14 Best Fishing Backpacks Reviewed

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Best Fishing Backpacks

Welcome to my review of the best fishing backpacks!

Choosing a good fishing backpack isn’t as simple as just getting the biggest one or the one with the most pockets. There’s no denying that space and organisation are important, but so are durability, comfort, and lightness. With so many fishing backpacks out there, it took us 21 hours to sift through them all. In the end, we decided that these 14 are the best on the market.

If you’re short on time and need a recommendation fast, get the Yeti Panga 28L Backpack. With 28 litres of storage space and waist and belt straps, it’s big and comfortable to wear. Furthermore, not only is it IPX7 waterproof, but it’s even resistant to punctures and abrasions. It also comes with a 3-year warranty and is easy to clean.

That said, it is rather pricey and not every angler needs a waterproof fishing backpack. If that wasn’t what you were looking for, fret not, you’ve got more than a dozen other affordable options to choose from.

Let’s get started!

Our Top 14 Picks

  1. Yeti Panga 28L Backpack (Best Overall)
  2. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack (Best Capacity)
  3. Wild River CLC WT3604 Nomad Lighted Backpack (Best For Night Fishing)
  4. Wild River CLC 503 Recon Lighted Backpack (Best Night Fishing Lightness)
  5. KastKing Day Tripper Backpack (Best For Beginners)
  6. Lunkerhunt LTS Tackle Backpack (Best Budget Capacity)
  7. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack (Best Organisation)
  8. Sucipi Fishing Tackle Backpack (Best Budget Organisation)
  9. Blisswill Fishing Backpack (Best Lightness)
  10. Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack (Best Budget)
  11. Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack (Best For Fly Fishing)
  12. YVLEEN Fishing Sling Backpack (Best Overall Sling)
  13. Piscifun Sling (Best Sling For Beginners)
  14. KastKing BlowBak Tactical Fishing Sling (Best Budget Sling)

The 14 Best Fishing Backpacks

Before we begin, do note that some of our listed weights differ from the product page’s. That’s because to make it easier for you to compare between backpacks, all our listed weights are for empty backpacks without utility trays. On the other hand, some of the product pages include the weight of the utility trays in their stated weight.

Do also note that you’ll see more than one weight for some backpacks as they have multiple sizes.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s begin!


Best Overall

1. Yeti Panga 28L Backpack

  • Capacity: 3 x 3700 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Waterproof
  • Holders: Rod

Starting things off is a fishing backpack that you can bring anywhere, for any purpose – the Yeti Panga 28L Backpack. Not only is it waterproof with lots of storage space, but it’s also the most durable fishing backpack available and is comfortable to carry.

Firstly, 28 litres of storage space allows you to bring along 3 3700 utility trays. And even then, you’ll have more than enough room to spare for your lunch box and other essentials.

Second, the IPX7 waterproofing means not a single drop of water will enter this bag even if you completely submerge it. You can rest assured your belongings will be snug and dry even in the fiercest thunderstorms.

Third, the high-density nylon, thick TPU lamination, and Hydrolok zipper make this waterproof backpack the toughest on the market. In fact, it’s so tough that it can resist scratches, scrapes, and even being punctured. This means you won’t have to constantly worry about rocks damaging your backpack or your zipper.

Lastly, it comes with ergonomic shoulder straps, removable chest straps, and a waist belt. The wide ergonomic shoulder straps provide more surface area to disperse the backpack’s load, making it less tiring to carry. The chest straps and waist belt further enhance comfort by letting your chest and waist help bear the load. Together, the shoulder straps, chest straps, and waist belt make for a backpack you can carry all day with ease.

So far so good, but no fishing backpack is perfect. The Yeti Panga 28L Backpack is an incredible backpack, but I would have preferred more compartments. It’s also a bit stiff due to its high density. This can cause some slight discomfort in carrying, though not a big deal. In addition, you’ll need to modify the backpack a little to add a rod holder as shown in the video below.

Other than that, this waterproof backpack has no flaws. 

As a bonus, it also comes with a 3-year warranty and is really easy to clean. To clean it, just spray it with a mixture of dish soap and water. Then, rinse it with fresh water, thoroughly wipe the inside dry, and apply zipper lubricant.

All things considered, the Yeti Panga 28L Backpack isn’t flawless, but it’s the best fishing backpack that money can get. It is rather expensive though, so it’s a long-term investment meant only for serious fishermen.


Best Capacity

2. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

  • Capacity: 4 x 3700 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Waterproof
  • Holders: Rod

Next up, the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack has the largest capacity I’ve ever seen. It’s also waterproof, durable, and comfortable.

Like the Yeti Panga, this waterproof fishing backpack has got 28 litres of working space. The difference lies in its dimensions. With a longer side length, it has enough room for one more 3700 utility tray.

Another thing that both waterproof fishing backpacks have in common is TPU coating. As you’d expect from the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack, it’s submersible – Duh.

Finally, this backpack is extremely comfortable. This is thanks to the many straps and back panel designed for comfort. The lightweight foam shoulder strap is easy on your shoulder. Meanwhile, the hip and waist belt help spread the load through your body. The molded back panel enables circulation to help prevent heat from being trapped behind your back. This translates to a more cooling fishing journey, especially in the summer. The waist belt is also adjustable and can be removed in case you ever feel that you don’t need it.

Now let’s talk about the downsides. Once again, like the Yeti Panga, this fishing backpack is lacking in compartments. It’s also less durable, although it does have a self-healing TRU zipper that beats the Yeti Panga’s. What’s more, the Fishpond Thunderhead isn’t as stif. And it has a molded back panel, putting it above the Yeti Panga in terms of comfort.

Another thing to note about this waterproof backpack is that its rod holder can hold two rods. Environmentalists will also be glad to hear that this backpack is made of recycled commercial fishing nets.

Sharp-eyed readers will have realised that the Yeti Panga and this backpack have the same price. As such, if you value durability, get the Yeti Panga. Otherwise, if comfort and size are more important to you, then you should get the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack.


Best For Night Fishing

3. Wild River CLC WT3604 Nomad Lighted Backpack

  • Capacity: 4 x 3600 Utility Trays (Included)
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Pliers, Sunglasses

The previous two backpacks were amazing, but this fishing backpack has the one thing they don’t – an integrated LED light system. The Nomad Lighted Backpack is the only backpack I ever take on my night fishing trips. Here’s why.

Fishing backpacks with integrated LED light systems are few and far between. It’s even rarer to find one that has a large capacity, is rugged, and is comfortable to carry. Nonetheless, the Nomad Lighted Backpack has it all.

Starting with the integrated LED light system, this feature allows you to see the entire backpack’s contents at night clearly. In fact, you’ll be able to see them as clearly as if it were day. This makes finding your tackle a breeze, which equates to a much more enjoyable fishing trip.

Next, this backpack is large enough to fit 4 3600 tackle boxes. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never needed more room for my tackle than 4 3600 trays can provide.

As for durability, there isn’t much information on why this tackle bag is so long-lasting. But this is my fifth year using it and it’s still holding up fine. I’d definitely put this backpack up there in durability.

Then, to seal the deal, this backpack is equipped with large adjustable padded shoulder straps and a chest strap. These ensure the Nomad Lighted Backpack is easy to wear.

The only con I have with this backpack is that the side pockets are smaller than expected. The side pockets are shaped like an inverted triangle, broad at the top, but narrow at the bottom. This limits the number of lures I can put in them.

Aside from that minor con, the Nomad Lighted Backpack is the dream backpack for fishing at night. And in the event that it starts raining, it even has a protective rain cover that can be quickly deployed. 

Needless to say, for night anglers, this is the fishing backpack I’d recommend.


Best Night Fishing Lightness

4. Wild River CLC 503 Recon Lighted Backpack

  • Capacity: 2 x 3600 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Pliers

This next fishing backpack is, in essence, a smaller and lighter version of the Nomad Lighted Backpack. The Recon Lighted Backpack is alike in many ways to the Nomad Lighted Backpack. However, it has several key differences that make it better suited for certain anglers. Here’s everything you need to know about this backpack.

Durability-wise, both backpacks use the same material, so you can expect the same toughness.

Comfort-wise, this tackle bag also has large adjustable padded shoulder straps, but no chest strap. The thing is, the point of a chest strap is to lighten the burden on your shoulders. Since this backpack is lighter and has less capacity, you won’t need a chest strap. Thus, the Recon Lighted Backpack is as comfortable to wear as the Nomad Lighted Backpack.

Some other similarities that both backpacks share are a protective rain cover and of course, the integrated LED light system.

Here’s where they start to differ.

Size-wise, the Recon Lighted Backpack is much smaller. In fact, it’s smaller than many other fishing backpacks I’ve seen. It’s a tad too small for my liking and can only fit 2 3600 tackle boxes.

Despise that, weight-wise, this backpack is more than a pound lighter, which does make up for the smaller size.

In short, both backpacks are first-rate night fishing backpacks. If you’re the type to carry a ton of tackle, you should get the Nomad Lighted Backpack. If not, for those who prefer a lighter but smaller night fishing backpack, this is the backpack for you.


Best For Beginners

5. KastKing Day Tripper Backpack

  • Capacity: 4 x 3600 Utility Trays (Included for certain options)
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Pliers

Coming in at number 5 is the KastKing Day Tripper Backpack. The interesting thing about this backpack is that it’s not the best in anything. Instead, it’s a well-balanced mix of everything.

For capacity, 4 3600 utility trays offer plenty of space for all the tackle you could need.

For organisation, there are 2 rod holders and easy-to-access waist pockets. The waist pockets allow you to organise your smaller belongings and reach them without any hassle when you’re wearing the backpack.

For durability, this backpack is made with rip-stop nylon and self-healing loop zippers. This ensures that your bag won’t become useless from an accidental split zipper.

For comfort, there is an adjustable chest strap, waist strap, and a padded back pad.

And as for weight, at 2.2 pounds, it’s exceptionally light, although there are lighter fishing backpacks out there.

By now, it should be obvious the KastKing Day Tripper isn’t the pick of the brunch in any aspect. However, it does well in every aspect, making it ideal for beginners. Moreover, because it isn’t at the top in any aspect, it has a lower price point than the previous backpacks.


Best Budget Capacity

6. Lunkerhunt LTS Tackle Backpack

  • Capacity: 3 x 3700 Utility Trays (Included)
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Waterproof
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle

If you liked the Fishpond Thunderhead but found it too costly, you’re going to love this backpack.

The Lunkerhunt LTS Tackle Backpack is able to hold 3 3700 Utility trays. While that still isn’t as much as the Fishpond Thunderhead, other than it, no other backpack can beat this one in storage space.

On top of that, it’s more than 3 times cheaper. And whereas the Fishpond Thunderhead doesn’t come with utility trays, this backpack does, so you don’t have to buy any.

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice capacity, this is the fishing backpack for you.


Best Organisation

7. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

  • Capacity: 4 x 3600 Utility Trays (Included)
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Bottle, Sunglasses

Now let’s move on to our next fishing backpack – the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack. This backpack was crafted for anglers who are obsessed with organisation.

Armed with top-notch SBS zippers that divide it into 11 independent areas, this tackle bag contains 18 small compartments. The bottom compartment can also store 4 3600 utility trays. If 18 separate compartments isn’t enough for you, then I don’t know what is.

If you’re the type to keep everything neat and organized, you might want to give this backpack a shot. Just note that the utility trays have poor hinges. They also aren’t very sturdy, although they’ll still get the job done.


Best Budget Organisation

8. Sucipi Fishing Tackle Backpack

  • Capacity: 4 x 3600 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle, Pliers, Sunglasses

The Sucipi Fishing Tackle Backpack is another well-designed fishing backpack for organisation. This is a great alternative to the previous backpack if you already have utility trays.

This backpack has fewer compartments than the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack. In spite of that, everything has a place in this tackle bag. There’s a rod holder, water bottle holder, pliers holder, and a sunglasses pouch. The adjustable shoulder straps also have loop holes for key rings and such. And the bottom compartment holds up to 4 3600 utility trays.

The Sucipi Fishing Tackle Backpack is 30 bucks cheaper than the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack as it doesn’t come with the trays. If you’re looking for a fishing backpack with excellent organisation but without trays, there’s no better backpack for you.


Best Lightness

9. Blisswill Fishing Backpack

  • Capacity: 2 x 3700 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 1.9, 2.2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle, Pliers

When it comes to lightness, the Blisswill Fishing Backpack is unsurpassed.

Weighing in at a mere 1.9 pounds for the medium size, this fishing backpack has no equal when it comes to being light.

Granted, it is small compared to other fishing backpacks, but it’s still large enough for 2 3700 utility trays. It also has a rod holder, bottle pocket, and a pliers holder.

In spite of its small size, it’s efficiently built to maximise the space available. Fishermen who carry less gear can get this unbeatably light fishing backpack to reduce fatigue.


Best Budget

10. Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack

  • Capacity: 3 x 3600 Utility Trays (Included)
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Sunglasses

We chose this as our best budget fishing backpack because it delivers everything you need at the lowest price possible.

This backpack can store 3 3600 utility trays that are included with the purchase. Even with the 3 trays included, it’s one of the most affordable quality fishing backpacks you’ll ever see.

Now consider that 3 cheap tackle trays would cost at least $15. This means the price of this tackle bag without the utility trays is only $45. And that’s assuming the tackle trays are low-quality, which they aren’t.

Finding a good wallet-friendly fishing backpack is no mean feat. But when you’re trying to keep costs down, the Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack is as good as it gets.


Best For Fly Fishing

11. Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack

  • Capacity: Not Applicable
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Waterproof (Certain pockets)
  • Holders: Rod, Pliers

Light and constructed with many pockets, this is the cream of the crop of fly fishing vests.

At just 2 pounds and with a 2-litre BPA free water bladder, this fly fishing vest permits long days on the water.

Plus, the two pockets with diagonal zippers are waterproof so you can keep items such as your phone dry.

Add all these up, and you’ve got a fly fishing vest that’s hard to beat. There’ll no doubt be better fly fishing backpacks in the future. But for now, the Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack is your best bet if you’re going fly fishing.


Best Overall Sling

12. YVLEEN Fishing Sling Backpack

  • Capacity: 2 x 3700 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle, Pliers

Moving on to sling backpacks, up first is the YVLEEN Fishing Sling Backpack.

As you’d expect, sling backpacks are smaller in size. As a result, they have less room than regular fishing backpacks. But even so, you can fit 2 3700 utility trays in this fishing sling backpack.

Aside from that, this shoulder bag also has a sweatproof rear mesh fabric cushion for comfort. And for durability, it’s got anti-rust SBS two-way zippers.

If you have the means, this is the fishing sling backpack you should get.


Best Sling For Beginners

13. Piscifun Sling

  • Capacity: 2 x 3600 Utility Trays (Not included)
  • Weight: 1.8, 2.7 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle, Pliers

Next on the list is the Piscifun Sling. This sling backpack is more suitable for beginners because of its smaller size and lower price point.

As a glance at its features would tell you, the Piscifun Sling can accommodate 2 3600 utility trays. Beginners usually have lesser tackle so 2 trays should suffice.

The Piscifun Sling is also made with an abrasion-resistant buckle and two-way SBS zippers to endure harsh elements.

In terms of storage, the Piscifun Sling is inferior to the YVLEEN Fishing Sling Backpack. However, it makes up for it by being $10 more affordable. Some beginners with less tackle may not need the extra storage. If you’re one of them, you can opt for the cheaper Piscifun Sling instead.


Best Budget Sling

14. KastKing BlowBak Tactical Fishing Sling

  • Capacity: 2 x 3600 Utility Trays (Included)
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Waterproof/Water-Resistant: Water-Resistant
  • Holders: Rod, Bottle, Pliers, Sunglasses

If none of the above fishing sling backpacks appealed to you, I’m guessing it’s a matter of price. That’s why I included the KastKing BlowBak Tactical Fishing Sling.

At $33, this fishing sling backpack costs the same as the Piscifun Sling and is even the same size. The difference is, with this sling backpack, for the same price, you also get 2 3600 utility trays. The 2 3600 tackle trays are worth at the very least $10. Minus that from the $33, and this fishing sling backpack essentially only costs $23.

If you’re strapped for cash and don’t have tackle trays, this is the fishing sling backpack you’re looking for.


Things To Look For In A Fishing Backpack

For those who prefer to make their own judgement, here are the factors you’ll need to take into account when choosing a fishing backpack.

Size/Capacity

The amount of space you’ll need will depend on how much gear you’re carrying. This in turn is decided by how long you’re planning to fish for and your personal preference.

An afternoon of fishing will call for much less gear than say, a camping trip of a few days.

Some anglers also prefer to stick to a few tried-and-tested lures. Others like to have a large variety to switch up their fishing style or in case one doesn’t work.

After considering the length of your fishing trip and how you like to fish, you should have a rough idea of how much space you’ll need. 

Durability/Waterproofing

It’s also important to get a durable fishing backpack because even the best backpack in the world is useless if it falls apart after one use.

Features that enhance durability are often explicitly stated on the product page. These include abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, and corrosion resistance.

Some of you may be wondering what waterproofing has to do with durability. Well, they’re not directly related, but you can wash waterproof bags without water getting into the fabric of the bag itself. Bags that aren’t waterproof will be wear quicker when you wash them.

Fishing Equipment Compartments

What sets fishing backpacks apart from normal backpacks are the fishing tackle compartments.

Having specific compartments for fishing tackle makes it much easier to access them when you need them. They’re also more space-efficient. For example, rod holders don’t even take up space inside your backpack.

The main special compartments you’ll find in fishing backpacks are rod holders, bottle pockets, pliers holders, and sunglasses pouches. You can also use any additional pouches to store more fishing tools.

Organisation

You’ll also want to have enough pockets in your fishing backpack to organise your fishing gear.

Items like keys should have a separate pocket, as should your phone. This will save you the hassle of rummaging through a pile of items to find your keys. 

When you allocate a pocket to an item, you’ll also be reminded of that item when you see that the pocket is empty.

Comfort

If you only need to walk 10 minutes to get to your fishing spot, comfort won’t be an issue. But it’s an entirely different story if you’re hiking for hours with your fishing backpack.

If you belong to the latter group, it’s critical that your fishing backpack is light, breathable, and helps disperse the load throughout your body.

Different Types Of Fishing Backpacks

These 14 fishing backpacks consist of 2 types of fishing backpacks – traditional and sling. But there’s actually a third, rarely-seen type of fishing backpack. We’ll cover them all here.

Traditional

Traditional fishing backpacks are the most often seen and the most popular type. This is your typical backpack with two shoulder straps that’s carried on your back.

Traditional fishing backpacks can hold more gear than fishing sling backpacks. However, they’re also heavier.

Rolling

As the name suggests, rolling backpacks have wheels and a handle for pulling.

Even if you put a lot of tackle in them, you can still pull them with relatively little effort. As such, they tend to be larger than traditional backpacks so you can put in more gear.

Sling

Fishing sling backpacks are the smallest of the bunch, but also the lightest. 

They have only one strap. That one strap is meant for slinging the backpack over one shoulder, thus the name sling backpack.

Why It’s Worth Having A Fishing Backpack

If you’re looking to try out fishing and aren’t sure you like it yet, don’t waste money on a fishing backpack. Chances are, the amount of fishing gear you have could fit into a fanny pack anyway.

If you’re a seasoned angler, you likely already have a fishing backpack. So this section is more for new anglers that are now sure they really want to get into fishing.

Right now, I’m guessing you’ve got a few lures and a fishing rod and reel, and maybe a pair of pliers. You sure as heck won’t need a fishing backpack for that amount of gear. But while it may not seem like it, you’ll soon have too much fishing gear for a normal backpack to organise properly.

As you fish more, you’ll have more lures. You might also start bringing foldable chairs, sand spike rod holders, blankets, and even an extra fishing rod and reel. Sure you could try to fit that into a regular backpack, but a fishing backpack offers much more organisation and convenience. Plus, truth be told, a fishing backpack is freaking cool to have.

Another benefit to fishing backpacks is their compatibility with other gear carriers. Most fishing backpacks have this compatibility, but some allow you to attach additional compartments. These include an extra pouch behind the backpack, a chest pack, and a water bottle holder.

Frequently Asked Questions

At this point, I’ve already covered almost everything you’ll need to know. But if you still have any questions, you might find the answers below.

Who Are Those Who Will Need A Fishing Backpack?

Earlier, we already clarified who should get a fishing backpack, but this is about those who need one.

And to be honest, nobody needs a fishing backpack. After all, no matter how much fishing gear you have, if you get a big enough regular backpack, it’ll still get the job done.

Notwithstanding that, a fishing backpack will organise all your tackle well. This will save you lots of time and hassle searching for small items. If you’d rather spend more time trying to find your items and less time fishing, then, by all means, get a regular backpack.

What should I bring in my fishing backpack?

When you go fishing, first and foremost, you’ll need a fishing license. Once you’ve got that, make sure you’ve got these in your fishing backpack:

  1. Rod & Reel With Line (MUST NOT FORGET)
  2. Hooks, Swivels, Bobbers, & Sinkers (If needed)
  3. Baits & Lures
  4. Needle Nose Plier
  5. Nail Clipper (For cutting line)
  6. Water Bottle
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Fishfinder
  9. Sunglasses

Note that the items from number 7 onwards are optional, but good to have.

Why can’t I just use a regular backpack for fishing?

For those who are still sticking with a regular backpack, consider this. 

10 years down the road, you’re going to look back and feel a deep regret. You’ll realise that you would have had a lot more fun fishing if you didn’t have to dig through the many things in your disorganised regular backpack.

Additionally, I’ve found that a fishing backpack helps motivate me to go fishing. 

Picture this.

It’s the middle of winter. You’re contemplating whether or not to go ice fishing. You take a look at your normal backpack that looks like it’s about to burst with all the gear stuffed in it.

How would you feel?

Now picture instead a neat and fully-stocked fishing backpack.

See what I mean?

My Verdict

Hopefully, you’ve now made up your mind on whether or not to get a fishing backpack.

In case you’re still unsure which one you should get, you can’t go wrong with the Yeti Panga 28L Backpack. It’s big, comfortable, super durable, and waterproof. What more could you ask for?

Anyway, even if you ultimately decide that a fishing backpack isn’t the right choice for you, you can still have a ton of fun fishing. Whatever your choice, do have a great time on the water!

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Reuben went on his first fishing trip when he was 9. That's when he fell in love with fishing. When he's not fishing, he's searching for new gear and ways to fish better.