several different color schemes and two sizes.  I would only recommend this pack if you are on a budget.  It is waterproof and it’s a medium sized pack.  Not too big, not too small.  It also has two rod holders as well.  Overall this is one of the best fly fishing packs that you can get on a budget.


Related: How to Choose the Right Fly Fishing Vest

The best fly fishing pack all comes down to personal preference

Do you want a back pack? fanny pack? chest pack? Regardless of what you choose or what your preference is, most packs on this list will provide high performance and quality for most fishermen/women.

Would I suggest blowing 300 dollars on a water proof bag if you are a weekend warrior? of course not!  But if you are heading out on a week long fishing trip out in the brush, well maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look into a high quality bag/ pack.

It’s all about finding the right pack for you and your plans, and also your budget.  I hope this list helped guide you in the right direction, tight lines my friend!

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