Best Fishing Vests: 2021 Buying Guide and Reviews

Out fishing? But you’re disappointed because you have too much equipment for you to handle while you’re in the water, missing most of your chances to catch a fish? Fly Fishing Vests (also known as trout fishing vests, is a fantastic piece of equipment designed to free you of that disorganized hell. 

A fly fishing vest helps you to carry your weights, hooks, swivels, spinners, hemostats, etc., all in one place. Now you can grab onto whenever you need it with the utmost comfort and flexibility. 

A fishing vest sits on your shoulders, spreading the weight along your body, improving balance, and getting rid of the throbbing of the hands and shoulders. 

As you go down this article, you will get to know what vest is the right choice for you, from the carefully selected models showcased as the best.

6 Best Fly Fishing Vests. Our Top Picks

Flygo Mens Summer Outdoor Work Safari Fishing Travel Photo Vest with Pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • 16 Pockets
  • Has good variation
  • Mesh
Orvis PRO Vest
  • Ergonomic
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • 18 pockets
Kylebrooker Fly Fishing Vest
  • Budget
  • Adjustable size
  • Breathable
  • 17 Pockets
Simms Headwaters Pro Mesh Fishing Vest, 20 Pockets & Rod Holder
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • 20 Pockets
  • Warranty Available
  • Mesh
BASSDASH Fly Fishing Vest Multi Pocket Waistcoat Adjustable Size
  • Water-Resistant
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Mesh
Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack with Water Bladder Adjustable for Men and Women
  • Includes Water Bladder
  • Adjustable Size
  • Comfortable

This article will give you a detailed guideline for buying the best fishing vest for you below after the product reviews.

Let’s head into the details, shall we?

Types of Fly Fishing Vests

Traditionally made from thick and robust fabrics, these are bulky vests capable of holding quite a bit of storage. The materials, usually cotton, nylon, or polyester, provide these fishing vests with high durability.

Now, along with the rest of our mother earth, these fishing vests, too, have come a long way down, using a mesh fabric to the pockets, giving you higher breathability and significantly decreasing the weight on your body.

While it all comes down to your personal preference to get your best fishing experience, let’s list down some common pros and cons for each type:-

Traditional vests:


  • Strong
  • Has a higher storage potential
  • Very Durable (Your grandfather’s one, the one he used back in the old days, might still be there somewhere)
  • It Will keep you warm during the winter


  • It might be too heavy for some
  • It can get very hot during summers
  • Takes a long time to dry

Modern Mesh Vests:


  • Lightweight
  • A lot more breathable
  • Dries easily


  • Low durability (a sharp branch might snap a thread or two of the mesh)
  • It might be a bit stretchy sometimes (Uncomfortable to some)

Flygo Mens Summer Outdoor Work Safari

This mesh vest is very breathable and lightweight for using thin nylon. This ultralight vest is considered to the best for men, especially at this price. With multiple varieties that you can choose your perfect fit from, this vest dries quickly due to its choice of material. 

Along with that beautiful feature, this vest consists of 16 pockets, 13 at the front, 2 interior pockets, while 1 at the back, making it one of its kind, as the best fly fishing vest at this low price.

Here comes the catch – finding your size. The size measurements they use probably won’t match your standard size, making it smaller. Along with few complaints about its zipper, there were cases where it stored the body’s heat as the material use of nylon.

Overall, it’s a perfect product if you’re looking for something excellent, aesthetic, and easy to dry, making it a good choice for fly anglers.


  • Low Cost
  • Excellent Storage options (16 spacious Pockets)
  • High Breathability-Good for summers
  • Lot of colors and Variations to choose from
  • Wrinkle-Resistant


  • Zipper Quality is on the lower end
  • Velcro too small

Orvis PRO Vest

Brought to you by the famous fly fishing brand Orvis (finding a fly angler/fly fishers that don’t know about it is near to impossible), its Orvis Pro is promised with new, modern ergonomics – making your comfortability its preference. 

Made with Light abrasion-resistant nylon with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating, this excellent fishing vest is heavily lightweight, with high durability topped off with waterproofing.

 Fly anglers love this equipment considering it one of the best in the market. Its padded collar and stretch mesh interior of nylon and spandex provide the best comfort to you. It conforms to your body, giving it a good fit, thus increasing motion flexibility. 

The pockets at the front, being a vertical shape, allows a higher storage capacity for those fly boxes. With a total of 18 full pockets—10 exterior pockets, 6 interior pockets, and 2 rear ones (compression-molded for the extra rigidity), for all the tools you’ll need.

Although this Orvis Pro Vest is on the expensive side, it is worth the money.


  • Water-Resistant
  • Great fit
  • Durable
  • Renowned Brand
  • Clever Storage Options (18 pockets)


  • On the expensive side

Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack

Made as a hybrid between the fishing vest and a backpack, Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack is the best-rated Fly Fishing Vest for its price. With multiple pockets throughout the front, with two waterproof zippered pockets, interior pouches, and a spacious backpack, this fishing vest has just enough storage to keep your every essential equipment organized. 

Along with the D ring net lash, it has multiple straps in the front and the back for you to clip on anything to your requirements, keeping a fly rod, for example.

With adjustable shoulder straps and waist straps, this fly vest can fit onto your body like a charm, giving you the utmost comfort; the mesh back allows for excellent breathability, keeping you cool in the warm summer. 

Some users, however, have faced issues with the heat, and the zip quality, which, by far, is a small minority. That’s not the end, though. It also includes a 2L water bladder (changeable) to keep you hydrated through the day on your fishing trip.


  • Hybrid between vest and Backpack
  • Has Water Bladder
  • Spacious Storage
  • Adjustable size
  • well constructed reinforced seams, loops, and straps


  • Low ventilation
  • Zipper Quality on the lower end

Simms Headwaters Pro Mesh Fishing Vest

Simms, another household name for every angler. Trusted by many since the 80s, this company brought us yet another great fly fishing vest. This classic-looking mesh vest is very breathable. And along with the padded rib-knit collar, it’s just way more comfortable. It makes from polyester and nylon.

Water-resistant fabric and corrosion-resistant zippers enhanced the durability of the whole thing. Indeed a point where the classic beauty joined hands with modern quality.

With 20 full pockets (4 pockets on the chest exterior, 6 on the waist exterior, 4 on the chest interior, 4 on the waist interior, and 2 on the back exterior), storage isn’t something you will have to worry about for all your gears. You see, Simms isn’t Simms for nothing. Along with a lifetime warranty, Simms brought a plethora of specialties. 

Two built-in retractors to access those little fishing accessories attached in a fraction of the time. A Third-Hand rod holder with VELCRO Brand fasteners chest tab that frees up the use of your hands, while the reel seat sling and a D-ring in the center back attach to your net.

The only ‘downside’ of this is that it’s pretty expensive and is a bit on the smaller side (check the sizes to get your perfect fit)


  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Trusted Brand
  • Durable and Breathable – Great for warm weather
  • 2 built-in retractors 
  • Added Rod Holder and D rings for efficiency and convenience
  • Massive storage (20 pockets)
  • Great Accessibility 


  • Expensive
  • On a smaller scale


Bassdash F22 is a very lightweight mesh vest made from premium quality polyester, giving it excellent water resistance and durability, and outstanding breathability. It too has got adjustable straps on the shoulder and waist, giving it the ability to fit all sizes. It allows for high flexibility.

Has 16 whole pockets to fulfill all your requirements, including water block compatibility, along with rod holder, D rings, etc

Lightweight, versatile, and expandable. It’s a vest with the versatility of a pack. The Bassdash F22 Vest designs to accommodate multiple fly boxes with a variety of sizes. The straps and cord loops allow it to fit in your favorite gears as well. And with 7 camo colors to choose from, it’s good to go for a lot more than just Fly fishing. Some even say it’s suitable for Bass fishing as well.


  • One Size Fits All
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Dries faster and breathes better
  • Filled with Extra Features – Rod Holder, D rings, Straps
  • Has a Water Block


  • Front Pockets have a bit lower space than expected 
  • Some minor Accessibility issues

Kylebrooker Fly Fishing Vest

Made of Polyester and Mesh, it’s durable, water-resistant, Lightweight (650g), and Breathable at the same time. Let’s not forget about the fact that it dries off pretty quickly as well. This Fly Fishing Vest comes with 17 exterior and interior pockets to hold all your gears, D-ring gear attachment on the back, rod holder loops & a variety of accessory loops to various tools.

It’s a versatile piece of wonder for not just fly fishing, Trout Fishing, River Fishing, and other outdoor activities too. Its adjustable straps will make the vest fit onto you, even more so because of its design suspension structure. Even though there have been complaints about the zipper quality, it’s something I’d recommend if you’re on a small budget.


  • Very Versatile
  • Breathable
  • Water-Resistant
  • Cheap
  • A lot of functional storage (17 pockets)
  • Has D-ring gear attachment
  • Rod Holder


  • Zipper Quality on the lower end

A Mini-Guide for Beginners:

Fisfing vest - guide for beginners

How do I choose a Fly Fishing Vest?

Fly fishing vests, from the more affordable Flygo Men’s to the ‘can hurt your pocket a bit’ Orvis Pro, these fly fishing vests come with a plethora of shapes, sizes, and quality. 

Now, beginners tend to skip out on the vest, invest most of what they have on the rods or end up getting too many gears. Professionals say that’s an unwise decision. As a gear, this tool is what will keep you organized, easing up multiple hardships letting you focus more on your fishing.

When buying a new flying vest, pick according to these criteria adjusting to your requirements:

  • Pockets and storage space
  • Size
  • Comfort
  • Breathability
  • Durability
  • Weather/Water Resistance
  • Aesthetics
  • Cost
  • Extra Features

Pockets and Storage

Pockets, the very things of the vest that keeps everything tidy. Everything starting from fly boxes, spinners, tippets to flies, all of them are going into this one thing. Pocket. So, make sure the vest you choose has enough pockets and space for your fly fishing gear. 

If you’re someone who plans to use the vest as the significant organizer, you’ll be needing a considerable amount of Pockets. If you’re someone who wants an extension gear vest for your existing pack, you’d like something of a minimalistic fishing vest with just the essential pockets.

I would personally keep in consideration here the accessibility of the multiple pockets to your fishing gear. If the accessibility is poor, you’ll lose a considerable amount of time getting your fishing gear, decreasing your chances of catching fish.

STAY AWAY from too many pockets (the optimum range is 10-20). You see, when you have too much space, chances are you’ll bring with you too much gear. That’ll cost you your mobility, stamina, and build-up fatigue, decreasing your performance overall.


Most dedicated vests come with a One Size Fit All option, using adjustable shoulder straps and waist straps for adjusting the fishing vest to your fit. Other than that, contact your seller to get the specific size to their labels. Just because they are the same label doesn’t mean the numbers match. Or, you might be getting bigger (Oversized might be comfortable sometimes. 

You’ll be a lucky guy if that’s true for you), or something smaller, and that’s a problem. Pick the size according to your requirements. Too bulky ones might hamper your balance, while too thin ones might not have proper storage or might be weak.

Durability and Breathability

Fabric, the determiner of both these qualities, becomes the factor determining a good fly fishing vest. Nylon, cotton, polyester, and breathable mesh fabric are the typical choices. Fabrics like cotton, nylon, and polyester will provide decent durability to your fly vest. 

Mesh vests don’t have that luxury if not a high-quality one. But mesh vests have the highest breathability keeping you comfortable throughout, keeping you cool in the heat.

As you’ll be around water, try to get your hands on a water-resistant fabric, it’ll save you the hassle of having your equipment’s durability wear out because of the water.

Comfort and Aesthetics

End of the day, it all comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Choose your fabric according to your choice from the options mentioned earlier. Higher breathability will account for keeping your body well ventilated and cool during the summer. 

Check for the padded collar and padded shoulders. You’ll know the difference it brings you the very moment it latches onto you. Your fatigue will build up at a lot lower speed, increasing your stamina and work efficiency.

While looking for that comfort, do keep an eye on how it looks. Come on; the looks matter; it increases your versatility in your fashion towards it (Funnily, that’s all about it. Aesthetics aren’t a practical option, but manufacturers make their products organized compared to others to achieve those aesthetics. That’s what you’ll be getting if you’re someone who looks only at practicality)

Extra Features and Cost

As you go through your vest options, you’ll notice several extra vest features that’ll be helpful to you in the long run. Water Blocks – You need to stay hydrated. A rod holder so that your hands can remain free. Gear attachment tabs, straps, D rings, etc.

Let’s talk green now. All these points, in the end, come down to cost. You’ll be ready to cut down on your comfort according to your budget. Our list here has its low to high-cost options. Check them out to see which one is most suited to you.

Happy Fishing! 

Also, read

6 Best Hip Waders in 2021

How Much Does It Cost to Mount a Fish?

Trout Fishing For Beginners

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