Rated 5 out of 5 by TheBeav Rapid River Vest/Pack
The Rapid River vest/pack allows for a full complement of gear to be carried for light to heavy hikes. It has the right amount of storage on the back for rain gear. The belt gets all the weight off your shoulders and onto your hips. Once down to the river it is very functional with plenty of room in the front pockets for fishing gear which is easily accessible without having to reach in the back or take the vest/pack off.
Well designed and functional.
April 3, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by TennFlyFisherman Excellent vest for the price
I was excited to get this vest. It has lots of pockets, plenty of storage, hydration sleeve capability, a wonderful lower back brace and seems to be exceptionally well made. All the seams and hems looked to be well finished and even.
It worked great while on the water. My back isn't the best, so having a good back lumbar support added to my enjoyment and kept me fishing for longer than I usually am able to do without a rest. The "work station" pockets worked well as did the built-in "fly box" design. I look forward to many years of fly fishing with this vest.
I'm a bit of a traditionalist, so not having a piece of wool to dry out wet flies was a bit of a negative. There are certainly enough features in this vest to overcome this detail.
April 2, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by ClydeinTS The jury is still out on this one
The concept is good, the quality and adjustable fit is great. The built in fly cases are definitely a handy feature, as is the hydration pouch. I, however, am unsure as to how the waistband can help carry the load without some sort of stiffening stays to help support the upper part. It reminds me more of a day pack with a waist band than an internal frame back pack. They have been releasing too much water for me to wear it fly-fishing since it arrived and practice casting in my yard while wearing the vest can only tell me so much.
April 2, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by ULFisherman Finally a Vest Worth Buying
You name it, I've tried every type fly fishing system: vest, lanyard, waist pack, chest pack, etc. Every setup had flaws and trade offs. My vest was uncomfortable and heavy. My lanyard was too minimalist for most uses. Waist/chest pack was painfully uncomfortable yet way too small. I had settled on a $10 bait fisherman waist pack that was an all-around compromise and didn't allow me to carry a landing net.
Finally, LL Bean's Rapid River answers my prayers. It is incredible. The fit is superb. I can carry everything I could ever need for a full day on the water (10-15 lbs of gear) and it goes unnoticed. The balance and weight distribution is perfect.
The Rapid River vest is snug and holds the load close to your body. Unlike my bulky, heavy vest, there is no flopping or dangling gear. No shifting gear means no losing balance while wading or cliff hanging. I can carry more gear in my Rapid River vest than any other system, yet it is so well-designed, you have completely relaxed and full range of casting motion.
I am 6'2" 200lbs and this fits great. The vest is fully adjustable and should fit just about any male (I can't speak for the ladies) physically capable of fishing.
There are countless pockets, all have high quality zippers and pulls. Integrated zingers keep clutter down. Loads of D-rings allow customization. This vest was probably designed by a guide. I can't imagine a better vest, regardless of price.
This vest is truly amazing. I can't believe I waited this long to purchase it. It is an amazing deal. Don't waste your money on "cheaper alternatives" since you'll be wasting the money on junk. Do yourself, your back, and your wallet a favor and purchase this vest. You won't regret it.
March 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Wellpleasedshopper Great hit for h.s. graduation
My strong, tall 18 year old grandson LOVED choosing and receiving this gift; says the Regular fits well. Thanks, LL Bean for the discount price and the great gift.
March 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by bigwalnutfly Could not be Happier
I cannot wait for the weather to break and use my new vest. I have tried it on and loaded it up and it fits great and is easy to adjust the fit if needed. I love the fact that it has a belt that offers support for my back which will help me to stay out on the water longer. Great product and as always great customer service.
March 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by JimSoxx Rapid River Vest Pack
Versatile, light weight, well worth the price.
March 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by huntfishhikeboat good but could be excellent
Well thought out pocket placement/storage. A lot of attachment points, twin zingers for tools. Great buckle/strap placement for cinching down/up for size adjustment. Improvements needed are larger expandable rear vertical pocket. In early season, you start out in am w/ heavy layers then may shed them. Also a rod holder would be a good addition. I have contacted Bean w/ these suggestions.
March 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by FlyfisherAUS Great Lower Back Support
The thing I like about this vest is its flexibility. You can pack it light or the back compartment expands for longer days out eg space for spray jacket, food, water etc. When loaded up at the start of the day, the lower back support is terrific.
If I had some wish items it would be fly patch on front for quick change over and a better location for tippet.
Overall great value vest for a full day on the water.
March 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Revenge Jake
A little early to start using very much but so far I am extremely pleased. I will be much better qualified to comment after using all season. That being said, I can't imagine having anything but praise for the vest. I am accustomed to using a chest pack but have always come up short on pockets. This vest will carry the load comfortably.
March 13, 2014