2015 Fish Alaska ECA: Bags, Backpacks, Cases & Storage
1. Plano Compact Jig and Fly Organizer
MSRP: $7.99 to $8.99
The box hinges down the middle and when opened, both top and bottom provide storage. It’s customizable from 11- to 32 compartments. Ideal as a bead, small fly, spinner or jig box.
2. Plano Guide Series 3700 Deep Waterproof Stowaway
Because of its depth, this box can hold many more K-16 Kwikfish and MagLip 5.0 plugs than some of the older, shallower boxes of similar length and width. Plus, it’s waterproof, so whatever you choose to store in it stays dry and rust-free. It has three durable latches that securely close the box, and they squeeze down on an O-ring to prevent water intrusion. These latches are a huge improvement over the flimsy plastic tabs of some of the older styles of plastic boxes.
3. UPG Fly Box Streamer
This lightweight box is designed to organize the big flies that aggressive salmon and trout love to inhale. It’s weatherproof, and incorporates see-through lids with easy push-button latches. Extra-thick, pre-slit foam secures larger hooks. The box also incorporates Zerust; a corrosion protectant that reduces rust growth on hooks.
4. Plano Micro-Organizer
MSRP: $4.99 to $5.49
We tested the 4.5-inch by 3-inch by 1.25-inch Micro-Organizer with 14 fixed compartments. It’s versatile, allowing you to dedicate it to one pursuit like bead fishing, or use it to store tackle for a multi-species day on the river or lake. Compartments are varied in size. We liked both the clear and green plastic models.
5. Lifeproof iPhone 4/4s Case
Testers on our staff are not easy on gear and that includes cell phones. The tester using this case has already broken several iPhones that were in other cases. So far, so good with this one. This low-profile case is waterproof and shock resistant, and we’ve verified this real world. Also, the phone has remained clean, attesting to the tight seal.
6. Stansport Waterproof Duffel Bag- 52 Liter
These wide-mouth duffel-style dry bags provide exceptional accessibility while offering vault-like closure to ensure waterproof performance. Electronically welded seams reinforced with wrap-around web straps produce maximum strength and durability, while each bag also has an outside waterproof zippered accessory compartment for small items and an adjustable padded carry strap.
7. Mammut Hera Light 55+15 Backpack
The Hera Light is a lightweight trekking backpack for women that offers the best load transfer in its weight class. In addition to gender-specific comfort, the stable hip belt transfers loads ideally, while its swiveling design allows great freedom of movement. Our tester found the pack sits perfectly thanks to the pre-shaped back system and its four-level adjustment.
8. USIA Brush Bandit Pack
The Brush Bandit pack is a tough, weather-resistant pack that is just the right size for a multitude of uses. Our tester abused this pack on a remote, weeklong float and several shorter forays into the bush. Although not designed to be submersible, none of our tester’s gear in the main compartment got wet on that trip. The pack can be used as a carry-on as well, so you can stuff all your expensive reels and other small, valuable items into it on your way to your next adventure. The Brush Bandit will be equally at home as a day-pack for hunting moose as it is for a hike up to the grayling at Crescent Lake.
9. E Case iSeries iPhone Case
With the iSeries iPhone case from E Case you can feel comfortable carrying your phone with you on the water with zero threat from the elements. Touchscreen-compatible windows designed around the phone’s features help you operate it if necessary, and guaranteed submersible protection means you can even keep it on you when wading. Our testers used this on the road-system fisheries and for other day-trips when staying in contact was necessary, and their phones always returned safe and sound (and dry).
10. Gage 30 Liter Rum Runner Backpack
The Gage Rum Runner Backpack is the perfect size for one person to carry extra layers, camera, lunch and some fishing gear for a day-trip either hiking or onboard a boat. Not to mention, it’s waterproof, an absolute must for most excursions into bush Alaska. We also loved it in the new Kryptek Camo color, expanding its use for Alaskan hunters.
11. Umpqua Swiftwater Tech Vest
Umpqua has taken fishing vest design into the 21st century with their new Swiftwater Tech Vest, the nicest, most comfortable and technologically advanced fishing vests we’ve ever worn. It holds a ton of gear, and since it integrates with their Surveyor 1100 Backpack, you can load the system up with enough fishing equipment for a multi-day float trip. It isn’t the capacity that makes this vest stand so far above vest of old, however; it’s the innovative design and technological improvements that simply make it a much better mousetrap. The vest has an adjustable fit, a padded waist belt to help take the load off your shoulders, 14 pockets, numerous attachment loops and D-rings, lined hand-warmer pockets, an internal key clip and many other thoughtful features.
12. SealLine Zip Waterproof Duffle 75
Hauled everywhere this season from weeklong float trips deep in the Alaska bush to rainy excursions in Southeast, the Zip Waterproof Duffle kept all our gear snug and dry throughout the year. The duffle is built with the same submersible YKK zippers used on the finest dry suits and adds a vinyl flap for additional protection. We tested the low-profile 75-liter model; for those looking for a smaller waterproof bag, there is also a 40L version available, which even fits through the back hatch on most kayaks.
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