Best Fishing Backpacks in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

There’s nothing better than looking forward to an upcoming fishing expedition. You’re thrilled to the core while mapping out every detail of the trip. Do you know what sums up these details for you? The answer is fishing backpacks.

Tackle boxes are old news now! Fishing backpacks are equipped with many more compartments to protect your precious fishing gear. With these portable arsenals, you’ll be able to keep all your fishing accessories, baits, tackle, and even clothes and drinks all in one safe space.

Boasting superb spaciousness, a comfortable fishing backpack will unleash the pro angler within you since you’ll be making the most of your trip instead of worrying about your messed up tackle.

For every casual or passionate angler, fishing backpacks are downright must-haves. Yet, with all the variety out there, it’s still quite difficult for anglers to decide on a neat fishing backpack. Worry no more; we’ve crafted this comprehensive guide to help make your buying decision easier with the 10 best fishing backpacks available right now.

Best Fishing Backpacks at a Glance:

  • Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack – Best Overall
  • Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack – Runner Up
  • Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack – Best for Fly Fishing
  • Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle Backpack – Best Built-in Work Surface
  • Piscifun Water-Resistant Shoulder Backpack – Best Shoulder Backpack
  • SHIMANO Blackmoon Fishing Backpack – Best for Walking Anglers
  • Kingdom Multifunctional Fishing Backpack – Best Multifunctional Backpack
  • BLISSWILL Outdoor Tackle Fishing Backpack – Best Padded Backpack
  • Lixada Tackle Backpack – Best Anti-Scratch Fabrics
  • SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack – Best Lightweight Backpack

The 10 Best Fishing Backpacks in 2020

1. Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack – Best Overall

Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack

With unprecedented spaciousness, The Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack can take up to four medium-sized tackle boxes. More specifically, it can accommodate up to four 3500 style trays or six 3600 style trays.

On top of that, you get a molded compartment where your keys or sunglasses can be stored in safety. This backpack really takes storage space to the next level as you’re able to expand storage space by removing the upper storage divider.

The backpack offers a padded, anti-chafe carrying handle and shoulder straps. The backrest is padded as well to avoid itchy skin if you carry the backpack for a long time.

The backpack also has several loops on the outside for rod holders and the fishing line dispenser. Moreover, it features an independent plier holder that you can tie to your belt later.

What makes this backpack stand out is the innovative LED light system. With this LED light system, your fishing trip is destined to continue whether the sun is up or not since it enables you to see the tiniest of gear in the backpack easily. 

Though not waterproof, it comes with a waterproof rain cover so you can protect it from damage on a rainy day. Fortunately, the base pads are waterproof, so don’t worry about it getting dirty on the ground.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to carry
  • Plenty of storage space
  • LED light system

Cons:

  • Too heavy when full

Bottom Line

The Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack is at the disposal of every avid fisher. Whether a professional angler or a recreational one, this backpack, with the storage space and the comfort it provides, allows for the most versatile fishing experience possible.

2. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack – Runner Up

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

Piscifun aims to make your trips worth remembering with its roomy and flexible Fishing Tackle Backpack. Crafted from water-resistant 1200D nylon fabrics, this backpack is an epitome of durability, offering 20% higher water resistance and sturdiness.

Each one of these backpacks has undergone 86 intricate sewing procedures. Additionally, Piscifun also included a long-living KAM buckle and SPS zippers to add to its toughness. Like the Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack, it comes with a protective rain cover and a compartment for sunglasses. Yet compared to our best overall, this backpack is smaller than it looks.

As for storage, the main storage space is split into 11 different rooms using SPS zippers. This backpack houses 18 small compartments in total. It also has a removable clapboard to allow for expandable storage space if you carry a considerable amount of tackle. You can open the clapboard to have two equally sized rooms for better organization.

Like our best overall, the shoulder straps and the backrest are breathable and comfortable since they’re thicker and padded. Did I mention you get a worry-free one-year warranty? Because you do!

What we wished this backpack would include is YKK zippers instead of the SPS ones. I should mention that it’s not a dealbreaker at all, but the YKK zippers are more convenient since they self-lubricate the more you use them, unlike the SPS ones.

Pros:

  • KAM Buckle
  • Removable clapboard in the inside
  • Made from durable fabrics

Cons:

  • No YKK zippers
  • Smaller storage space than conveyed

Bottom Line

The Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack is our best value for money choice. With its storage capacity, intricate sewing, and a one-year warranty, you should expect more versatile and dauntless fishing trips.

3. Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack – Best for Fly Fishing

Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack

There’s no doubt that every determined fly fisherman needs his trout-tempting tackle at their fingertips. Anglatech manufactured this vest pack, particularly for the avid fly angler in duty!

This lightweight backpack-vest combo allows you to keep your gear within close reach without messing it up as you struggle with erratic fish. It features adjustable shoulder and waist straps, both for a perfect fit and for balancing the weight between the back and front sides.

This vest pack comes with a breathable mesh backrest so you can enjoy a mild temperature sensation regardless of the weather. The waterproof front pockets include a 1.5-liter water bladder. This vest pack encourages you to stay hydrated.

Unfortunately, the pocket compartments’ spaciousness can never be compared to the storage space that full backpacks provide. Still, we decided to include this vest pack on the list because it’s a matter of taste. Fly fishers always need something compact to house their gear. Also, the zippers tend to weaken the more you use them.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof pockets
  • Adjustable fit

Cons:

  • Less storage space compared to full backpacks
  • Zippers wear out with use

Bottom Line

With a designated water bladder, adjustable fit, and breathable mesh, the compact Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack urges every fly angler to enhance every aspect of their trout fishing experience. Even this vest pack’s design puts you in a survival mode to make your trip more thrilling!

4. Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle Backpack – Best Built-In Work Surface

Wild River 3606 Multi Tackle Backpack

It doesn’t matter how much gear you pack, for the Wild River Multi-Tackle Backpack has got plenty of storage. This backpack’s main compartment can carry up to four 3600 style trays. Yet, thanks to the removable divider inside, the inner compartments can house more gear due to expandable storage.

Similar to its fellow, the Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack, this backpack also features adjustable and padded shoulder straps to avoid the irritation caused by friction.

A generous addition we should point at is the internal waterproof pocket, which is included so you can keep your license, phone, and other valuables in a safe haven from water splashes. Moreover, the heavy-duty base pads provide protection from dirt and water.

Adding more to the plus side, this backpack’s front pocket cover can unravel to provide a compact work surface where all the necessary gear is tidily displayed while you’re in action.

Again, the zippers wear out after intensive use, which may not be adequate for professional anglers.

Pros:

  • Plenty of storage
  • Inner waterproof pocket
  • Built-in work surface
  • Padded shoulder straps

Cons:

  • Zippers wear out with use

Bottom Line

The green-accented Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle Backpack is an altered version of the Wild River Nomad Backpack. However, its shortcomings compared to its fellow are compensated by the lower price, and it still has what every angler needs from a backpack: plenty of storage and a comfortable fit.

5. Piscifun Water-Resistant Backpack – Best Shoulder Backpack

Piscifun Water Resistant Backpack

The Piscifun Water-Resistant Outdoor Shoulder Backpack is the younger brother of number 2 on our list, meaning it has all the high-end perks at a low price.

Crafted from durable and water-resistant 1000D nylon fabrics, this backpack is conditioned to withstand the test of time. As expected from Piscifun, we also get the robust KAM buckle along with SBS zippers.

This backpack provides reasonable storage capacity, thanks to the main compartment, which is spacious enough to store your tackle. As for your valuables like phones, books, and keys, they’re good to be stored in 3 external zippered pockets. The backpack has a left pocket designated for water bottles, whereas the right one is for tools.

The key feature of this backpack is the adjustable and detachable shoulder straps that are left/right exchangeable. This excellent addition makes this backpack one of the most versatile options for outdoor enthusiasts. With a detachable strap, it can be worn as a tackle bag, backpack, sling shoulder bag, or even as a chest bag.

We thought YKK zippers would have a place in this backpack, but unfortunately, they didn’t. A good reminder here is that this backpack’s storage space is still limited compared to full-sized backpacks.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and user friendly
  • Detachable shoulder straps
  • Water-resistant fabric

Cons:

  • Less storage space
  • No YKK zippers

Bottom Line

Despite being a scaled-down version of its high-end brother, The Piscifun Water-Resistant Outdoor Shoulder Back doesn’t compromise on quality and material in exchange for a lower price. Quite the contrary, It’s a savior for fishers who pack less tackle.

6. SHIMANO Blackmoon Backpack – Best for Walking Anglers

SHIMANO Blackmoon Backpack

You can deem The SHIMANO Blackmoon Fishing Backpack as the loyal companion of fishers who prefer walking to their destination to pursue their fishing endeavors.

Featuring an abrasion-resistant textured fabric, this sturdy backpack will provide years of service. This backpack comes with a front compartment featuring adjustable dividers to make the most out of the storage capacity.

It also includes 4 Plano 3650 style trays, a generous plus from SHIMANO. These pre-included boxes keep smaller lures and accessories neatly organized and ready-to-go. That way, you’re no longer in need of buying tackle trays. Other than the main compartment, it has exterior loops for tools, zippered pockets, and mesh rod holders on both sides.

SHIMANO adds to the comfort factor with padded shoulder straps to eliminate fatigue while walking. This backpack has all that prompts you to get started with your fishing session right away.

A fishing backpack designed for walking anglers would’ve been a cut above its competitors if constructed of waterproof material. However, the heavy-duty fabric makes up for that issue, especially if you consider supporting it with a rain cover. Apart from that, this backpack is a durable beast.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty material
  • Tackle boxes included
  • Thick padded shoulder straps

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

Bottom Line

The SHIMANO Blackmoon Fishing Tackle Backpack is a gift delivered from a reputable brand to anglers who like to walk to their fishing spots. Along with the pre-included tackle boxes, this backpack is always ready for deployment at your will.

7. Kingdom Multifunctional Backpack – Best Multifunctional Backpack

Kingdom Multifunctional Backpack

The Kingdom Multifunctional Fishing Backpack combines quality, multifunctionality, and storage capacity in a harmonious way.

The 1000D water-resistant nylon fabric, a slightly downgraded version of the fabrics present in the Piscifun bags, makes this backpack an enduring purchase. Along with the self-lubricating YKK zippers, this backpack is here to stay.

From pliers to trays, it’s easy to organize your tackle in this lightweight backpack, thanks to its multistorey compartment and exterior zippered pockets. On top of that, this backpack is a 3-in-1, featuring a detachable backpack, a shoulder bag, and a phone bag.

The shoulder straps are reinforced with a 3D decompression ventilation technology, which allows for the air to flow through your shoulders to prevent abrasion if you wear it for a long time. The straps are also sturdy as they never loosen if you choose to readjust them to get a perfect fit.

Despite having plenty of storage space, this is still a multifunctional bag, meaning it’s an excellent storage space for recreational fishermen who want to bring their valuables to fishing sessions, albeit not ideal for multi-day fishing sessions.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant fabric
  • YKK zippers
  • 3D decompression ventilation 
  • 3 detachable bags in 1

Cons:

  • Inadequate storage for long fishing sessions

Bottom Line

With 3 detachable function bags, the Kingdom Multifunctional Fishing Backpack is an absolute go-to for recreational anglers who look for a durable backpack featuring extra storage for items on top of fishing tackle.

8. BLISSWILL Outdoor Tackle Backpack – Best Padded Backpack

BLISSWILL Outdoor Tackle Backpack

The BLISSWILL Fishing Backpack is yet another shoulder backpack on the list, number 5 being the first.

Like the Kingdom Fishing Tackle Backpack, it’s made of a 1000D water-resistant nylon fabric that is powerful and long-lasting. It also features a full-length double zipper and right/left exchangeable shoulder straps. The pads on the shoulder straps are significantly wider than any other bag on the list, allowing for less abrasion. Along with 3 detachable and adjustable straps, this bag can function as a backpack, a shoulder bag or a handbag. 

For a medium-sized bag, it has plenty of storage space. The main compartment can house 2 Plano 3600 style trays, whereas the exterior secondary compartment can accommodate a one pocket size tackle tray.

On the outside, it comes with a molded fishing rod fixing strap, a designated pocket for bottles or cups, and 2 more pockets for storing other valuables. Don’t worry about water splashes; this backpack is water-resistant from tip to toe.

The only drawback to this backpack is that it feels too heavy on one shoulder when fully loaded and worn as a shoulder bag.

Pros:

  • Multifunctional
  • Water-resistant fabric
  • Wider shoulder pads

Cons:

  • Doesn’t hold up well when fully loaded

Bottom Line

With a balance among durability, multifunctionality, and adequate storage space, the BLISSWILL Outdoor Tackle Fishing Backpack is a good call for recreational anglers who pack less sophisticated tackle alongside their valuables.

9. Lixada Tackle Backpack – Best Anti-Scratch Fabrics

Lixada Tackle Backpack

Are you looking for a blend of compactness and ample storage capacity? The Lixada Tackle Backpack makes that possible.

This fishing backpack is crafted from water-resistant and anti-scratch polyester fabrics. At the bottom, the rugged base pads protect it from recurrent wear and tear. The backpack’s backrest features breathable mesh panels for extra breathability. Combined with adjustable padded shoulder straps and a durable buckle, this backpack tempts you to wear it all the time.

One look at the backpack and you’ll find that the top and bottom compartments can be merged by a removable divider. On the sides, you get 4 zippered pockets and two mesh pouches for storing dirty or wet items. The interior houses a transparent, water-resistant pocket to keep your licenses, keys, or other valuables.

It also comes with a protective rain cover. You can choose to include 4 fishing trays when you opt for purchasing. This well-made backpack does the job for occasional fishing sessions. However, Lixada compromised here on exterior loops for tools and rods.

Pros:

  • Durable polyester construction
  • Compact
  • Ample storage capacity

Cons:

  • No exterior loops for tools
  • Trays not included by default

Bottom Line

On a one-day trip where you don’t need much gear, the Lixada Tackle Backpack offers you sufficient storage space, breathable and durable fabrics, and rain protection at a surprisingly affordable price. This backpack comes up to expectations on occasional yet prominent fishing trips.

10. SpiderWire Sling Backpack – Best Lightweight Backpack

SpiderWire Sling Backpack

With its Sling Fishing Backpack, SpiderWire offers a solution to folks who take angling as a hobby.

This polyester sling backpack comes with a 15-liter storage capacity. Its main compartment houses up to 2 medium tackle boxes. Yet, SpiderWire includes one tackle box as a generous gesture.

Additionally, it features a fleece-lined sunglasses compartment, a tool holder with tight Velcro closure, a front accessory pocket for documents and valuables, and an exterior mesh pocket for wet and dirty items.

This backpack’s key feature is the sling strap that can be worn on either shoulder. The strap is neatly padded and adjustable, so you can wear the backpack as you fish with a perfect fit. 

On top of that, SpiderWire provides a lifetime warranty against workmanship defects, applied if the backpack is used under normal conditions. A bold claim like this is a sign of confidence and high quality! 

Put in mind that this backpack shines only on short trips, you can’t expect it to withstand full-day fishing expeditions.

Pros:

  • Strong polyester construction
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 1 tackle box pre-included
  • Padded and adjustable strap

Cons:

  • Not for long fishing sessions

Bottom Line

The SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack is the savior of casual anglers going on short fishing sessions. With this backpack, your gear is always at your fingertips since you’ll be wearing it while fishing.

How to Pick a Fishing Backpack

Don’t expect every fishing backpack to suit your needs. After reviewing the best fishing backpacks available, now the time has come for you to consider some factors so you can hit that “buy” button with no regrets afterward.

Type

Fishing backpacks come in different types. The choice depends solely on why you want a fishing backpack. Is it for short trips? Or should it have plenty of storage? We’ll demonstrate the three main types of fishing backpacks:

Tackle Backpacks

This type is what people refer to when talking in general about fishing backpacks. Tackle backpacks offer the most plentiful storage capacity with their multiple compartments.

Not only do tackle backpacks accommodate tackle boxes, but they also store documents and tools, like clippers and pliers. Additionally, they also come with designated loops for rods and molded compartments for sunglasses.

However, they’re not the best option to consider if you’ll be carrying them for an extended period. You can’t carry a full-sized backpack while fishing or walking for a faraway fishing destination.

Sling Packs

They are the down-scaled version of a tackle backpack. With fairly adequate storage space, you can pack just what you need if you want to avoid clumsiness.

A sling backpack is so lightweight that you can fish while wearing them over your shoulders. They’re basically for anglers who want tackle to be at their fingertips while fishing in action.

Still, their storage capacity dare not come head-to-head with full-sized backpacks. Another drawback to sling packs is that you cannot fix them upright, so they’re prone to get dirty if you take them off.

Vest Packs

Vest packs are exclusively for fly anglers who need to stand light on their feet. 

They usually feature thermal insulation and mesh backrests for breathability. However, the storage capacity in vest packs won’t be sufficient for a full-day fishing session. You’ll need to replenish the pockets with a tackle at some point.

Comfort

An uncomfortable backpack is enough to render the whole trip pointless. The best backpacks should be the ones you can carry for a relatively long period without fatigue.

Beware of straps that fall heavily on your shoulders; they’re an indicator of abrasion. They will eventually leave you with itchy skin and sore muscles.

Make sure your next fishing backpack has enough padding and cushioning on the shoulder straps. A mesh backrest would also be ideal for ventilation in hot climates.

Water Resistance

In case you want a water-resistant backpack, opt for ones made from nylon or polyester materials, which are typically water-resistant and robust. Water-resistant backpacks will keep your catch, food, and tackle dry for most of the time. They’re easy to clean as well.

Water-resistant backpacks aren’t waterproof since water can find its way in through zippers on a rainy day. This is where protective rain covers come into play. High-end backpacks usually come with a rain cover.

There are also backpacks featuring a water-resistant pocket for the storage of electronics, valuables, and licenses.

Cooling Compartments

Cooling compartments are sometimes a must when you need to secure your catch away in a dry place, so it doesn’t taint your food. Having a cooling compartment, which usually sits on top of full-sized packs, eliminates the need to bring a sizable cooler.

Final Thoughts

After we’ve broken it down with a review of 10 best fishing backpacks in the market and a buying guide, you should now decide on what you need from a fishing backpack. 

To sum it up, backpacks are the mastermind of every fishing trip. It puts it all together in one place so you can only focus on a relentless and yielding fishing session.

If you want to opt for a second-to-none topnotch fishing backpack, the Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack will never let you down. It has it all, from storage capacity to a fancy LED light system if you find yourself fishing at dusk.

As for our runner up, the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack, it still holds up as an excellent choice if you want a full-sized backpack like our best overall but at an affordable price compared to high-end backpacks.