Gear Review Umpqua Famous 2500 Boat Bag

by | Feb 16, 2014 | Gear reviews, Tips | 0 comments

Umpqua 2500 Boat Bag

Umpqua Boat Bag Review

After using the Umpqua Famous 2500 Boat Bag for a full season, and putting on hundreds of river miles, it was truly put it to work. I have had a chance to experience what the bag is ‘famous’ for or in this case ‘infamous’ for and write an honest gear review worth reading.

 I believe Umpqua sells great products as a whole ( I use their flies with great success! ) but I think they missed the mark here.

The claim

Unlike most other boat bags, the Famous 2500 comes with a fully functional workstation built into the EVA-molded lid. Coming complete with drink holders, pliers pockets, non-skid feet and a deep water-proof base, it also features attachment points for securing the bag to a boat, a weather-proof zipper, a detachable shoulder strap and plenty of internal and external pockets.

The Features-

  • Highly structured, molded lid serves as a rigging work station
    Four cup holders with elastic retainers
  • External pliers pockets with drains
  • Weather-proof main zipperUmpqua 2500 Boat Bag
    Molded, water-proof floor with non-marking, skid-proof feet
  • External tippet pockets
    Removable shoulder strap
    Side D-rings to secure the bag to a boatHeavy-duty end grab handles
    Stretch and web daisy-chain for accessories attachment
  • Umpqua Famous 2500 Boat Bag
  • Internal key clip
    Corrosion resistant, snag-free zippers

The  Findings-

  • Umpqua 2500 Boat BagWith 2500 cubic inches of storage,  there’s room to carry several large fly boxes in its main compartment allowing you to bring a large arsenal of flies and never be without what you need. The zippered end compartments worked well and had plenty of storage for leaders and tippet spools.  2500 cubic inches is an awesome storage capacity for a boat bag.
  • I used one of the pockets as designed for hemostat’s and they punched a hole in the bottom of the pocket. Another time, I left the bag in the back of my pickup for an evening that had rained because I though they designed it with a heavy duty weather-proof zipper. The zippers may have been heavy duty but the bag’s material leaked leaving a puddle in the bottom and ruining a lot of flies!
  • Although I liked being able to re-rig on the lid of the bag, the workstation fills up when it rains or snow’s (been known to on fishing float trips) requiring you to invert the bag to drain the workstation before opening it again or risk soaking all your fly inventory rendering them rusted and useless. The elastic stitched into the top edge designed to hold stuff (i.e. floatant bottle, drink holder) didn’t. The gaps wouldn’t fit a bottle of Gherkes Gink floatant and my coffee tipped every time I tried the drink holders. The concept was good, give me a work station, but the execution was poor, nothing worked as designed and it became a pond when it rained.
  • The water-proof molded base disintegrated after less than a month of use. The Umpqua Sales Manager gladly sent me a new bag, and a fanny pack for my troubles.  He asked that I send him pictures of where I was using and transporting the bag to and from the river. I gladly agreed and complied. I explained that I had just purchased a new Clackacraft and believed its floor sprayed with traction aid was responsible for the bags’ base being chewed up. He agreed this was probably the case; but also agreed that the bag should be able to spend a season in the bottom of a drift boat and not look like I put a belt sander to it. Overall the customer support from Umpqua was good, the sales manager seemed to appreciated the input and did follow up with me initially but then failed to reply to several emails regarding what they would like to do with it.  Maybe the 2014 model will be better.

To sum it up, I believe a $199.00 boat bag should be able to perform a few basics; foremost keeping the flies dry for an entire season and lasting more than a single season. Although the Umpqua Famous 2500 Boat Bag has several well designed features (great storage, secure zippers, stout carrying handles) overall it failed to keep my several thousand dollars in fly inventory dry; after all that is the point of a dry boat bag isn’t it?

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