Fishing vests haven’t really changed since Lee Wulff cobbled the first one together in 1931. And, for more than 90 years they’ve been… fine. So, when we set out to rethink fly fishing’s most fundamental piece of gear, we didn’t want a simple update. We wanted a once-in-a-century transformation. The new Patagonia Stealth Pack Vest incorporates hyper-light, recycled materials with extraordinary carrying capacity, intuitive functionality and load-lifting suspension technology adopted from our groundbreaking trail running vests for an internally stabilized fit and all-day comfort.
“The Stealth Pack Vest is a huge leap forward for wading anglers,” said Matt Millette, Patagonia Fly Fishing’s Head of Marketing. “For decades, no one’s really given the fishing vest much thought. We’re fortunate to have a trail running division at Patagonia. They have made remarkable advances in load stabilization, internal suspension and secure carrying capacity. Those advances, combined with our always-evolving recycled materials technology and our ethic of intuitive functionality make this is the most advanced, comfortable and—most importantly— the most usable vest we’ve ever made.”
Here are the key features and innovations for our Stealth Pack Vest.
Built using our 100% recycled Stealth materials, the Pack Vest is water-resistant, quiet and body-conforming. Upfront, each side of the vest provides three vertical pockets for everything from jumbo fly boxes to your smallest, most elusive gizmo. There are multiple tool-attachment points, gear docs and a drop-in floatant pocket. Large, mesh zip pockets are set beneath the vertical pockets. Inside the vest is a hidden rod holder and four additional zippered compartments.
Around back, the Pack Vest offers both a large and a compact zippered pocket. Inside the larger pocket is a removable waterproof sleeve for items that simply can’t get wet. Beneath those pockets is a roomy, convenient reach-through pocket for quick access.
Accessible from the back reach-through is an easy-pull, locking strap that adjusts the Pack Vest’s suspension system and works with its body-conforming stretch panels. Regardless of how much gear you carry, this system ensures the vest fits athletically, carries effortlessly and won’t hinder your casting stroke.
Unless you’ve spooked mama bear and her cubs, you’re not likely to break into a sprint while fly fishing. But with the Stealth Pack Vest, a day spent wading, hiking and scrambling with all the gear you’ll need will be comfortable, organized and productive.
For those anglers looking to incorporate a vest with their backpack, we created the Stealth Convertible Vest. The Convertible Vest utilizes the same 100% recycled Stealth materials as the Pack Vest and incorporates similar vertical pockets for load-hauling capacity and intuitive use. The vest front also features a synthetic fly patch, multiple tool-attachment points, gear docs and a drop-in floatant pocket,
Inside the vest, each side offers two roomy drop-in pockets and multiple lash points. Around back, a massive, zippered drop-in pocket swallows additional layers, lunch and that one fly box that just might come in handy, but the secret sauce is the Stealth Convertible Vest’s ability to completely transform itself.
The vest’s front panels are attached via sturdy, easily operated clips at the shoulder and waist. When these panels are released, they can be quickly connected to the D-rings on our Guidewater or Stealth Sling, Pack or Duffel. The packs also connect to virtually any gear with a webbing bar or D-ring, giving you additional carrying capacity and easy-to-use, on-the-water versatility.