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Apparel/Gear Review


Lightweight and Convenient: The Fishpond Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar Pack
 

Date: 5/14/14
Tackle type: Gear
Manufacturer: Fishpond
Reviewer: Wolbugger






Total Score: 7.41 - GOOD

Introduction:
As fly anglers, we can never carry enough stuff. From pliers, to fly boxes, to floatant, carrying all of this gear can be a downright hassle. Bulky vests used to be the norm, but many anglers have since started favoring smaller and lighter means of transporting gear such as waist, chest, or shoulder bags. Though a long time favorite, the classic vest can be very impractical depending on where you fish. How many anglers wading a bonefish flat these days do you see wearing one?

 

Fishpond Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar Pack Specifications

Type Waist Pack
Size 13.5 x 8.5 x 4 inches / 183 cubic inch volume
Material Cyclepond fabric, Hypalon
Colors/Patterns Driftwood/Tidepool
MSRP $69.95


Introducing the Fishpond Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar waist pack!

The Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar pack from Fishpond is geared towards the wading flats angler that likes to travel light and remain mobile. Offering a wide range of fly fishing related bags, gear, and accessories (yes, vests too), Fishpond has gained a solid reputation for quality. As an avid beach snook fly angler, I am always looking for an easy method of transporting my flies, gear, and accessories while not being bogged down by an oversized bag.

Impressions: There are three things I look at right away when searching for a waist pack: is it lightweight, roomy, and can it hold at least one water bottle? There are several other factors to consider as well, but these three are at the top of my list. I have gone through several waist packs over the years and none of them really impressed me. Whether they were uncomfortable, lacked storage, or had cheaply made components, they all came up short.


An orange Fishpond logo adorns the outside.

When the Fishpond pack arrived, it screamed quality from the very beginning. This pack is attractive, lightweight, and boasts excellent craftsmanship throughout. All of the stitching is very tight, and the overall design is quite clean. The outer material is constructed of Cyclepond fabric which is actually made entirely from recycled water bottles. This fabric sports a driftwood/tidepool color scheme, and is not only attractive but relates very well with the saltwater environment the pack is geared towards.


The inner side features many small holes which seem to breathe quite well and keeps your waist from getting too hot and clammy.

Features wise, the pack contains two pockets to hold a small amount of your fishing accessories. There is one water bottle holder located on each side of the main storage area, and the generously sized waist band features small webbing straps to hold items such as pliers, with adjacent Velcro straps for added functionality. There's also black Hypalon tabs on the outside, as well as two fabric loops for hanging/clipping items.


The main pocket is a bit tight for larger items.

Real World Tests: Real world testing of the Fishpond Tech LTE Low Tide Hydration/Lumbar pack occurred on both sides of the country. It accompanied me to California for a couple days of fly fishing for carp, and I also brought it on several beach snook fly fishing trips and bass pond adventures here in Florida.


Keeping watch on a tailing carp in California.

Operation: This pack is quite comfortable to wear for extended periods. The “Air LTE” lumbar support waist band is nice and tall and provides a pleasing bit of back support. The fact that it features numerous small holes in the waist band keeps it cooler than most and prevents it from getting too clammy or sweaty. I never experienced any issues with the pack sliding down or getting loose, even when running down a fish. The band is also a nice thickness, which allows you to easily clip on a pliers sheath or similar item if you choose not to use the built-in accessory holders. The front belt clasp feels very solid, never slips, and is effortless to loosen or tighten. Another nice attribute is that the smooth inside surface of the belt portion doesn't chafe clothes like some packs can.


The front buckle has a very firm and solid feel to it.

There is one small orange loop located on the top inner side of the pack, and two similar loops on the outer belt to the left and right of the main pack to hold accessories such as pliers. While pliers do fit snugly in these, I never felt confident using them to hold my pliers because of all the walking, running, and crawling I do when bank fishing. I simply did not want to risk them falling off and getting lost. You can also use these small orange loops for other things like clipping on a lanyard or tying on a tippet spool.


Two orange cord loops are found on each side of the pack, each with an adjacent Velcro strap for added accessory attachments.

Next Section: Storage without getting bogged down




 

 

 

 

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