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Streamlined store-alls

Fly-rod bass fishing? Casting in a mountain stream? Tackle minimalists rely on mini chest packs.

Pluses: This ’04 offering is well priced and comes in two sizes (6-by-4 1/2-by-2 inches, 9-by-5-by-3 inches). Each features a large compartment, four pockets (five on the larger pack), a plier pouch, adjustable straps and D-rings for tools. The larger pack accepts most saltwater boxes. Minuses: No secure pocket, greatest potential for spilling items. One color. 11 ounces. $29 and $39. (888) 235-9763, www.orvis.com ()
Pluses: Fishpond’s newly redesigned vertical mini is extremely lightweight and features a zip-down fly bench, a mesh pocket and a zippered main compartment containing two more pockets; like the Mini II, the San Juan sports a padded, breathable mesh backing (the others don’t). Minuses: Like the Sandpiper, the San Juan’s strap is unpadded; like the Mini II, fold-up fly patch flattens flies. 9 ounces. $49. (970) 468-2056, www.fishpondusa.com ()
Pluses: William Joseph’s mini just got better with a new split design providing 40% more storage space while growing just 12%. Features include 11 pockets, an improved ventilation system, a smart tippet control system, and a lifetime unconditional warranty (excellent!). Minuses: Heaviest of the four packs; only pack that can’t be worn on the waist; fold-up fly patch tends to flatten flies. In three colors. 15.8 ounces. $59. (800) 269-1875, www.williamjosephfishing.com ()
Pluses: This product matches the Orvis MCP in features (including the waist belt) and also incorporates a superior cross-back shoulder harness for comfort; 11 pockets, and a snap buckle for a sure closure. Minuses: Exposed fly patch, fairly high spill potential out the sides of the main compartment, high price (it’s the only pack of the four that’s made in the U.S.A.). Also available in blue. 13.3 ounces. $65. (970) 879-5221, www.creekcompany.com ()