Rated 2 out of 5 by p38p38 Poor Design
Poor Design makes this a less than good item. The preceding reviews about the unnecessary sliding front piece and the truly misguided bottom clip that seeks to defy gravity to hold up the pack are all correct. The only thing we gain from the chest plate/slider is a small hard to reach pocket that could easily just be sewn onto the back of the pack.
For the next design, lose the chest plate and the "slidability."
November 19, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by fishingfan99 Good quality build, but failed over-engineering.
I was looking for a minimalist pack to hold a few key items while I stand in the river, to avoid a full vest or larger chest pack.
I bought this since the reviews were good. To be fair, the build quality is top notch, but the function of the slide pocket is dumb and does not work well.
I used it for the first time this weekend and saw an immediate flaw in the design which, when going back over the reviews, other people had reported as well.
The main body of the pack hold 95% of the gear, and then can be unclipped at the bottom in order to slide it down toward your waist and access the credit card sized pocket on the inside. This pocket is the size of a credit card and isn't able to hold much more than that. I had a little bottle of nasal allergy stuff and a tiny hotel bottle of hand moisterizer and the pocket barely closed.
In the main pack I had forceps and a mini swiss army knife attached to the zip lines (which work very well), a large leatherman, my small headlamp, and two small mechanics gloves when I wasn't wearing them. This filled up the pack completely. I will trade the gloves for a little 4 compartment plastic case for flies and hooks next time. I was with a group and we had a camp spot on the side of the river so I didn't need to carry tackle.
This weight, mostly the leatherman, caused the main pack to slide down as far as it could go without unclipping the plastic clip. The strain on that little bit of canvas strap was great.
There is no real need for this thing to slide. The inside pocket is pretty useless. If anything, the clip should have been at the top to hold the sliders in place.
If I can return it after using it I will. If it was built without the hard back and without the sliders, this would have been the perfect minimalist chest pack.
November 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fisher2014 Best Gift Ever !
Bought this for a fly fishing friend who often fishes from a kayak. He loves it ! The right design and features, works well with personal floatation device and very convenient in the boat or stream.
October 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by HuckleberryMe I love this chest pack!
I wasn't sure but the idea seemed right to me. I wanted a small accessible unit that didn't require reaching into multiple pockets. The Kennebec fits that description admirably!
Easy to put on in waders or in my kayak. it carries every item I need for a day on stream or lake and the two built-in tool retrievers are a joy to use. Just perfect for my angling lifesstyle.
August 13, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by tachyon Product defective
I was not able to try this item due to a manufacturing defect involving one of the slides used to lower the top part of the pack (you have to see it to understand the design). It was way to stiff to slide without a lot of effort. Will return/exchange.
April 2, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by onfishalways Kennebec Pac
This is the second one i have bought.I got this one for my dad i let him use mine on a trip and he liked it alot he always packs to much in his vest so with this he has just enough room for what is needed for a day on the river.
March 28, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5
by PeripateticFlyFisher Adequate, but slightly lacking in design.
I received this chest pack because I desired something more compact than many of the larger chest packs sold today yet able to carry my gear better than most of the smaller packs available. It fits the compact bill very well, fitting snugly against the body and allowing clear vision to one's feet. It carries my necessary gear reasonably well, if only a bit eccentrically. I do not use the tippet dispensers for that purpose but rather fit a small magnetic compartment box in that space. In the main pocket I am able to fit a thermometer, knot tying tool, a Cabelas large prestige fly box - and not much more. The small pocket on the inside of the main compartment is not usable if one uses a large box. A better design here would have made the pack wider, so as to fit two medium or large boxes laid sideways. As it is I can fit two small boxes or one large. In the small zippered pocket (under the main compartment) I can fit my various strike indicators and split shot. In the small pocket near the base I fit my leaders.
I find that the zingers work well, which is a selling point for the pack. I have nippers and hemostats attached. Others have mentioned that the pack gets heavy and sags when fully loaded - and it does, which is a design flaw that should have been avoidable. While the bottom clip will keep the pack from completely sliding down it appears to put a decent amount of strain on the stitching and I would not count on it lasting too long. A remedy for this is needed, and I have fiddled with several attempts at a solution (short of remaking the pack the way it should have been made). The simplest solution I have found, and which can be seen in the picture uploaded, is to take two micro binder clips (the type used for filing papers) and simply clip them to the sliding guide below the black plastic supports - one on each side. The friction keeps the pack from sliding and the clips are simple to take on and put back, in order to access the underside pockets. I use a Tippetac magnet to hold them when I take them off, but any strong magnet would work well. (That's another tip: super-gluing strong magnets to the inside of the sides of the pack will keep your nippers/hemostats/ whatever firmly secured.) The binder clip trick solves the sliding problem but that should not have been a problem in the first place - in fact, the slider is a rather silly feature and could have been avoided entirely. Zippers are better!
This pack suffers from having all of the gear attachments on the sliding pack. This limits space and adds weight to the sliding mechanism, which pulls down the pack and puts wear and tear on the stitching, etc. To solve this, I use two key-rings to provide extra lashing points on the support pad. Simply attach them to the bottom of the black plastic clip mechanism (the 'female' side) and viola, extra gear hanging possibilities. Don't use rings too large or they will prevent the clips from functioning. I use one for hanging my tippet spools.
With these modifications I can fit all the gear I need for a day on the water while maintaining a small, compact chest pack. I can carry over 600 flies in two boxes (nymphs, drys, wets, and streamers), nippers, all of my tippet (6 spools), knot tool, thermometer, hemostats, assorted indicators, split shot, gel floatant, sinkant, tungsten putty, paste floatant, all the leaders I could need, plus a tippetac magnetic line holder. The virtue of this pack is the price and build quality, which are excellent. The flaw of this pack is the sliding mechanism and slightly inadequate space, both of which can be ameliorated.
March 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Sugartreeking Excellent
Haven't been able to use it on the water yet, but soon. It has plenty of room to hold just what you need on a day trip. I filled every pocket on my vest because I had room and didn't use half of it. I'm able to get just what I need in this pack plus some.
February 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by kayakflyfisherman Great little chest pack
Small, lightweight, and comfortable to wear. It is narrow enough to use in conjunction with a Sospenders life jacket, so you can use it on a boat without compromising safety. The loop on the back is also handy to hang a net from.
November 8, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by mightytrouter A very practical chest pack
I have a regular canvas vest and the River guard by LL Bean, they are good but i needed something small enough to carry a box of flies and a small number of acessories, and i wanted to feel flexible in the water (less weight possible). The Kennebec chest pack answered my needs because i don't need more to fish small streams and allows me more flexability to wader safely.
October 24, 2013