Fishpond is known for their innovative take on fly fishing gear. Interesting and fresh designs, unique and lively color combinations, and an overall bold approach to their designs set them apart. The Fishpond Wasach Tech Pack certainly lives up to that expectation. Our sample arrived in a medium green with Fishpond’s signature grosgrain accents. The color combo is known as alpine green and it’s darn handsome. There’s also a brown version (called barnwood) and a lighter option (known as overcast, I believe).
So what does the Wasatch having going for it? Well, in addition to the good looks, this Fishpond product is definitely a pack master. Let’s start with the standout feature, the expanding backpack. Pulling the Wasatch off the rack or out of the box, can be deceiving. It essentially looks like a more modern equivalent of a traditional vest. Turn it around, however, and you’ll notice a very well integrated backpack. And that pack has no fewer than four pockets and pouches . The first is elastic mesh and can hold a water bottle. The second slightly larger, can hold small accessories. The third slightly larger again includes small interior pockets and a key keeper. And the fourth large main compartment expands substantially. I could jam a tube tent, waders, jackets and much more into this area. If you don’t need all that capacity, everything folds up nicely and can be compressed with the included straps.
Across the front are two molded fly benches with built-in foam fly holders with two large expanding pockets immediately behind. Honestly, I’m not a fan of those benches opting instead to carry my flies in more traditional boxes. The foam is removable so you can carry other items in those pockets instead.
Construction: Cyclepond, Fishpond’s Recycled Nylon
Capacity: 610 cu in/10 l
Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz
Additionally, there are a range of loops, flaps and tabs to attaching accessories, keeping your forceps in easy reach, holding a net and much more. No built-in zingers however. But there is a really cool rod-tube carry system integrated into the rear panel. And there’s also a spot for a hydration bladder.
Despite the big carrying capacity, the Wasatch feels like a traditional vest when you put it on, although a touch heavy at nearly three pounds. Fit can be adjusted nicely with side straps so the Wasatch never feels too big or small. Load lifters at the shoulders help keep cargo balanced on your back. The vest pack closes either with a high-quality zipper or clip.
The market pioneer Fishpond does not disappoint with the Wasatch. It’s good looking and has a ton of carrying capacity. The vest pocketing system is solid too, although not configured quite to my personal preferences. The other cool features more than make up for that shortcoming IMHO.