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Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

Overall score - 90% = (Amazing)

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

Reviewer: Don

The Orvis Safe passage sling pack was designed as an alternative to the fly fisherman's vest. This pack is designed to be worn over one's shoulder. This sling pack offers anglers quick and easy access to their fishing gear without hindering cast or retrieve. After laying my eyes on Orvis's sling pack for the first time, I began to fully comprehend its potential. Personally, I have been waiting for a product like this for a very long time. We do a lot of dry and wet wading on the Ohio River, Maumee River, and River Raisin when we're chasing after smallies, largemouth, white bass, and walleye, and we believe a storage solution like this has just as much potential for anglers who prefer spinning gear as it does for fly fisherman.


Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score


- Main compartment is 15"H x 10"W x 5"D

Materials used:

- Polyurethane-coated Velocity nylon fabric

Design features:

- Water-resistant pockets
- Stitchless seams
- Wetsuit-style zippers
- Ballistic trim in wear-prone areas
- Adjustable mesh-backed shoulder strap and stabilizer waist belt


- Forest green

Made in:

- Vietnam

Price when Reviewed:

- $49.00


To say that "Orvis has a lot of experience making fly fishing products" would be an infinitely vast understatement! The Orvis Company was founded in Manchester, Vermont by Charles Orvis in 1856. Since then, they have been offering some of the finest fly fishing equipment known to mankind and have been doing so for over 150 years! As the nation's oldest mail order business and one of the longest-running retailers in the U.S., they have a lot of experience dealing with customers. As a result they offer one of the best return policies we have ever seen in this business. They will refund 100% of your money if you aren't satisfied with your Orvis product for any reason whatsoever, no questions asked! Orvis also donates 5% of their pre-tax profits annually to organizations that protect fish and wildlife habitat, and we just think that's awesome!

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

Simply put, the Orvis Safe Passage sling pack looks and feels awesome! It appears to be VERY well made and it has a well crafted feel in one's hand. The pockets on this sling pack are larger than they appear to be on Orvis's web site, which is great! There is also a Pliers sheath and zinger drop tube on the pack. We loved the fact that the detachable front pocket can be moved from the front of the pack to the back when desired.

(The Orvis Safe Passage sling pack, right out of the box)

Right away I noticed that the Orvis sling pack was not only well made but it looked nice too! I loved all the subtle little details they put into this pack like the extra strong velcro or the plastic trout figures (that kind of look like snook?) on the uppermost zippers. You can also find plenty of straps, packs, and zippers on this baby! When a company takes the time to address the "small stuff" it really makes you feel like some love went into making this.

(You gotta love those details!)

Overall, I think it's safe to say that my first impressions of the Orvis Safe Passage sling pack were great. I was VERY impressed! To sum it up, I expected a little less and got a little more.


Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

As stated above, the Orvis Safe Passage sling pack was designed as an alternative to the fly fisherman's vest, though we aren't going to be using it for fly fishing during this review. I believe this sling pack just has too much potential for fisherman who prefer to use spinning gear while wading. There are several reasons for this, one of them being that the pocket attached to the main compartment can store some of the small tackle boxes I already have! For instance, the Plano Model 3500 storage box fits perfectly in this pocket and by perfectly I mean you would be very hard-pressed to find such a snug fit with even an Orvis storage box! Since the Plano box is around $7 cheaper than even the cheapest similar sized Orvis boxes i'm not about to spent the extra money for a matching Orvis No Rust box.

(Don't tell Orvis but a much cheaper Plano box is perfect for this pocket)

Just inside the main compartment is an additional mesh compartment. This mesh compartment would be perfect for storing maps, tools, or additional fishing licenses.

(The mesh compartment)

The smallest pocket on the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack can be easily taken off thanks to a simple clip design.

(A great design feature for those who have no need for the small pocket)

(The Orvis sling pack without the rear pocket attached)

I'll have to admit, before purchasing this sling pack I was a little worried about this thing slamming off of my lower back over and over again while walking or relocating to another spot. After a while, repeated blows to the lower back with a loaded tackle bag would not only be uncomfortable but would certainly be pretty annoying for any angler. That's why I was very surprised to discover that not only did Orvis put a pad on the back of this tackle bag, they made this pad very comfortable as well. The comfortable pad is a very nice touch but some anglers may wish to use the integrated stabilizer belt. I have yet to see any other tackle bag with its very own belt. Pretty impressive, I'd say.

(Take a closer look at the back pad and the integrated belt)

The entire inside and outside of this tackle bag is made of Orvis' excusive polyurethane-coated Velocity nylon fabric this fabric is so dense that I can't even blow any air through it with my mouth. This fabric is considered to be water resistant but after a thorough inspection I would have to consider this bag to be water proof for the most part.

(A high-magnification look at the Orvis pack's outer fabric)

I have no doubt that the Orvis Safe Passage sling pack will keep my fishing tackle, digital camera, and cell phone high and dry. Parts of this sling pack almost look like they're covered in some type of thin plastic sheet (that would be the polyurethane coating.) You can see how this coating is somewhat reflective in the pictures below.

(Orvis' exclusive polyurethane-coated nylon fabric inside the main compartment)

(A high-magnification look at the Orvis pack's polyurethane coated inner fabric)

We have found that Orvis' design of the Safe Passage sling pack inspires confidence in this product and is nothing less than innovative.


Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

I have been using this sling pack the last 5 months and it has gone everywhere with me. The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack has proved to be worth its weight in gold during the walleye run on the Maumee River and just as useful on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. The Orvis sling pack has also proved to be every bit as comfortable as I thought it would be.

(Wet wading in the Ohio River has never been so easy thanks to Orvis' sling pack)

I would have to say that I wet wade during about 85% of my river fishing when I'm chasing after smallies, walleye, and white bass. Even if I get to my spot with a boat, you'll usually find me wet wading. I like being mobile in the shallows where the fish are chasing baitfish during the late afternoon. It has always been a real pain for me to go back to my tackle box on dry land or on the boat every time I needed to change lures or get extra equipment. I'm glad that I won't have to worry about that anymore because the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack fits all of my tackle storage needs on the river.

(This sling pack is extremely comfortable and is no trouble at all to carry around all day)

Getting to my tackle is just a simple matter of sliding the sling pack up along my right shoulder until the pack is facing forward. The Orvis sling pack really couldn't make things any easier for me because it's so well made. The zippers and pockets are all very easy to get to and everything feels very ergonomic. For the main pocket, I like to use a Plano guide series model 3640 waterproof tackle storage box. The Plano 3640 is a pretty good match for this pocket and with the right positioning, it fits pretty well.

(I love having everything with me that I need on the water and this sling pack makes it VERY easy)

I LOVE the fact that I can spend less time going back and forth to my tackle box to get what I need and more time doing what I love to do - fish!

(I wish I would have bought this sling pack sooner)

Thankfully, I found that the Orvis sling pack is very useful for carrying my electronics for two reasons. One, the smallest pocket is the perfect size for storing my digital camera and cell phone. The Orvis sling pack's shoulder strap is also a great place to attach my Garmin Colorado 300 GPS using the Colorado's carabineer clip. The second reason why this sling pack is so useful for carrying my electronics is the fact that it's extremely water resistant. The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack has effectively protected my electronics time and time again in light rain and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so in the future.

I've only found one drawback with storing my electronics so safely and easily with the Orvis sling pack. Now I'm only a shoulder slide away from my girlfriend's nagging when she calls me when I'm fishing! Just kidding honey, you're awesome!

(The small, detachable pocket is perfect for storing my cell phone and protecting it from the elements)

(Attaching my Colorado 300 on the lower part of the strap proves to be comfortable and easily accessible)

I hate to break it to you but I did find one drawback with the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack. If you're a lefty or you would like to try and sling this pack over your left shoulder, you might find this sling pack to be more than a little bit awkward to use. I really wouldn't want to try using the Orvis sling pack any longer than I had to on my left shoulder. You just don't get the same functionality out of it. The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack was clearly made for rightys!

I would be very hard pressed to think about any other negatives with this product. The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack has been very good to me and my gadgets!

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

5 months of steady use has proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will be happily enjoying my Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack for many years to come. This pack has been through rain and direct sunlight for many hours and is holding up the same way it did when I first put it on.

Even after repeated use, the shoulder pad area shows no signs of wear and is proving to be very durable. The shoulder sling pad is still as comfortable and ergonomic as the day I first bought it.

(After months of use there's little to no signs of wear even on the shoulder pad. I'm very impressed, to say the least)

After 5 months of use I'm having no problems with any of the zippers, straps, or clips. Each day I use this sling pack I realize more and more what a well made product this is. Considering what this thing has been though since I've been using it, I couldn't be more impressed.

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

With the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack the old adage proves true; you get what you pay for. At $50, Orvis' sling pack isn't very cheap at all but it's also not uber expensive either. In my humble opinion I believe that this sling pack is worth every damn penny and then some! If you're into wet wading (and right handed) like me, I'm confident that you'll find that $50 is a small price to pay for this level of functionality and craftsmanship.

Specs First Impressions Design Performance Durability Price Final Score

The good - This Sling pack is very well designed. I found the pockets to be easily accessible, sufficiently sized, and well placed. The Shoulder strap is easily adjustable and the padding makes it very comfortable to use.

The Bad - Leftys need not apply.

The Score - 85 out of 100

The good - Orvis' sling pack has performed perfectly for me. It has successfully filled a need that I had for a tackle bag just like this. This sling pack has done everything I asked it to do and then some. I have had no problems when playing and landing fish while wearing this sling pack. I have nothing bad to say about how this pack performs.

The Bad - Nothing

The Score - 100 out of 100

The good - I was very surprised to find out how durable the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack was. I have all the confidence in the world that I will be enjoying my Orvis sling pack for many years to come. Rain or shine, the Orvis sling pack has been more than dependable for my uses.

The Bad - Nothing

The Score - 94 out of 100

The good - If you're into wet wading like me or you're into fly fishing, I'm sure you'll be more than happy with this product. Fly fishing requires most of us to take a second mortgage out on our house anyway, so compared to $60 fly fishing line, $50 is a small price to pay I guess.

The Bad - Many fisherman will be better served with your average $30 Plano box and will see no need to pay the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack's $50 price tag.

The Score - 82 out of 100

Overall score - 90% =(Amazing)

For more on how we score our reviews and the score's meanings

The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack has proven to be utterly indispensable to me every step of the way. When I first bought the Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack I didn't anticipate that I would be depending on it as much as I do. You better get used to seeing this sling pack because I'll be wearing it in a lot of my future reviews. The Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack is Highly recommended.

We highly recommend this product!