Last month we got a chance last month to travel and fish with the Sage DXL Typhoon Backpack, and we liked it a lot. Today we’re here to tell you all about it.
Waterproofness vs. Access
Designers of fishing packs and bags deal constantly with the compromise between making bags waterproof and making them easy to access. Roll-top closures and submersible zippers are truly waterproof, but can be a pain to use. Water-resistant zippers and magnetic closures are much easier to use, but they don’t guarantee that your gear stays dry.
We saw a great example of the compromise just last month. One of the other anglers on the trip brought along a bombproof waterproof backpack with a submersible zipper. He said he loved the fact that the pack was submersible. That’s cool, but he also never closed the zipper all the way because it took too much effort to get it zipped. That’s not exactly a recipe for keeping your gear dry, is it?
We like the balance that Sage has struck with the DXL Typhoon Backpack. Access to the pack comes from a water-resistant zipper near the top of the pack. The pack is waterproof below that zipper – it can sit in standing water in the bottom of your boat, and stay dry inside.
That zipper on top of the pack is pretty easy to pull to gain access to your gear. It sheds rain but is not submersible. Here’s the thing though – when we the last time you submerged your backpack? We like the balance of waterproof bottom half and easy access top half.
For those items (wallet, cell phone, etc) that really need to stay dry, Sage has included an additional plastic internal pocket with a highly water-resistant zipper. Getting water into this pocket would pretty much require holding your pack underwater for some extended period of time – we’re very comfortable with our stay-dry valuables in this pocket.
Next to the zipper that provides access to the main compartment, there’s another ‘double pocket’ on top of the pack. The picture above shows the access to main area of this pocket. There’s a second pocket mounted inside – above you can barely see the zipper to this pocket, right where the keys are hanging.
This combination gives large (main compartment), medium (top pocket) and small (secondary pocket on top) areas for gear storage, with quite a lot of access. The pack doesn’t have retractors or fly patches or a pocket custom-made to hold your strike indicators. There’s a real small pocket on the waist belt, and a holster for your pliers too, but overall it’s a simpler approach to storage, and it works well if you keep your gear in smaller boxes, tackle wallets, etc.
The storage also works really well for travel – most of what you need in airports you can keep in those smaller top pockets, an easy zip or two away.
External Storage System
One unique feature on this pack is its ‘Fully adjustable wader/boot storage system’. It’s basically a mesh panel on the pack of the pack with adjustable straps to keep varying amounts of gear cinched down.
The picture at the top of this review shows it configured with flats boots. If you’re a hike-in angler, this is where your boots and waders would go during your long walk in.
Bonus: we found the system really useful on travel days – for carrying a laptop in a sleeve and magazines, like you see above.
Loved it. We like the balance of easy access and water resistant storage options. The simple pocket system suits us great. The external storage system is different and versatile.
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