Molded fly boxes and tough and tested construction. The Open Range Tech Pack is trusted by guides and professionals and is known for its innovative and comfortable suspension. It fuses the future with traditional elements.
Patent pending, “one-size-fits-most” adjustable shoulder and waist strap design
Molded, “zip-down” fly benches with replaceable foam
Eight generously sized front pockets
Large “easy-access” mesh back pouch for raincoat or extra gear storage
Zippered back pocket for spare spools and other essentials
Four interior mesh pockets
Gear attachment tabs, cord loops, and D-ring net lash
What is it used for?
The Open Range Tech Pack is just what its name implies. It is a technical vest designed to carry anything and everything for a long fly fishing trip to far and away places or to your little creek in the backyard. Instead of having two different vests for warm water or cold water fly fishing situations you can have just one with the Open Range Tech Pack.
How durable is it?
I don’t believe that you will find a better constructed fly fishing vest than the Fishpond Open Range Tech Pack. Fishpond uses the highest quality breathable materials available. The construction of the stitching shows that the workmanship is above and beyond your typical kaki vest. If you buy a Fishpond product I figure it will be something that you can pass down to your next generation of fly fishers. Fishpond products are made to last.
Size and fit appropriate?
The Open Range Tech Pack has a patent pending, “one-size-fits-most” adjustable shoulder and waist strap design. I’m your average size individual and to say that it fits comfortably would be an understatement. I have two friends that have this same vest and they don’t exactly fit on the slim side of the scales (that’s a nice way of saying Big Ol’ Boys) and they are able to fit into it comfortably as well. I believe the Fishpond “one-size-fits-most” lives up to this statement.
How was the ease of use, functions, and features?
The Open Range Tech Pack has a wide array of functions and features that can be used. Its ease of use however may depend on ones organizational skills as a fly fisherman. Not to say it is not easy to use, it is a vest after all, but you do have a bunch of pockets to store nearly if not all of the fly fishing gadgets and gear that you could think of for almost every situation. There are 8 front pockets alone not even counting the 4 interior pockets as well as large back mesh pocket. It would be hard to imagine not having enough room to store all your fly fishing needs. The very fact it can hold so much gear, also presents a problem. You can end up carrying a lot of surplus stuff just to fill it up. The pockets zippers are very durable and have yet to cause an issue with hanging up like the old kaki vest did. One of my favorite features of this vest is the molded, “zip-down” fly benches with replaceable foam. I first started out using the foam inserts as my fly boxes but have since removed them to be able to put my actual fly boxes in the pockets. I’m still able to use the pocket as a fly bench with my fly box sitting securely on top of it. The gear attachment tabs, cord loops, and D-ring net lash all seem to get used by some piece of equipment.
For whom would I recommend it?
I would recommend the Open Range Tech Pack to anyone who feels the need to carry everything but the kitchen sink. Granted it is a technical vest specifically designed for guides and professionals fly fishers, there is no reason why a beginner just starting out could not buy the Open Range Tech Pack. There are other options provided by Fishpond to carry even more stuff. If you have this need you might look into the Fishpond Wasatch Tech Pack.
Why did I choose it?
I chose this vest for two reasons. First, it really is a comfortable vest in my opinion. I can adjust the fit to fit over a bulky coat and waders or just a shirt and stay cool and dry. Secondly, as I accumulated more stuff after my visits to the fly shops that I frequent, I’ve found that I need as much room as I can get to put it all in. The Open Range Tech Pack is the vest for me.
Patent pending, “one-size-fits-most” design
Plenty of room for storage
Zip down fly benches
Durable Foam Inserts
No hydration bladder (see Fishpond Wasatch Tech Pack)
May be to much room for some individuals
Can be technical for a beginner
Overall Rating (1-5 with 1 being "horrible" and 5 being "outstanding"): 4 out of 5
Review brought to you by Terry Will Sept. 12, 2006. Terry is a web developer for Neiman Marcus and NOT affiliated with any fly fishing company. When not spending time with his family you will find him usually hip deep fly fishing for Rainbows and Browns in the Lower Mountain Fork River tail waters just outside of Broken Bow, OK. See below the Open Range Tech Pack in action on the author of the review.