With the ever evolving world of fly fishing gear, fly fishing packs have changed the way we carry gear. Most of us or at least many of us remember the khaki vest with pockets and a wool fur patch with some traditional dry flies and nymphs hanging ready for when the situation calls for a fly change. Having access to fly boxes and many other items needed for a great day on the water right up front was a plus but it came at the cost of poor weight distribution and a sore back.
Enter the sling pack! Sling packs are great for carrying many items with weight distributed across the shoulders to the back area allowing for a comfortable day on the water. But we have to unbuckle and shift the sling to the front to access fly boxes, tippet, and other tools that we need. Though still a great option some folks like myself enjoy having easy access to items without the extra work of getting to them. Less time working equals more time fishing.
Patagonia has listened and now offers a Vest Front Sling Pack 8 Liter made of lightweight CORDURA Rip Stop material with a Polyurethane Coating and DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish. The pack is water repellent not waterproof. The pack has a built in waterproof pouch that can hold a wallet or other things that cannot get wet in the event of a fall or crazy rain storm.
The front is comprised of a vertical pocket configuration that can easily hold a large fly box or multiple smaller boxes, cell phone, tippets, leaders, split shot, and Airlocks. Basically anything you need you have access to can be stored in the front without the bulk of a traditional vest.
Nylon utility keepers allow for easy attachment of zingers, forceps, and other attachments that you might want to have with you. The Vest Sling Pack has two straps that are designed to hold a rod as you hike the trail as well as a water bottle keeper for a day on the water.
The rear storage area is setup similar to most slings with various compartments for leaders, boxes, and split shot. The Vest Sling Pack also has a fleece lined eyeglass compartment that I find nice to have. The pack has plenty of space for a rain jacket, fire starter, and lunch which I like to have with me while out for a day of fishing.
The Patagonia Vest Sling Pack has become my go to pack for outings in the mountains that I call home. I am very happy with the construction and the versatility in the pack and I feel you will too. Stop by the shop to check one out for yourself.