It might be opinion but let me explain why I think the Summit Sling Pack is the best. Fly fishing is has a lot of gadgets and gear, carrying those items so you can quickly find them is key to keeping your line wet.
What makes the Fishpond Summit the best fly fishing Sling Pack
- Comfort – with a padded shoulder strap and back panel, you can comfortably wear the Summit all day long.
- Design – features that a fly fisher will appreciate like the integrated net sleeve and patented fold down fly bench.
Organization – with four pockets and a variety of accessory attachment points the you have options for storing fly boxes, tools and flies.
I purchased my Fishpond Summit Sling Pack from AMAZON. Here’s a link to check out the reviews and price – > FISHPOND SUMMIT SLING PACK
CHECK OUT THE DOWNLOADABLE PDF WITH EVEN MORE PICTURES, COMPATIBLE ACCESSORIES ?AND A LIST OF WHAT I CARRY. –> SUMMIT-SLING-and-fly-Fishing-Checklist.pdf (284 downloads)
So right behind my favorite fly rod, reel and flies, my Summit Sling Pack has made my list of recommended pieces of gear. For years and years I used a little “man bag“, which was good until it fell apart. I try to keep my gear bags small because it seems I’ll fill whatever it is I’m using to a max capacity. When I used a vest, I stuffed every pocket with gear to the point of not finding what I was looking for. I switched for a while to one of those combination vest/backpacks and ended up with 20 pounds of gear. (I would actually pack a small stove to make riverside coffee)
Then I settled on my little gear bag, which allowed me to scale my items down to the essentials, while still having enough room to pack some key items and a little extra for switching up my tactics if needed. I carried that little bag diagonally over my shoulder the same way as a sling pack. A negative to the bag was that I couldn’t carry a net easily.
What makes the Summit Sling Pack Comfortable
The Summit has proven to be comfortable enough to wear all day. The padded strap and back panel distribute the weight of the pack well. I actually cut the extra strap that holds the sling in place off. I found I just didn’t need it.
I can easily swing the pack from my back to front. The main compartments are oriented horizontally when the bag is in front allowing perfect access.
If you pack a small water bottle or thermos the weight is correctly placed low while the pack is on your back.
The pack is designed for RIGHT HANDED folks. The strap has an ergonomic curve that makes it more comfortable for right handed people. This makes the bag more comfortable as compared to ambidextrous sling packs. Sorry Lefties…
Design and Function of the Summit Sling Sets it Apart
The integrated net slot is easily accessible while the pack is on your back, but still allows for the net to stay in place while swinging the pack to your front. The angle of the slot and placement allows this – this is something only a fly fisher could design into a sling pack.
The fold-down fly bench has actually saved me money. We’ve all dropped flies while in the process of tying them on. I?ve learned to tie flies on over the bench, so when I accidentally drop my fly the molded bench catches it. The fly bench works well as a fly box as well. The foam patch is held in place with velcro making it easy to remove and dry out your flies in the sunshine.
Lots of lash down rings and loops provide options for organizing gear. The shoulder strap has a mini workstation with velcro, holed tags and integrated hypalon tabs for floatant, scissor/clamps and tippet.
Carrying a water bottle or small thermos is easy with the included pocket. A well thought out feature is the cord with locking clip.
The bottom of the bag also has two diamond shaped TPE lash tabs for carrying a rod tube or rain jacket.
Just Enough Pockets to be Well Organized
In the below Video you can see how much stuff you can pack into this sling pack.
With four pockets – The Summit has plenty of room to store your gear.
- The main pocket measures 10 inches long by 6 inches deep by 4 inches wide. I use this pocket to carry two fly boxes and a container with all my split shot, swivels and different indicators. Plus it has a little bit of extra space left over to drop in things like small bottles of bug spray, sunscreen and dry shake floatant.
- The next largest pocket is 11 inches long by 6 inches deep and 1 inch wide. This pocket is also padded and nearly waterproof. Think of it as a pocket inside of a pocket. I use this to store extra tippet spools along with my keys, wallet and phone. I can also stick my camera and small tripod in this pocket.
- Toward and side is a 6 inch wide by 6 inch deep pocket that works perfect for leaders, knife and a small first aid kit (bandages, tape and gauze)
- Inside the fly bench are two open pockets that are designed for scissors, clippers and a hook hone. Plus a zippered pocket that I keep a lighter, multi-tool, headlamp, stripping guard and extra floatant.
Fly bench is allows flexibility – better than sliding your fly box into your waders
Slotted pockets in the fly bench – keep scissors and tools handy
The strap has what is described as a workstation perfectly placed for those most used items. The Velcro can hold and dry a fly or you can get a fly patch with mating velcro to stick onto it. Three accessory tabs are design to hold clippers, floatant and tippet – the most used items
Durable Materials and Consideration for Weight
The main material is a nylon made from recycled nets called Cyclepond. I would best describe it as a water resistant ripstop. Light yet still durable.
The zippers are water resistant YKK. double sewn with nice color accented pull tabs.
Scattered over the sling pack are tabs and loops made from Hypalon (the same stuff that military inflatable boats are made from) The pack weights in at 2 lbs empty, but the weight of the bag is minor compared to the heavy goodies it can carry. I’ll commonly have another 8 pounds of gear in my bag. Split shot, water, two fly boxes and a multi-tool quickly add the pounds.
Some Technical Specifications Size and Volume
Giving the size of the bag doesn’t mean bigger is better. The important factor is whether the pack will carry all your essential gear in an organized manner. The Summit Sling is 13 inches by 8 inches by 9 inches. The dimensions seem small but it falls right in the range of other sling packs that I compared it too.
For volume the bag is 549 cu. in. or just shy of 9 liters.
Compatible Accessories Make the Summit Sling Part of a System
The tube shaped hypalon tabs are designed to work with Fishponds push button locking pins use on the Swivel Retractors (Link to Amazon to check it out). The retractors are designed to work with the Fishpond clipper and thermometer. Located below the attachment loops are small straps that hold the tools from swinging and getting caught in things.
The plastic D-clips are compatible with the Headgear Tippet Holder (Link to Amazon to check it out more) A cool add-on feature included with the Headgear tippet holder is the built in cutting blade the cut your tippet.
Waterproof or Water Resistant which should you choose?
The Summit is NOT waterproof. I seriously looked at waterproof slings and I just found that the zippers were to hard to open. A fully waterproof zipper is designed to seal, but to open the zipper you need two hands free. One to hold the bag and the other to pull the zipper.
I also found the fabric to be very grippy, making it a little more difficult to slide the pack especially when wearing a rain jacket.
The Summit is water resistant, meaning it sheds most water but a little water will seep in if the pack is sitting in water.
Closing thoughts on the Fishpond Summit Sling Pack
After replacing my worn out shoulder bag with the Summit I couldn?t be happier. I always struggled with where to hold my net while using that old bag. I’ve fallen in love with the fold down fly bench and the mini-workstation keeps the often used tools handy. Again I completely endorse the Fishpond Summit Sling Pack (Link to Amazon to read the great reviews) if your in the market for a bag and have considered a sling pack you won’t go wrong with the Summit.