the integrated snaps for attaching a Fishpond chestpack to it, either on the back or the front of the backpack. The color really stands sets this backpack apart, Fishpond calls it Cutthroat Green and it seems to be a common color with many of their latest backpacks. This backpack does come with the Savage Creek Chest Pack and shoulder and back strap for the chest pack as well.
I have had the pack for about five months now and have truly enjoyed using it. One of the positive features that I really liked when deciding to purchase it was the fact that the chest pack came with the neck and back straps, just in case I wanted to use the chest pack without the backpack. To be honest, I have done that about three times and every single time I have regretted doing so.
The integrated hydration pocket in the backpack means cool, crisp water is right there. The few times I didn't have the backpack were at least uncomfortable due to the fact that you eventually want to take a drink and I didn't have any water available. Plain and simple, having water makes a big difference after a few hours of catching monster fish and hiking further and further upstream.
The backpack allows you to be prepared for multiple different fishing scenarios. Hiking up to Marjorie Lake, I decided to fish some of the smaller streams that dot that area of the Uinta Mountains. For fishing the lake, I wanted to have my 8' 2 wt. rod, but for those small streams, some of which can be utterly covered by brush, I wanted to have my 6' 2 wt. With the expandable water bottle pockets, I was able to carry both rods.
The backpack itself allows you to be prepared. One of the things that is a necessity, at least for me, when fishing in the backcountry is to have a real serious emergency/safety kit. I created one that lives in a nalgene water bottle. The pack allows me to take the kit as well as a light weight rain jacket, some snacks, and a maybe another fly box or two. Please be aware of the size of the pack though, and the construction of the pack. This is the smallest of the Fishpond's backpacks and it shows if you try to over pack the thing. Want to pack a rain jacket, fleece, emergency kit, and your hydration system? Not going to happen. The construction of the pack is so durable that nothing wants to stretch, especially outward, everything stretches into the pack. The tight construction, while making it durable, impacts the ability to over pack.
The pack itself is comfortable. It really is very lightweight, coming in at a measly 1.8 pounds and that includes the chest pack. The shoulder straps are padded and are wide enough to disburse the weight of the setup across a large area but they don't get in the way of arm movement or dig into your skin. The contact area between pack and back is slotted foam covered in mesh, allowing maximum breathing.
Hiking into the backcountry is also nice due to the fact that the chest pack can attach to the front of the backpack and is out of your way while hiking. That versatility was another design factor that pushed me to the Fishpond over other makes and models, I don't want to be tied into the system on a five mile hike to one of my favorite backcountry lakes. But, once you get to that lake, or decide to wear this system while fishing your favorite river, putting the chest pack on your chest and rigging it to the shoulder straps of the backpack, you are tied into that system. To be honest, you really don't notice it, but there are straps going over every part of your chest, sides, and back.
Overall, this is a great pack! If you travel into the backcountry for short trips where the weather is known and you're not planning on staying overnight, this is a great pack. Even if you never plan hiking, I would highly recommend this piece of gear.
Growing up along the Provo River in Utah, I've seen countless numbers of Fly Fishermen search for the Tug. It's in the small streams that the dream is realized.