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-   -   Vedavoo Sling Pack Review (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/gear-reviews/349276-vedavoo-sling-pack-review.html)

gfirob 04-18-2014 09:04 PM

Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
I posted this first in General Discussions, but I thought I should add it under gear reviews.

I tried out the Vedavoo Tightline Sling Pack on the river for the first time, this week. I was out for about six hours. So I thought I would write a brief review.

There are in-depth descriptions and videos on their website:

https://vedavoo.com/shopping/tightlines-sling-pack/

so I will just give you the nuts and bolts of my experience.

First of all, this is a pack for fairly light needs (a day on the water). To me, a minimalist fly fisherman uses a lanyard and his shirt pockets. The Vedavoo pack is capable of a much larger load than this, but it does not pretend to be the Patagonia Atom pack. You can carry a lot, but you can’t expect to carry extra reels or spools, or full rain gear, or every fly box you own. This is for light weight, unencumbered fishing.

I think it is important to point out that these packs are entirely made in the US with US made materials, and they are made in a small shop pretty much by hand. I’m a big Patagonia fan and have their wading boots and some fleece clothes, but the boots are made in Thailand and I did have an issue with the first set they sent me.

The Vedavoo pack is very well made and extremely tough. I tried to pierce the side in order to mount a heavy duty, screw-on zinger and I couldn’t do it, the fabric was too tough. They have not had a return in four years of business.

And when you call them, you talk to the owner, not a “customer service specialist”. He was perfectly happy to customize the sling for me. And it is available for left or right side use (I got the left side strap to keep my right casting arm free).

On the river I carried four Orvis ultra-thin fly boxes (which stack up to about 2” thick), a couple of granola bars, and a camera, and there was still room left in the main pack. I carried all the core tools, and all the basic small extras in zippered strap pockets, very easy to get to (extra tippet reels, extra leaders, pinch on weights, floatant, gink, strike indicators, leader dressing, toilet paper, and there were still some additional room for more smalls left over in additional zippered pockets (the pack was not jammed). I carried a water bottle and wading staff on my belt.

The main compartment on the pack is about 8” by 9” by 2” with a big Velcro flap to close, big enough for a couple of fairly large fly boxes (or four really thin ones). You could fold up and sandwich a light rain jacket or light fleece between strap and main pack if you wanted to.

What is unusual about the pack is its basic design and how it functions. There is a large rectangular main pack (which is removable) and then there is a row of loops on the strap for attaching core tools in a line with S carabineers (or however else you want to attach them). I put an Orvis double zinger on one of these loops because I wanted the range of movement on two of the tools.

What this means is that when the pack is pulled around to the front position on your chest, the main pack opens for easy access to fly boxes and all the tools are out and already hanging in a line, available as they would be on a lanyard. The tippet holder is also in front and right at hand, so rigging a new fly or leader is very simple.

And then, when the sling is returned to the fishing position (behind you) you are completely unencumbered with nothing to snag your line. Even with zingers on a vest or shirt, you have tools hanging in front of you, but with this system, every thing is immediately available in front of you and then immediately gone, behind you. There is no rooting around to find anything and there is no necklace of jangling tools in front of you all the time. This may be hard to visualize, but it is clear in their videos.

So that is the concept and it is very effective in practice. The entire process of rigging leaders or changing flies was very simple and fast. Since the whole deal is not very heavy, slipping it around to the front and back again involves very little friction. It’s very quick. And for the same reason, it is very light to carry, and quite comfortable.

So I am very happy with it. It is not for carrying a tremendous amount of stuff, but I have been going through a process trying to limit how much junk I carry and getting away from rooting around trying to find a tool or the floatant or whatever. Standing in the current all by itself can get pretty tiring and the more you haul with you, the less pleasant it is (at least for me).

So using a sling pack as an alternative to a vest, chest pack or butt pack seems like an idea that is growing increasingly popular, and this light-weight pack fits my own needs to a T.

The basic cost is $109, but I bought it with an upgraded main pouch (more little pockets). The one in the photograph is the basic model. This is more expensive than the Patagonia Atom sling pack, but that's what you get for buying American, I'm afraid. I knocked down my value grade for this reason, but it is really a different animal from the Patagonia pack, as well ( or any other pack for that matter). I chose this after looking at all the alternatives.

Finally, I like the design. There is nothing made out of formed plastic or rubber. It is very simple and rectilinear. It packs into a small rectangle itself, and fits into my back pack easily. It seems kind of modest and elegant. It is simple.

petee 05-20-2014 03:35 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Thanks for nothing :rolleyes: After reading your review over and over and then reading it some more I made the jump. Can't wait to get the pack in my hands. Figured it would be great for all the surf fishing I do. Went with the upgraded pouch and the clips. Eventually I will probably get another pouch, in a different color to set up for my fresh water gear. Then its just a matter of grab and go.

gfirob 05-21-2014 06:34 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Just a brief update. I have had this out on the river now about 6 more day trips and it just works great. Fast to adjust if you want to raise it up a little for deeper wading (or down). I am finding it carries more than I thought, so i have been bringing more granola bars, and I have added some various smalls since I still have more room. The only issue (if you can call it that) is finding the best place for the wading staff on my belt, so it won't collied with the sling pack when I bring it around. I might switch if off with the water bottle I keep on the other side. It would be kind of nice to have a second pouch too for different setups.

wjl 07-13-2014 01:27 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
How long was the delivery time?
And could you post some pictures and update when you get a chance. Do you still like it?

Thanks

mdogs444 07-21-2014 11:09 AM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Product looks nice, and maybe its just me, but they seem awful price for what little you get. Makes some of the Simms and Patagonia stuff seem like a steal.

repperson29 07-21-2014 03:29 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mdogs444 (Post 685808)
Product looks nice, and maybe its just me, but they seem awful price for what little you get. Makes some of the Simms and Patagonia stuff seem like a steal.


You're paying for it being made in USA for the most part


Ryan

mdogs444 07-22-2014 02:47 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Thats gotta be it. I'm all for "made in USA" stuff - Just seems like the appearance and functionality is missing quite a bit in comparison to the rest of the stuff out there in terms of its price point.

Quote:

Originally Posted by repperson29 (Post 685911)
You're paying for it being made in USA for the most part


Ryan


petee 07-22-2014 03:43 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Wrong, you're not paying for the made in the USA. You're paying for a quality well made item. Plus it hangs on your back like it was made to hang there. Oh wait! That's what it was designed to do. It wasn't designed to be a vest or chest pack where you carry everything but the kitchen sink. Unlike the Patagonia you don't need another strap to keep it from sliding to the front when you bend over. It stays in place.

I can't speak for the basic pack as I upgraded and went with the extra pouch and clips, but mine carries everything I need for a day of fly fishing. I miss a spot for a water bottle, but there are ways around that. Eventually I will be getting another extra pouch or two to hold my equipment for specific water/ styles of fishing such as fly boxes, saltwater gear, or my spey lines/ reels. Then its just grab the specific pouch and clip it on. The rest of the pack carries all the basics that are required for whatever style of fishing you are doing.

Delivery time was a little over a week. And the pack is 100% quality. Plus with all the color options, you aren't running with the rest of the herd.

repperson29 07-22-2014 06:31 PM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by petee (Post 686244)
Wrong, you're not paying for the made in the USA. You're paying for a quality well made item. Plus it hangs on your back like it was made to hang there. Oh wait! That's what it was designed to do. It wasn't designed to be a vest or chest pack where you carry everything but the kitchen sink. Unlike the Patagonia you don't need another strap to keep it from sliding to the front when you bend over. It stays in place.



I can't speak for the basic pack as I upgraded and went with the extra pouch and clips, but mine carries everything I need for a day of fly fishing. I miss a spot for a water bottle, but there are ways around that. Eventually I will be getting another extra pouch or two to hold my equipment for specific water/ styles of fishing such as fly boxes, saltwater gear, or my spey lines/ reels. Then its just grab the specific pouch and clip it on. The rest of the pack carries all the basics that are required for whatever style of fishing you are doing.



Delivery time was a little over a week. And the pack is 100% quality. Plus with all the color options, you aren't running with the rest of the herd.


That's kind of what I associate with made in USA items. I was willing to spend a lot of money on a Filson vest that does what it is designed to do and to last longer than myself. But there's no doubt in my mind it could be manufactured cheaper in china than it is here, for most companies.


Ryan

jtbgator 07-24-2014 09:22 AM

Re: Vedavoo Sling Pack Review
 
Thanks for the review. I use the Patagonia Atom sling and love it. The only annoying thing about the Atom for me is the strap/buckle around your waist. When I want to pull it around to my front, I have to unbuckle it each time. I can deal with it but it does get annoying.

It appears this Vedavoo has no buckles and the sling just slings around back to front seamlessly. I like that.

What I didn't notice and to me, is probably the single most important aspect of a sling is: A pouch to carry water.

The Patagonia has one and is invaluable. I can carry a 2 liter bottle of water in the sling for an all day trip.

You can see the water pouch here in this image.
Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling Pack for Fly Fishing

Does the Vedavoo allow a slot/pouch to carry a water bottle?


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