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Best Fly Fishing Vests 2017 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Top Pick
We’ve talked to a lot of people who take their fishing very seriously, and the result is that we can recommend the Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest. If you are looking for a fly fishing vest that can easily accommodate all the gear you will ever need, is extremely comfortable to wear, and will last for many years, this is the one to go for.
Product DescriptionUsers ScoreOverall Score
Editor choice
Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest

Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest

This is a great vest, and our number one choice for today, for one simple reason – it has the best pockets of all the ...

User Rating: 2.45 (3 votes)
2 Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

This is a really solid vest for fly fishing, and only missed out on our top spot for today because it can get a little ...

User Rating: 3.85 (1 votes)
3 Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

This is a classic fly fishing vest, built in a style that your grandfather would recognize. When you use this vest, ...

User Rating: 3.55 (1 votes)
4 Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Strap Pack Fishing Vest

Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Strap Pack Fishing Vest

This vest for fly fishing takes a slightly different approach to the others we are reviewing today. Here, the focus ...

User Rating: 4.1 (1 votes)

Fly Fishing Vests

What is a vest for fly fishing, and what should it do?

If you’ve been fly fishing for a while, it’s likely that you’ve built up a huge amount of kit, and want to take as much as possible with you when you go to fish. A good vest for fly fishing will let you carry essential equipment comfortably, improving your adaptability and ultimately improving your success rates.

Though primarily used to carry gear, getting a good fly fishing vest has several other advantages. Having your equipment close to hand, and well-organised in several pockets, means that you will always have the right tool for the job at hand. The best fly fishing vests are also very hard-wearing, protecting your valuable equipment and improving its lifespan.

If you’re wondering about how to set and wear your vest properly check this out:

Our Reviews

Everybody has different priorities when it comes to the perfect vest for fly fishing. Experienced fishers tend to build up muscle memory, always keeping the same equipment in the same pocket so they can automatically find it when needed. Therefore, if you are looking to replace a worn-out vest, it can be worthwhile looking for one with the same distribution of pockets as your old favorite. If you’re looking for an over the shoulder alternative check out my review covering some top rated sling packs

Beyond this, in general there are a few things to look for when choosing a vest for fly fishing:

  • Pockets. This is the first, and perhaps the most obvious, factor to consider on a vest for fly fishing. You need to ensure that the vest you are looking at has enough pockets, and that these pockets are big enough, for all the gear you want to carry. If in doubt, go for the vest with the most pockets, because there is nothing worse than having to leave some gear behind.
  • Comfort. During a long day out fishing, even the most well-designed vest can become uncomfortable. A particular problem is the heat of a summer’s day, and the best vests for fly fishing come complete with vents and mesh to keep you cool.
  • Materials. Whilst it might be tempting to go for the cheapest vest available, be warned that less expensive items often use inferior materials. At best, these will ear out quickly, and you will need to buy another vest. At worst, sudden rips and tears can lead to you loosing equipment.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for trying out these vest yourself. If you are lucky enough to live close to a good fishing store, pay a visit and see which layout and style works for you.

In our opinion, however, you could do worse than checking out these vests for fly fishing:

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Editor’s Pick: Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest

Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest

This is a great vest, and our number one choice for today, for one simple reason – it has the best pockets of all the vests for fly fishing we have seen.

The people we talked to for this review praised the fact that the pockets on this vest were numerous enough, and large enough, to allow a huge range of adaptability. If you like to carry unusual pieces of kit, and find it hard to find space for them in other vests you have tried, we urge you to give this one a go.

Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest

If you like to carry unusual pieces of kit, and find it hard to find space for them in other vests you have tried, we urge you to give this one a go.

In addition, this vest for fly fishing offers all the features you would expect of a premium quality item:

PROS:
  • It is one of the lightest vests we tested. Whilst you may pride yourself on your strength, and ability to carry heavy gear across rough terrain, trust us – after hours spent out fishing, having a vest that is a few ounces lighter makes all the difference to your comfort, and therefore your ability to stay out there.
  • The mesh back of this vest for fly fishing is also a great, innovative feature. It allows air to circulate across your back, keeping you cool on the hottest of days, but unlike some other vests the mesh in this product also feels pretty rugged.
  • The cord pulls on the zippers of this vest are also a nice feature, and one that we wish other vests incorporated. They reduce the noise of opening and closing the zippers, and also allow you to reach them more easily.
  • The people we spoke to for this review were all shapes and sizes, and many praised the fit of this vest. The straps here allow the vest to fit everyone really well.

CONS:
  • Very few. If you are looking for a vest for fly fishing that will allow you to carry more gear than you are ever going to need, this is the one for you.


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Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

This is a really solid vest for fly fishing, and only missed out on our top spot for today because it can get a little hot wearing this vest on a warm day.

Besides this, this vest for fly fishing comes with a range a great features. First and foremost, the pockets on this vest are large enough to accommodate even the biggest tackle boxes. Sometimes, vests like this can come with hundreds of small pockets, which is a little annoying if your gear is already packed into somewhat bulky boxes. No such problem here.

Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest

This is a really solid vest for fly fishing, and only missed out on our top spot for today because it can get a little hot wearing this vest on a warm day.

In addition, this vest for fly fishing also has several other advantages:

PROS:
  • The materials used here feel really sturdy. The fabric is a little thicker than on your average vest for fly fishing, and we are confident that this vest will put up with the worst conditions for many years to come.
  • The rod holder strap incorporated into this vest is a feature that we wish came on all vests of this type. It is equally useful when you are hiking out to a fishing spot, or holding your rod, and ultimately allows you to stay out fishing longer.
  • The comfort on this vest is among the best of the vests we tested. Even when loaded down with a huge amount of kit, the design of this vest spreads the load out across your shoulders and back, meaning that you can carry all the gear that you want for as long as you want.
  • We know a lot of people claim not to care about this, but this vest also looks great.

CONS:
  • Very few. The classic design of this vest means that it doesn’t have quite as many pockets as some modern designs, but for some of the people we talked to for this review this was actually an advantage – it greatly simplifies your setup, allowing you to find the right tool quicker.


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Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

This is a classic fly fishing vest, built in a style that your grandfather would recognize.

When you use this vest, it’s not hard to see why fly fishing vests were traditionally made in this style. The layout of pockets is simple enough that you will always be able to find the piece of kit you need, and large enough to accommodate quite large items.

In addition, the no-nonsense design of this vest means it is easy to clean and look after. Whilst this may sound like an unimportant advantage of a fly fishing vest, ultimately being able to keep your kit clean will greatly improve its service life.

Redington Clark Fork Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

When you use this vest, it’s not hard to see why fly fishing vests were traditionally made in this style. The layout of pockets is simple enough that you will always be able to find the piece of kit you need, and large enough to accommodate quite large items.

In addition, this vest for fly fishing comes with a range of features:

 

PROS:
  • The fabrics used on this fishing vest are amazing. Rather than go for the increasingly common approach of using just synthetic materials, Redington Clark have here used a mixture of polyester and cotton. The result is a vest for fly fishing that is comfortable even in hot weather, wicking sweat away from you body to ensure that you stay cool and comfortable.
  • Closer to your body, the mesh layer on this vest for fly fishing adds another layer of ventilation to it. And unlike some of the mesh fabrics used on other vests for fly fishing, the mesh here feels quite sturdy, and we are sure it will provide many years of reliable service.
  • This vest is also really light weight, and dries quickly. Whilst getting a lightweight vest may seem a little odd, given that the weight of your gear is much greater than the vest you are using to carry it, it makes a real difference. Any ounces you can shave off the weight of your kit will ultimately allow you to stay comfortable, and therefore stay out fishing, for longer.

CONS:
  • Very few. The classic design of this vest means that it doesn’t have quite as many pockets as some modern designs, but for some of the people we talked to for this review this was actually an advantage – it greatly simplifies your setup, allowing you to find the right tool quicker.


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Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Strap Pack Fishing Vest

Allen Gallantin Ultra Light Strap Pack Fishing Vest

This vest for fly fishing takes a slightly different approach to the others we are reviewing today.

Here, the focus is on making the vest as light as possible. Instead of covering the vest with as many pockets as possible, this vest uses an open back design, and two front-mounted pockets.

This has great advantages in terms of comfort. Not only is the vest lighter than a traditional style, but it is extremely well ventilated. This means that you can stay out fishing on those long summer days, whilst still having all your important equipment easily to hand.

In addition, this vest for fly fishing has these great features:

Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Strap Pack Fishing Vest

This has great advantages in terms of comfort. Not only is the vest lighter than a traditional style, but it is extremely well ventilated.

PROS:
  • Whilst this vest has been designed to be as lightweight as possible, it actually has a pretty good carrying capacity. The two front pockets are able to accommodate a surprisingly large amount of equipment, so even if you like to carry huge fly boxes around, this is a good vest to do it in.
  • Though this design of this vest for fly fishing does not include a fabric back and shoulders, it is comfortable. Your gear is held securely on a set of padded straps. These are wide enough not to cut into your shoulders, even with heavy loads, and are also very strong.
  • If you are particularly big, or are looking for a pack for your child, this pack is a good option. The fact that the main body here is just straps gives this vest a huge degree of adaptability, meaning that one size will fit almost anyone.

CONS:
  • None, for the price. Some may want a few more pockets, but overall this is a good minimal solution that really comes into its own on hot days.


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Our Final Thoughts

So which to choose?

Well, your choice of vest for fly fishing is yours alone, of course. Everybody fishes in a different way, and uses unique equipment. Your vest should be carefully chosen to suit your style and needs.

In our opinion, though, if you are looking for a great fly fishing vest, we can recommend the Anglatech Premium Quality Fly Fishing Vest. If you are looking for a fly fishing vest that can easily accommodate all the gear you will ever need, is extremely comfortable to wear, and will last for many years, this is the one to go for.

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Best Fly Fishing Vests
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