YETI Panga Backpack Review – Keeping Your Gear 100% Dry While Fishing

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Gear Reviews, Fly Fishing

The YETI Panga is one of the best bags on the market. Although pricey, you wont find a bag more durable or able to withstand the beating bags can take while fly fishing. If you want a bag that will last you more than several years, then please read on.

Doesn’t YETI Only Sell Coolers?

Over the last decade, YETI has made a concerted effort to expand beyond their cooler and drinkware business, going so far as to produce blankets, cookware, various bags, and a variety of dog gear to name a few. All of their gear is high quality and built to last. As us fishermen know, a quality bag is a must due to the constant wear and tear we put on our bags. Additionally there aren’t a lot of high quality water resistant or flat-out waterproof bags on the market. For that reason, the YETI Panga backpack delivers.

Yeti Panga

Is it Really Waterproof?

Yes, the YETI Panga is 100% waterproof. The zipper seals similarly to YETI’s soft-sided coolers which are designed to keep ice for an extended period of time. What better way to seal a backpack than to use the same design designed to keep ice frozen? However, it should be made clear that the Panga backpack is not insulated and will not function as a cooler the same way that YETI’s specifically designed soft-side coolers will. The bag can be fully submersed which is perfect for individuals who fish lakes or saltwater from shore or for any angler who gets caught in heavy rain. For this reason the backpack boasts a single large pocket and functions similarly to a dry bag. Despite the single pocket, the bag is plenty spacious, it is 28 liters after all. YETI also sells a sidekick dry gear case which can be attached to your backpack and function as a second pocket, but more on that in a moment.

Yeti Panga Pack Features

The interior of the pack contains a single opening with a small laptop/tablet sleeve and a small mesh zipper pocket. The singular pocket can make for difficulty in organizing the interior of the pack but the Panga is not devoid of utility and functionality as a whole. The pack straps, and front of the pack, contain multiple hitch points where a carabiner can be attached. This is perfect for fastening tippet rings, GoPro cameras, forceps, used line respectables, and other small gear items. I have even gone barefoot while wading flats and attached my shoes to the hitch points. The aforementioned YETI sidekick dry gear case and be easily fastened to the top half of the hitch points on the front of the pack, leaving plenty of hitch points below it. The sidekick has a magnetic seal and fastens shut with a velcro strap. Although not huge, the sidekick offers a
perfect area to store leaders, small fly boxes, and electronics. Each side of the pack contains a vertical strap which allows the user to carry the pack as if it were a duffel bag in cases where the pack is overloaded, as well as acting as extra hitch points. Two small hitch points extend below the vertical straps on the side and provide the user with an area to attach vertical fly rod holders to their pack. The plethora of straps gives the user several opportunities to attach gear and more than makes up for the lack of additional pockets.


This pack rides well on your back and is not cumbersome despite its size. I can very easily carry the pack for long distances while casting intermittently or for long periods of time. YETI also now provides removable chest straps and a waist belt to increase comfort while wearing the pack. I routinely load my pack with multiple fly boxes, a YETI water bottle, and a few other odds and ends and the pack allows me to do so comfortably while fitting all of my gear primarily in the one pocket.


The YETI Panga slots in at an even $300. It is a substantial investment, but a worthy one in my opinion. I primarily fish saltwater, so my gear is constantly wet and in contact with saltwater, not to mention it is hit by intense sun consistently throughout the summer. I have had no problems with my Panga in the five years that I have had it. I live by the motto “buy once cry once” and I fully believe that had I bought another pack I would have been forced to replace it by now.


The YETI Panga absolutely lives up to YETI’s slogan “Built for the Long Haul”. It holds up to rain, submersion, sun, cold, and everything in between. It even floats when full of gear! I once capsized a kayak and did not have to worry about my fly boxes, phone, wallet, and keys, because they were all safely afloat within my Panga. That is the type of security and utility you are getting with this pack and I highly recommend it for fresh and saltwater fishermen alike.

View Yeti Panga on Amazon

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