Friday, February 5, 2010

Orvis Sling Pack Review

Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

I’m not one to give reviews, mostly because I don’t have access to use similar products to compare the good and bad. I do know when I buy and use something what I expect of such product. If the product surprises me in function or exceeds my original expectations I’m incline to let others know from my point of view, of course.
I was recently looking for something to use to carry my steelhead gear during the winter months. My regular fishing vest just wouldn’t do. Even though I buy it large to fit over a rain coat or insulated shirt, putting the vest over a heavy winter coat leaves me with confined movement.
For the last few years I’ve used a fanny pack. This was fine on most days during the early season but again when I had to wear a heavy coat the fanny pack was bulky under the bottom hem of the coat. Spinning it around and searching for something in it with or without gloves didn’t work very smoothly. Oh, and I don’t care for those chest packs either. I like it when nothing interferes with my casting or retrieving a fish on my fly rod.
Well along came this Orvis sling pack. I checked the reviews, usefulness and design of this sling. It seemed it was what I was looking for and so I ordered one to try it out. On two winter steelhead trips, this season, I decided it was what I was looking for. It worked great! Without getting into much detail, you can read about it on, here is why I like it.
First off it fits over a heavy winter coat and with the adjustable strap; I can size it to fit. It does not, in any way, hamper my casting, fishing or retrieving abilities. The two main compartments ‘sit’ in the sling behind my left hip. The smaller, removable, fly box pouch can stay attached to the front of the other two zippered main compartments or clamp on the bottom front of the sling where it’s near by but out of the way. This smaller pouch is great for the more common fly boxes I use. The larger main compartments holds a world of other fly boxes and gear as needed. The inside is separated by black netting. Though I thought it would have been nice to have more inner netted compartments for spool tippets or lead split shot. I found my own coat pockets were just as convenient and just as handy. The smaller convertible pouch does have an outside Velcro net pocket for a variety of my quick snaps and chap stick for greasen up the fly line and rod eyes during freezing weather.
The only thing I see that may be a problem is those who carry a net on their back. I carry a helping hand net glove that clips conveniently to the ‘D’ ring on my waders so it doesn’t bother me.
It would have been nice if there was somewhere on the front strap for a fly patch but I guess you can’t have everything. I just attached a wool patch to the front of the small pouch that works well and handy.
Well, that’s it. I give the sling pack a big A for design, accessibility, carrying capabilities and staying out of the way when it’s not needed, like when I’m fishen! Great stuff for around $49.00

You can see the 'sling pack'  and wool patch in this picture!

....tight lines ~doubletaper

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