Over the past ten years, there has been a shift away from the classic fishing vest towards more versatile ways to carry your gear. Patagonia’s Stormfront 20L Sling Pack, though not meant to entirely take the place of your trusty old vest, is an excellent alternative with more versatile uses… Not only does a sling bag rest conveniently out of the way of your cast, but it also disperses the weight more evenly than traditional heavy front-pocketed vests.
Patagonia Stormfront Sling Review
Personally, I prefer a waterproof sling pack to a vest for many reasons. Fishing vests can get hot and sticky, and can also be really bulky. In the heat of the summer, the last thing I want to wear is a vest, typically made of synthetic or cotton material, with a bunch of pockets. The Stormfront Sling 20L streamlines your gear into one convenient place, the small of your back. While casting, stripping, or mending, you don’t need to worry about your line getting caught on your nippers or open velcro pockets. So whether your Spey casting or single-handed fishing, your line stays snag-free allowing you to fish more and untangle less
The Patagonia Sling Bag is also 100% waterproof and features a fully a welded construction. This means that there are no sewn seams, rather the seams are generated by a combination of heat and pressure. Basically, it is like comparing a sewn baseball to igneous rock, the rock will outlast the ball. The exterior shell is coated with a bomber waterproof, scratchproof, and fadeless coating and features a highly water-resistant pocket. I wouldn’t trust my phone in that pocket if the bag was submerged but in a rainstorm, your small electronics will be safe.
Patagonia’s ‘Live Simple’ mindset certainly went into the construction of this bag. The Patagonia Sling Pack Fly Fishing Bag is very minimalist and has the features to prove it. One huge 20L pocket with a small zippered mesh pocket inside, and the water-resistant pocket on the outer shell. Above you’ll see everything I took for a full day on the water. 20L though is enough for an overnight bag too, so if you’re into camping by the river, having a small campfire, fishing dry flies to the evening hatch, and eating fine French cheese under a blanket of stars, well the Patagonia Stormfront Sling Pack is the only bag you’ll need.
Patagonia Sling Capacity
A streamer box, a dry fly box, a nymph box, an emerger box, and a small box I use to store some specialty flies, one MSR Pocket Rocket stove, one fuel canister, one Orvis Helios 2, one Orvis Battenkill Reel with a 5wt. line, one Nalgene Bottle, three leaders of various lengths and thicknesses, one baseball cap, an Orvis tools lanyard, a mini dry bag for my camera, a stovetop espresso maker packed with the finest Cafe Bustelo, one handmade wooden fishing net, a bottle of iodine to treat water, some p-cord, one mini Bon Mama jelly jar, one jar of Grey Poupon, a lightweight rain jacket, extra socks, flask, pocket knife, lil’ cast iron pan, a lightweight compressible down jacket, and of course a book of fine French cheeses.
What I like best about the Stormfront sling is the versatility. Use this bag as a daypack, a carry on bag, a grocery bag, or a cycling bag while you’re commuting to work. Artists fly anglers, and architects alike can carry their portfolio tubes and rods both while cycling through the NYC streets in a rainstorm or while hiking through the woods.
The T-ZIP waterproof zipper is the most durable and burly zipper on the market! When the bag is zipped, it is almost impossible to compress because of how airtight the bag becomes when fully closed.
Extra lash points allow you to configure the bag to your liking, while the simplicity of the sling system makes accessing the contents of the bag very easy. Simply unbuckle the cross strap and swing the bag from behind you to in front of you. The geometry of the sling keeps the bag upright as you access your gear yet tucked away when buckled behind you.
All in all, the Patagonia Stormfront Sling ($229) fine fishing pack with multiple applications. Thank you, Patagonia for making it durable because it is going with me everywhere!