Best Tackle Backpacks Reviewed
When it comes to fishing, there are certain accessories which make your experience much better because of how much more efficient you can be while in the water. Although you can always buy a new fishing pole, the amount that a new pole will increase your fishing experience is minimal. The same is true when it comes to buying a new fishing shirt or a new cooler; although they are fun to have, they don’t have much intrinsic value in adding to your fishing experience.
However, when you purchase a new tackle backpack, you can increase your fishing experience in a very positive way. By having all the items you need stored in a very organized and straight forward manner will ensure you will have anything you need within close reach. This will allow you to tackle any situation that comes up quickly and easily, so you can do what you intend to do when you go out fishing – catch more fish.
Within this buying guide, we’re going to cover what goes into a great tackle backpack. We’ll also review some of the most important features you should be on the lookout for and help you decide which features are going to be best for you and your needs. After this, we’ll review ten of the best tackle backpacks within the marketplace today. After that, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to help clarify any issues you might have when it comes to picking out the right tackle backpack.
Our Top 3 Picks
Check out our latest guide with the best options on the market when it comes to tackle backpacks. We made sure to include all the pro’s and con’s we can find, to make it easier for you.
1. Wild River by CLC Lighted Backpack
- Has an LED lighting system which allows you to fish during anytime of the day or night
- Has a protective rain cover system which can brought out when needed to easily cover your back pack
- Comes with eight pockets which vary in size and shape, along with some nylon hooks and stretchable straps
- Main pocket area is large enough to hold four medium size trays
- Bag itself is not waterproof, and if you lose the waterproof system then you have to figure out another way to keep bag waterproof
- Only comes in one style and color
2. Piscifun Sports Shoulder Bag
- Compact bag has four different pockets of varying sizes, allowing you to carry a large assortment of items
- All pockets have a zipper enclosure to help protect the items inside from the elements
- Comprised of a 100D Nylon material which makes the bag completely waterproof
- Single Shoulder strap allows you to adjust which shoulder you are carrying the bag on easily
- Pockets are not very big, and will not hold even a medium size tray
- Only comes in one Style
3. Fiblink Waterproof
- Four pockets have zipped enclosures and are vented to allow them to stay cool on a hot day
- The shoulder strap can be worn on the left or right shoulder, and is fully adjustable
- The outer shell of the backpack is made from a tightly woven nylon which makes the backpack waterproof
- Extra loops and straps are available to store other items as needed
- Pockets are not very large, which means you can’t put in a medium size tray even in the horizontal position
- Only available in one color and style
4. Wild River CLC WT3605 XP
- Eight different pockets of varying sizes and shapes to allow you to store multiple different types of items
- Comes with two trays, and the large pocket can store up to four trays in a horizontal state
- Bag comes with a LED light system, allowing you to fish no matter if the sun or moon is shining
- Can purchase a solar panel to help power the battery pack which is integrated within the backpack
- Very large backpack can be very cumbersome
- Available only in one color and style
5. Wild River by CLC WT3503
- Has a self-retracting cable, made from steel, which is removable so you can house some small tools or other items for easiness of use
- Seven different pockets of varying sizes allow you to store a large assortment of items
- Removable self-retracting steel cable, so you don’t lose items of importance
- LED lighting system so you can fish at any time of the day that is best for you
- Outer Shell is not waterproof
- Only available in one size and shape
6. Madbite Slingback
- Adjustable and comfortable shoulder strap can be worn on either shoulder
- Four pockets of varying size, along with numerous extra hooks and strap areas
- Has a waterproof outer shell, and all pockets have a zipper enclosure to keep all contents safe
- Priced very competitively compared to other bags within the marketplace
- Only available in one size and style
- Pockets are not large enough to store more than one medium size tray
7. Shimano Blackmoon
- You can store four medium size trays in a horizontal fashion to keep items stored safely and securely
- All pockets are zipper enclosed
- Two very large side pockets allow you to choose how to fully utilize this bag to meet your needs
- Both shoulder straps are fully adjustable and padded, so it can properly meet your body shape
- Only available in one size, shape and color
- Has extra elastic loops and hooks, but since they are all in black they are harder to see
8. Spiderweb Black Sling
- All pockets are fully zippered, and the front pocket has a flap which has other stretchable loops and hooks for you to store more items
- The shoulder strap is fully adjustable to meet your body needs, and is comes with a pad to provide comfortability
- Made from a polyester material, which means your contents will be waterproof
- Comes with a medium size bait and tackle box, so you don’t have to worry about buying one that might or might not fit
- Only available in one color, one size and one style
- Very compact design means you won’t be able to carry all the items you may need for any fishing trip
9. Wild River by CLC WN3605
- Large pocket along the front will store four medium trays or two large trays in a horizontal fashion to keep things organized
- Has a LED light system to allow you fish during any portion of the day or not
- Comes with a separate power pack, allowing you to charge your portable electronics thru the four adapter tips which are included
- Has a high number of pockets, hooks and stretchable loops so you can store smaller items in more convenient spots along the bag
- This backpack is very large, and should only be purchased by those who are experienced with fishing in order to best utilize all the features and capabilities
- Has two shoulder straps and a back strap, which need to be worn so your shoulders and back don’t get as sore as quickly
10. Fishing Tackle Shoulder Bag
- Single shoulder strap is fully adjustable to meet your body needs
- All pockets are zipper enclosed, so it will keep the contents dry and safe
- Available in three different color designs and styles
- Has a securing lock for your adjustable shoulder strap, so the bag does not continue to flop around on you as you walk
- Can only carry one medium size bait and tackle box, which is not included and would have to be stored vertically
- Outer Shell is not fully waterproof
What makes a good tackle backpack?
When it comes to picking out which tackle Backpack will be best for you, there are certain features that you need to decide between in order to find the right one for you. There is a large assortment of options to choose from which will determine how efficient your tackle backpack can be.
The first thing you need to decide is how big of a backpack you want. The size it is from top to bottom will almost always be the same, no matter which backpack you choose. However, what is different is how deep your backpack can be. There are some that are not very deep, which means you will not be able to carry many items at once. If you are only going out for a couple of hours, then this kind of bag might work for you, as you will not need to have a lot of items. However, if you are going out for a longer period of time, you will want to have a deeper backpack. The deeper backpack will ensure you have enough room to store as many different items that you need so you can enjoy your fishing trip without having to worry about running out of any particular items.
One of top things you need to consider with this as well is how heavy you want your backpack to be. If you do not want to carry a heavy load, then you will want to go with a thinner backpack. This will mean you are giving up the ability to have long fishing trips, but you can feel good in knowing your shoulders and back will not feel any ill effects from the heaviness of a wide backpack. However, if you feel the extra storage space of a wider backpack will bring greater dividends then worrying about the extra stress and pressure put on your shoulders and back, then you truly have the pick of any backpack you want. When making this decision, it may also come down to how long you will be wearing the backpack for. If you are able to park or hike to your fishing boat fairly quickly, then the weight of the bag will not matter as much. However, if you need to hike a mile or more to get where you want, then you might consider going with a more lightweight backpack. Once again, it really comes down to how long you’ll be wearing it, and how many items you want to be able to store in one package.
The next thing you will need to consider is how many pockets it comes with, along with the size of the pockets. You might have a very deep backpack, but if the pockets on the bag are all very small, it will actually defeat the purpose of having a deep backpack. The same is actually true if you don’t have enough pockets; imagine if you had a deeper backpack, but only had one pocket. This would mean that you would have to stuff everything into that one big pocket, which will make your bad cluttered and hard to navigate thru. Ideally, you will want between 6-8 pockets on your backpack, each of a varying size, so you can store the variety of items you have for your fishing trip and have the right spot for each item.
Along with the pockets, you will want your backpack to have some area which has loops and hooks on it as well. These loops and hooks will allow you to store some items on the outside of the bag which might not fit well within the pockets, and will also allow you to access them easier for when you need them. These items could be a knife, pliers, extra hooks, etc. How you use them will be completely up to you, but you should have them available for you, as you will figure out the right way to stock your bag to make it work for you, and the more options you have, the better the bag will be at meeting your needs and the longer you should be able to keep the backpack.
Another item to consider which will determine the longevity of your bag is the type of material the bag is made out. If you are going with a lightweight fishing back, you want to ensure the backpack is not made from a flimsy material which could easily tear. Not only do you need to make sure the outside shell of the backpack is made from a strong material, but you also need to make sure that all of the pockets are comprised of the same durable material. You could have a backpack which is very strong on the outside, but if there are holes all along the inside of the bag, then it defeats the purpose of having multiple pockets so you can separate out the necessary items you need for your fishing trip.
In addition, if you go with a larger and heavier backpack, just because it weighs more does not mean the material is more durable. When you look at the material on the backpack, you need to mentally figure out how well it would survive a cut from a knife. If the material looks like Swiss cheese, then that backpack is not the right one for your fishing trip. However, if it looks like it could be trampled on and still survive, then that would be your best bet on finding a durable fishing bag.
The next element you should consider is the waterproofing ability of the bag. Because you are going to out fishing, more than likely you will be doing this from a boat. Even if you typically fish from a shore, there is still a good chance your backpack will get wet, even if it is incidental. Most items you will be using for fishing purposes are intended to be wet or get wet; however, if you are carrying non-fishing items with you on your trip, you will want to make sure they are safe and secure. If there is any chance of the backpack getting wet, then you need to know if that backpack is fully waterproof or not. And once again, even if the outer shell of the backpack is, you still need to make sure the inner pockets and linings are as well, as there will always be a chance that the backpack will be open while you are fishing, which will allow water to penetrate into the bag. You just need to think thru how often things within the boat or the shore get wet, and make a determination on how waterproof of a backpack you will need for your future trips.
Lastly, although we talked about pockets earlier, one of the main considerations you need to make is where you want the pockets to be located on the backpack. If you want to have a compartment that stores your tackle boxes in a nice and easy way, then having a front facing pocket with zippers that go around the outer edges would be ideal. If you want more of a vertical standing box, then you need to find the right backpack which meets that style. You may not know this answer right away, which is why it’ll be important for you to go look at a few in person, so you can test some ideas out and see what kind of pocket system you think will be best for you and your needs. There is no harm in going to look at them in person, even if you end up buying it online. It’s important to get a sense of what you are getting before you purchase it, so you will not be disappointed in your purchase.
We’ve covered some of the most important features you need to look for, as well as reviewed ten of the best options on the market. Now we’ll answer some of the most common questions when it comes to backpacks.
Q. Can a tackle backpack also serve as a life vest?
Although a Life Vest in itself can act like a backpack, the opposite of this is not true. Most life vests these days come with a couple of pockets which will allow you to store some important items, and those pockets are typically waterproof. However, life vests also come with foam pads which will float no matter what the weight. It does not typically have the floatation pads, and therefore will not be able to keep anyone afloat who wears it into the water.
Q. Which is better, a single shoulder strap or two shoulder straps?
The answer to this question typically comes down to personal preference. Some people like the feel of having the bag slung across their body, and only having it over one shoulder. Others prefer the feeling of having the two shoulder straps, and to have the flexibility of carrying it with one or two shoulders. Our advice is pretty simple – if it is a lighter backpack, then going with either a single or double strap is all down to personal choice. However, the heavier the bag is, the more you will want to have a double shoulder strap option, as you will want to distribute the weight across two shoulders as much as possible.
Q. Does the color of the backpack really matter?
Typically, the color of the backpack comes down to personal choice and you picking out what your favorite color is and going with that. You’ll see many backpacks which are multi-colored, or have accents in at least a 2nd color. Overall, the color doesn’t matter much, but there are certain instances where it will matter, especially for the zippers that you use to get in and out of pockets. If they are black or dark colored, they will absorb the heat from the sun. When this happens, they will be very hot to the touch and you could burn your skin. Some backpacks come with some nylon pieces which go into the holes on the zipper, and others don’t. If you end up with a backpack which is darker in color along the shell and the zippers, we would recommend getting some nylon pulls you can put on the zippers, as those will not burn your fingers when you touch them.
Q. What are the most important features to consider?
Although you should take as many features into consideration when choosing which backpack is best for you, if you have to limit the features to choose from, these are the ones you should consider to be the most valuable.
Number of Pockets – should be at a minimum of six, and they should vary in size
Pocket Placement – where the pockets are located will determine how much you enjoy your fishing bag
Waterproofing – the material needs to be durable and needs to be waterproof
Once you have decided that you are going to purchase a new backpack, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. There is a large assortment of options and features available to you, so you need to know which ones are the most important to you. Once you have made your checklist on which features are the most pertinent to you, then you can start narrowing down your choices until you find the right one which meets your needs and fits within your budget.
Fishing should be a very fun experience, and making sure you have all the items you need in order for it to be successful is vital towards your success on each trip. A fishing backpack can’t solve all of your issues while out fishing, but it can solve as many of them as you need, which means it is all up to you on how effective the backback can be.