Best luggage, packs, and cases for Alaska 2022
Three Bears Grizzly Tech 40 Liter Dry Bag threebearsalaska.com
Dry bags are critical pieces of gear in Alaska. They come in many sizes and shapes. It’s gonna rain, just a matter of when. And if you spend time on a river or lake, especially in non-powered boats, then protecting your gear from getting wet is paramount and an additional application for a dry bag. Last year we tested a Three Bears Grizzly Tech 40 Liter Dry Pack and this year we opted for the 40 Liter Dry Bag. The roll-top design keeps water out, and the carry strap allows you to throw it over a shoulder when carrying. The material is tough and all the seams worked properly and kept out water.
Simms Freestone Collection Chest Pack simmsfishing.com
The popular Freestone Collection received a revamp for Fall 2021. Including hip, sling, and chest options, the all-new Freestone pack collection offers modularity and was designed for anglers to be able to comfortably carry everything they need for long days on the water. Constructed from 330D Ripstop fabric with a polyurethane backside coating, all of the packs in the Freestone collection provide anglers with a durable, yet lightweight carry option. For internal organization, the packs come equipped with stretch mesh pockets inside generous main compartments. We like how comfortable the chest pack feels, that it is compact but offers enough space to bring adequate tackle, and that it doesn’t get in the way when casting and landing fish.
Yeti Crossroads 29” Luggage yeti.com
Overbuilt. That one word aptly describes everything Yeti makes. Baggage handlers aren’t easy on our luggage, but this bag is built to handle anything they can dish out. The outer material is Yeti’s Tuffskin Nylon, which we’ve found to be very abrasion resistant. The inside is split 70/30 into two compartments. A mesh panel with pockets divides the two main compartments. There is also a front pocket on the exterior of the bag. The wheels and handle are quite stout; it’s unlikely they’ll break through normal use. Dimensions are 29.5” by 16.25” by 11.5” and the empty weight is 10 pounds; capacity is 80 liters (4,882 cubic inches).
Plano Z-Series 3700 Waterproof Backpack planomolding.com
This roll-top backpack is eminently waterproof and is comfortable to wear. The backpack straps are padded and there’s also a sternum strap which helps distribute the load across your torso. It’s big enough to carry plenty of tackle, but not so large as to become cumbersome. We wore it while wade fishing on several outings. The pack comes equipped with two 3700 cases, with a capacity for four, which allows you to carry a diversity of tackle. We’ve been using it with two boxes and that gives us plenty of room for other items. The capacity of the pack works well for us as we often target multiple species.
Pelican 1485 Air Case pelican.com
For a long time, Pelican has made cases that we have used to keep our electronics safe when we travel into the field. The one complaint we had was that they were heavy. Not any longer. The Pelican 1485 Air weighs only 5.39 pounds including the foam and is tough as nails. This size case, with an interior dimension of 17.8” x 10.2” x 6.2”, fits our Sony A7iii camera, multiple lenses, a microphone system and a DJI Osmo Pocket. Pelican makes many sizes in the Air series.
Yeti Crossroads 35L Backpack yeti.com
This is one of the most versatile small backpacks we’ve seen, and it’s built to Yeti’s standards of quality and durability. One of the features we like most is the 180-degree clamshell opening that allows you to load it like a small suitcase. In fact, Yeti describes it as a suitcase designed as a backpack. It’s a little bigger than many backpacks. It has a TSA-friendly laptop compartment, and the panel closest to your body is padded to protect contents within. The clamshell divider inside has two mesh pockets. There are external zippered access points on both sides of the bag, and each side of the bag also has Molle attachment points and carry handles. It has a carry handle on top, too. This bag makes an outstanding carry-on for airline travel, but it’s tough enough to spend time in the field, on the boat, or on the trail.
The Seventy2 Pro Shell Dry Pack unchartedsupplyco.com
Waterproof and compact, the bag gives you enough space for a day’s adventure, but not too large that it becomes a black hole of gear, which is sometimes the case with roll-top bags. An outside pocket lets you store items you want to access readily, and an outside pouch fits a water bottle. Shoulder and waist straps are padded and comfortable. This three-pound pack has a capacity of 36 liters.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 70L patagonia.com
This duffel is everything you need to transport your gear. It’s rugged, abrasion resistant, light and well designed. The main compartment is large and deep, and the lid has two mesh, zippered pockets for additional storage and increased organization. In addition to removable shoulder straps, the bag sports beefy carry handles, as well as grab handles on both ends of the bag. It also features an exterior zippered pocket that you can reach from both the inside and outside of the bag, as well as a padded bottom. The duffel comes in the following sizes: 40-, 55-, 70- and 100 liters.
Gamakatsu G-Box 3700D Deep Utility Case gamakatsu.com
This is a 3700-size, single compartment box that we often used to hold flashers or other large tackle items. What makes this different from similar boxes is that the lid closure is virtually unbreakable, so this box will last a long time. The blue color is unique and transparent, allowing you to see what’s inside.
Plano Edge Terminal 3700 planomolding.com
Any angler who practices a wide range of disciplines knows that terminal tackle is a vital component of any rigging, and that terminal tackle comes in MANY different sizes and shapes based on application and target species. And any angler who fishes a lot for a wide range of species knows that it’s ultra important to remain organized so you can find what you need with as little effort as possible. We recommend the Plano Edge series of storage boxes that come in a range of sizes. Last year we gave the Edge 3700 Thin an award; this year it’s the Edge Terminal 3700 for outstanding features and storage options for terminal tackle. This modular unit offers everything you need to store weights, swivels, hooks, etc