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.

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.


  1. Chuck

    Looks great! The chest pack is the only way to go now! I still have an attachment to the vest but I’m weaning myself from it! I use a pack when I’m smally fishing but for steelhead – I still haven’t made the leap!

  2. Brett Colvin

    Appears to be a winner! Your use of a floating, disembodied torso is a nice touch. I’ve used the Fishpond Windwalker chest pack for years, and have submerged it more times than I can count. It’s not waterproof, and I’ve had to deal with everything from wet gloves on a cold day to a sloshed point & shoot. This pack doesn’t as versatile or ergonomic as the Windwalker, but that waterproof feature might be enough to sway me into trying one.

    • Kirk Werner

      Brett, it’s a nice little pack for sure. It’s waterproof, but not submersible. I have the large waist pack in the same Typhoon series and it has a completely submersible zippered pocket for things that absolutely cannot get wet.

  3. Dave Carpenter

    This review was extremely helpful for a guy like me. I have never used a pack of any sort, but have given it some thought. Most of my fishing is close to home or from the drift boat, but for those walk & wade trips, this looks like the way to go. For those situations, my current solution for waterproofing items includes storing items in various sized ziplock bags stuffed in any pocket I have available – not at all organized. However, my method does provide entertainment value for fellow anglers. A dunking in the river sends floating baggies in all directions, followed by a mad scramble to collect them all before they sink or drift into deep / fast water. Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.

    • Kirk Werner

      It’s pretty sweet, Dave. Small, but not too small. Versatile and very functional.

  4. karen

    that mani is scary.

    Good review Kirk!

    • Kirk Werner

      Karen, his name is Bob and there is nothing to fear: he has no arms or legs so he can neither punch nor kick you. He’s not much of a caster, either.

  5. Rebecca

    Great Review Kirk. I really want one now. I like that I could just sling it over my shoulder instead of having to ummm, chest pack it.
    Girl thing.

    Anyway, job well done!

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Rebecca. The chest breast pack is quite versatile- you owe it to yourself to get one. Or if we ever manage to fish together I’ll let you borrow mine.

  6. Owl Jones

    Two questions if you don’t mind:

    1. Did you spend any time with it around your neck? If so, did it give your shoulders a work out, give you a headache, or cause you to wish you were carrying less gear?

    2. What is the strap made out of? It looks particularly small to me and I wonder how it would hold up to a season of rock-hopping, tree rubbing and branch snagging?

    Thanks! ( looking for a new pack right now…)

    • Kirk Werner

      Owl Jones,

      The neck strap is very well padded and comfortable, and the waist strap can be cinched so that the weight isn’t on the neck. Mainly I like it worn as a sling because then it’s out of the way for two-handed casting. The neck strap is webbed nylon, attached to the padded neoprene neck strap via loops and grommets. Construction is very solid and I would imagine abrasion resistant.

      When I want to take a lot of gear with me, use my waist pack (same Typhoon product line from Sage). I like the waist pack because it’s completely out of the way and provides lower back support when worn tightly. If interested I did a “review” on the waist pack HERE. Thanks for the comment/questions.

  7. Owl Jones

    Thanks for the reply! I finally remembered where I saw this post, as you can tell. 😉


    • Kirk Werner

      Glad you remembered, Owl!

  8. Lise B.

    Thanks for the review. As a non-fishing mother of a fishing son, who wants the Sage pack for his birthday, I was struggling to justify 80 bucks for something so small. Your review makes me feel a little better about it! I will be ordering it tonight. Happy fishing 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      Lise, glad to know the review helped. Your son will love you (even more) when you present him with the pack. But make him work for it!

  9. Tom Nak

    Nice report!
    Question: I have the DXL Typhoon backpack, will the DXL Chestpack integrate with my backpack? Please email back if you may.

    • Kirk Werner

      Tom, I cannot say for sure if the chest pack works with the backpack—never had the backpack. Perhaps a quick call or email to Sage will answer your query. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *