Friday, September 21, 2012

First Look - Patagonia Stormfront Pack

I've made a couple mentions lately that I'll be headed to Montana in a week or so.  This is a trip that I take every other year with a couple really good friends and we're fortunate to be meeting up with Joel Thompson of Montana Troutaholic Outfitters for a week of fish bumming around with no particular plan other than fish whatever is fishing best while we're out there. 

This week with friends isn't really about testing and reviewing new gear but I've still put together a couple items to carry along on the trip to Montana with the Patagonia Stormfront Pack topping the list of what I'm excited about. 

I don't fancy myself as being a pro photog shooter of any sort but I still would rather carry my Nikon DSLR with a couple lenses on the water over my little waterproof point and shoot.  Keeping that few thousand dollar investment dry is always a concern and I've had a couple dunking scares with my aging Nikon in the past that I know it's days are somewhat numbered.  I'm doing whatever I can to let it live as long of a life as possible and keeping everything dry while on the water tops the list of needs.

While at IFTD last month I was speaking with Brian Bennett of Patagonia / Moldy Chum and mentioned that I had been looking at the Stormfront Pack for some time. Brian said he had an extra one at the shop and would send it over to use on the trip to Montana.  I just may leave my dry box at home for the trip and let this pack do the work.    

The Stormfront Pack arrived last week and here's the first look Pros/Cons as I see it.

- Bombproof waterproof fabric.  This pack is sturdy.
- Great size with a lot of usable space.
- Waterproof zipper "locks" closed.
- Harness system detaches to be used as dry bag.
- Internal padded gear bag to hold lenses or other items.

- Price - No way around it - $299 is an expensive pack.
- No exterior pockets.
- No waist belt.

Look for a full review later this year.  In the meantime check out the Stormfront Pack on the Patagonia website for more information.

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