- What is a sling pack?
- Why sling packs over other packs and vests?
- What to look for?
- Best overall fly fishing sling packs
- Superior lightweight packs
- Best sling pack for the money // Budget
- Best sling pack for under $100.00
- And much more!
Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs (Overall)While these sling packs may be on the more expensive side, they feature all of the new and unique features you could want in a pack—with a few extras that will make your time on the water more enjoyable.
1. Fishpond Flathead Sling PackFishpond are such an authority with fly fishing packs—this guide would not be complete without them. The Fishpond Flathead is clean, slick, incredibly functional and lightweight. It features an adjustable ambidextrous shoulder strap offering versatility and convenience. There is a quick-access magnetic front pocket that is a unique and helpful feature. The clam shell opening doubles as a workstation while on the water, with 2 removable dividers to stay organized. The pack also includes a molded back panel with a net slot, which is awesome and saves you cash on a net release.
Fold down workbench
Large clam shell opening
water bottle holder
Plenty of space
External magnetic pocket for easy access
Net slot is cumbersome
Can be overpacked
2. Simms Freestone Tactical Sling PackThe Simms Freestone Tactical sling pack is one of a kind. It features some of the most superior components in pack design, allowing for optimal use. My favorite thing about this pack is how slim it is. It’s not as large as other packs but sometimes that extra bulk can be more annoying than beneficial. At 15 liters it still has plenty of room for all your necessary gear. It has tons of external tools ports and daisy chains for your nippers, tippet ring, floatant, and hemostats. The compression straps will easily hold a rod tube for easy storage when hiking to your favorite fishing spot. The Freestone sling pack also comes equipped with a dedicated net holder.
Slim design that lays flat
4-way zipper allows entry from top, bottom, and sides
Compression straps for rod storage
Tippet Ring and floatant holder
Wide strap for comfort and gear storage
Some customers felt the ambidextrous design was misleading and only fits over the right shoulder
3. Orvis Guide Sling PackIf we were rating sling packs solely on aesthetics the Orvis Guide Sling Pack would win in my opinion. Orvis’ guide sling pack has approximately 18 liters of space divided between the main compartment and large external pocket. With this much space you’ll have room for everything you want, and then some. The shoulder strap can only be worn over the right shoulder but has been reinforced with extra cushion. The thick nylon material is strong enough when moving through trees and branches, but won’t weigh you down. It also features a fly drying patch, tippet bar, net holder and space for additional gear attachments. This is a great pack at a great price. Features//Specs:
100% recycled ECO CORDURA
Large main body compartment
Smaller External pocket
Cushioned shoulder strap
Plenty of storage
Water bottle holder
Integrated Tippet Holder
fly drying patch
Zinger port and tools attachment system
Net holder does not function well
When packed full can feel bulky and heavy
4. Umpqua Steamboat ZS Sling PackThe Umpqua Steamboat sling pack is perfect for those longer fly trips. It has ample storage holding 15 liters–enough for a few large fly boxes, leaders, other gear, and food. This pack is made from durable nylon and features a cushioned shoulder strap for added comfort. . The main compartment features two zippered locations for easy access to flies. There are also plenty of external accessory ports for all of your tools.
Adjustable and padded shoulder strap
ample storage room
Well designed organizational pockets
High quality materials
Exterior pocket is difficult to open when main compartment is full
Exterior pocket only zips 1/3 of the way
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Best Lightweight Sling PacksWe wanted to include some smaller sling packs for anglers wanting to take a quick trip to the river without the hassle of lugging out all your gear. These packs still offer many of the necessary components, but at the same time, a smaller and lighter design.
5. Umpqua Switch Sling PackThe Umpqua Switch pack is another smaller lightweight pack designed to hold only the essential flies and gear. At 10 liters and about a pound, it’s not too much to handle when out on the water. This slick little pack features a unique long design that allows for better distribution of weight and does not bulge out like other packs. The pack is ambidextrous and can be worn comfortably on either shoulder. The added padding makes it hard to notice you’re carrying anything at all. With a simple design the pack does come equipped with plenty of pockets for internal storage and organization, a flat exterior pocket, D-rings, tippet cord, and nippers holder.
Multiple internal pockets
Internal divider for organization
Nipper holder/tool port
D-ring for net attachment
Flat external pocket for leaders
Feels long and cumbersome
Doesn’t hold as much as other packs
Best Fly Fishing Sling Pack For the MoneyWe wanted to highlight one sling pack that we feel encapsulates the perfect combination of quality, versatility, and price.
6. Fishpond Summit Sling PackThe Fishpond Summit sling pack is on the smaller end of what you’re able to hold, but we felt they nailed it with their accessory ports and tool holder locations. A really cool feature is the material is made from recycled fabric, just one of the many ways fishpond is working to reduce our carbon footprint. There is a large main compartment with some extra pockets inside to stay organized. The molded external pocket is works well as a workstation changing out flies or tying on tippet. There is also a net sleeve on the back and side straps to carry a rod case.
Made from recycled fabric
Large main compartment
Molded exterior pocket that doubles as a workstation
Best balance between price and quality
Side compression straps for rod case
Multiple Tool holders
Velcro fly drying patch
Not compatible with other Fishpond Accessories
Front strap clip is made from flimsy plastic
Best Sling Packs Under $100Sling packs can get expensive and we wanted to share a few packs for anglers on a budget. These are great sling packs and are all under 100.00 dollars!
7. Orvis Safe Passage Sling PackThe Orvis Safe Passage sling pack is the smaller version of the Orvis guide pack. Besides the size, the two packs are virtually identical. The Safe Passage sling features durable nylon with additional water resistance on the bottom. This pack also features a molded back panel for extra comfort. The pack has all the great features you need, such as integrated tippet bar, water bottle holder, fly drying patch, and plenty of D-rings for securing additional tools. At only 1 pound and holding 10.5 liters this little pack is perfect for those quick trips to the creek. It won’t carry as much gear as the Orvis Guide sling pack but less gear makes for a more comfortable fishing experience. Features//Specs:
Durable nylon material
Molded back panel
Cushioned shoulder strap
Affordable (under $100)
Bright interior for spotting stray flies
Integrated Tippet bar
water bottle holder
Zinger and tool attachment system
The internal cargo design puts pressure on the gear
Sits higher up on your back which can feel uncomfortable
Net holder does not fully secure net
8. Allen Cedar Creek Sling PackAllen company has come out with the Cedar Creek sling pack. This awesome little pack comes equipped with all of the specialties those higher-end brands possess. With all of these great features it’s a mystery how they keep their prices so low. The main compartment features a large opening for easy access with multiple pockets for added organization. There is a decent external pocket that folds down, creating a workstation and reveals a tippet holder and small fly patch. The outside also includes a ton of small tool ports.
Large main compartment
Many internal pockets and compartments
External pocket that doubles as a workstation
Affordable (under $60.00)
fold down workstation
zippered shoulder strap pocket
sleek and small
fly drying patch
Water bottle holder does not function well
shoulder strap is uncomfortable
Some customers felt the material was not durable