10 Best Fly Fishing Chest Pack

10 Best Fly Fishing Chest Pack
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The best planning is frequently the key to a successful fly-fishing expedition. Due to their ease of usage and speedy access, fly fishing chest pack are quite popular among anglers, and for good reason—you never know when the water or environmental circumstances will change. 

You need to have everything you need close at hand when you wade into the water and attempt to capture various species. A fly fishing chest pack that is well-made, comfortable to wear, easily accessible, and has enough storage is the ideal option. 

We discovered that Fishpond Cross-Current Chest Pack was the best fly fishing chest pack overall based on our more than fifteen field testing excursions. In addition to being very solid and pleasant to wear, this bag offers a ton of storage. 

Let’s learn about all of them in detail.

10 Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs in 2024

1. FishPond Cross-Current Chest Pack: Overall Best Fly Fishing Chest Pack

FishPond Cross-Current Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Four
  • Type of strap: Back Harness
  • Waterproof: Zippers only
  • Ability to store: 8 liters

Fishpond packs are renowned for their excellent performance and premium durability. One such example is this purse. Anglers adore the pack’s two, bigger compartments despite its high price. There are four mesh pockets on the interior of the smaller one on the front, providing a high level of classification. Two more mesh pockets are located on the bag’s outside. 

The magnetic rigging station on this backpack is perhaps its best feature, which also raises the price of the bag and makes it our favorite. It descends and instantly transforms into an angler’s workstation. 

One side of the interior has velcro so you can attach the fly box and have easy access. Among the biggest bags, it has an amazing volume of 8 liters. With its ample space, the main compartment may accommodate an additional reel, leads, tippet, and a few tools. 

Pros

  • Harness straps with padding on the back
  • Lightweight nylon substance
  • Magnetic drop desk that is convenient

Cons

  • Costly

Outcome

For all of the experienced fly anglers, the Fishpond Cross Current Chest Pack is without a doubt the most incredible lightweight option.

2. Umpqua ZS2 Overlook 500 Chest Pack: Best Comfortable

Umpqua ZS2 Overlook 500 Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three
  • Type of strap: Back Harness
  • Waterproof: No

It is among the most comfortable chest packs available for purchase. The addition of a four-point back harness enhances comfort. With its stability and lack of tension on the shoulders, back, or neck, this pack is a fantastic choice for extended days. 

Along with a net holding strap, there are two sizable pockets on the front and one zipper pocket at the rear. Our favorite attachment on the pack was the ZeroSweep retractor station. It made it easier to maintain the essentials, including the floatant caddy and fly patches. 

We added this bag to the Surveyor 2000 ZS Backpack as it fits well with it and provides more room. We were able to have a good amount of room there, and we didn’t run out of supplies throughout our four days there. 

Pros

  • Extensively adjustable straps
  • Incredibly sturdy and cozy to wear
  • Web loop and D-ring attachments

Cons

  • Less generous front zipper pouch

Outcome

This chest pack is perfect for large-stream anglers because of its many compartments, ample capacity, and attachment possibilities. It is also really comfortable.

3. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Fly Fishing Chest Pack: Best Waterproof

fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Fly Fishing Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Two  
  • Type of strap: Back harness
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Ability to store: 5 liters

Being one of the best manufacturers, Fishpond never lets its customers down. On our list right now, it is the priciest and only waterproof fishing chest pack. The waterproof TPU technology coating is applied to the recycled nylon material. This feature also makes the bag perfect for use in deep-water fly fishing situations. 

The large price tag may make the storage capacity seem a little less impressive. Our best offering, a different Fishpond type, has a powerful 8 liter capacity and is reasonably priced. 

There are two pockets in total: a front vertical zipper pocket and a main compartment. The main pocket is large enough to accommodate a sizable number of equipment. We packed a tackle box, an additional reel, a big fly box, and a ton of other stuff. 

Pros

  • Completely watertight
  • Detachable and adjustable straps
  • The rear net holster

Cons

  • Incredibly costly

Outcome

The best fly fishing chest bag that keeps everything from dampening is the Fishpond Thunderhead. 

4. Umpqua Rock Creek ZS2 Chest Pack Camo: Best For Durability

Umpqua Rock Creek ZS2 Chest Pack Camo

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three
  • Type of strap: Back harness
  • Waterproof: No

This Umpqua model, made of nylon cloth, is the most durable and, with proper care, will last a lifetime. Despite its modest appearance, this chest pack provides plenty of room for all small stream anglers. There is enough room in the main compartment for two fly boxes with extra room around the edges. 

What appears to be little really held all of our equipment. These consist of flotant, leader straighteners, a huge fly box, tippet spools, a thermometer, a spare reel, and several more accessories. This one has the same ZeroSweep connection as the Umpqua Overlook ZS2, which we used to attach keys and nippers. 

The ambidextrous hemostat station, tippet storage cover, and foam fly patch are some of this bag’s greatest features. The nylon dries rather quickly, but it takes longer to dry because of the substantial padding inside.

Pros

  • YKK zippers
  • Molle modular attachment
  • Material that resists wear and tear

Cons

  • Not all of the straps are padded
  • Not a rapid drying

Outcome

Want to have everything you need for fly fishing handy but not want to carry a lot of weight on your chest? The Umpqua Rock Creek ZS2 is a really wise selection.

5. Simms Freestone Water Resistant Outdoor Chest Bag with Pockets, Pewter: Best Compact

Simms Freestone Water Resistant Outdoor Chest Bag with Pockets, Pewter

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Two 
  • Type of strap: Waist and shoulder 
  • Waterproof: No
  • Ability to store: 3 liters

Do you occasionally go fishing and require a good chest pack for quick excursions? Simms offers everything you need. Because these backpacks are compact and incredibly light, they guarantee comfort and no strain at all.

Three liters is the total capacity of the two main compartments, which is more than enough for short journeys. Our fishermen can easily put a fly box, weights, fishing indicators, hooks, lures, and a few more instruments in this bag. Taller persons may find the shoulder strap to be problematic, as it is not adjustable. 

We utilized a tippet caddy and loop velcro that we found outside to store the wet flies. Not to mention how great the magnetic docking station was for nippers and mitts. Though it was a little bag, it held enough stuff for fly fishing.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Comes with a tippet caddy
  • Workstation that folds down

Cons

  • Not recommended for extended trips
  • Unchangeable strap

Outcome

Obtain the best fly fishing chest pack for small-stream angling and keep all of your necessary tools close at hand.

6. Orvis Men’s Chest Pack: Best Lightweight

Orvis Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Four
  • Type of strap: Back harness
  • Waterproof: No
  • Ability to store: 4 liters

Most of the materials used to make Orvis fly fishing bags are recycled. This lowers the carbon impact and adds a significant amount of weight to the bag. The pockets in the divisions allow for simple item arrangement. 

We could have fit pliers, clippers, a soft drink can, a spare reel and fly box, plus a few other small items in the main pocket. Along with one of the fronts that functions as a workstation akin to the Fishpond cross-current pack, there are little pockets on both sides of the bag. 

Unfortunately, even at such a high price, the bag isn’t waterproof. But the great quick-dry function will save the day even if it becomes soaked with wet goods inside. Although the zippers are water-resistant, we found them to be a little difficult to open, particularly after using the bag in the sea.

Pros

  • Tippet Docking Station Whippet
  • Key fob attached to a security pocket
  • Overall weight is decreased by the recycled polyester fabric
  • In accord with the bugout bag

Cons

  • Zippers get a little problematic
  • No net holder

Outcome

With its exceptional functionality and dependability, this Orvis chest pack is a great option for ultimate convenience.

7. FishPond SAN Juan Vertical Chest Pack: Best Minimalist Pack

FishPond SAN Juan Vertical Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three 
  • Type of strap: Waist and shoulder
  • Waterproof: No
  • Ability to store: 3 liters

Another option for the finest small-sized chest pack for fly fishing, this one has a highly practical simple design. Together with an external mesh pocket, the bag has two zipped pockets—one large and the other tiny. 

It costs far less than the Simms Freestone chest pack while having the same amount of storage capacity—three liters. We placed a compact fly box, a spare reel, and a few essential tools in the main pocket. 

We utilize the front pocket for fly patches since it can be converted into a compact workstation. Numerous D-rings surrounding the backpack enable the attachment of several helpful items. We also utilized a really helpful attachment for the tippet caddy.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Zip-down workstation
  • Breathable mesh back

Cons

  • Comparatively little amount of storage
  • Without a net holster

Outcome

Overall, Fishpond consistently provides excellent fishing gear, and this fly fishing chest pack is a sturdy and cozy option for quick excursions.

8. Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Pack: Best Value For Money

Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Pack

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three
  • Type of strap: Waist and neck
  • Waterproof: No

Fly fishing may take a lot of time, and wearing the bag requires prolonged usage. However, when filled, a pack that is already quite light won’t put too much more strain on it. Additionally, the waist strap distributes weight and improves stability, while the cushioned neck strap guards against strain. 

The heavy-duty zippers on this chest pack contribute to its overall value. Multiple pockets are located within both the tiny and major compartments for simple management. 

Because one of our anglers kept wet gear inside the bag, the interior of the bag became moist. On the other hand, the polyester fabric dries quite quickly, which helps to quickly remove moisture.

Pros

  • Numerous tool attachments
  • Comfort-enhancing padded straps
  • Enough to support the medium-sized fly box along with a few other tools

Cons

  • Not recommended for larger products

Outcome

The Allen Bear Creek chest pack is available to hold all of your small-to medium-sized tools and other gear for fishing.

9. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Chest Bag: Best Breathable

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Chest Bag

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three
  • Type of strap: Neck and waist 
  • Waterproof: No

There’s nothing more convenient than a chest pack that can hold all of your fly fishing necessities without making you feel heavy. With this amazing product from MaximumCatch, you can be sure that your comfort level is always at its highest. Nevertheless, to prevent perspiration, the bag has an incredibly breathable foam pad. 

Speaking of pockets, our fly box, a reel, and a small toolkit were all included in the main compartment. On the other hand, we kept the fly patch in the smaller front compartment. On the outside, there’s a mesh pocket without any zippers. 

On the pack, there are several loops and connection places where we fastened the tippet caddy. Because the waist and neck straps are so adaptable, even our tallest angler may use the bag without any problems. We advise considering the Fishpond Cross-Current Chest Pack if you want a sizable bag.

Pros

  • Sturdy and comfy straps
  • Material that resists wear
  • Numerous useful loops and tabs

Cons

  • Not resistant to water
  • Reduced capacity for storing

Outcome

This bag provides excellent usefulness and durability for fly fishing in a variety of settings, even if it has limited storage capacity. 

10. Kylebooker Fly Fishing Chest Pack Lightweight Tackle Storage Pouch Waist Bag: Best Budget

Kylebooker Fly Fishing Chest Pack Lightweight Tackle Storage Pouch Waist Bag

Specifications

  • Total pockets: Three
  • Type of strap: Neck and waist 
  • Waterproof: No 

It’s no secret that Kylebooker offers some amazing affordable options for fishermen, and this little chest pack is no exception. It is rather lightweight because it resembles the Allen Bear and Maximumcatch bags in terms of size. 

This little chest pack includes one big compartment and a smaller one in front, much like the other tiny chest packs on our list. In addition, there’s a little mesh pocket outside. We were able to keep the tippet caddy and other helpful things within reach thanks to the different connection points.

Fly patches and a little zippered pouch in the front changed into our workspace. Given its diminutive size, the bag lacks waterproof capabilities. All of the features are already far more than one would anticipate given the price range.

Pros

  • Comfortable padded straps
  • Lower-level workstation
  • Waist girth strap that is adjustable

Cons

  • Without a net holster

Outcome

The Kylebooker backpack is a great option if you’re new to fly fishing and require the finest, most affordable fly fishing chest pack.

Buying Guide

Without knowing what to look for in a fly fishing chest pack, you cannot get the best one. Here are a few of the most important things you need to remember. The following crucial elements serve as the foundation for all of our assessments of fly fishing chest packs.  You must first choose the one that is most appropriate for you.

1. Sling Pack vs Hip Pack vs Chest Pack

One shoulder strap for sling packs is provided, which is worn across the shoulder. When necessary, you may swing the bag to the front from its resting place in the rear. It often includes several compartments for organizing and a great capacity for storing a wide range of items. When wading in deep water over waist level, anglers utilize them. 

Hip packs, on the other hand, sit at the lower back but are wrapped around the waist. These are useful when fly fishing in somewhat shallow water. Compared to sling packs, hip packs are smaller in volume yet still have enough room to hold practical goods. Like sling bags, you swing these in the front to access the contents. 

Finally, for stability, chest packs have a variety of straps, such as cross, neck, and waist straps. This makes it easier to hold the bag up front, directly across your chest, for easy access. 

When it comes to fly fishing, chest packs are not as roomy as sling and hip packs. Mostly, these are solely used to store tackle boxes, fly boxes, and other necessities. These bags will prevent your dry goods from being wet if you wade in really deep seas. 

2. Storage Capacity

A chest pack’s storage capacity may be selected according to how and how often you fish. Some have a tiny shape, are incredibly lightweight, and are intended for quick fishing excursions with minimum accessories. 

The best fly fishing chest packs have a large capacity for storage—more than five liters but not more than ten liters. A comprehensive fly fishing gear checklist, which includes tackle boxes, fly boxes, practical tools, and much more, may fit inside these backpacks. 

3. Compartments

Many compartments are preferred by some people in order to better organize the contents. On the other hand, many like it to be larger and have fewer pockets. Ultimately, the decision is based on personal taste. Therefore, before making a purchase, be careful to check the amount of compartments and interior pockets.

4. Durability

Everyone wants durability, whether they are avid fishermen or just starting out. After a few outings, you wouldn’t want to swap up your fly fishing chest pack, would you? 

Since nobody can predict when bad weather will strike, a robust backpack will be able to withstand it with ease. Nevertheless, to ensure endurance, the bag you invest in ought to be composed of premium, stain-resistant fabrics. 

5. Water Resistance

Water-resistant chest packs are usually much welcomed. There is always a chance that a bag you use in the water will get wet, but you won’t have to worry about damage because of its water-resistant qualities. 

This feature helps bags reject water and keep it out of the bag, protecting everything within. Not every angler, though, needs this functionality. A water-resistant bag works well for short journeys in shallow water, which is ideal for small-stream anglers.

On the other hand, it is preferable to choose a water-resistant chest pack if you want to spend your weekends or several days on the water. Rainy days will also be useful for them. 

6. Comfort 

Many anglers buy chest bags without thinking about comfort and eventually have problems. Make careful to search for cushioned straps, as there are several kinds of straps available for chest packs. 

Excellent comfort is further enhanced with a foam liner on the inside of the bag where it meets your chest. You don’t get to feel the contents of the pack, which makes it a generally comfortable experience.

FAQs

Which is better for fly fishing? A chest pack or a vest?

Whether it’s a vest or a chest rig for fly fishing, both have several pockets for fly boxes and other equipment. Additionally, both are made to be as convenient as possible for fly fishing and to provide anglers easy access to everything they need. 
But when it comes to storage capacity, they are different. A chest pack offers a lot more room because of the correct divisions that a vest lacks.

Is there more storage on a fly fishing front than a waist pack?

Both bag types provide excellent storage possibilities because they are available in a range of sizes. Some high-end waist packs often hold 10 liters or more. In contrast, the capacity of a chest pack may not exceed 10 liters. 

Conclusion

If you’re a serious angler, you should know how crucial having the top fly fishing chest pack is. Only after you take into account all the important factors can you select the best alternative out of several. 

We determined that the Fishpond Cross-Current Chest Pack was the greatest option for fly-fishing chest packs based on the crucial variables. It features waterproof zippers and is roomy, comfy, and long-lasting. All things considered, this pack is perfect for everyone and a variety of situations.

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