Remember when I told you a few weeks back that Eddie Bauer was back in the fishing gear business with their new Sport Shop edition? Well we’re back this week with another great product from them – the Eddie Bauer Adventurer Lumbar Pack.
This was a fun review for me, as a pack offers a ton of small features that have multiple uses to test. Not to mention in the past I’ve traditionally fished a vest, so the lumbar back was a nice change to the normal experience.
Why a Lumbar Pack?
First let’s start with the advantages of a lumbar pack as opposed to a chest pack or a traditional vest. Frankly I like the lumbar pack mostly because it keeps the majority of the pack’s weight rested on the hips and leaves the arms and chest free of any obstruction. Its also convenient when you’re out in the middle of the river and need to reach for a fly or some other piece of gear as its conveniently at your waste and all the pockets are accessible.
That said, even though the lumbar pack rests on the hips, there is a nice shoulder strap to keep it in place in case it doesn’t hold up as easily as it did for me. The shoulder strap is also nice feature when you need to rotate the pack around without dropping it if you un-clip the belt to access some of the pockets easier.
The only thing I didn’t like about the lumbar pack is that my arms tend to sweep across it while walking long distances – blame gorilla arms.
This Eddie Bauer fishing pack is armed with two main pockets, a smaller front pocket and a larger main pocket. The smaller front pocket is nice for quick access and comes with a fly patch. Frankly, I’ve never really used any of the fly patches that have come on equipment, so this isn’t a big feature to me, but it does come with a magnet in the middle which is a nice feature.
The front pocket is large enough to hold a small to medium sized fly box as well as leader, tippet, or any other smaller accessories that you choose that can be placed nicely in a number of mesh or sewn pockets.
The larger pocket its at least twice the size of the smaller pocket and can easily fit multiple fly boxes as well as other accessories such as a sunglasses case. It comes with a larger interior pocket that is nice for loose items, as well as several smaller pockets to put smaller items in. It also comes with two enclosed pockets with clear protective plastic.
I used one of the plastic pockets to hold a small tube of sunscreen and another to hold some loose leader that I had switched out. That said, the pocket would also be great to hold a fishing license.
There are a ton of smaller features on the bag that I love. Here are my top 5:
- Magnetic Sides – Hugely helpful when tying on flies. 95% of the time I’m fishing with 2 flies, either two nymphs or a dry dropper. The magnetic sides are perfect for setting down one of the flies without losing it while tying on the other.
- Double-looped waist straps – each waist strap loops through two different buckles going different directions ensuring the waist strap doesn’t loosen while fishing. I almost rated this as my favorite feature as I hate re-tightening straps that won’t stay put.
- Removable water bottle holders – these are a great feature that allows you to either keep both, just one, or none of the bottle holders on the waist straps. Each holder connects with strong velcro and fabric that folds over making it pretty hard to move when attached.
- Nylon rip-stop fabric – keeps the pack durable and protected, I also like that water beads off it and keeps the pack reasonably waterproof.
- Pockets, Pockets, Pockets – there are tons of them both within the two main containers but also on the exterior. Also, the pockets are sized perfectly to fit the common fishing accessories such as leader, tippet, floatant, nippers, etc.