Monday, August 31, 2009

Where have all the vests gone? Part Two

The chest pack is a vest in disguise, it wears like a vest yet holds less and sits mid-chest. Often the back and shoulder components are made of mesh for breathability and comfort. The chest pouch holds a variety of accessories and boxes depending on the brand and style. The chest pack has a key advantage over the waist pack in that it has a D-ring in the back for a net attachment but loses the advantage of a waist pack by having to wear it on your shoulders. Like the waist pack the chest pack holds less gear which as stated earlier can be an advantage.

Currently Orvis makes a Meshed-Back Chest Pack with moulded pockets for support of your flies boxes while standing in three feet of moving water (to prevent those “&%^* my fly box” moments as it floats downstream) as well as a forceps pocket, tippet spool holders and extra large buckles for easy access in and out of the pack. Another alternative that falls somewhere between chest and the back pack is what’s known as the sling pack. This puts your gear in the back out of your way but the weight is distributed across your chest, not just on your shoulders. Some have accessory pockets on the sling so they are close and easily accessible but the pack has to take off in order to access everything in the rear. Check out the Simms Sling Pack.
Stay tuned for the final part in this three part series, backpacks and chest/back pack combinations.

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