Here’s a fact. I’ve tried every combination of daypack, vest, shoulder bag, sling and minimalist wishful thinking imaginable in trying to comfortably combine photography and fly fishing with mixed levels of success from none to not-even-close. Here’s a couple more facts, both bankable, cameras and water don’t mix and water resistant isn’t just when you need it the most.
Most of the current crop of day packs are probably pretty good in terms of comfort and there’s some clever design around for sure, but the waterproof offerings are drawn from a smaller gene pool.
The main feature that separates the Patagonia pack is the big, easy pull waterproof zipper into a main compartment. It’s incredibly easy to open & close compared to others I’ve tried.
Internally, the packs design is fairly simple with only one small zip pocket inside. I’ve fitted mine with a padded camera compartment from an older camera pack, though there are also lots of new options for camera inserts around if you’re carrying cameras as well.
Externally, there’s one flat zippered pocket on the back that’s big enough for a couple fly boxes or other small stuff you might need quickly and a couple compression straps that can hold a rod tube, jacket or tripod that can be moved around the 10 attachment points to suit your own uses.
There’s also a couple tie down points and a rear D ring that would suit a net.
At 28 litters there’s more than enough room for day trips and non fishing activities as well.
The harness is very well thought out with a very wide waist belt featuring a couple small stretchy stash pockets and lots of adjustability in the shoulder straps making it easy to fit up and adjust on the run. On the shoulder straps there’s a couple D rings and attachment points as well as a (rare) height adjustable chest strap.
The price, $319.oo puts it at the very top end of day packs, but thanks to the brilliant design, best case zipper and top shelf build quality, I feel it’s worth the extra coin.
For around $100 less there’s a slightly larger 30 litter version available with a simple roll top closure that’s still totally waterproof, but perhaps a little slower to get into.
I think it would make a great boat bag as well.
For what it’s worth, I also like this companies attitude towards our environment as they give 1% of sales, or around 8.7 million dollars a year to various environmental groups around the globe including the Bob Brown foundation, Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Climate Council of Australia.
Daniel and Simone @ Riverfly1864 have a few of these in stock and are offering 10% off – probably because of all the rain they’ve had in Tassie this week!
This review originally published in Flylife Magazine.