fishpond windwalker chest pack
The Fishpond Windwalker Chest pack is my current bag and has been working out pretty well. It is the perfect size and has so many features I am sure I will miss most of them here. It comes with two straps; one for hanging from your neck (painful) and a shoulder strap that is slightly longer. I usually wear it close to my side using the lumbar straps to keep it close to my body. It also pairs with Fishponds other backpacks and actually sits much better on me that way. The weight is much more evenly distributed when it is snapped into the straps of the backpacks. It is thoughfully designed and has beefy elastic loops to hold your forceps and snippers in place while hiking. It has a nice fold out tray with replaceable foam inserts and the main body is expandable by unzipping and expansion zipper around the perimeter. The coolest feature it all the neat loops for attaching your toys. I lose so many snippers, shakers and other dangling things each season that this pack has already paid for itself. And of course it is made very well.
One big downside to chest packs is the neck strap. They are currently the rage but really think it through. They are much better suited to a meandering brown trout stream. Long hikes through the backcountry can be very uncomfortable with a strap across the back of your neck. Another consideration is your feet. Yes, I said your feet! I find that I can't see where I am walking with a chest pack hung in front of me and stumble frequently. Not a problem when I am on a well marked level stream like the Yellow Breeches in PA but it can be a challenge when hiking Shenandoah National Park. I usually just put on the shoulder strap and carry it to my side or put it in my backpack until I reach my fishing spot.