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Thread: Vest or Chest Pack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Tullahoma, TN

    Default Vest or Chest Pack

    Which do you prefer a vest or chest pack? What brand is your preference?
    Don Winningham

    I don't live just to fish, but I want to fish just as long as I live.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Norris, TN


    I prefer a simple chestpack. You should get one without zippers and that folds out flat so that you can look through the pack with ease.

    My favorites are made by William Joseph.

    -Zippers are bad (line gets caught in them, they have to be relatively straight to zip, ice up, time to zip, accidents = dropping gear, etc...
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    to choose, to respond, to change.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Vest of Chest Pack

    I'm a gear junkie. Definitely a large vest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Seymour, TN


    I'm kind of a minimalist most of time and primarily just wear a lanyard and carry a small fanny pack or 1 flybox in a fishing shirt pocket but I did find a vest I like for long wade trips. Its a Patagonia Riverwalker vest. I like the large vertical pockets for my bugger barn streamer flyboxes and the mesh is cool if wearing during the summer. It holds everything flat and your elbows aren't banging against flybox pockets when stripping line like so many of the horizontal pocket vest do. I've tried several chestpacks but did not like something hanging in front of me pulling on my neck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Rock Hill, SC


    Quote Originally Posted by donwinn View Post
    Which do you prefer a vest or chest pack? What brand is your preference?
    Donwinn--It's a vest for me, and here are the reasons why:
    1. Back pounch is a convenient place for a camera, Epi-pen, space blanket if I'm venturing back of beyond, rain jacket, emergency rations, cigarette lighter (I don't smoke but this is a predictable fire starter), toilet tissue, small first-aid kit, etc.
    2. I carry far too much stuff not to have a vest
    3. I like the options to compartmentalize a lot of items--hook hone, extra leaders, tippet material, stream thermometer, hook remover, floatant, split shot, etc.--beyond far too many flies.
    4. A vest offers a convenient hook for a net cord
    5. I'm a traditionalist (I carry a wicker creek as well)
    All of the above also makes abundantly clear I'm not a minimalist.
    Jim Casada

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    If I don't just throw a flybox in a shirt pocket, I either use a chest pack of fanny pack. I find that vest's are just too hot, and when loaded, I don't like the excess weight on my shoulders. I use the chest pack if I know I'll be taking lots of pictures and I can clip my camera strap to the chest pack and have it handy for use. But, in general, I use a lanyard for my tools and the chest pack interfers with it.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Knoxville, TN


    Chest Pack if I am taking everything (nymphs, dries, buggers, etc). I need a place for the camera too. If its a cold mountain stream on a warm day and I know its a dry fly day, I will put the camera in a pocket and one fly box (maybe even just throw some bugs in a small altoids tin or something) and one spool of tippet in my pocket and head out. It isn't that I am a minimalist as much as I just dont like the bulk and heat of a, being the gear hog that I am, I will fill up every bit of empty space I have available, so I just give myself less storage space and still end up with everything I need. Funny how that works.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Google "Richardson Chest Fly-Box" or "Downs Fly Box".
    These are the fastest most efficient systems I know of.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Northern Kentucky


    I think the question "vest or pack" is kind of like which is best blondes or brunettes. They're all great.

    With that said, 27 years ago, I married a fine brunette so I better say brunettes are best.

    As for vests or packs, I'm a vest guy. I like lots of pockets and room to put stuff. Nothing frustrates me more while out fishing than to have to stuff a bunch of stuff in one area and then have to sort through it all knowing something is in there. With a vest, I have different types of stuff in each pocket. Leader / tippet in a pocket, my fly boxes in a pocket, nippers on a zinger, etc. I'm kind of of the mind I'd rather have a couple empty pockets than have stuff crammed in too few pockets.

    Where I live in Kentucky, our summers are hot (like Tennessee) and I wear a mesh vest.

    Here's the one I own and have really liked it. I've had this Fishpond mesh vest going on 3 seasons now and it has held up really well.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Langley, Ky.


    I started with a vest, then a chest pack. I now have a Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack. I like the lumbar pack best because it is out of the way when not needed.

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