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View Poll Results: Which one would you choose?
Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack 4 21.05%
Fishpond Waterdance 3 15.79%
Umpqua Ledges 500 0 0%
Umpqua Ledges 650 0 0%
Umpqua Ledges 500 ZS 1 5.26%
Umpqua Ledges 650 ZS 1 5.26%
Vision Love Handles 0 0%
Simms Waypoints Large Hip Pack 3 15.79%
William Joseph Surge Chest Pack 3 15.79%
Other 4 21.05%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 31-12-2016, 07:47 PM
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Default Shopping for a new hip pack

I've spent last 2 days reading reviews and selecting my new hip pack. I don't need a fully waterproof pack, as I mainly fish small streams and seldom wade above waist deep. Also, these waterproof packs are usually simpler (only one main waterproof compartment) and much more expensive. As I live in Slovakia, availability was an important factor. My local shops don't stock these, so my observation are based on online information and reviews. These are my notes on the process so far, hopefully they might help someone.

Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack
Click the image to open in full size.
Patagonia Stealth Fly Fishing Hip Pack 10L

There is an older 7l version (dark letters on the front panel) that has been replaced by a new 10l version (light letters). Best deal I found is at Farlows.co.uk for £69.99. You can get a £20 discount on purchase over £100 if you sign up for their newsletter.

Higlights
Front pocket can work as a workstation with removable fly foam patch
2 pockets on the belt
Hypalon gear keeper with hidden magnet to prevent hanging metal gear from clinking
10 liters / 623 grams

Reviews
Review: Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack | Hatch Magazine - Fly Fishing, etc.
http://www.flyfishing.co.uk/fly-fish...-hip-pack.html
Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack | Kustjägaren | The Silver Bums

Cons
No D ring for a landing net
According to one review, can be top heavy when overloaded

Umpqua Ledges 500 or 650
Click the image to open in full size.
https://umpqua.com/products/packs-an...-zs-waist-pack

This was my favorite from the start as I like the design and features (sleek profile, hidden zinger ports, hemo sheath...).

Older version can be found for around $80 on Ebay (both 500 and 650) as these have been replaced with a new ZS (Zero Sweep) model. Unfortunately, it's impossible to buy it in Europe for a reasonable price (best offer I found was for 159€) When bought directly from US, the postage and import fees double the price making it 140+€.

Fishpond Waterdance
Click the image to open in full size.
Manufacturer's website is broken at the moment. According to reviews, this is the most popular hip pack among guides on the other side of the pond. I've found the best deal at uttings.co.uk for £89.99. Unfortunately, their shipping to Slovakia is £20.00 making it quite expensive even with the 10% discount for signing up for newsletter.

Highlights
Front pocket can work as a work station with removable fly foam patch
Dimensions 428 cu. in., 11” x 7” x 9.5” (7 liters, 28 x 18 x 24cm)
Compression straps for adjusted fit

Reviews
The Drag Free Drift: Gear Review: Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack
Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack - Tackle Video Review
Bows and Browns: Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack Review
Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack Review | Fishpond Waist Packs

Cons
Seems big for 7 liters capacity
Quite deep when fully loaded

Simms Waypoints Large Hip Pack
Click the image to open in full size.
https://www.simmsfishing.com/shop/ve...ack-large.html

I like the compression straps at the bottom to keep an extra layer or a rain jacket below the pack. On the other hand, there are no water bottle pockets. Available for £129 at Farlows. It's quite pricy and I can buy a Patagonia Stealth + 2 Wychwood car seat protectors, Leeda magnetic fishing net, 3 Hardy leaders, Dry shake floatant and Aquasure for the same price..

Vision Love Handles
Click the image to open in full size.
VISION - IN FLY FISHING: Vests / Bags / Tubes, Love handels

Can be found for around £50, but the design and build quality seems to be slightly worse than the competition. Looks like a good cheaper alternative though.

William Joseph Surge Chest Pack
Click the image to open in full size.
Most expensive pack I've found because of the patented magnetic system that replaces the regular zippers. Available for £149.99 at Farlows (£129.99 after discount). Very nice pack, but similar to Simms, this is double the price of Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack.

Reviews
http://www.flyfishing.co.uk/tackle-t...aterdance.html
http://www.flyfishingpoint.net/en/ar...s-on-the-flats
William Joseph - 2 products review - Gallery | FlyFishingPoint.net

Conclusion

So far, I'm set on a Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack. It seems to provide the best bang for the buck. Fishpond Waterdance would be my second choice. If price was no objection, I'd go with Umpqua 650 ZS.

What do you guys think? Do you have any other tips or recommendations? Do you have any hands-on experience with any of the above?

Thanks!

Last edited by unluckypete; 08-01-2017 at 09:48 PM. Reason: New video for JW Surge
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  #2  
Old 31-12-2016, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

i have used the vision love handles and was not impressed with the quality of the product i would take this off your choices. 🖒

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  #3  
Old 31-12-2016, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

I went through the same exercise a few weeks ago and bought the Fishpond Nimbus. Not used it properly yet of course but no regrets and it feels very comfortable.
Bit of a Patagonia fan normally but did not take to the Stealth because the arrangement of pockets did not suit me. Prefer fewer but larger ones. Also looked at Orvis packs but still preferred the Nimbus for size, material and layout. Recall the Waterdance was smaller overall than the Nimbus and again had small pockets.
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  #4  
Old 31-12-2016, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

I've never used any of them, but I did have a look and tried on the Fishpond pack. Very good quality as is all their gear. I like the look of that Umpqua one as well though.
Whichever you choose, please let us have a review.👍
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  #5  
Old 31-12-2016, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by arawa View Post
I went through the same exercise a few weeks ago and bought the Fishpond Nimbus. Not used it properly yet of course but no regrets and it feels very comfortable.

Bit of a Patagonia fan normally but did not take to the Stealth because the arrangement of pockets did not suit me. Prefer fewer but larger ones. Also looked at Orvis packs but still preferred the Nimbus for size, material and layout. Recall the Waterdance was smaller overall than the Nimbus and again had small pockets.


Thanks for the tip! I looked at some images and it looks huge! Can you comfortably wear it without a neck strap? Can you please compare the size to Stealth? Unfortunately there are very few images of the new 10l stealth being worn. Where did you buy it from?

Sure, whichever I buy, I'll do a review of.


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  #6  
Old 01-01-2017, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

I bought one of these , really well made and plenty of options for waist or shoulder.
I have 3 different waist bags ready loaded for the different species I fish for , all from China with no fancy brand name and all really good value .Here is a link to my trout waist bag, only $12 dollars
Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Fish...7OWzdbxSlfRDMQ
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Last edited by bobc; 01-01-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2017, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

I've tried several ways to carry my gear and like you prefer small streams with little depth. My biggest dilemma was i needed something that is above the water when wading the deeper pools but would not obstruct my vision where i am walking. Chest packs do a little, so have settled on a sling pack from Orvis so everything is near to hand when required, comfortable and I can see where I am walking!
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by unluckypete View Post
Thanks for the tip! I looked at some images and it looks huge! Can you comfortably wear it without a neck strap? Can you please compare the size to Stealth? Unfortunately there are very few images of the new 10l stealth being worn. Where did you buy it from?

Sure, whichever I buy, I'll do a review of.


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I would say it is large - not huge
It was the largest of the hip packs I looked at but by no means (in my opinion) unwieldy. I wanted to carry a fleece etc rather than heavy weights. I have only worn it with a dummy load around the house without a neck strap but it feels very comfortable.
I think the ideal pack will be the one that suits your particular purpose; this was the one for me.
Bought from Uttings.
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2017, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

The Wm Joseph Surge is what I use.

It's beautifully designed - probably the best-designed piece of equipment I use in my fishing. The magnetic closure system is genuinely useful, and totally secure (and waterproof, including tropical storms, btw). Zippers are fumbling and inconvenient after you've used this closure method.

Quite large, and has good structural integrity, so it stays open and doesn't collapse on you. I don't use the chest mounting, but of course it come with this.

If you want one, order now, as I think Josephs have stopped making them, which is a shame, as I guess they are caught between the cheaper alternatives and the big marketing budget brands like Simms etc (whose pack it knocks into the proverbial cocked hat, I'd venture to suggest).

Order one up from Sportfish in the knowledge it can go back if I'm talking nonsense!

Probably fair to say I'm a fan
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Shopping for a new hip pack

I also had the same problem as there are so many out there and you need to get them in your hands to try them on making sure they are going to do what you want

got hold of a fishponds flinthill from the states which seams fine

Fishpond Flint Hills Fly Fishing Minimalist Lumbar Waist Pack Bag or Sling Sand
eBay item number: 252636449915


as the bigger the bag the more you carry and in the end think this is not what you want


When you think that looks good Simms / fishponds + just stop making them

But that's marketing for you stay one foot in front of the competition

Last edited by benisa; 01-01-2017 at 11:37 PM.
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