Comparison table of the best fishing backpacks:
TACKLE TEK NOMAD
On a budget
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Best fishing backpack overall:
WILD RIVER TACKLE TEK NOMAD LIGHTED BACKPACK
While there are a lot of contenders on the market, the Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad sets itself apart from the competition and comes in first place, as the best fishing backpack. So, what sets it apart from the competition? The Tackle Tek has an innovative design with a lot of cool but useful features that you’re not going find in most backpacks, while also still striking a great balance between form and function. Some of the features I really like are;
It The backpack is made from heavy duty synthetic materials which means it will last you a long time. It has a lot of storage space; 4 side pockets for storing electronics and other small items, a permanent moulded sunglass holder, a large upper compartment which you can use to store food and extra clothing and last but not least a bottom compartment which will fit 4 medium 3600 size trays to store all your tackle. It has large adjustable shoulder straps that strike the right balance between comfort and support. The sternum strap helps with weight distribution for better comfort and fit. When the weather changes and it gets wet it has a quickly deployable rain cover to keep all your fishing gear dry. If only the best will do then this is the backpack for you.
Top pick for comfort
PISCIFUN FISHING TACKLE BACKPACK
The Piscifun fishing tackle backpack is my top pick for comfort. A common problem most anglers face when trekking to their fishing location is their backpack straps chafing into their shoulders and back discomfort when wearing their backpack. To tackle this Piscifun has added 3/4-inch padding to the shoulder straps which will help minimize chaffing. Piscifun has also added padding that contours nicely onto your back giving you a soft but supportive cushion.
The back pack is made from high density nylon that is not only durable but helps with water resistance. The zippers are made from SBS which helps in reducing corrosion especially when fishing in saltwater.
It has a nice hard case for your sunglasses. A water bottle compartment to hydrate when it gets hot that has a drawstring to tighten or loosen the compartment so that you do not lose your water bottle. The backpack is stitched and put together and is made to last a long time.
The backpack has a lot of compartments starting with a large top compartment that has a duffle bag feel where you can fit in your change of clothes or a heavy jacket for when it gets cold or rains. Foam insert to divide the top compartment. The main tackle section has a Velcro strap to hold the tackle trays in place. You can order the bag with or without the trays I highly recommend them. The tackle trays are double sided which means you can store a lot of tackle. What is also great about the tackle trays is that they have long slots with drain holes, which helps reduce corrosion of your tackle.
You can reconfigure the bag has flaps and ability to use the whole bag. Convenient side pockets to store small items. Quickly deployable bag poncho to protect your gear when the weather gets wet.
Best fishing backpack on a tight budget:
SPIDERWIRE FISHING TACKLE BACKPACK
If price is a major consideration, and you’re looking for a fishing tackle backpack that strikes the right balance between price and quality, the Spiderwire fishing tackle backpack is worth a long look.
The backpack is made from high-quality materials. The Spiderwire fishing tackle backpack is especially made for people who have to trek to their fishing spot. The backpack has nice padding on the back, padded shoulders straps, straps for the chest and the waist that help with load distribution while providing comfort and support. A great heavy duty handle on top for when you feel like lugging your backpack.
The backpack has plenty of storage and allows you to modify the main compartment to suit your needs. For example, you can modify the main compartment into 3 inner compartments to organize your gear.
The top compartment can be used to store personal items, such as clothing, or reels. The top compartment also has a zippered pocket for your fishing license and small electronics. The middle cooler compartment can be used to store food and drink and baits you want to keep cold. The bottom compartment comes with 3 medium utility boxes you can organize and keep your tackle in.
My favorite feature on this backpack are the rod holders on both sides freeing up your hands to carry other items.
Top pick when trekking to your location:
SHIMANO BLACK MOON BACKPACK
The Shimano black moon backpack is constructed extremely well, made to last and has storage for days. Whether you’re pond hopping or moving from lake to lake this backpack gives you the mobility to do just that. The thick padded shoulders reduce fatigue. It has a nicely moulded handle which is contoured to fit into your hand. The main compartment comes with four 3600 Plano tackle boxes.
It has a mesh-lined pocket to put your wet tackle so the water just drains out. A quickly deployable rain cover to drape the backpack when the weather gets wet, with an elastic at the bottom to contour fit and keep your gear dry.
The left-hand side pocket of the backpack has two spool holders has 4 holes that correspond with those spool holders where you can keep your leaders. Pull as much leader you like and cut it off without having to remove the spool from the bag. Can use it to re-spool your reels as well. Last but not least, large side pocket on the right to put all your soft plastics.
How to choose the best fishing backpack
In my buyer’s guide, I have mainly focussed on medium to large backpacks which are suitable for most weekend fishing trips. I looked at; value-adding features, comfort level and capacity. Below is a guide on what to consider when purchasing your next fishing backpack.
Perhaps the most important consideration is the backpack capacity or the amount of space you’ll need. Obviously, the size of the fishing backpack you get, will depend on the amount of fishing gear you intend to carry. Capacity is directly linked to weight. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the backpack the heavier it will be. You don’t want a small backpack because us anglers like to carry a lot of gear. At the same time you don’t want a pack that is too big because one it will usually be heavier and it will probably cost more.
The backpacks in this review are medium to large, and are suitable for most angler’s weekend trips. They can be used to carry your gear, food and a change of clothes or a heavy coat/ jacket during colder weather. The Shimano has the most capacity, the Piscifun and Custom Leather Crafts are neck and neck and the Spiderwire has the least amount of space when compared to the other 3.
Fishing backpack weight is the next thing you will need to consider. While the adage ‘less is more’ rings true with most things when it comes to backpacks it is a bit more tricky. For a backpack to be light, it often has to forgo the frame. While this measure definitely sheds the extra pounds there is a downside. The downside is that you won’t have the support and comfort of backpacks with frames. It thus becomes a delicate balancing act between weight and comfort. Any easier way to shed the pounds is to take the gear that you’ll most likely use. (I know I know, easier said than done. I’m no different I like to take everything I own.)
In my review, I’ve picked backpacks that are comfortable but not too heavy. The Spiderwire fishing backpack is the lightest (but has 1 less tackle tray than the other 3, followed by the Piscifun, then the Custom leather crafts with the Shimano being the heaviest.
Compartments, pockets, and trays
The number of compartments and number of pockets to organize your gear will vary from backpack to backpack. As standard most fishing backpacks will have 2 or 3 major compartments and 2 side pockets. How many compartments one needs is a personal preference and depends on how you intend to organize your gear. The fishing backpacks in this review all come with standard compartments but the Piscifun and the Spiderwire have an adjustable compartment divider which you can use to divide the main area into either one main compartment two or 3 etc giving you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you organize your gear.
Most fishing backpacks will come with trays as standard but you can purchase your pack with or without trays. I highly recommend purchasing your backpack with trays as this helps organize your tackle, making it easier to pick what bait you need quickly rather than just throwing your tackle in there.
Comfort & breathability
The weight of most internal frame backpacks will sit directly on your back. A backpack with comfortable back padding and great air circulation is of vital importance and will make carrying your backpack for extended periods a lot of easier reducing discomfort. You want a backpack with mesh on the back for better airflow. As a general rule of thumb the more mesh on the back the better the airflow.
Straps - with advancement in the use of different materials, straps are more comfortable than ever. You want a backpack with enough shoulder padding to reduce discomfort and prevent chaffing into your skin, when carrying your backpack for extend periods of time.
For most anglers, a little rain and getting wet is expected. But getting your gear wet is a huge no no. Water can damage your gear adding unnecessary and often times, costly repair or replacement costs. Water can also spoil your dry and live baits. To avoid this, consider purchasing a fishing backpack with a rain cover. Rain covers will keep your backpack and your gear dry when the weather gets wet. Luckily, nearly all the backpacks in this review except the Spiderwire have a deployable rain cover you can deploy on the fly keeping your pack and gear dry. If you decide to go with the Spiderwire, a rain cover can be had for little investment cost but a greater reward giving you peace of mind when it rains.
Here are a few options:
- Joy Walker waterproof backpack rain cover
- AGPTEK 2 Nylon waterproof backpack rain cover
- Adjustable Gryps raincover with anti slip buckle strap
Nowadays backpacks will come with a plethora of features. I usually recommend getting a backpack with features that you’ll actually use. You usually get what you will pay for. All backpacks in this review come with tackle trays as standard expect the Piscifun which has optional trays. The Custom Leather Craft (CLC) had the most amount of trays. The CLC also had a built-in led light which can be used for seeing in the pack or for fishing in low light conditions. The rod holders on the Spiderwire are great because they allow you to place your rods on the backpack, freeing your hands to carry other things.
You’ve probably concluded that picking a fishing backpack is just as difficult as deciding which bait you want to use. With so many choices to choose from, it can be overwhelming. I hope this review has narrowed it down and has helped you pick the best fishing backpack for your needs. In a nutshell set a budget, pick 2 or 3 must have features, then consider the size and go with that option.