I’ve been using a Wychwood backpack for a few years now. I like to travel light and so don’t need anything big, just enough for some food, hot drink in the winter and my other gear. The Wychwood backpack has been good but in winter and spring when you need a few extra items of clothing or a flask of tea it starts getting a little cramped. So, I decided to look for something similar but with a little more room and a few more storage options.
I came across Greys Chest Pack & Backpack which seemed to tick lots of boxes – it even matched the grey and red of my Scierra jacket – but I wasn’t sure about the extra chest pack. It was a slightly more expensive option at around £60 and I wasn’t sure I’d use the chest pack much. The back pack itself looked perfect. A good size without being huge, lots of zipped pockets and compartments. Perfect. But then was I paying more for the chest pack I might not use. After a few days looking at other options and deliberating on the chest pack I decided to buy it. Angling Direct had the best price at the time and as always buying from them was a painless easy experience.
I’ve been using the Greys Chest Pack & Backpack for around 2 months now and its dealt very well with winter weather, being stuffed full of jackets and flasks and supplying quick access to my fly gear. When it was new some of the zips where a bit sticky in places due to the waterproof strip over them that stops water getting in. Over time these have eased in and a re fine most of the time now. It seems pretty robust and is holding up well to being thrown around in cars and boats. The number of compartments and pockets fits my gear perfectly with room to spare and when it’s on your back it doesn’t feel big or in the way. The straps are comfy and it’s easy to wear for long periods. Just this last weekend it was worn all day around Elinor on a very windy World Bank Master competition with no back or shoulder fatigue or straps digging in.
But what about the chest pack I hear you shout! Well it’s been brilliant actually. At Elinor, wading out and having to change pegs every 30 mins, it was ideal to wear all day and have access to everything I needed in the chest pack. You can load it up with the flies you need and all your tippet material and it has lots of pockets and zingers and D-rings to hold your snips, etc. Even though it felt quite big initially you do get used to it after a while. And it’s very handy to rest your rod on while you change flies. Even on days where I’m not wearing the full pack I can just place it on the ground and have the chest pack attached with all my go to gear in it so I don’t have to rummage around in a big bag for those things I always need. And if you don’t want to take the backpack the chest pack comes with a handy strap so you can use it on its own.
After my initial doubts on the chest pack I can honestly say I really enjoying having it now and use it on every trip. Definitely a good bag combo to consider if you’re looking for something portable and full of handy storage space.