Properly preparing for a fishing trip involves multiple steps. Not only do you have to ensure your gear is in good condition, you need somewhere to pack it as well. Thankfully, fishing backpacks bring all the spaces necessary to store your hooks, baits, hook removers, flys, landing nets, and more!
All with the convenience of storing it in a single location! A quality fishing pack is the perfect companion for your trip! Not only will you be able to bring more gear with you, but also carry it with ease.
Yet, with the number of products in the market, how will you find the best one? Well, sit back and read our list as we discuss the top eight best fishing backpacks in the market!
The Best Parts of a Fishing Backpack
You might be under the impression that a tackle box is all you need to pack the essentials for a fishing trip. But, while that’s not necessarily untrue, there is a lot to be said regarding the unique benefits of a fishing backpack.
Tackle boxes are small and easy to carry with a single hand. However, they negatively affect your movement. If you’re traversing through tough terrain with one arm occupied is dangerous. Preventing you from properly balancing or catching yourself if you fell.
However, a fishing backpack solves all those issues mentioned. By keeping your arms free at all times, you can continue trekking along without losing the use of either hand. By allowing you to traverse through streams, lakes, and rivers safely, backpacks are functional and practical in terms of mobility.
2. Storage Space
It doesn’t matter how much you think you can carry in your hands. You’ll arms will never be able to hold as much as your back. Even tackle boxes don’t provide as much space to bring all the extra equipment you’d want to have with you. But, that isn’t a problem for fishing backpacks. They provide you with all the storage space you want to fit all your gear inside.
But, that’s only one benefit to the extra storage space. Having it all in one single spot, or by designating each pocket for a specific purpose, you reduce the time spent looking around for a particular item. That means your bait, hooks, tackles, hook removers, etc. can be found quickly and efficiently. Maximizing your time casting, and eliminating the time spent on menial searches.
Finally, multiple pockets means additional space for bait. Some fish require different types of bait for catching them. Having the space to store multiple kinds of bait means you’ll be able to pursue these critters with ease! The same goes for tackles, as different types will make catching carps or trouts much easier.
Carrying all your gear at the same time can cause discomfort after long distances. Backpacks allow you to redistribute the weight of your equipment across your entire upper body. This factor reduces the stress on your body. Allowing you to spend long stretches at the lake fishing instead of resting due to muscle exhaustion.
Additionally, if you’re worried about back sweat, don’t be too alarmed. Most fishing backpacks come with air meshes to prevent overheating your body.
One last nifty feature that makes fishing backpacks perfect for any angler is the safety features. A few of these packs come with reflective materials that increase your visibility at night.
Not only will you be easier to find, but also become visible to boaters nearby. Additionally, you can always add reflective tape to your backpack if it doesn’t naturally come with this feature.
What You Want from a Fishing Backpack?
Fishing backpacks come in numerous sizes. Thankfully, they all bring most of the features you want or need from one. Here are the main things you’ll want to look for before making your purchase.
Backpacks can carry a substantial amount of weight without breaking. However, remaining lightweight requires the pack to sacrifice its frame. Certainly, the missing frame reduces a few pounds, but that also means you’re missing out on comfort and added support. As such, you’ll want to look for a backpack that strikes a balance between comfortability and weight.
Alternatively, you can also reduce the overall load by storing only the essentials. Not that we recommend taking such drastic measures. We prefer to bring everything with us on our trips.
Humans love comfort. If your backpack is uncomfortable, you will not want to wear it regardless of how much weight it can carry. Finding a backpack with plenty of padding and a breathable mesh goes a long way towards making your trip a successful one.
Comfort is a particularly important trait for longer trips. Your body will inevitably become exhausted after prolonged hikes. Without the proper airflow, you’ll be sweating up a storm. Finally, consider the pain in your shoulders the following day.
If you don’t want to feel the burn in your upper body, consider buying a pack with straps. You can use these to rest the backpack on your waist, reducing the overall load on your upper body.
3. Storage Capacity
If you’re looking for a fishing backpack, your objective is likely to bring the maximum amount of gear possible. However, consider the amount of equipment you already own before making any purchases. Buying a bigger backpack will tempt you to purchase more gear in an attempt to fill it up. But, remember that the more you bring, the heavier it will become.
Seasoned anglers typically prefer larger backpacks, but if you’re starting your collection, consider a medium one instead. Smaller fishing packs are good for casual fishermen who want to make a short trip to the lake or river. But, consider a larger backpack if you’re planning on anything longer than an hour or two.
4. Pockets, Trays, and Compartments
Fishing backpacks come with a plethora of pockets and compartments. Having these allows you to allocate each space for a specific purpose. The majority of fishing packs give you a couple of pockets and two or three major compartments.
You’ll find that the number of spaces you need will depend on your preference. But, also consider how you will store your gear before making any purchases.
Furthermore, the majority of fishing backpacks come with trays. These will help you organize your tackle and bait while fishing.
5. Rain Covers
Ask any angler if they’ve ever been fishing in the rain, and the majority will say yes. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s only a matter of time until it does. Thankfully, some fishing backpacks come with rain covers to protect your equipment. Rain and water can damage your gear leading to additional expenses in the form of replacements and repairs. Additionally, dry bait can also spoil in the rain.
A rain cover will prevent these situations from happening by covering your backpack in the rainy weather. You can also purchase one separately.
Rain is not the only scenario where your backpack might get wet. However, we hope that you at least try to keep yours as dry as possible.
Yet life can happen in an instant, you might lose your footing, or drop your backpack into the water by mistake. For those scenarios, it’s better to have a waterproofed backpack.
Just keep in mind that waterproof backpacks are considerably pricier than regular ones.
When purchasing a fishing backpack, look for extra features that might come in handy. Some backpacks, bring trays as mentioned earlier and a few of them bring built-in lights too. Others have reflector straps for low-visibility environments. Finally, there are a few that give you extra belts and holders for your rod and gear.
Top 8 Best Fishing Backpacks 2020
Wild River Nomad
Cordura, Nylon and other
Piscifun Fishing Tackle
Best Cross Shoulder Pack
Wild River by CLC
Best Heavy-Duty Pack
Allen Gunnison Switch Pack
Best Convertible Backpack
Calissa Recon Tackle Backpack
Best Rolling/Backpack Combo
Calcutta Explorer River
Multifunction Fishing Backpack
As usual, we want to specify that these backpacks are the best in their respective categories. Fishing backpacks serve multiple purposes, and whether you’re a casual or hardcore angler, something on this list will pique your interest.
1. Wild River Nomad Custom Leather w/ USB Charger – Editor’s Choice
CLC is a brand that needs no introduction in the world of fishing. Their Wild River Nomad, however, is one of our favorite backpacks.
This wonderful pack provides the user with a 5000mAh battery to power up their phone after a long day of fishing. It’s easy to lose track of time while at the lake. Plenty of fishermen know the feeling of heading home without any means of communicating with the family. However, with the Wild River Nomad, that isn’t an issue.
You can simply charge your cellphone via the integrated USB charging system on the way back to your truck. However, these aren’t the only places where the Nomad excels.
Plenty of storage space allows you to carry all your gear. Lumbar support makes it comfortable to wear for long hours. A rain cover keeps your pack safe from the elements.
Finally, an integrated light helps you find everything you need even when its dark outside.
- Technologically advanced!
- Perfect for day and night fishing
- Plenty of storage
- No rod holder
- Could use more padding
2. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Cross Shoulder Bag – Best Cross Shoulder Pack
Fishing backpacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but Piscifun’s Fishing Tackle Cross Shoulder bag offers plenty of storage and style.
Durable, spacious and versatile are the perfect attributes to describe this backpack. Offering designated pocket spaces for bottles, rods, tools, and giving you extra ones for whatever you deem necessary. Water-resistant Nylon protects your gear from the elements and keeps your bait dry.
A breathable mesh allows you to sweat freely, preventing overheating and keeping your back cool. Finally, the over the shoulder carry distributes the weight across your chest for easier transportation.
- Stylish and practical
- Plenty of space and pockets
- Belt strap helps reduce the weight on your shoulders
- Good price
- The plastic for the clips isn’t the best quality.
3. Wild River by CLC – Best High-End
Anglers looking for a high-end backpack, but without the need for a pocket-charger should take a gander at the Wild River by CLC. This fishing backpack brings all the extra bells and whistles you need for the best fishing experience possible.
A handy front pocket turns into a tray for placing your tackle and bait. Easy to access storage makes reaching all your gear easy! It even has a dedicated glasses pocket for safekeeping.
But, what about the storage space? The Wild River comes with ample storage space and four side pockets for whatever additional gear you might want. You’ll never miss anything when you splurge on one of these babies.
Finally, the Wild River is a technology wonder, featuring an integrated LED light system that will let you fish from morning until night without any problems!
- Innovative Features
- Plenty of storage
4. Shimano Blackmoon – Best Heavy-Duty Pack
If durability is your primary concern, take a look at Shimano’s Blackmoon. This heavy-duty pack doesn’t include some of the bells and whistles that other packs offer, but it makes up for it in resilience. Thanks to its dense material built, this pack is built to last for years. Ensuring your investment is well spent.
However, while it doesn’t feature the space that other packs on this list do, it makes up for it by including a tackle box inside. Two side pockets serve as additional space for storing gear or items as you please. Plus its design choice means it stays upright as long as you keep it in a stable surface
Finally, it comes in two different sizes that will give you the option of deciding whether you want more space or less carry weight.
- Extremely Durable
- Comes with a tackle box
- Heavy for its size
5. Allen Gunnison Switch Pack – Best Convertible Backpack
Versatility is the name of the game for Allen Gunnison’s Switch Pack. This versatile pack can switch from your back to your shoulders with a simple change.
But, that’s not the only benefit to this particular fishing backpack. As plenty of pockets and space make it a good choice for anglers looking to spend a fair amount of time at the lake or pier. It even includes a dedicated hydration pocket and even water-resistant storage for your essentials.
Finally, it’s easy to carry, and its zippers are surprisingly durable.
- Switches from back to side easily
- Plenty of space
- The hydro pack and extra space make it heavier than other backpacks
6. Calissa Recon Tackle Backpack – Best Rolling/Backpack Combo
Sometimes you don’t feel like carrying your fishing backpack the entire way. Other days, you’re simply strolling near the roads or pavements to the nearby pier. For those days, the Recon Rolling Fishing Pack is your best bet!
This fantastic companion to your fishing gear is both a backpack and a rolling car for your equipment.
Featuring everything you need from a fishing backpack, the Recon Tackle Backpack is big and spacious. A fast access trap door fits four tackle containers for accessibility. Additionally, the extra compartments on the top feature everything you need to have on hand whenever you’re going fishing!
Corrosion is a big concern for these types of carts; thankfully, it’s made from corrosion-resistant materials that ensure its longevity.
- Easy to bring with you everywhere!
- Brings plenty of storage and pockets
- Switch from cart mode to backpack mode in an instant
- Can tilt forward if improperly balanced
7. Calcutta Explorer – Best Multi-Purpose
If you’re the type of angler who loves fishing and his an evening at Starbucks with your laptop, Calcutta’s Explorer is for you! This versatile pack works great whether you’re at the lake or going to sip some coffee at the local joint. You can use it for school or going fishing without hindering its performance!
Plenty of storage space means you can bring everything you need with you. You can even load a tackle tray on the top compartment that fully opens up. Plenty of padding makes it easy to carry regardless of what you pack inside.
A designated laptop pocket keeps it protected and safe even as you travel.
- Useful in everyday situations
- Good price
- No designated rod pockets
8. Large size 3 in 1 Multifunction Fishing Backpack – Best Budget Chair Pack
A seat can be hard to come by in the pier or lake. Thankfully, this multifunction fishing backpack serves as both a chair and a fishing pack. With plenty of storage space and a good carrying capacity (around 300 pounds), it is sure to please.
A built-in cooler bag keeps your food safe for consumption as you spend your day at the lake, but it’s not the only thing it can do. As it can also serve as a chair when you need somewhere to sit down in a hurry!
Finally, its comfortable straps help reduce the stress on your shoulders, keeping you going for longer.
- Serves as an emergency chair
- Can be used almost anywhere, whether you’re hiking or visiting the pier
- Not a good option for larger bodies
Bringing all your gear with you is a fantastic way of facilitating your journey. Fishing backpacks are the perfect companion for any angler on the go. Just remember to consider all your options before making a purchase.
If your objective is clear, it will make it easier to choose the qualities/features you want in a backpack. After all, there is no reason to pay extra for a product you won’t be using to its fullest potential. Just remember, as always, your goal is to have fun and make the most of your trip!