The rugged functionality of Umpqua Feather Merchants’ new pack and bag line, the result of hundreds of hours of R & D, is a point of pride for the brand, and now there’s a new feather in the 40-year-old company’scap: the Ledges 500 waist-pack has been named one of the “Best of the Best” in the March 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine.

The Ledges 500 ($99.99 sug ret.), which is shipping this month, is the result of a unique collaboration between experienced fly anglers, designers and manufacturers of outdoor gear for companies such as Burton, Gregory, Mountain Hardwear, and Osprey.

Editors at Field & Stream credited the outdoor-inspired aluminum inner frame of the pack with providing easier access and more comfortable load bearing than traditional designs, and said the Ledges 500 “is an exceptionally functional waist-pack at a very good price.”

The award also praised the pack’s rigid platform that allows it to be rotated around the waist without binding.

“We’re very happy to have an Umpqua pack chosen as the ‘Best of the Best’ by a publication as venerable and legendary as Field & Stream,” said Jeff Fryhover, Umpqua president.

“After committing three years of R & D, we’ve designed these from the ground up based upon proven performance features. It’s great to have our hard work recognized by this prestigious award.”

Umpqua’s new pack line is designed with functionality, durability and ease of use in mind. It enhances the experience of any angler no matter where they fish. Rugged outdoor industry influences include aluminum stay suspended back panels, snag-free zippers, light-color liners, load adjusters, high-wear tarpaulin tool sheaths, and durable low-weight construction.

Features such as the suspended back panels with aluminum stays on the waist-packs and backpacks, and full load-bearing padded shoulder straps on the chest-pack, permit superior ventilation and all-day comfort. Snag-free zippers and light-color liners make navigating spacious interiors quick and easily, and ensure that flies, tippet, hemostats and other fly-fishing essentials are always handy.

What’s more, the waist-packs and chest-packs integrate with backpacks, and there are numerous added features inspired by the outdoors such as “sticky” micro-textured zipper pulls, side D-rings, hydration compatibility, load adjusters, weatherproof pockets for cellphones, and waist belt pockets for easy access to floatants or snacks.

Prices for Umpqua packs and bags range from $99.99 to $199.99 sug. ret. at leading fly fishing specialty stores.

Logo courtesy Blumenfeld and Associates PR

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