I have fished with the Ledges 650 waist pack for a dozen or so trips on the Eagle River and Colorado River ranging from all day excursions to quick 1-2 hour trips, I can say that this pack is one of the most comfortable and versatile waist packs I have come across.
I liked this pack enough that I convinced a fishing buddy to purchase one, he prefers wearing it with the shoulder strap since he hangs his net from it, I prefer wearing it as a waist pack and tucking a net between the pack and my back, but to each his own.
The pack is expandable so it can be used for minimal storage or a large amount of gear, I have used it in both capacities and have found it to be very comfortable both ways. The Ledges 650 pack has an aluminum frame with a tight mesh backing to add a space between your back and the pack material, this adds ventilation and makes for a rigid frame that is easy to manipulate around your waist. At first, I was a bit worried about the mesh backing getting torn up by constantly shoving a net past it but so far it hasn’t shown any signs of wear.
The three main compartments of the pack have sturdy zippers, the main pocket has loop rings on the zipper which can be easily operated with gloves (handy for winter fishing on our Vail Valley rivers and streams). It also features a waterproof pocket on the side but I have yet to use it. The pockets on the straps of the belt are invaluable for holding weights/indicators/floatant or even a small fly box, and are made in such a way that even when the belt is tight around the waist, the pockets are easy to dig around in and zip back up. There is also a set of straps on the underside of the pack that can carry a jacket, but you have to be mindful of it being there so as not to soak it, a wet jacket doesn’t do you much good trust me.
One of the best features on the pack is a tool sheath which is located between the 2nd and 3rd main compartments, it works great for stashing a set of hemostats, scissors, or pliers (maybe a combat knife if you fish heavily contested waters).
The only drawbacks that we have found is it can be a little difficult to stash a large fly box in the 2nd main compartment due to the stiff material used for the tool sheath and barb-less fly patch, but I’m talking about a pretty thick fly box here, also you loose some space in the main compartment due to the aluminum but its well worth it from a comfort perspective.
All in all this is a comfortable and versatile waist pack for short or long trips with plenty of room and has many of the features that makes accessing your gear on the water more fluent.
See you out there,
Minturn Anglers Guide