Before I start, here are the deets, courtesy of the Fishpond website:
|Aspen Green...my favorite flavor|
- MSRP: $39.95
- Fully lined nylon interior
- Tough abrasion-resistant molded bottom for structure
- Rubberized mesh upper panel for faster drying
- Two side grip handles and one jacquard top handle
- 14” x 13” x 4”
Not being a prior Fishpond customer, I really didn't have any exposure to the build of their products. I will immediately say I was impressed with the quality throughout this bag. Durable materials (including zippers and side handles), solid stitching all around, and a bulletproof bottom - this thing is built to last, and I had no concerns tossing it around and abusing it to and from fishing trips. The only bummer...it's not made of, nor does it resemble "buckskin." Now I really wasn't expecting it to be buckskin, I guess "Buckskin Boot Bag" just sounds better than "Nylon Boot Bag" when it comes to marketing.
My first concern when I got the bag in the mail was that my wading boots weren't going to fit. I don't have Sasquatch feet (size 11 wide), but the bag just looked "small," or maybe more appropriate, it didn't look deep enough to be able to handle the boots. I mean everyone knows wading boots are kinda big and clunky. Well, once I actually put them inside, it was a tight fit, but the bag did close and fully zip as advertised. Would a size 13 or 14 fit? I don't know.
|Cram those dogs in there...|
It's a bag. It holds your boots. No magic tricks here. It works fine.
One highlight was it's ability to keep the post-wade mess contained. One of the days I went fishing was after a rainstorm so it was particularly muddy. The bag kept the mud inside and away from the rest of my gear. Even better, it also "hoses off" pretty good as I've cleaned it out once or twice after it got pretty darn filthy. While it doesn't dry quickly, it dries about on par with your wading boots. Ready to go again when you are.
While I 'd recommend taking your boots out of the bag to dry out between fishing trips, the Buckskin Boot Bag does have a large rubberized mesh side to allow for air flow. I left wet boots in the bag for a week just to see if they'd dry. They did. Although I won't lie, I didn't check daily to see how quickly they dried. One day, two days, three days, etc... I simply went fishing on a Sunday, and then the following Saturday I opened the bag and they were dry.
While this is called a boot bag, I actually think this makes just as good as a gear bag, especially if you're a traveling fly fisherman. You can load this thing up with reels, fly boxes, fly tying materials, you name it. It holds a lot of smallish things, and does it well. Just make sure they aren't extra fragile. This bag is meant to hold boots, so it really isn't padded or have segmented compartments.
As far as a boot bag goes, this thing's top notch. It's solidly built, and simply put, does what it's supposed to do. You're not going to lose by purchasing this bag. I do have some concern for those with larger feet as I couldn't test this with say a size 14 boot.
|The bullet-proof bottom|
As with any of the gear that fly fisherfolk use, the end recommendation all comes down to a value proposition. $40 for a bag that holds your boots? Some will find that as a value, some will find that as a waste. That's a personal mindset I probably can't much influence with this review. Just note, no matter which camp you fall into, the bag does as advertised. It holds your boots and keeps funk away from the rest of your stuff.
The Fishpond Buckskin Boot Bag featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost by a representative from Backbone Media, but holds a retail value of $39.95 per the manufacturer's website. I currently hold no association with Fishpond or Far Bank Enterprises, however I am a little bit sorry that the "mom jokes" in my "First Impressions" post didn't go over well. ...C'est la vie... As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time in doing so?