Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs

Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs

Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs

Fly fishing Chest Pack

On every fly fishing trip, I always ensure I have a good fly fishing chest pack with me. It enables me to carry all my essentials in one handy pack and that I can reach and access with ease.

The amount of times ive been thankful I had a fly fishing chest pack, I cannot tell you!

On the market there are plenty of fly fishing packs to choose from and they are given different names, sling pack, chest vest, chest pack, fishing vest etc.

Throughout this article further below, I’ll go over what is the best fly fishing chest pack and the points you should consider when considering to buy one, what to look out for and what you should ideally have by way of a fly fishing chest pack.

I will also provide you with some Chest packs Ive tested myself and provide a review for you.

  • Storage Space
  • Material its made from
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Suitable for Salt or Freshwater use
  • Reviews from other users

Do you need a Fly Reel?
Feel free to read our Best Fly Reels Under $100 Guide for some help!

Main Pros Of Fly Fishing Chest Packs

Fly fishing packs are usually lightweight, provide ease of access, and offer plenty of effective storage space for all fly fishing essentials.

A good fly fishing chest pack should really offer all of these benefits and be extremely comfortable to wear.

When you select a fly fishing chest pack they should not be oversized or too bulky and should ideally be able to house and carry the main essential items you will need for the day.

An advantage to having a chest pack vs a waist pack is that you can easily walk into the water and wade if needs be without the worry of getting the chest pack wet!

They offer a lot of peace of mind knowing that all your tools needed for a good days fly fishing are right beside you at all times.

Ive found using a chest pack extremely helpful when ive been out fly fishing.

I may have been required to quickly change up my fly line or grab my line snips, having the chest pack right there with me vs being back on the river bank, has helped me immensely to save time and not disturb the fish im trying to focus on and catch!

Chest Pack Or A Vest?

Id definitely say a chest pack! Why you may ask? Well, I feel a chest pack through my own experience offer a lot of storage and ease of access to my fly fishing tackle without having to mess around unzipping my vest to access the things I need.

Also I don’t like the feel of the vest as it feels like an extra layer of clothing and makes me to warm or over heat.

I also like the fact I can simply move the chest pack around to front facing or over my shoulders and it doesn’t interfere with my casting. This is just my opinion though, what do you prefer?

Consider These When Purchasing a Fly Fishing Chest Pack

Now that we’ve covered the above overview and points on fly fishing chest packs, here are some further things you should know:

How Much Storage Space:

In general do you tend to carry a lot or smaller amount of tackle with you on your fly fishing trips? Lines, flies , snips, sunglasses etc all start to build up so if you carry a lot of tackle then you may need a larger chest pack. F you carry a smaller amount (like me) then you don’t need such a big chest pack to suit your needs.


With any chest pack or indeed vest, you will no doubt be wearing it for a good amount of time whilst fishing.  Its important that you have a comfortable chest pack that has some padding and at the same time allows your body to breath as you will tend to overheat from walking, casting and wading.

Most of the modern day chest packs have good ergonomic designs and also have addition pockets for storing items.

Long Lasting

When you buy any item, you want it to last! Your fly fishing chest pack should be made from durable materials and fittings such as the pockets, straps, zippers.

Thankfully most of the modern chest packs do cover these areas and will no doubt last you a good number of years of usage.


This is probably one of the most important points to note, waterproofing!

The last thing you want is to fall over whilst in the water and all your tackle gets wet. Its happened to me before both on the river and also falling out of a kayak. Thankfully my chest pack was waterproof and none of my tackle was lost or got water damage due to the chest pack I have being waterproof.

My Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs:

1. Umpqua Chest Pack – My #1 Choice!

My #1 choice is the Umpqua chest pack. Umpqua is arguably one of the best fly gear manufacturers in modern fly fishing. They have really established themselves by providing quality gear at affordable prices.


  • Snag-free shoulder sizing buckle
  • Main compartment holds two large fly boxes
  • Two front overlay pockets for flat leader storage
  • Two side stretch-mesh pockets for accessories
  • Cord tippet holder holds up to 8 tippet spools
  • Adjustable straps
  • Fits easily over waders
  • Easily fits a mobile phone
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable price
  • Can be used in salt/fresh water
  • Nothing to note, i love this chest pack!

I have been using this chest pack for the past 3 years and i love it, highly recommend this one if you want something that will last for years!

2. Fishpond Chest Pack – Fully Waterproof

Next up is my 2nd choice chest pack, this one form the brand Fishpond. Known for the brilliantly crafted products which are also very design led, they keep the user in mind always.

Purposely built for fishing enthusiasts and guides you can rest assured these chest packs are built to last!

The Thunderhead Chest Pack is fully waterproof , keeping you and all your gear dry and secure.

The pack like many of the fishpond products comes with a watertight sealed design with a durable and strong submersible zipper.

If you plan to hike through a river or walk whilst wading a salt flat, no worries, this chest pack can take it all and some!

The pack weighs in at 16.8 oz which is super lightweight. It also doesnt feel cumbersome when wearing it and is comfortable and convenient.

Id say this is a serious chestpack that will set you back a few bucks but if yoou want to invest in something for the long term that you can bash around and not worry then this is a good option in my opinion.

Many professional guides use fishpond products so that should tell you something. If the fishing guides use them and its their profession then… get my point!

The Thunderhead chest pack also allows you to carry a fishing net without it feeling cumbersome which not many fishing chest packs are able to achieve.

  • Brilliant Watertight Design
  • Can carry a fishing net
  • Well known manufacturer
  • Higher priced than other brands

If you are serious about investing in your gear then id recommend the fishpond pack too. They make awesome products that last!

TFO Chest Pack – #3 on my list!

Next up we have the TFO aka Temple Fork Outfitters chest pack.

TFO is world-renowned for making epic fly fishing gear and at a good price point attainable by most fly anglers.

Their gear is built with top quality materials and you get very good value for money.

With this kept in mind the 255MCP chest pack is built with a padded neck strap removing the shoulder straps and instead looping the waist straps around the waist to lock nicely into place around the lower back.

The padding on the neck strap is super comfortable and you shouldn’t worry about it weighing on your neck as the pack itself is smaller than forward-facing chest packs that rely on the shoulders for carrying the load. 

Featuring an open back, this is a good addition from TFO as we’ve all been out on hot days or had to walk to cover a lot of ground to reach our fishing spot only to start sweating and our backs get soaked! Removing the back area allows air to flow throw on the pack and keeps you naturally cool.

I like the simplicity of this pack, its not bulky and the back area being removed allows for cooler fishing activity.

  • Back panel allows for cooling
  • Neck pad strap
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to manage
  • Storage smaller than other chests packs

Allen Bear Creek Micro – Best Price!

This is the smallest chest pack on my list, but don’t be put off as the Bear Creek Micro offers a high amount of storage spaces.

A slimmed-down pack built to carry the bear essentials, just the way i like it!

When im fishing small rivers that are close to home, i dont want a big pack weighing me down. This pack is big enough to hold leader, zinger, nippers and pliers and a small selection of flies.

The main central pocket is large enough to fit a number of items such as flies boxes, extra fly reel spool and a mobile phone. I could easily fit more things but this really is enough for what i need on my fly fishing outings.

The chest pack has a few d-rings which be found on either side of the chest pack and on the shoulder straps. These are really handy for hanging your snips, pliers and on the back of the vest your landing net.

  • Small and compact
  • Fits most of your essentials
  • Low price point
  • Storage smaller than larger chestpacks

I highly recommend this pack if you want to just fish with the minimum amount of tackle as possible. Short local trips to fish for a few hours it will work a treat for you.

Maxcatch Chest Pack – Budget Option!

The Maxcatch chest pack is bigger than the Allen chestpack.

Its also very lightweight and made from nylon (hence the low weight).

It looks similar to the Allen i just reviewed but this one holds more stuff.

The large pocket features mesh compartments either sides, which is just perfect for storing a few rolls of leader or tippet lines.

The second pocket is perfect for storing your flies and a box of flies will easily fit inside and be kept proetcted and dry. storage compartment for flies.

Featuring a two strings tie-up, these strings actually allow you to open this pocket but without having to do so 100% which prevents the insides from being spilled out just when you dont want them to.

Lastly on the frontside there is an additional mesh compartment

There are plenty of loops for you to connect a zinger, pliers, snips, forceps etc which help to keep things accessible.

The neck strap like on the Allen is cushioned and provides protection as well as support.

  • Mid-sized chest pack
  • Good storage
  • Not fully waterproof


What is a fly fishing Chest Pack?

A fly fishing chest pack is part of you fly fishing gear that slips over your shoulders and fits around your chest. Its like a backpack but you wear it forwards facing and you can store all your essential fly fishing items that you need.

Do i need a fly fishing Chest Pack?

I highly recommend you get a chest pack, they are really a life saver when it comes to storing your things.

Ive been using one for many years now and they are super convenient and a great addition to add to your fly fishing tackle gear and setup.

What is the best fly Fishing Chest Pack?

This is a hard question to answer. It really comes down to what you are looking for and what is your budget. There are plenty of options to choose from but id recommend going for one that is not to large or bulky and that is waterproof.


Do take a look at the Umpqua Chest Pack or feel free to shop around on amazon for another option.

I hope that you found this article helpful in a way that it can assist you with you the things to consider when buying a fly fishing chest pack. I thoroughly enjoy using mine and have done for years.

The amount of time and hassle mine has saved me out on the water and being able to carry all the essential things I need without bulky bags and extra tackle is well worth the money I spent on mine.

Tight lines and screaming reels!!