Review: Sage DXL Typhoon Chest Pack
When I started this blog I never intended to review anything, as stated on my WELCOME page. And I’ve stayed mostly true to my words, although occasionally in moments of weakness I’ve deviated. Well, that ends today with my official review of the Sage DXL Typhoon Chest Pack.
For you naysayers who might proclaim that the Unaccomplished Angler has no grounds for reviewing anything, I would agree for the most part. However I submit to you that I am perfectly qualified to review the Sage DXL Typhoon Chest Pack if only for one reason alone: I live in the Pacific NW where water falls from the sky 10 months of the year.
This chest pack by Bainbridge Island-based Sage Manufacturing hails from the family of DXL Typhoon Bags that include the large and small waist packs, backpack and boat bag. The common elements of the Typhoon series is that they all feature hybrid zippered/magnetic closures and welded construction for exceptional waterproof qualities. And they’re pretty cool looking. DXL is an acronym for “Destination X Luggage”, suggestive of the fact that no matter where your fishing destination takes you, this is the luggage for the trip. And if your destination takes you into a Typhoon, don’t despair: this stuff can take it. For you techno material geeks, the gray rubberized stuff is TPU coated Nylon. The green material is PU coated HT (high tenacity) Nylon. Tough stuff that appears to be very durable.
This is the first chest pack I’ve ever owned, and it’s ironic that just recently I said I didn’t have a chest pack. Luckily I also said that I would never say never to owning a chest pack. Upon receiving the DXL Typhoon Chest Pack in the mail, I quickly headed out into the cold, damp late November weather to put it to the test on the banks of a local river. It was wet and cold. Winter steelhead season. Did I mention it was wet? I performed as I had hoped, keeping everything inside nice and dry. I also mentioned it was cold, so I came back inside to write my review and shoot some product photos.
First off, I like the size. It’s not terribly large, and that’s a good thing. When I want to carry several boxes of flies and all my fishing doo-dads, I use my Sage DXL Typhoon Large Waist Pack and usually I’m fishing for trout. Steelheading is a much more minimalist endeavor, requiring a fraction of the gear I carry with me when chasing their resident cousins. A box of nymphs and beads streamers, a pair of forceps, a spool of 12lb tippet material, a couple of protein bars and a flask (for medicinal purposes) fit neatly into the Typhoon chest pack, with room for a few more items.
Like my Typhoon waist pack, the chest pack has built-in sheaths on either side for stowing forceps, a magnetic storm flap closure and magnetic points for keeping tools from flapping around. On top of the pack is a velcro strip fly patch to keep nymphs and beads streamers at the ready. I realize it’s not needed, but I like to attach a foam patch here (not included). While the pack is designed to be worn as a true chest pack, it’s very versatile and I prefer to wear it as a sling, keeping the bag at my left hip and out of the way when executing two-handed Spey casts. The waist strap, which holds the pack securely in front when worn as a chest pack, is easily detachable for wearing it as a sling.
A feature common on any good chest pack is the fold down tray so that you have a mini workspace right in front of you. On the Typhoon chest pack this platform is completely adjustable, allowing you to open the tray as much or as little as you prefer. The velcro tray securely holds flies while you’re selecting the right pattern for the job, or perhaps tying up a double nymph rig (although there would be no reason for this when fishing for steelhead because any respectable angler only swings flies).
Inside the pack are a couple of fairly large pockets for holding a few doo-dads and keeping things organized. You’ll note a tube of sunscreen in the photo which is just for staging appeal–clearly there is no need for sunscreen while winter steelheading.
The Sage DXL Typhoon Chest Pack gets two thumbs up from me. It’s not large enough to carry everything, but it fills a niche nicely. Unfortunately it doesn’t make me a better caster, nor has it landed me a steelhead, but it does a great job of carrying a few necessities. If you’re looking for a waterproof, rugged, versatile pack and don’t need a lot of carrying capacity, look no further than the Sage Typhoon Chest Pack.
And with the Holidays upon us, if you’re looking to give a gift that will put a smile on any angler’s face, this is it.