Best Fishing Vest | WFLA

Which fishing vests are the best?

The amount of gear you need to bring with you while fishing can be overwhelming. Fishing vests can help you organize all the essentials – including fly boxes, tools, weights, floats, leaders and line cleaners – and take them with you as you wade through the stream, lake or river. The Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest is available in a wide range of colors and has accessory loops and multiple gear pockets.

What to know before buying a fishing vest


The type of construction is one of the most crucial factors to consider when buying a fishing vest. There are several options when selecting your vest material.

  • Mesh is a mesh material that breathes much better than fabric and is generally cooler on hot days. The mesh also stretches, which can increase your mobility.
  • Fabric is less breathable than mesh, but is generally more durable. Common fabrics include cotton, polyester, and nylon.


Determine if the vest comes in multiple sizes and check the size charts carefully to make sure the one you buy will fit. Buy a size or two, as fishing vests usually run on the shorter side. Some vests are categorized as “one size fits all”; these usually have straps that allow you to adjust the size.


Your vest will weigh enough when fully loaded with fishing gear, and you don’t want the vest itself to be too heavy. Lightweight vests are more comfortable, especially when fishing in the summer heat.

What to Look for in a Quality Fishing Vest


A comfortable vest distributes the weight evenly across your back and shoulders, so there are no stress points that form during repetitive use. Your vest should include a belt or suspenders that help distribute the weight of your gear. The padding will also help improve comfort, while still having plenty of room for a full range of motion for setting hooks, casting, and performing other fishing moves.


The best fishing vests have plenty of pockets of varying sizes to manage all of your fishing gear. Larger pockets work best for fly boxes and tools, while smaller pockets work well for storing leaders, weights, and other gear. Use specialized pockets to hold beverages. Keep in mind that having too many pockets can tempt you to overpack and leave your vest too bulky.


Pockets won’t help if your fishing gear falls out of them. Use ties to secure at least some if not all of your vest pockets. Velcro fasteners are the cheapest and easiest, but heavy-duty zippers will secure your gear better.

How much you can expect to spend on a fishing vest

Prices for fishing vests range from around $30 to $100 or more depending on the ergonomic design, durability, quality, and number of pockets.

Fishing Vest FAQs

Do fishing vests also work as life jackets?

A. Most don’t have buoyancy capability, but it’s a great safety feature to look for. Some act as both fishing vests and life jackets, but the buoyant foam used in these dual-purpose vests often leaves them too bulky.

Are fishing vests generally waterproof?

A. Some offer no waterproofing and others have selective waterproofing, allowing you to protect your phone, wallet and other belongings in secure, waterproof pockets. Place your belongings in a plastic bag before putting them in your pocket if you really want to protect them.

Can you use a fishing vest for other activities besides fishing?

A. The multiple pockets of fishing vests can be useful for other activities, including hiking, photography, bird watching, hunting, and playing some sports, as long as you are comfortable.

What is the best fishing vest to buy?

fishing vest top

Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest

What do you want to know: This vest is available in a wide range of colors and has accessory loops and multiple gear pockets.

What you will love: It has reflective panels, 18 pockets with plenty of storage for gear and all sorts of loops for easy attachment of your net, pole, lights and more. The vest has comfortable and adjustable straps, so it can fit almost anyone.

What you should consider: Zippers sometimes get caught on the fabric.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fishing vest for the money

Magreel Fly Fishing Vest

Magreel Fly Fishing Vest

What do you want to know: This comfortable vest features a mesh back and lightweight design.

What you will love: It has reflective panels to help improve visibility in low light conditions, plus adjustable padded shoulder straps for the perfect fit. Multiple attachment loops and 18 pockets hold everything you need while fishing.

What you should consider: It is slightly short and may not be very comfortable for tall people.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pack of fly fishing vests made by Amarine

Pack of fly fishing vests made by Amarine

What do you want to know: This versatile vest doubles as a life jacket for rough and rough waters.

What you will love: It comes with a nice large zippered back pocket, as well as an adjustable waistband for the perfect fit and large front pockets that work well for fly boxes. Its design allows for an excellent range of motion while casting.

What you should consider: It doesn’t offer as many storage options as other vests.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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