Question for those w/ Orvis Guide Sling Pack
As my old, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vest appears to be on its last leg, I'm intrigued by the apparent capacity and functionality of this larger sling pack. One issue that concerns me that I've seen in some of the reviews is the lack of a logical spot to attach a net, and I'm curious how those of you that have this pack have resolved that problem. I realize some don't carry a net and that's fine of course, but I carry one for much of my fishing and am not planning on changing that, so kindly just respond with experiences as to how to accommodate one and not how to do without. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by John_N; 08-10-2013 at 08:51 PM.
I don't use a sling pack, but I use a hip pack and had a similar issue with carrying a net. The solution that I ultimately came up with and am happy with is a homemade "net holster" of sorts.
I picked up a plastic conduit coupler at my local hardware story. It's basically a plastic cylinder about 2" long and large enough in diameter to fit the handle of my net. I fastened the coupler to the belt of my hip pack in a vertical position with a couple of zip / cable ties. My net rides handle down in the holster with the bag up. It's quick and easy to pull the net out when I needed it and to replace it when I'm done with it. I haven't had a problem with the net falling out accidentally, but I tied a piece of shockcord to the net and then secure that to my pack just for safety sake.
I think you could apply the same idea to a sling pack and your net, but you probably need to experiment and customize a bit.
I have the original sling pack rather than the larger one, so I can't answer directly. But I can tell you the limitations of mine--some of which relate to the sling configuration rather than just size. I like mine for short trips on local streams. It's comfortable and handy to use. I don't think I've tried to carry a net. It would have to clip somewhere on the strap in such a way that it was near the upper back with the pack in back and rotated to the bottom when you rotated the pack around to the front. But in general, my sling pack is not large enough to carry a rain jacket, water bottle or lunch. And the sling configuration precludes donning a day pack for the extra stuff. Again, maybe the larger size solves some problems.
I think the sling function is in fact the challenge. A solution like John proposes probably doesn't hold up due to the fact that the pack is moved diagonally over your shoulder from your back to your front and vice versa. If the net sits near the top when it's on your back, it will kind of flip over your shoulder and be on the bottom when the pack is brought around front, and I'm fine with that as I picture it, even if it might get a little awkward. I'm assuming that hasn't been plausible for some reason though, given the number of reviews that cite challenges finding out a way to attach a net. This one does look pretty cavernous, capable of a light rain jacket and other things.
I think johnstoeckel's idea with the coupler would work if you attached it to a wader belt and not the strap of the pack. Similar to this:
I have the original sling pack and mine has a D ring in the back of the shoulder strap for a net. Works great. I love the sling pack, it's out of the way when I don't need it and right there when I do.
I can carry a small lunch and water bottle along with all the flies and accessories I need. Trigg is right though, there is no room for a rain jacket and lunch....
I have a guide sling pack. Net hooks by your right side . This is best of the four I have owned. Lot's of room .
I have the newest version of the Orvis sling pack. I clip the cord attached to the handle of my net to a belt loop on my left side and tuck the net in behind the sling pack. Works pretty good...sometimes it works its way out and I have to tuck it back in but it's the best Solution I could come up with. I recently switched from a chest pack and I really like the sling pack so having to occasionally check the net is something I'm willing to deal with.
john, i may be seeing what you wrote incorrectly, but i will explain how i use my guide pack. i wear it over my right shoulder. there is a d-ring directly above the integrated tippet holder that would place the net at your right shoulder when it was in the "slung" position. when i need to access my pack, i don't pull it up over my shoulder, it slides down around my back under my left armpit basically and the front of the pack ends up a little above my waist for easy access. then to re-sling it is obviously just the reverse of that in that it goes back under my left arm and up to, but never over my right shoulder. i have never pulled the pack up over my shoulder. once you buy and wear it, it becomes pretty intuitive as to how to sling and un-sling it. i don't use a net, but you should have no problems using one with this pack. and to address trigg's post about the volume of the guide version. i've had both the original version and the guide version. the capacity of the guide version is at least double the original version if not more. i can (and have) easily carried three larger fly boxes, a packable rain jacket, a small lunch and a backup reel with room to spare. and there is an integrated water bottle holder on the outside of the pack that holds a fairly good-sized bottle. here's a link to a video from the orvis website with a brief sling demonstration: http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=7H9X.
Originally Posted by John_N
Last edited by dpenrod; 08-16-2013 at 01:35 PM.
Thanks for that description, dpenrod. I have the original sling pack and I like it a lot. But it's just too small for me if I want to do a whole day's fishing.
Your description will now allow me to tell my loved ones what I want for Xmas!
I like the tippet holder and the external water bottle holder are great. Since it's twice the size, that seals the deal.