Written by: Owl Jones of OwlJones.com
Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that you can divide good fly fishing gear into three categories that I like to call the Three Qualities: Gear that’s made well. Gear that’s affordable. Gear that’s functional. That said, it’s sometimes almost impossible to find a product that has all of these qualities. Then, along comes the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack.
In my many years of fishing, I’ve worn or carried just about everything ever made for hauling around fishing gear. I’ve tried tackle boxes, conventional vests, chest packs and fanny packs. You name it, I’ve probably tried it at least twice. Unfortunately, I always found every product to be lacking one of the Three Qualities. This Orvis Sling Pack though – this is the solution I’ve been trying to find for the last 25 years.
The Orvis Sling Pack is a rock-solid design. Unlike some other “so called” sling packs that are little more than a square bag with a strap, this Orvis Sling Pack takes care of everything. From a place to easily secure your keys to multiple forceps/pliers pockets to an awesome, comfortable design. Using the optional under-the-arm harness strap, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it. Also, I’ve got to say that as a “big guy” there’s plenty of strap length to go around. Both the arm strap and the waist strap are fully removable, too. Add to that two huge compartments, really smooth zippers and numerous tool attachment points, and you’ve got all the bases covered.
I can get a whole day’s worth of fishing gear inside just the main compartment, which leaves the exterior pocket free for a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, or even lunch. Functional? Absolutely. It’s also made of durable, heavy material that looks as if it could last a decade or more of hard use. Is it well made? I’ve looked it over time and again, and I can’t find a single flaw in the workmanship or materials.
OK, so it’s well made and highly functional…how about affordable? Honestly, I think Orvis has done the impossible by pricing this kind of quality product so that anyone can afford it. Trust me when I tell you that this thing would be worth $179 – and at roughly half the price of what other companies sell their “sling pack” for, this may literally be the Deal of the Decade. I have never owned a pack or vest with this much going for it – and certainly not at this a price this low!
I plan to fish for 40 more years, and I’m pretty hard on gear. I might just buy an extra one so I’ll have a Safe Passage Sling Pack to fish with the rest of my life. Trust me folks, this is the only pack you’ll ever need.