Rated 3 out of 5 by RPCMD Overly complicated, not enough pockets, no D-rings
Sometimes I take both my fly fishing and UL spinning gear with me and I was looking for a pack that could store the half I wasn't using. Well, this one can, but there's a catch. If you're the fly fisherman who works out of a lumbar pack, you'll be fine. However, if you're like me and take everything you might possibly need, you'll have to settle for having a lot of it stowed in the back and have to take the pack off to access. My FF vest has lots of small pockets (12), so keeping things separate and organized is easy. This pack has only two sections with 2 pockets each (one large, one med-small), so a lot has to be stuffed in together with everything else. And I attach my net, hook pliers, wading staff, waste line container, and some other stuff to D-rings on my vest; none here. (1 Velcro loop inside pack at back of neck can be pulled out for access.)
You're also not going to arrive at the stream and just pull the side pockets to the front. You have to release 2 clips, then a zipper to remove each, then they must be mounted on the opposite side's front straps so the zippers can be hooked up together. Much easier to do on the kitchen table than in streamside heavy brush.
So the pack ended up being used for UL spin fishing at a wooded lake I have to hike in to and I still use my very overloaded FF vest with the back pocket stuffed with the duplicate gear for my trout steam fishing.
September 5, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by RandomPerson Terrific Pack
This pack is pretty great. Previously I used a fly fishing vest and had to wear a hydration bladder pack under it for full day backwoods fishing excursions. It has plenty of space for deep hikes, but if I'm throwing it on to fish by the cabin, it's not too bulky. And last week I discovered another great feature: the fly pouches can completely zip off and I can toss them into the kayak with me. I don't have to wear the whole pack on the water - my vest never had that benefit.
My one improvement would be to have a better way to mount the net and magnetic catch. I put it on the left shoulder strap and it has worked pretty well. When I have a big fish on the line, I'm able to reach back and grab it easily without looking.
Terrific pack. Probably going to buy another one for a buddy this Christmas.
August 13, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by N8yB Kennebec Switch-Pack
I purchased this pack for my son two years ago. He absolutely loves it and would not be caught without it on the "once you're committed...you are committed" trout streams he generally fishes. The pack has held up well and continues to function without fail or fault.
From my son's perspective, the only improvement that LL Bean could make in this pack is to figure out how to make the fly patch replaceable. This certainly is not a deal killer, but this improvement would place the pack within the realm of total perfection in my son's book.
In my opinion, avoiding the use of the high-vis orange trim would be an improvement. However, I must add that based on comparative success rates, the orange does not seem to impair my son's stealthiness. In addition, I must admit that it does look cool and does have function when digging through the pile of gear that always seems to accompany us when we travel in one vehicle together.
In summary, if you fish areas that require a hike to get to &/or you expect to remain on a trout stream for the entire day, this is a great product for you. As with most all of the many products that I have purchased from LL Bean over the past 40 years, this pack is made to function well for its intended purpose and to last for many seasons.
April 11, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by dgoJMR Too Heavy, Too bulky, Pockets Too small
I ordered the Kennebec based upon the photos. I was looking for a light weight fly fishing vest/back pack that I could conveniently put in my luggage for trips to exotic fly fishing locations. Here is what I found. The waist strap is padded to the point of being bulky, given the overall weight one is likely to carry. Overall, the Kennebec is overbuilt such that it is unnecessarily heavy. The front vest pockets (the switch pockets) are amazingly small. The shoulder straps are also unnecessarily padded given the amount of weight one is likely to carry. The fabric of the back pack is thick and does not compress easily. This pack does not offer much that can't be found on a multitude of similar fly fishing vest packs. I was hoping to find a light weight vest/backpack that could be folded into a small space. The Kennebec does not do it. Thank goodness for LL Beans great return policy. Overall, I still love this company.
March 14, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Brian40402 Awesome Pack
Consistently wear this pack while hiking to my favorite spots along the river. With the rod stowed neatly against my back I can easily navigate through tights woods, while all my companions are struggling carrying their rods in hand through the tight brush. The vest addition makes it ideal on the river as well, and the backpack stays tight to your body - not interfering with casting. It's nice to have all your gear on you, so traveling up and down the river without having to come to shore to grab your gear before you move along. Highly recommend.
January 24, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by N8yB Five Stars out of 5
I purchased this pack for my son two years ago. He absolutely LOVES it. We both tie flies and he likes to carry a huge selection with him (just like his father). In addition, he fishes for wild trout almost exclusively, which means at least an hour trek before he enters the water. I love it too, it has room enough to allow me to slip my heaviest items into his pack (water bottle, lunch etc.) and keep my regular old day pack as light as possible.
June 22, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by RiverMonster Excellent pack
I would highly recommend this pack to anyone who wants to carry what they need for a full day out without having to head back to the vehicle. There is plenty of room for gear, beverages, rain jacket and whatever else you need for a trip out on your favorite stream.
Also I love the lower buckle and upper chest buckle to go along with the regular zipper, when everything is tightened properly it feels nice and snug and its not flopping around like some other similar style vests. One suggestion is to watch the video and see how to switch it to a back pack to a fishing pack. I read the reviews and watched the video and it was no trouble for me, but I saw a few others complaining here and there in the reviews before I purchased it
If I had to complain I guess the slots for the tippet dispensers not something that works for me but that is very minor. And the fabric loop on the back where I had clipped my net was tough to reach while trying to land a fish. Easy solution to that is to clip it on to the left or right straps where the lower belt attaches made for much more convenient access !
Definitely recommend this product and I'm really happy I went with it !
June 6, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by DDR52 Fishing pack
Have used this pac now for two seasons, very happy overall with the pac. could use a little more space in the main compartment, if going out for a long day of fishing may be a little small.
the bungee straps are a little small for my echo tube.
March 9, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by TroutBum83 Amazing pack for the price
Got this Pack as a gift and used it this past weekend. Could not be happier. Great size for a day pack and make for easy in and out. Low profile keeps you from getting caught on trees and such hiking in. Once to the river the moving of the side pouches was confusing at first but snap into the spare spots on your shoulder pads and then in the zippered pockets of your waist belt you will find the bottom fasteners. Then zip together in the middle and you are ready to rock for the day. I could not be happier with this pack.
February 9, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by OliveBugger Love this pack!
I used this pack for one season before posting a review. I fish both from a solo canoe on ponds and wading in rivers. This pack was a dream. I kept it in backpack mode for the canoe and when I hiked into rivers. When fishing rivers I switched to "fishing mode". It is very comfortable when hiking and fishing. There is plenty of space for everything you need for a day out in the waters. Not sure why that one review said he could only fit two fly boxes. I have one in one pocket with other items and two in the other. Plus plenty of room for my strike indicators and what have you. The back compartments fit all of my extra clothes and lunch. The mesh pockets are great for drinks. The back loop is great for my net. I cant speak to the tippet dispensers as I dont use them, (who needs to access tippet that often anyway). I do agree though that some quick instructions should come with it. I only knew about the hidden clips by reading other reviews prior to buying. Anyway, I love this thing and look forward to using it next season.
December 16, 2014