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Umpqua ZS2 Medium Boat Bag Review

The medium Umpqua Boat Bag has been one of my favorite bags over the past year and a half. I actually use it for my warm water fishing for Bass and Northern Pike. Since this bag is on the smaller end of the size spectrum, it fits all of my warm water supplies with ease – but it is a bit too small for my trout gear.

Not only is this bag water resistant but it is also built to last. Umpqua says this bag is designed for bringing “what you need” and not everything you have. I think this bag is a great choice for most fly fishers. For shorter float trips and lake trips, this bag certainly fits the bill. The snag-free design of this bag is one of the biggest perks. Since the design is very simple, you don’t have to worry about snagging your fly line on it.

This article will cover the pros and cons of this bag and hopefully guide your decision if you’re in the market for a new boat bag. I emptied most of the bag for these photos so you can get a better view of the features.

Pros Of The Umpqua ZS2 Boat Bag

With a 13-inch length, 9-inch width, and 9.5-inch height, this bag can fit in any boat with ease. It is actually much smaller than many of the bags on the market. Simms and Fishpond boat bags come in much larger sizes, which can be tough to fit in smaller rafts. I also have the Fishpond Cutbank boat bag, which is a much larger size. It can take up extra room in smaller rafts.

This bag comes with internal dividers so you can keep your gear and fly boxes organized. You can also remove the Velcro dividers if you want a larger storage area. In addition, the underside of the lid features a mesh pocket and a clear rubber pocket. I tend to keep my phone in the water-resistant rubber pocket and other accessories in the mesh pocket, such as a tippet and indicators.

The lid features a full-wrap YKK zipper, which is weatherproof. Although not fully waterproof, it can certainly withstand rain and spills in the water. The contents of my boat bag have always stayed dry during a river float or a lake trip.

On the top of the bag, there is a storage station for forceps and a small fly patch. The forceps holder keeps your forceps flush with the bag so your fly line won’t get snagged on it. It is one of the better designs I have seen for storing your forceps.

One of the best features is that this bag comes with a shoulder strap, which helps you get to and from the boat. However, you can also use the handle on top, giving you 2 different options for carrying this bag.

Cons Of The ZS2 Bag

One issue I have found is that this bag’s exterior is canvas. Although the zipper is quite water resistant, the outside of the bag will get wet during a float. This often means taking the bag inside to dry it out afterward. It would be nice if Umpqua used a waterproof material on the outside of the bag. Simms and Fishpond have both implemented waterproof exteriors on their models.

Another issue for me is the price. For $220, I think this bag is a bit overpriced. Considering its smaller size and fewer features, I think Umpqua could have priced it at $200 or less. This will definitely deter some anglers when they are looking for a new boat bag. I think $180 or $190 would be a more suitable price, considering the bag’s features. However, I am not sure how much it actually costs to make a boat bag.

These are really the only 2 issues I have found with this bag. Overall, I think these can be overlooked since the bag performs very well.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the medium Umpqua ZS2 Boat Bag is suitable for anglers who don’t carry much gear but are still looking for a premium storage option. This bag is certainly built to hold up for years and is very high quality. However, for anglers looking to store a lot of gear, there are larger bag options available. Anglers looking to store more should check out the large Umpqua Boat Bag or the Fishpond Cutbank Bag.

However, the ZS2’s portability is really nice. It is lightweight and super easy to transport for fishing trips. Minimalist anglers and travelers should definitely consider this model.