Best Fly Fishing Vests Reviewed
Fishing vests are far and away the most popular way for anglers to keep all the essentials close at hand, and for good reason. Spending a day on the water means you will want to have everything you could need on you, rather than returning to your vehicle for supplies. So which fly fishing vest will perform the best for your needs?
That’s why Fly Fishing Atlas brings you our take on the best fly fishing vests.
Which type of fly fishing vest will perform for your needs will depend on what you like to carry when you hit the water for a full day of fishing.
Top Fly Fishing Vest Features to Consider
- Comfort – You don’t need to spend a million bucks on a fly fishing vest, but be warned; a cheap fly fishing vest loaded up with gear can be really uncomfortable. You might be surprised how quickly all that weight can add up. Carrying a variety of fly boxes, leaders, split shot, and maybe a light rain jacket in back is not uncommon. If you want a comfortable vest then it is really important that you look at a quality option. Cheap and flimsy fly fishing vests will cause a variety of problems, and will usually become so uncomfortable that you’ll want to take the vest off in short order.
- Pocket Variety – Before you select a fly fishing vest you need to know what you intend to carry in the vest. Even though they are designed for carrying fly fishing gear, there is no standard sized fly box, so you’ll have to make sure your fly boxes will work with the fishing vest you like. Beyond that important detail, you also should be selecting a fly fishing vest based on your other gear carrying needs. Most anglers will want pockets for leaders, split shot, extra tippet material, dry fly desiccant, etc. You get the picture. Make sure the vest you like will also carry the gear you like.
- Fly Box Placement – Fly anglers probably access their fly boxes more than any other single piece of their kit. You want to look at a fly fishing vest that will make it really simple to retrieve your ‘go-to’ fly boxes. We all have those boxes that we like to keep, but rarely use. Inner pockets are ideal for stashing away those boxes we don’t access regularly.
- Access Your Tools – Hopefully you are fortunate enough to use your forceps regularly – while you are removing hooks from the mouth of fish. Handy tools like forceps, nippers, and dry fly paste are really meant to be kept on the outside of your vest so you can just grab them at a moments notice. Most quality fly fishing vests provide other options to avoid fumbling through pockets for the tools that you need regularly. The best fly fishing vests will have built-in retractors and tabs for keeping those tools at-the-ready.
Top Fly Fishing Vest Comparison
Lets take a look at the Best Fly Fishing Vests:
Simms Fly Fishing gear is simply top-notch. In the world of fly fishing, Simms has a well-established reputation for the quality of their products. As expected, Simms G3 Guide Vest is right on the mark.
Comfort is a real strong point in this fly fishing vest. The shoulders feature a stretchy mesh material that rides really well even after a full day on the water. And the padded collar remains soft and well ventilated when the sun is high.
The pocket variety is excellent as well. With a whopping 24 pockets throughout, you will be sure to find a place for all your essential fly fishing gear.
Just to describe a few, the chest features 2 large zippered chest pockets, 2 vertical weather-tight chest pockets, and 2 cargo chest pockets. Meanwhile, the back panel features a weather-tight split-back pocket, as well as a large bellowed cargo pocket.
That’s just for starters. This fly fishing vest is truly loaded with exterior and interior pockets. And all of them feature quality closures like non-corrosive YKK® zippers and sliders.
One really helpful feature on the Simms G3 Guide Vest is the ‘third-hand rod holder.’ The rod holder features a Velcro® chest tab as well as a reel seat sling, so you can use both hands when adding tippet material or changing flies.
For those looking for the total package, the Simms G3 Guide Vest has it going on.
Here are all the G3 Guide Vest details straight from Simms:
Simms G3 Guide Vest
- 24 pockets: 2 large zippered chest pockets
- 2 vertical weather-tight chest pockets, 2 cargo chest pockets
- 4 waist pockets, 4 large, horizontal sippered waist pockets, 2 large, interior vertical zippered pockets
- 2 large, interior vertical zippered pockets
- 1 weather-tight, split-back pocket, 1 bellowed back cargo pocket
Patagonia is a big name in the fly fishing world. Their gear is all-around solid and designed to provide what anglers need on the water.
Patagonia makes a few truly great fly fishing vests. After much deliberation, the Patagonia fishing vest we found to be exceptional was the Mesh Master II.
Among it’s many great features, the most prominent feature of this fishing vest is the mesh body. This lightweight design offers maximum breathability and reduces the overall weight of the vest drastically.
While this vest is not a ‘minimalist’ design, the Patagonia Mesh Master II has a streamlined design that leaves off all the excess that some anglers would rather do without.
This fishing vest offers a smart vertical front pocket design that reduces bulk. The pockets feature a 3-layer 100% nylon construction, with a waterproof/breathable design that is also DWR (durable water repellent) coated to keep your gear dry.
The back panel of the vest features a stacked upper pocket that serves to keep contents high above the water while wading. In addition, the bottom features a large mesh zip pocket that is great for storing a light rain jacket or other extras.
The Patagonia Mesh Master II Fishing Vest is a really comfortable option. The mesh base is cool and dries quickly, while the EVA foam collar provides a pleasant fit. We are big fans of Patagonia gear and this Patagonia fishing vest is no exception. If you are in the market for a fishing vest this is one worth taking a closer look at.
Patagonia Mesh Master II Vest
- Versatile fishing vest that handles any type of weather
- Mesh body is lightweight and extremely breathable
- Waterproof pockets protect fishing gear from rain
- EVA foam collar offers comfortable fit
- Vertical front pocket design for low-bulk storage and easy access
Fishpond makes incredibly practical fly fishing gear that looks great and gets the job done. The Fishpond Gore Range Tech Pack maintains that reputation for top quality and performance.
Fishpond did a great job designing this vest to be light and functional in order to avoid the weight of a traditional fishing vest. This design removes much of the unnecessary material that doesn’t add any real benefit to a fishing vest.
With that said, the practical elements remain strong. For example, this vest offers 17 pockets that range in size to fit everything from your fly boxes to leaders and tippet.
Adjustable and wide shoulder straps distribute weight nicely and offer a ton of comfort for those gear-heavy trips that require all the essentials. And external attachment points provide for quick access to zingers and forceps.
When the sun is high in the sky, the Fishpond Gore Range Tech Pack provides excellent ventilation with mesh backing on the rear of the vest as well as the inner front.
- 17 exterior and interior pockets
- Vertical chest pockets hold large and medium boxes
- Gear attachment tabs, cord loops, D-ring net lash, and Hemostat keeper
- Two signature, zip-down fly benches with replaceable foam
- Lightweight, recycled fabric from commercial fishing nets
Best Selling Fishing Vests on Amazon
Anglers who are just getting started in the sport of fly fishing need entry level gear. Even the most experienced fly anglers usually start with inexpensive fishing gear and upgrade as needed. With that in mind we wanted to include some good entry level options. These are Amazon’s top selling fishing vests:
- Adjustable suspension system - adjustable shoulder and waist straps, allows custom fit
- Lightweight material, dries faster and breathes better
- Padded air mesh shoulder straps provide the ultimate in comfort and breathability
- 18 total pockets (including 14 zippered pockets with smooth conceal zippers) with specific design functions for everything from fly boxes to thermometers
- D-ring on the back to attach a fishing net, strobe holder loop for use in low light conditions, rod holder loops, knife lash tab, and a variety of attachment loops allow you to carry all your gear.
- About Size: IF has a BELLY, order ONE SIZE UP. Please read SIZE CHART carefully in product description before your order. Thank you very much.
- Quick Dry & Breathable: Made of Nylon Taslon and Mesh fabric;Features: Thin, breathable, light weight, durable, quick-dry, suitable for spring, summer and fall
- Humanized Design: Pockets on both sides of the chest. The outer layer of the back of is Good quality fabric, can be folded, mesh lined. This unique design makes you cool and comfortable
- Practical Design: Multi Pockets can be putted what you want; Great for outdoor sport and activities such as Photography,Fly Fishing,Walking,Hiking,Camping,Hunting,Trekking,Travel etc
- Fashion Design: You will feel professional and love your look.You could buy for Yourself and as Fantastic Presents for your Parents and Friends.Possess this Vests can make you more different and fashionable with individual character
- LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL: Comfortable, durable, dries faster and breathes better
- BREATHABLE MESH: Padded air mesh fabric shoulder straps provide the ultimate in comfort and breathability
- MULTI ZIPPERED POCKETS: 18 total pockets (including 14 zippered pockets with smooth conceal zippers) with specific design functions for everything from fly boxes to thermometers
- ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION SYSTEM: Adjustable shoulder and waist straps. ONE SIZE FITS MOST - Universal Adult Size. Open sides leave you with more room to paddle, cast or aim on the water
- ALL YOU NEED FOR FLY FISHING: D-ring on the back to attach a fishing net, wide reflector for use in low light conditions, rod holder loops, knife lash tab, and a variety of attachment loops allow you to carry all your gear
- Anti-Pilling, Anti-Wrinkle, Windproof, Speed dry fabrics.
- Placket: zipper. Numerous pockets.
- Multi-pockets can hold almost everything you need for outdoor hiking, fishing or photography.
- Lightweight Cotton/Polyester Blend. Soft Material. it's breathable.
- Great For Safari Sightseeing, Fishing, Camping, Traveling, Photography or Any Adventure!Loaded with pockets to keep everything you need in the field secure.
- Material: Made of high-quality light mesh fabric . Thin, breathable, light weight, durable, drying fast. Suitable for all seasons, especially spring and summer
- One size fits most -Adjustable shoulder and waist strap design suspension structure ,fits both women and men very well
- Lightweight and Comfortable- Standing 8 hours in some rough backcountry mountain streams, the weight become very important. By spreading the weight through the suspension structure, you will not feel the weight of your gears
- Breathable:Made of lightweight and breathable fabric. A mesh backing for Air-going, comfortably cool in hot weather
- Multiple Pockets- A vest with the versatility of a pack. Accommodate multiple fly boxes in a variety of sizes. Large mesh back pocket with additional zippered pocket for more gears
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