Patagonia Atom Sling Pack Review

General trout, fishing, conservation, or anything outdoors related discussion. Trip reports and stream conditions welcome, but please do not name streams.
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TFO5wt
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Patagonia Atom Sling Pack Review

Post by TFO5wt » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:52 am

I've been looking for better (for me at least) way to carry my fly boxes and gear. When I started fly fishing I had a traditional vest. I hated wearing it because it was hot in the summer and I could never remember which box was in which pocket. I then moved to lumbar pack (fanny pack). I couldn't justify dropping the cash on a Fishpond but found a Marmot job @ REI on sale. It worked much better than the vest. I was much cooler in the summer and could fit a dry, nymph and streamer box in the main pouch, the other necessaries in another, and it had a water bottle holder. After using it for 4 seasons, I started to grow tired of having to loosen the belt to slide it around to pull out a fly box or take a leak, on longer days on the streams my lower back started to ache in the afteroons, I lost 4 water bottles, and in the summer on longer outings I would drain the water bottle early in the morning.

Last fall I purchased a Patagonia Atom Sling Pack in black (all the other colors were too girly). http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/ato ... 8259-0-306 While they have Atom Pack specifically design for fly anglers, I elected to go the basic route. I've used it on a couple steelheading outings, twice in Iowa, and a couple winter outings this season. So far I really like it.

Pros: I can carry all of my fly boxes, plus a few more. It has a seperate side pocket where I store leaders, shot, floatant, etc. I can also fit a 32oz water bottle and a sandwhich and some granola bars in the main pack and still have room to spare. It is also very handy to slide from my back to chest to easily access my gear and I don't have to take if off to releave myself. Another benefit over the fanny pack is that is it much more comfortable on my back. No lower back pains!

Cons: While this hasn't really bothered me yet it does slide around a bit when bringing a fish to hand. There is a chest strap to stop this but I don't find it comfortable. The sling strap also rides up a bit high on longer hikes. In the summer I'll have to wear a buff or a colared shirt to prevent it from rubbing directly on my neck. It also isn't quite big enough to carry a light rain jacket when fully loaded inside, although one can easily be strapped on outside. I don't foresee any of these as being major annoyances for me.

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchase. I feel that it is going to excel for me on those long days of hiking deep into a valley to spend the day as well as summer outings when having enough H2O is essential. No more treks back to the car because I'm dying of thirst, hunger, or I forgot my box of hoppers and attractors. And all my gear is just a swing away.
Simply put, people fish because it's fun

ted4887
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Winona, MN

Post by ted4887 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:13 pm

It's interesting that you posted this. I just bought a stealth atom sling pack last week, and took it out for the first time yesterday. So far I'm incredibly impressed with it. I upgraded to it from the Orvis Safe Passage sling, which i disliked. A few things about the pack that stick out to me is that: A) There is a lot more space than the Orvis bag B) It's much easier to keep organized C) Waterproof pouch is very nice D) There is no spot on the Atom sling for my forceps. That is really my only complaint about the bag so far. But then again, I'm merely comparing it to what I've used, and seen on the market. Personally, I don't think that there is a sling out there.

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TFO5wt
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:33 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Post by TFO5wt » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:12 pm

I have been clamping my forceps to the strap when they aren't clipped on my jacket pocket.
Simply put, people fish because it's fun

ted4887
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Winona, MN

Post by ted4887 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:09 pm

That's probably what I'll do during the warmer months as well. Right now, they just stay clipped to my jacket.

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