Best Fishing Vests

Looking for the best fishing vest? Dive into our guide and discover the best options for your angling adventures.

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Key Takeaways

  • A great fishing vest will provide ample storage, comfort, and durability for anglers.
  • The top options to consider are vests from Patagonia, Simms, Fishpond, and Columbia.
  • Make sure to find a vest that suits your fishing style and prioritizes important factors.

Looking for the best fishing vest? Dive into our guide and discover the best options for your angling adventures.

The best fishing vests are Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition, Simms G3 Guide, Orvis Ultralight, Fishpond Gunnison Guide, and Columbia PFG Bahama II. Each offers unique features and quality, catering to different angling needs.

As an avid angler with years of experience, I've personally tested and reviewed many fishing vests. I know the ins and outs of what makes a vest top-notch. Your quest for the best ends here, with insights straight from an angler's heart.

Table of Contents

Best Fishing Vests

A quality fishing vest can make all the difference during a day on the water, allowing you to focus on casting and reeling in fly fish instead of rummaging through bags or pockets. With countless options on the market, finding the best fly fishing vest for your needs can be challenging.

When shopping for the best fishing vest, it's crucial to consider the design, storage capacity, and overall suitability for your fishing style. Regardless of which great fly fishing vest you choose, it's essential to balance storage space, comfort, and durability to maximize your enjoyment on the water.

This table compares the features of the best fishing vests.

Vest Model Material Pockets Weight (lbs) Special Features
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Nylon and polyester 18 1.75 Integrated net slot, hydration compatible
Simms G3 Guide Nylon 24 2.75 DWR finish, tool ports, stretch mesh pockets
Orvis Ultralight Nylon 11 0.64 Lightweight, adjustable suspension system
Fishpond Gunnison Guide Nylon 13 1.5 Modular attachment points, tippet spool holder
Columbia PFG Bahama II Nylon 12 0.72 Omni-Shade UPF 30, rod holder, vented back

1. Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest

The Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest is designed for those who love to fish and need the best fishing gear to carry their essentials.

Specifications

The Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest is made of ripstop nylon for durability and features multiple pockets for storage.

It is lightweight and designed for comfort, making it a perfect choice for a fly fishing vest.

  • Material: Ripstop nylon
  • Pockets: Multiple storage options
  • Weight: Lightweight design
  • Comfort: Enhanced user comfort

Performance

The performance of this wading vest is outstanding due to the following features:

  • Storage: Add storage options for organizing your fishing gear, making it easy to access and retrieve items while on the water.
  • Weight: The lightweight design of the best fly fishing vest means that it won't weigh you down while fishing, allowing you to move around without feeling restricted.
  • Comfort: The cushy padding and adjustable shoulder straps provide comfort even during long hours of fishing.

What Sets It Apart

The Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest sets itself apart from many other new fishing vests with its top-quality materials and unparalleled performance. Its lightweight design ensures that anglers can wear it comfortably all day long. Moreover, a good fly fishing vest provides ample storage options, and the ripstop nylon ensures durability.

Recent Updates

Though there are no recent updates on the product, Patagonia is known for continually improving its products to cater to customers' needs and preferences.

Benefits

  • Ample storage options
  • Lightweight design for added comfort
  • Durable ripstop nylon material
  • Adjustable straps for a great fit

Drawbacks

  • The price may be higher than other fishing vests on the market
  • Some users may prefer a more traditional vest design

Who Should Buy It

The Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Wading Vest can be ideal for anglers, especially those involved in fly fishing, who need a comfortable and lightweight fly fishing vest with ample storage options for their gear.

Where to Buy It

The fly fishing vest can be purchased from the official Patagonia website or various online retailers such as Amazon.

2. Simms G3 Guide Vest

Simms G3 Guide Vest
Simms G3 Guide Vest

The Simms G3 Guide Vest is a top-of-the-line fishing vest designed for fly fishing enthusiasts who demand the best. This fly fishing vest offers an impressive array of features and benefits to ensure a comfortable and efficient fishing experience.

Specifications

The Simms G3 Guide Vest is made of durable and lightweight Cordura nylon, weighing only 1 pound and 9 ounces. It boasts a total of 24 pockets, including zippered pockets for secure storage, as well as two built-in retractors to keep your tools and accessories within easy reach.

This water-resistant, breathable vest makes it the perfect companion for fly fishing in various weather conditions.

Material Weight No. of Pockets Water Resistance
Cordura Nylon 1 lb 9 oz 24 Yes

Performance

The Simms Vest excels in terms of functionality and comfort. It features adjustable shoulder and waist straps, ensuring a snug fit for anglers.

Its padded collar contributes to the overall comfort, while the polyester mesh provides excellent breathability. Thanks to multiple pockets and built-in retractors, fly boxes, pliers, and other fishing accessories can be easily organized and accessed. Check out this video for clarity.

What Sets It Apart

The G3 Guide Vest's 24 pockets offer ample space for fishing gear, ensuring that all essential items are kept organized and close at hand.

Additionally, its water-resistant fabric provides peace of mind for anglers even during rain showers, and two fly-drying patches allow for easy drying and storage of flies.

Recent Updates

Though specific recent updates are not available, the Simms G3 Guide fly fishing Vest has been a long-standing favorite amongst fly box anglers for its consistently high-quality construction and features.

Benefits

  • Durable and lightweight material for long-lasting wear
  • Ample storage space with 24 pockets, including zippered and interior pockets
  • Water-resistant fabric is perfect for varying weather conditions
  • Breathable mesh lining provides comfort during hot days
  • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps ensure a customized fit
  • Built-in retractors keep accessories within reach
  • Two fly drying patches for convenience technical vests
  • They are cheaper vests for any fly angler

Drawbacks

  • Higher price point compared to other good fly fishing vests on the market
  • Some anglers may find it has too many pockets, leading to carry rain gear on your journey

Who Should Buy It

The Simms G3 Guide Vest can be ideal for fly anglers who require a durable, comfortable, and versatile vest with ample storage. Whether fishing in warm or cooler weather, wading deep or walking along the riverbank, this fly fishing vest is a reliable companion with all necessary gear and accessories.

Where to Buy It

The Simms G3 Guide Vest is available for purchase from the official Simms Fishing website. It is advisable to compare prices and read reviews from previous customers to make an informed purchase decision.

3. Orvis Ultralight Vest

Orvis Ultralight Vest
Orvis Ultralight Vest

The Orvis Ultralight Vest is an excellent choice for fly fishers who prioritize a lightweight and comfortable vest. In this section, we'll explore its specifications, performance, unique features, updates, benefits, drawbacks, ideal users, and where to buy it.

Specifications

This fishing vest boasts lightweight, water-resistant fabric treated with DWR for added protection. It offers ample storage with multiple zippered and non-zippered pockets. Moreover, it ensures a customized fit with adjustable shoulder and waist straps while enhancing comfort through its breathable mesh lining.

Performance

The Orvis Ultralight Vest is designed to provide a comfortable and lightweight alternative to traditional fly fishing vests. With breathable mesh and water-resistant fabric, this fly fishing vest remains comfortable and dry, even in warm weather or when wading deep.

Fly fishers have noted the vest's high-quality construction and durable materials, which make it a long-lasting choice for fishing enthusiasts.

What Sets It Apart

One factor that sets the Orvis Ultralight Vest apart from other fly fishing vests is its slim, low-profile design. This feature keeps the load closer to the body and reduces the "layered bulk" often associated with conventional fly fishing vests.

Its lightweight design and breathable materials make it an ideal option for those who prefer a less bulky vest during their fly fishing excursions. This video shows why this fly fishing vest is a top choice.

Recent Updates

As part of the Orvis clearwater mesh vest, the Ultralight Vest incorporates a new modern, sleek, and functional design that works seamlessly with the wading system. The fly fishing vest has seen updates in its materials for improved comfort, breathability, and faster drying times.

Benefits

  • Lightweight design for increased comfort and mobility
  • Water-resistant and quick-drying materials to keep you dry
  • Versatile pocket configuration for optimal organization
  • Adjustable straps for a personalized fit
  • Breathable mesh for improved ventilation

Drawbacks

  • Limited storage space compared to other best fly fishing vests
  • Some users may prefer more pockets for organization
  • Not ideal for those who require extensive storage capacity

Who Should Buy It

The Orvis Ultralight Vest can be an excellent choice for fly fishers who prioritize comfort and a lightweight design. It's particularly suitable for those who do not require extensive storage space and prefer a less bulky vest. Its breathable mesh and quick-drying materials make it an ideal option for warm weather and wading.

Where to Buy It

The Orvis Ultralight Vest is available for purchase directly from the Orvis website, as well as other online retailers like Amazon. You can also find it in select local fishing supply stores or other retailers that carry Orvis products.

4. Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack

Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack
Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack

The Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack is a versatile fly fishing vest designed for anglers who require ample storage space and comfort. This sling pack offers plenty of pockets and compartments to store all your essential fishing gear.

Specifications

The Fishpond Gunnison Guide Sling Packs are made from recycled Cyclepond nylon which makes them lightweight and provides an extremely durable vest. This vest has a zippered main compartment that can easily store your fly boxes and other essential fishing gear.

It also has smaller pockets and compartments for organizing smaller tools, a clear fishing license slot, and a key hook.

  • Material: Recycled Cyclepond nylon
  • Dimensions: 14" x 8" x 5"
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs
  • Storage: Multiple pockets and compartments

Performance

The Gunnison Guide Pack offers excellent performance in terms of organization, comfort, and durability. The numerous pockets and compartments allow for easy organization and access to all essential fishing gear. The lightweight and durable material ensures that the vest remains comfortable even when fully loaded with gear.

What Sets It Apart

The Gunnison Guide Pack stands out due to its combination of storage capacity, durability, and comfort. Its recycled Cyclepond nylon construction keeps it lightweight while still ensuring that it can hold up to the demands of a serious angler.

Additionally, its focus on organization through various pockets and compartments makes it a top choice for those who need to keep their gear well-organized during fishing trips.

Recent Updates

There aren't any recent updates specifically mentioned for the Fishpond Gunnison Guide hip packs, but Fishpond, as a company, continually strives to create innovative, environmentally responsible products that enhance the fishing experience.

Benefits

  • Ample storage space with multiple pockets and compartments
  • Lightweight and durable recycled Cyclepond nylon construction
  • Comfortable to wear even when fully loaded with gear that can store your fly boxes
  • Great organizational features, such as a clear fishing license slot and key hook

Drawbacks

  • Some people may find it too bulky or heavy when fully loaded with gear
  • Limited color options are available

Who Should Buy It

The Fishpond upstream tech vest can be ideal for anglers who require ample storage space, organization, and comfort while fishing. It's especially suitable for fly fishing enthusiasts due to its design and functionality. Here’s a video showing why you should consider this vest.

Where to Buy It

The Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack can be purchased from various retailers, including:

5. Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Fly Vest

The Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Vest is a high-quality vest piece of fishing gear that is perfect for anglers who are looking for a lightweight vest with ample storage space.

Specifications

The Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Vest is made from a durable polyester mesh material, offering excellent breathability and lightweight comfort. It features adjustable shoulder and waist straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.

With ample storage, this vest boasts multiple zippered pockets, including a large pocket for a rain jacket and small interior pockets for additional storage. The vest even has a built-in rod holder and fly-drying patches for added convenience.

Performance

Anglers who have used the Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Vest have praised its performance in various fishing conditions. Thanks to its breathable mesh lining and lightweight design, this vest is ideal for both warm weather and cooler days on the water.

Users can stay organized and have all the gear within reach, thanks to the multiple pockets and storage options.

What Sets It Apart

The Bahama II Vest stands out from many other best fly fishing vests on the market due to its breathability, lightweight material, and storage space it offers.

While the best vests may be too bulky or heavy, the Bahama II Vest strikes the perfect balance between comfort and functionality, making it a valuable addition to any angler's fishing gear arsenal.

Recent Updates

Columbia is constantly striving to improve their products, and the PFG Bahama II Vest is no exception. Recently, they have made improvements in terms of adjustability, ensuring a more secure and comfortable fit for anglers of all sizes.

Furthermore, the vest now has additional features, such as a built-in rod holder and water-resistant fabric for added durability and functionality.

Benefits

  • Lightweight and breathable mesh material for comfort
  • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a secure fit
  • Multiple small pockets and storage options for organization
  • Built-in rod holder and fly-drying patches
  • Water-resistant fabric for durability

Drawbacks

  • Some users may find the vest lacking in storage for larger items
  • The vest might not be suitable for wading deep in the water

Who Should Buy It

The Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Vest can be an excellent choice for trout anglers and fly fishers who need a lightweight and breathable fishing vest with ample storage options. It is especially suitable for those who need a vest that can easily transition between warm and cooler weather conditions.

Where to Buy It

You can find the Columbia Men's PFG Bahama II Vest at reputable retailers such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, and Amazon. Make sure to purchase from authorized dealers to ensure you're getting an authentic product with all its features and benefits.

Choosing the Right Vest Material

When it comes to selecting the perfect fishing vest, it's not just about the number of pockets or the latest gadgets; the choice of material plays a crucial role in ensuring your comfort and overall experience on the water.

1. Nylon

All-purpose workhorse nylon fly fishing vests are like the Swiss Army knives of fishing gear. They're durable, water-resistant, and can handle the wear and tear of rugged terrains. Whether you're wading through streams or hiking to your secret fishing spot, a nylon vest is your trusty companion.

2. Polyester

Lightweight and quick-drying polyester vests are perfect for those hot summer days when you're sweating under the sun.

They're lightweight and quick to dry, ensuring you stay comfortable even when the temperature rises. Plus, they're usually more affordable, making them a great choice for anglers on a budget.

3. Mesh

For scorching summer adventures, a mesh vest is a lifesaver. The best fly fishing vests are designed with breathable mesh panels that allow air to circulate freely, keeping you cool and preventing overheating. They're ideal for warm-weather fishing trips.

4. Blends

Some fly fishing vests feature a blend of materials, combining the best of both worlds. For instance, a vest with a nylon shell and mesh lining offers durability and ventilation. These hybrid options cater to a range of conditions and preferences.