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There are two things I love in this world more than anything else, wet wading and sitting on the side of the river with a gourmet combination of whole wheat crackers and peanut butter. The problem with that is, crackers and water don't mix. At least until I found this pack.
So for anyone that knows me, I've tried fishing vests, sling packs, backpacks, hip packs, you name it. I've found that for my usage, hip packs tend to be the most comfortable while on the water. So far the only issue I really have is I tend to wade through some deep water and well... get all of the contents of my pack soaked. Including my crackers.
Well I have that problem no longer. I have been using the Orvis waterproof hip pack for some time and I can tell you with the upmost confidence that it is in fact waterproof. Literally to the extent that I even keep my dslr camera in it which alone has saved it from numerous watery graves. Which brings me to my first point. This pack is roomy for a hip pack. Straight away when moving over from my Ledges 650 which has a few dividers in the main cavity of the backpack, the Orvis pack has one big area for you to store all of your gear. This is insanely beneficial to me as sometimes I want to carry extra spools to swap between the day if I am fishing salt flats or streamers on the river.
Inside the main pocket however, there are a few mesh pockets for smaller items like spare leaders and strike indicators. Theres even a larger zippered pocket for your cell phone and peanut butter knife. To give you an idea of just how big this pack is. I can comfortably fit a spare spool and 5 fly boxes with room to spare.
The one caveat to the entire setup though is that the water bottle holder is on the very bottom of the pack. I mean sure it has a bungee drawstring that helps keep it in but lets face it, how often do you REALLY put it back the right way. I've personally seen my water bottle laying on the side of the river because of this. Side note: I've not lost one yet *knock on wood*. One thing I would like to see in future versions perhaps is the 2 cup holders similar to what the Ledges 650 pack has on it. I really like how that pack functions.
One thing I think this pack does really well that I often complain about other packs is how well it performs without the shoulder strap. I don't know why but I HATE fishing with anything on my shoulders. Its not like it effects my cast at all, its just bothersome. That said, there are only a handful of packs that I can say do a good job at maintaining their rigidity when the shoulder strap is not in use. This pack is fairly sturdy in that department. Especially since I carry my net by shoving the handle through the top handle of the pack and carry it like a warrior holstering his sword in his belt. Interesting way of putting that but I thing I got my point across.
Overall, the Orvis Waterproof Hip Pack is a great pack with plenty of storage. With its ability to keep water out of my stuff, I can now enjoy my peanut butter crackers on the side of the river without then need of finding the least soggy cracker. This pack would definitely get my consideration when recommending a purchase to a new angler.