Rated 4 out of 5 by oohlala good quality but too large
I liked the pockets & ability to remove the side pockets altogether or place them in front. The earth-tone colors & ability to carry rod tube and water bottles is great. I would like the small, zippered pocket at the top to have a water resistant flap of material over the zipper for added protection from rain. This area would likely hold key fob/phone so more protection is better. I can't give a complete review since the backpack was too big for me so I could not use it in the outdoors. If I had the capability, I'd have given it 3.5 stars, primarily because if it doesn't fit I can't use it. I got the smaller bag but the straps did not cinch down enough to allow for an adequate fit. I'm 5'7", 140# woman who has a smaller build. I wish clothing/packs, etc., were also made with women or smaller men in mind. The different pockets were fine but nothing was really very spacious with total L capacity being divided up between all the pockets. Even for a day pack, I'd likely still lean toward fewer pockets with larger singular spaces. I'm not a big fan of the buckles/straps that help compress the bag when not as full (because of added wt and it is something else to undo when trying to get into main compartment), but I do like that they help to hold a rod tube in place. For me, one cancels out the other. Due to fit, I had to return the backpack.
October 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by NorthEastTrouter Much better than Rapid River
I had to return my Rapid river twice because the stitching was coming out at the neoprene on the shoulders.
The weight is better distributed on this pack than on the Rapid River.
While there are less places to access from the front, I find that I can still have plenty of boxes at my finger tips.
I was happy that I could get my hydration system in at the compartment closest to my back.
There is plenty of room to store everything I need to be out for a day.
I pushed some zingers through the tippit dispensers as a solution to no zingers. Well that and the fact that I hate putting tippet material through those things.
I attached a large carabiner to the top yolk for hanging my net. A D ring there would have been nice.
October 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by FlyFisherNB Great Pack - Could be better
I purchased this pack with the idea of storing my fly fishing gear when going on trips. It almost made it. The only thing I had a problem with was my wading boots, not enough room in the bag. I went to my local LLBean store and with the assistance from one of the clerks he showed me some S hooks made of metal in which I was able to attach to the strapping on the bag and attach my boots to it, quest complete.
Some things that would make this a much better pack. After using it a few times this is what I think:
Better zipper material (what's there doesn't seem it would last for to many years) and use the same waist belt system that is on the Rapid River Pack. The reason I give it a 4 instead of 5 stars.
Hope you can improve on this pack!!!
September 21, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by FlyFishCincy Great convertible day pack
Have used this pack a few times locally and while in Maine. I love it. Conversion is quick and easy. Lots of room to store gear and tackle.
September 4, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hrdygrdymn Does exactly what you expect it should
If you are looking for an alternative to a vest, this is not it. This is a backpack with convenient fishing features. If I'm going to spend an hour on a river or in a boat, I'll leave this behind and bring a vest or chest pack. I bought this for hiking and it is a great product for getting all the necessary gear through some pretty tough terrain. It's a bit heavy, but comfortable (even packed with rod tubes) and keeps everything I need close at hand when it comes time hit the water. I had no problem switching the front packs though I could see where it might be a bit confusing. A definite must-have if you tend to spend long hours hiking the water.
August 25, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by TroutGuide Stupid front pack attachment
I currently use your Rapid River pack, and love the design - great access to everything up front and lots of room The only pack with an adequate waist belt for overpackers like me. (The waist belt also has great pockets that allow for carrying additional flyboxes within reach on the river - this is not so on the Switch pack) The Rapid River's only drawback it the backpack has little room and should be bigger.
So I was excited to get the Switch Pack with the great, supportive belt, front access vest style and large backpack. What a disappointment! The front packets simply dangle from the top, so if I were to use it, then lean over to get a fly out of a client's fish (or my own) or simply tie my shoes, they block my vision and hang in the way of access. It's an easy fix and easy to anticipate, so I have no idea why LLBean went ahead with this design.
Why reinvent the wheel? Take the great design of the Rapid River pack, add a larger backpack, and call it a day. I will buy two and recommend that to everyone I know.
In the mean time, this new Switch Pack is gimmicky without the usability, and needs the bugs worked out. Too bad.
August 16, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Blueman46 Good size for day trip
Cool pack. Plenty of pockets/features. Only issue I had was finding the clips to fasten the bottoms of the removable pockets when you have them up front. Comes with no explanation or instructions. Doesn't even show how to do it on the promotional video. I called customer service, and they even had to get back to me about it. It's all good now. Found the clips zippered in the waist belt. LL Bean customer service is second to none. Highly recommend this company.
August 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by DDR52 Great day pack
Have used this pack many times now this summer, easily holds what you need for a day on the river.
What it needs is some "D" rings to attach items to it. But overall a great pack. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a good river pack .
August 7, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Brian40402 Great investment
I bought this pack because I frequently take a decent trek to my favorite pools on Salmon rivers in Newfoundland. This pack is everything I've expected and more. Pack all my gear neatly into my backpack and keep it on me the entire trip. No more heading back to shore for my rod case and pack when I'm ready to hit the next pool. Very comfortable, worth every penny. Only had it two months but I've used and abused this thing in the rain, mud and sun. Doesn't show any signs of wear. Highly recommend this backpack, will be getting one for my girlfriend as well.
July 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Shackleford They finally thought of it all.
I am retiring my old ll bean fishing pack. I bought it in the late 90's and remember thinking it was ingenious. Then I get this pack and realize my old one truly was a couple of decades behind.
This pack has it all. Great compartments, places for all my gear. The one issue I do have is the rod holder. My old ll bean bag had a slot, which had Velcro reinforcement so you knew if you took a tumble, your rod stays with you when you're hiking. I saw a slot in this one but basically you are just sliding your holder in. And it uses a large compartment to do that (one that is better used for a camelback water bag). I don't think I'll actually lose my rod but it was a little disappointing only because the rest if the features are so great. It also possible that im missing something because the bag also comes with no documentation to tell me anything, but most people that have purchased hiking packs will be able to figure it out. I love the pouches in the front. No more fishing vest. Just waders an my bag and I'm ready for a day hiking to remote fishing spots.
July 3, 2013