Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

- published Saturday, 15 August 2015

86

2015

RATINGS

Organization
10
Comfort
8
Adjustability
8
Ventilation
7
Water-resistance
7
Capacity
6
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
86

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$89.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Compact size keeps users unencumbered and ventilated
  • Smart attachment system tucks retractable cables out of the way
  • Waterproof bottom protects gear when wading in deep water
  • Thoughtful organization keeps most tools convenient

THE BAD

  • No good place for right-handers to attach a net

THE VERDICT

The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack’s design is streamlined and smart, ultimately minimizing clutter. This sling puts every tool right where you want it.

FULL REVIEW

Organization
The placement of this pack’s features are intuitive and well thought out. For example, you can reach your water bottle without having to swing the pack around to your front. Once the pack is in the front position there is a convenient work surface for changing flies: A fly patch sits on the right and keeps to-go flies at the ready, and the tippet storage is within easy reach. There are three zippered pockets and eight separated sections. All interior pockets use light-colored nylon that makes dropped flies easy to spot. The secondary compartment uses an innovative way of attaching zingers, keeping these attachments from cluttering up the pack’s exterior: Pin the retractor to the inside, then feed the tool through a slit that lets you reach it from the outside. The chest strap even features a nifty way to hold a hemostat (a magnetic closure lets you yank it out of the pocket with one hand). But as with most slings, there’s no handy place to hang a net: Shoving it into your wading belt is the best option. 

Comfort
The foam shoulder strap distributes the pack weight well (rarely more than 6 pounds, given the pack’s modest carrying capacity) and is comfortable for hours-long fishing sessions. 

Adjustability
Both the shoulder and side straps are adjustable, but the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack fits medium and large builds best.

Ventilation
The molded foam backpanel isn’t the breeziest system, but the pack’s small footprint limits the clamminess to a very small zone. We found the ventilation to be perfectly adequate for hot-weather fishing.

Water-resistance
The bottom of the pack is made of waterproof fabric, so a quick dip won’t require hours of gear-drying time later. But there’s no waterproof pocket for a phone (a Velcro strip mates with Orvis’s $12 waterproof pocket, which is sold separately).

Capacity
At 10.5 L, this is not the bring-everything (including the “kitchen sink”) pack. But it is big enough for everything that most anglers need for a lunch-hour session on the river: A couple fly boxes, a granola bar, and sunglasses. It’ll hold a packable, ultralight rain shell, but bulky models strain the capacity.

How We Tested It

The packs in this test were used by a team of fly-fishermen (and women) on multiple trips on Rocky Mountain rivers and lakes.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Kelly Bastone

Kelly Bastone

For writer and outdoorswoman Kelly Bastone, gear-testing is just part of the daily routine: Her home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado puts world-class skiing, mountain biking, and fly-fishing right outside her door. Read her work at kellybastone.com

Shop for the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$89.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$89.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Organization
10
Comfort
8
Adjustability
8
Ventilation
7
Water-resistance
7
Capacity
6
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
86

Specs

  • Unisex

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