The problem with old-school vests is that there are no truly large pockets for big items like cameras, jackets, or even for truly large fly boxes. (Yes, there’s usually a large zippered pocket between your shoulder blades, but it’s so awkward to get in/out of that it’s practically useless.) And all those little pockets on the front don’t keep you organized, they keep you in a state of disarray because you never know what pocket your 6X tippet is in, or where to find your floatant. Many (if not most) fly fishers today are eschewing their fathers’ vests for packs and slings that favor large compartments, and easier access to more stuff. Here are four of our favorites.
Leave No Flies Behind
From smallest to largest, these packs are (1) 462 cubic inches, (2) 504 cubic inches, (3) 900 cubic inches, and (4) 1,434 cubic inches.
<h2>Orvis Safe Passage Guide Sling Pack $140</h2>This is a truly massive sling pack for the “big fly” guys who stow their streamer collections in old-school Plano boxes, and don’t like to get caught short. At 900 cubic inches it’s the largest true sling pack we looked at, and it’s 360% larger than Orvis’s original Safe Passage Sling Pack. It has a security strap to stop the sling from slipping around to the front while you are hiking or casting. Unclip the strap and you can swing the bag to the front for easy access to the pockets. There’s a hemostat sheath on the strap so you don’t have to swing the pack around every time you release a fish. Our tester used this bag for Spey casting on the Skeena River and said “You can carry as much as you want with you, but unlike a chest pack or vest, your gear is out of the way while casting. The easy-grab zipper tabs are just one of the thoughtful features that make this bag work.” orvis.com
Fly Fishing Pack Options