We fly anglers sure love our gear! Even though I'm very much a minimalist, I still have a good variety of fishing tackle and apparel that's necessary for different species and situations. Storing all that stuff here at home isn't a big deal, but transporting it during a day of fishing can sometimes be kind of a pain. Whether I'm hopping aboard a boat or walking the banks all day long, I prefer to pack all my essential goods in a quality bag that's both dependable and not oversize for what I'm bringing. The Filson Ballistic Nylon Duffle Pack looks to fit that criteria well!
Rated Dimensions: 23½"L x 12"W x 10"H
Approx Capacity: 40L capacity (46L with side pocket extended)
Material: 12-ounce 600-Denier Nylon
Colors: Whiskey and Otter Green (tested)
Gear bags for us outdoor folks should be rugged, and it appears Filson has constructed this one to take a beating. Made from 12-ounce 600-denier ballistic nylon, the material not only feels very robust but is also said to be tear-resistant. As expected, all of the stitching is top-notch and the seams hold strong when vigorously tugged on. To compliment the material, the outer zippers are beefed-up. Adorned with the Filson name, each features a long loop of bridle leather attached to a large pull tab that slides along the teeth without hesitation.
The main compartment offers a generous opening and boasts ample interior space complete with a flat, padded bottom. Under that bottom, there's a large laptop compartment that's also padded on the other side (complete with its own zippered opening) for easy, safe in/out access of computers up to 15". Outside of that and on the very bottom of the bag, is the straight-zip opening that houses concealed backpack straps.
Does the storage stop there? Ohhhh no! There's even more compartments to be found on two sides of the bag. One of them is a pocket made for wet or muddy gear. That space sports a unique expandable water-resistant lining and three mesh drain holes to evacuate excess moisture and add airflow. On the opposite side of the bag is a more standard but similarly-sized compartment with a smaller zippered compartment inside of that. Whew....yeah....this bag is LOADED with storage options!
Finally, there's three options for transporting the Filson Ballistic Nylon Duffle Pack. Like a typical duffel bag, you can choose from wearing the adjustable and removable shoulder strap, or just carry it with the two short hand straps which can connect to each other with a beautiful flap of bridle leather. Also, as mentioned, there's backpack straps!
The denier material used to make this bag is relatively smooth and very supple. This makes it easy to manipulate the flaps and really load-up the interior since the material isn't overly stiff or rigid. It is also highly water-resistant as moisture drops will hit the outside and puddle up or roll right off rather than just soaking through instantly. Same goes for the special expandable "mud proof" side pocket. If needed, its special interior lining can expand well into the main compartment for additional room and does a fine job of isolating wet gear.
The included shoulder strap doesn't have a shoulder pad, but it clips on/off the bag relatively easily via two hooks. Slightly longer hooks would make working the clasps a little easier (mostly when taking them off), but as is they work well and get the job done in seconds. The strap itself is adjustable and offers plenty of length for a 6'3" dude like myself.
The hidden backpack straps are a neat idea that give the bag even more versatility. Tucked into their own flat zippered compartment on the bottom of the bag, they offer lengthy padding, wide widths, and are adjustable to fit a variety of folks. The straps are very easy to stow and deploy and clip into attachment hooks on the bottom to secure the ends. The side of the bag that rests against your back is both flat and padded since it shares a "wall" with the interior laptop compartment, thus making it a very comfortable backpack.
Gear bags come in about a trazillion designs, styles, and configurations. Some are pretty simplistic in what they offer, while others try to set themselves apart in various ways. While not exactly bargain-priced at $245.00, the Filson boasts high quality, ample storage, and interesting features all rolled into a very classy-looking package. For a premium gear bag that can be highly-functional from the trout stream to the office, look no further than the Filson Ballistic Nylon Duffle Pack.
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