Just received one of Fishpond’s new Westwater Chest Packs to try out. Since many of my spring fishing trips are short jaunts to a local stream, I don’t need the capacity of a vest or backpack. All I carry is enough equipment for a few hours on the water, with easy access to the necessities. The Westwater chest pack fits the bill.
Although I’m traveling light, I’ll typically have 3 fly boxes containing nymphs, dry flies and streamers. I’ll also carry 2 sizes of tippet, snips, forceps, and split shot. For summer trips I usually throw in bug repellent and the Buff. I also have a phone and keys that need to stay dry. Capacity, convenience, construction and comfort, particularly around the neck, are important.
The chest pack has dual interior organization pockets, a padded back, pass-through slot for belt attachment and an adjustable shoulder strap to allow anglers to wear it as a chest or sling pack.
Reading through some of the specs, I learned that the modular design allows for the pack to attach to the Westwater Backpack, or a number of other Fishpond products, which makes changing setups that much easier.
The welded fabric construction has a clean look, and the water resistant zipper with oversized rubber pulls comes in handy. But is it really water resistant? I decided to conduct my own highly unscientific test.
On The Water
As part of our field test, I took the pack out on the Farmington River for a quick trip. The river was higher than usual, so the pack spent at least part of the time floating in the water.
I found the neck and waist straps to be comfortable and released easily when needed. I was able to retrieve my fly boxes quickly, and the zipper operation was smooth. As you can see from the pic below, I used the outside fasteners for forceps, snips, floatant, etc.
For a quick trip or when you’re traveling light, this is a nice comfortable chest pack or sling pack, with more than enough room for the essentials. The water resistant fabric comes in handy, especially when you’re wading in deeper water.
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Note: I receive no compensation or consideration for these product reviews.