Fishpond has become a household name in the fly-fishing community. Recently, I took a plunge and purchased the summit sling pack. With a larger price tag of $99 I expected a lot out of the pack and got exactly what I was expecting.
At first glance, the summit sling pack seems small. With two large zipper compartments, two smaller zipper compartments, and the fly work bench the summit sling pack has more storage than it seems. To start off, the two larger zippers are terrific. I use one to store rain gear and other oddities I might use on the stream. The second large zipper compartment is perfect for holding extra reel spools and a backup reel. One of the two smaller compartments is located in the workbench area. This smaller compartment is practically made to hold a leader wallet in my opinion. The second smaller zipper pocket is quite narrow, but also very deep. I use this to hold things such as my sunglasses case or LifeStraw. Finally, one of my two favorite features of this product is the fly work bench. This feature is great when you are out wading a stream and need to rework your flies or tippet. Simply pull the pack over the shoulder like it is designed and open the work bench. The work bench can easily support the weight of your rod. This allows you to have both hands free and working on changing your flies. Another great feature in the work bench is a built-in large fly patch. I carry several large streamers with me at all times. Large streamer boxes can become an inconvenience on the water. I use this fly patch to hold all of my streamers which is close to twenty-five at a time. Along with the fly patch, there are two integrated pockets designed to hold slim fly boxes. On the bottom of the pack is a built-in water bottle holder. This holder can accommodate up to a twenty-ounce water bottle. Personally, I chose not to use this feature. The added weight can become uncomfortable on the shoulder.
My absolute favorite feature on the summit sling pack is the shoulder work area. There are times on the water it becomes a hassle to flip the bag around to grab stuff. The shoulder work area has accommodations for forceps, nippers, floatant, and an area to add ANOTHER fly patch for easy access. At the beginning of each fishing excursion, I try to load the shoulder fly patch with what I believe will work for that day.
I have two downfalls with the summit sling pack. One is the net holder. The net holder is built into the back of the pack. While it looks slick walking down the stream, it is practically useless. The net becomes a pain when you need to get into the pack by flipping it over the shoulder. As well as when trying to replace the net after landing a fish. A simple magnet release on the back is much simpler than trying to find the slot behind the back. The final issues is not big, but a personal preference. The sling pack is not waterproof. The zippers are water resistant, but not water proof. I didn’t have intentions of purposefully submerging the bag, but after a nasty slip while wading everything was soaked.
All in all, the Summit Sling Pack from Fishpond was everything I expected. A smaller pack with immense amounts of storage. Though it does have a larger price tag it is well worth the purchase. An added incentive is Fishpond makes all their equipment out of recycled materials. So, while you are sporting a new bag you are also helping the environment.