Patagonia Stealth Chest Pack – ‘Used and Abused review’
Patagonia Stealth Chest Pack review by Greg Hynes
With the range of chest packs on the market today you could easily find yourself spending hours dwelling over the features of one brand vs. another. What most of us are looking to find is a tough and durable pack, able to swallow enough gear for a day without being bulky and cumbersome, and one that you can forget you are wearing. After a season of guiding and personal use, I can honestly report that Patagonia have got it right with their Stealth Chest Pack.
The Stealth Chest Pack consists of three compartments, with enough room to squirrel away all the requirements for a day of fishing and more. Each compartment has a mix of elastic and Velcro tabbed dividers allowing for storage flexibility.
The front compartment with a semi hard outer shell unzips to reveal a fly table with removable fly patch. There is ample room to store tippet/dressings and even a small nymph case. Notably, through good design, you can still close the front pocket without squashing all the flies on the patch.
The second compartment is easily big enough to carry a large fly box. I carry a 15 compartment box measuring 20 x 12 x 4 cm and this is easily accommodated with room to spare for a myriad of other items.
A third smaller pocket with a retaining clip allows safe storage of personal items such as car keys and/or a phone. Outside are retainers for forceps and tabs to accommodate zingers, nippers etc.
With descriptions out of the way, most important is to report that this particular pack has performed beyond expectations. A key aspect that really makes it a favourite amongst RiverFly guides is the simple design, and most importantly, the flexibility in regards to how it can be worn. Although marketed as a chest pack, I have tended to wear mine as a sling pack more often than not. This allows access to the contents by simply sliding around your waist whilst keeping everything out of way whilst fishing. With months of guiding and personal use, in harsh Tassie conditions, it shows little sign of wear. The zips, buckles, straps and stitching are as good as the day it was purchased.
By keeping things simple Patagonia have a produced a chest pack that ticks all the boxes and gets the Used and Abused seal of approval.