Public High Lakes Forum Miscellaneous fishing vest vs chest pack

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    • #82297
      Andy Schmidt
      Participant

      I always find myself stuffing pants and jacket pockets with fishing gear, snacks, camera, etc. If I’m just circling a small lake it’s not an issue but if I plan to be out for a while in a raft I can easily have too much stuff for that method to be graceful. I’d like to get a little more organized. I’ve been looking at chest packs and fishing vests and am leaning toward a chest pack but thought I’d solicit opinions before I made a purchase.

      Has anyone tried both and come to a definitive conclusion which is better? Why?

      Any other related thoughts or specific recommendations would be welcome too.

      Thanks.

    • #90321
      Cliff Church
      Participant

      Andy, I have tried several things and seem to always come back to stuffing things in my shirt or on my lap. So far my favorite is to have a small fanny pack reversed so it’s sitting on my belly. I don’t like wearing fly vests in my raft. I’ve come very close to buying a Cabelas chest pack several times. This model is small and light yet seems to carry more than enough stuff: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/standard-pod-wrapped.jsp?id=0004281&navCount=1&parentId=cat370015&masterpathid=&navAction=push&cmCat=MainCatcat20431-cat370015_TGP&parentType=index&indexId=cat370015&rid=

      Cliff

    • #90322
      allison
      Participant

      In a raft, I have not been happy with a chest pack OR a vest. I now have a lanyard and will be trying that this summer. You can borrow mine to try if you’d like. One of these things can be made from bead store stuff for a couple of clams.

    • #90323
      Cliff Church
      Participant

      @allison wrote:

      In a raft, I have not been happy with a chest pack OR a vest. I now have a lanyard and will be trying that this summer. You can borrow mine to try if you’d like. One of these things can be made from bead store stuff for a couple of clams.

      I made one, Alli, but the darn thing keeps flopping around even with the roach clip pinned to my shirt. Maybe I butchered the job. I’ll give them another look.

      Thanks,
      Cliff

    • #90324
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I have a homemade vest. It is a regular vest but made out of lightweit ripstop. Better would be a vest made out of Cuban Fiber. My vest is extremely functional. But it encourages me to bring too much stuff and is still heavier then I’d like.

    • #90325
      Sandy McKean
      Participant

      My vest is extremely functional.

      ……and extremely ugly! 😀 😀 😉

    • #90326
      Rich OConnell
      Keymaster

      Andy – For hike-to lakes, I use this one from Columbia. It’s mesh with few frills and fairly light weight.

      I also have a Simms G3 vest that I use for drive-to lakes.

    • #90327
      Unicorn
      Participant

      I’d like to get a little more organized. I’ve been looking at chest packs and fishing vests and am leaning toward a chest pack but thought I’d solicit opinions before I made a purchase.

    • #90328
      Brian
      Participant

      @Unicorn wrote:

      I’d like to get a little more organized. I’ve been looking at chest packs and fishing vests and am leaning toward a chest pack but thought I’d solicit opinions before I made a purchase.

      I’ll make an assumption you are talking about backcountry use but you didn’t say whether you’d be using the chest pack or vest for fishing a lake from shore, in a raft or float tube, wading a stream, or all situations.

      The discontinued Fishpond Tundra backpack with detachable Deep Creek chest pack system http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot.com/2010/12/fishpond-tundra-tech-pack-review.html is ideal for backcountry day trips. The 1500 cu in backpack easily carries my small 9 liter Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro float tube package, Redball waders, fins, and the rest of my backcountry fly fishing kit (~9 lbs total), lunch for the day, and 10 essentials. (the slightly smaller and less expensive Bitch Creek Backpack and Savage Creek chest pack system http://www.fishpondusa.com/product/detail/bitch-creek-backpack/2119 replaces the Tundra in the Fishpond line)

      Though I am a good swimmer I always wear an inflatable PFD when floating lakes that must be on top to deploy properly and it blocks access to a vest. The pockets on the Outcast Trinity float tube I had were small and not ideally placed so I lashed the chest pack to a side tube. The Backpacker Pro tube has larger and better pockets so now I use a lanyard and put my gear in the float tube pockets. I do lash the chest pack to one of the gunnel tubes on my Water Master Kodiak raft as it has no storage pockets.

      However after really trying to make it work, a chest pack is just a little too small to carry everything I want to have at my fingertips in many fishing situations. I use a Fishpond Flint Hills vest http://www.fishpondusa.com/product/detail/flint-hills-vest/1937 and just the Tundra daypack when wading and fishing remote streams.

      But as you can see in previous responses, what to carry your fishing tackle in is a personal choice.

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