You’ll have to wade through neck-deep heaps of fly fishing gear before you can wade through your favorite streams and rivers. Chest packs are unquestionably one of the most challenging goods to choose from when shopping online.

You’ll need something to hold all of your essentials, but how can you tell if a certain chest pack will do the job based solely on an image on the internet? We’ll assist you in locating a chest pack that suits your needs.

Our recommendations

Umpqua Rock Creek ZS Chest Pack

The Umpqua Rock Creek ZS Chest Pack is a worthy contender for one of the finest fly fishing chest packs.  It’s not a huge chest pack, but it’s deadly. Here are a few highlights.

The chest pack is a little smaller than the other packs, but it still has enough room for goods. It contains a spacious compartment for storing your gear, as well as a fly patch on the front for displaying some of your favorite flies. Put a sandwich in this pack, along with a tacky box, and you’re good to go!

Flies getting stuck on your gear are one of the most aggravating aspects of fly fishing. Trying to get flies off a vest or another pack is a pain, but this one doesn’t have that problem. It’s composed of Zero Sweep material, which is meant to allow flies to slip right off rather than being trapped.

This is ideal for fly fishermen who have a habit of catching their flies on their gear just as the fishing gets hot.

The bottom line is, because of its durability, comfort, and zero-sweep material, the Umpqua Rock Creek Chest Pack, is one of the top chest packs on the market.


  • Shoulder sizing buckle that isn’t snagged 
  • It can hold two large fly boxes
  • 420 denier nylon
  • Two front overlay pockets which are great for flat leader storage
  • Two stretch-mesh pockets on the sides for accessories
  • The cord tippet holder can carry up to 8 spools of tippet.
  • Key clip and organization on the inside
  • YKK zippers 
  • Closed-foot sliders
  • Internal Dimensions: 3.5 x 5 x 9 in. (8.89 x 12.7 x 22.86 cm)
  • Ballistic Cordura®  in high-wear locations 


  • This is a joy to carry because of the smart rear panel.
  • There are numerous pockets on the interior and outside for easy organization of all your fishing gear.
  • Great storage space
  • With the cord tippet holder, you can keep all of your tippet spools in one place.
  • Adjustable for a custom fit
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Good value for money and a good pricing
  • Straps made of mesh to keep you cool


  • If you don’t want your gear or phone to get wet, the zips are water-resistant rather than waterproof.
  • Quite small

Umpqua Overlook 500 ZS Chest Pack

The Overlook 500 ZS upholds the high degree of excellence that has earned Umpqua a name for over a century. One of the primary aspects of Umpqua’s Overlook 500 ZS is the wide shoulder straps. After a day of hauling the necessary stuff around, some models’ scrawny support straps become uncomfortable.

The Overlook 500 ZS, on the other hand, provides excellent comfort and support, with a wide shoulder strap that evenly distributes the weight. Sizing buckles on the waist and shoulder straps allow for ample adjustment and a snag-free design.

To keep the fisherman from overheating, Umpqua included as much mesh as possible in the design of the Overlook 500 ZS. The storage choices that Umpqua has included in this chest pack are unrivaled. Because chest packs are mostly used to store stuff, we’ll go over storage capacity and some specifics.

Internally, the bag measures 5 x 12 x 9 inches and is divided into several storage areas. The Overlook 500 ZS, according to Umpqua, has a big main compartment that can store four large fly boxes.

Extra spools of tippet can also be accommodated as long as they are not stacked higher than four high. Two internal retractor attachment tabs are also included with the Overlook 500 ZS.

Two nipper stations, tool sheaths, a foam fly patch, two elastic mesh pockets, and D-ring and loops for net attachment points can be found on the Overlook 500 ZS’s exterior. A mesh pocket on the rear panel can carry a light rain jacket.

If you can’t see your feet, a chest pack can be a tripping hazard, according to Umpqua. Wading is difficult enough without having to contend with a massive blind spot on your chest.


  • Dimensions: Large
  • Backpack compatibility: Yes

Additional features

  • YKK zippers
  • 420 denier nylon


  • Comes with 2 internal retractor Hypalon attachment tabs
  • The foam fly patch station comes with a patch
  • 2 external stretch-mesh tippet or accessory pockets
  • Full shoulder straps come with a complete 4-point back panel
  • D-ring and web loops for net attachment


  • Pricey

Fishpond Cross Current Chest Pack

The Fishpond Cross Current Chest Pack is the greatest chest pack of the year. It’s one of the most technologically advanced packs on the market, with plenty of storage. It also comes with a Fishpond lifetime warranty, so you’re covered if there are any manufacturing issues.

This is one of the greatest chest packs on the market today.

In comparison to most other packs available right now, the quality of this pack is unrivaled. This chest pack will hold up if you plan on doing any backcountry fishing. This is what you need if you want anything to last longer than three days. This bundle was designed to last, and it will.

This chest pack has a lot of storage. It contains a single huge pocket with additional zippers for storing your belongings. It doesn’t have so much storage that you end up tripping in the river, but it’s more than enough for a day at the river.

This chest pack comes with a lifetime warranty. Just to be clear, I don’t believe this pack will fail you, but if it does, you’re protected. Overall, one of the greatest chest packs for 2020 is this one. It features a lot of storage, is easy to reach for gear, and is made of high-quality materials and workmanship. This is one that I would personally endorse.


  • For ultra-quick access, there is a magnetic closing section on the front for flies.
  • Spacious chest compartment
  • On the back panel, there is a net slot.
  • Inside the pack, there are mesh compartments for segregating accessories.
  • High-quality construction
  • Fishpond comes with a lifetime warranty.


  • This revolutionary chest pack is environmentally friendly and made entirely of recycled materials.
  • There’s plenty of room for your fly box and other belongings.
  • Padded straps provide extra support on those long days on the water.
  • Reasonable cost


  • If you’re not a minimalist and like to carry a lot of stuff, you could have trouble fitting everything into these fishing packs.
  • After a long day of use, if you don’t tighten the waist straps adequately, you may get neck pain.

Fishpond Thunderhead Chest Pack

Because the Thunderhead Chest Pack is completely waterproof, your belongings will only get wet when you want them to. The pack is waterproof and features a sturdy submersible zipper. Deep wading, sea spray, and heavy rain may all be tackled without getting your gear drenched.

The pack itself is only 16.8 oz, so it adds very little weight to the angler’s shoulders. Overheating can be easily caused by chest packs and vests with heavy padding.

The Thunderhead chest pack’s main compartment has plenty of room for everything you need. And, depending on the proportions, there’s enough space for a couple of medium fly boxes.

The freedom to wear the chest pack high on your chest also allows your arms to move freely, as we discovered. A better range of motion is provided by chest packs worn above the level of your elbows.

You almost never hold your fly rod at chest level, whether casting, manipulating a drift, or retrieving a line. Fishpond demonstrates their understanding and experience with the practical needs of anglers on the water.

The Thunderhead Chest Pack is one of our top picks because of its innovative design and affordable price.


  • Dimensions: Medium
  • Backpack compatibility: Yes


  • 1680D TPU-coated recycled nylon
  • Lightweight foam back panel with a built-in net slot for holding short or long handle nets
  • Stretch mesh pocket with zipper closure
  • Fully waterproof TIZIP zipper closure on the main compartment


  • Priciest on this list
  • The front zipper deep is quite shallow
  • Opening the main pocket requires both hands
  • Stiff and difficult to open buckle

Allen Boulder Creek Fishing

The Allen Boulder Creek fly-fishing pack is, in our opinion, one of the best on the market.  This bag has an appealing design in olive green tones that will blend in on the river, but it’s also robust, hard-wearing, and strong.

It’s a respectable size, and it’s built to withstand high loads. It also has all of the pockets and attachments you’ll ever need for storing your flies and other gear. This is something we’d recommend to anyone, but it’s especially enticing if you don’t want to spend a lot of money; it comes at a great price for everything you receive.


  • The price is reasonable, which is ideal if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Have a huge carrying capacity — you can easily transport up to 6 fly boxes!
  • Strong, long-lasting zippers that can even survive saltwater corrosion
  • Several inside compartments help you stay organized – you’ll always be able to find what you need in no time.
  • Plenty of space to keep stuff without being bulky or in the way


  • If you fill the fishing pack with a lot of heavy gear, the shoulder straps may become uncomfortable.
  • It can be difficult to open and close the zippers.
  • Getting the fly fishing pack to sit comfortably on your torso can be difficult.

Advantages of chest packs

  • Chest packs were used as add-ons to vests to give additional storage. Modern fly fishing vests are light, easy to use, and have plenty of storage space for all your fly fishing necessities. They provide all of these benefits while being pleasant to wear.
  • They’re usually not too big, so they won’t get in the way of casting, but they’ll hold everything you need. When you wade deep into the river, you won’t have to worry about your hip or waist pack getting wet.
  • When you’re already holding your fly rod, wading staff, and/or net in deep, flowing water, it’s quick and easy to get your hands on whatever fly gear you need.

Fishing vest versus chest pack

Vests have long been used for fly fishing, but they may be bulky and inconvenient, especially when worn over thick winter layers or waterproofs. You may become sweaty and humid, and the large pockets on your chest may obstruct your ability to cast your fly.

When fly fishing, you want to move around as freely as possible. You don’t want your mobility to be constrained since you won’t be able to adjust your cast to reach those small pockets of a backwater.

Buyer’s guide

While looking for possibilities, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have the greatest experience possible. The following are some of them:

Space for Storage

When you go fly fishing, how much gear do you usually bring? Do you only bring the bare essentials with you, such as your flies and a few other necessities? Or do you prefer to prepare for any possibility, store all of your belongings, and bring a big meal with you?

These are things to think about when deciding on the ideal chest pack for you. They come in various sizes, ranging from small, minimalist packs to large bags that can hold everything but the kitchen sink.

Some chest packs have more storage capacity than standard fishing vests. To estimate how much space you’ll need, gather everything you regularly bring on a fly fishing vacation.


Because chest packs are frequently worn for lengthy periods of time, comfort is essential. To avoid an aching back or neck at the end of the day, look for padded straps that distribute weight ergonomically and evenly throughout your body.

To keep you comfortable on hot days, a decent chest pack will be composed of breathable fabrics or possibly include mesh parts. One of the main reasons fishermen prefer them to regular vests is because of this.


They should be able to withstand repeated use and persist for years, allowing you to relax and enjoy your fly fishing adventure. To keep your equipment safe, it should be made of robust, durable cloth with solid zips, buckles, and other fasteners. You don’t want your fly pack to rip or a zipper to break when you’re in the water, spilling your supplies into the river.


For added versatility, certain chest packs can be worn on the chest or threaded via a waist belt. If you’re going to utilize a boat, make sure your chosen fly chest pack can be safely tied to the boat. As a result, they are far more adaptable than fishing vests.


They should, of course, be waterproof to keep your things dry during the day. This is particularly critical if you frequently carry your smartphone or GoPro camera. However, be in mind that some fly packs are only water-resistant, not waterproof – make sure you know the difference.


Of course, when you’re looking for something, pricing is always a consideration. Are you a dedicated fly fisherman who spends most weekends on the water and is willing to splurge on a more expensive chest bag that will last you a long time?

Then you’ll be delighted to pay a higher amount for a long-lasting, high-quality product. Or are you looking for something practical and economical to get the job done?

There are some fantastic low-cost chest packs available. Inferior cost does not have to imply low quality.

Final Thoughts

On our fly fishing expeditions, our chest pack has become a must-have item. Particularly in the summer, when you want to feel as light as possible. They make it simple to transport and access all of your equipment and essentials without the need to haul around a bulky backpack or sling bag.

Remember that you’ll want something that’s light, waterproof, and comfy, with enough pockets and attachments for all of your necessities. With any of the chest packs on our list, you’ll be ready to go.

So all you have to do is consider your own unique requirements, such as when, where, and for how long you’ll be wearing your chest pack, to locate the ideal option for you. You’ll be able to find something to meet your budget, thanks to a variety of price points.

We strive to provide evaluations for the greatest items while also providing you with a choice of options!