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Gear Review: Headwater Waist Pack

May 11, 2011
Author: Trouts Staff

What We Say:

I had previously been using the Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack, and had always been thoroughly pleased with it.  But when the Simms Headwater pack series debuted in 2009, I had to jump at the opportunity to give this pack a try.  Right out of the packaging, it was evident that this pack was designed for fisherman by fisherman.  Every pocket was well though out, and had space to hold a variety of fly fishing goods.  I was able to get 4 C&F fly boxes into the main compartment, all of my leaders and such in the middle pocket, and my weight and midge box into the front compartment. 

The half moon zipper design was one of the first aspects of this pack that absolutely wowed me, as this design allows you to close the pack using one hand (something that wasn't possible with the Fishpond pack).  In addition, three magnets along the rim of the main compartment allows the user to close the main lid and have it remain closed without having to zipper it shut.  The second thing that impressed me was the front utility tray.  Unlike the Fishpond packs that are flat, all the Headwater Packs have a tray with a 1" rim, allowing you to actually place items in it and have them stay there.  In addition, this pack comes with some great side pockets, good for storing your camera, water bottle or can of beer.  The last feature that I really enjoyed was the hemostat holder, and other accessory holders on the waistband of the pack.  This has traditionally been an area where nothing was offered, so it was great to see Simms finding a useful way to add some features to this aspect of the pack.

All in all, after two years of use I am now on my second Headwater Waist Pack.  I have yet to see another pack that is this well designed, functional and durable.  Bravo Simms, you have an absolute home run with this one!

Last Minute Thoughts:

The magnets on the main compartment lid make a great fly holder when you're changing rigs on the go.

What They Say:

"Designed to carry a lot of gear and fit great when it's packed full, you'll wear it on the boat, the river and as a carry-on while traveling."

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