Feb 1, 2014

Simms Headwaters Large Sling Pack review

Simms Headwaters Large Sling Pack
Ask me if one perfect pack exist. I can answer that question in one word; NO! That’s an easy answer because the right pack is determined by your needs at that moment in time of use. Example; If it is summer and you plan on being out all day hiking in the sunshine than hydration will play a key importance to your function…for this I like a full-on backpack with hydration bladder, But that’s a bit bulky for the evening run and gun to your honey hole were you will only need some of your favorite flies and tippet. The packs I would equip myself for these two situations are obviously quite different. I’m not about to go into what I think you should use each type of pack for or what pack is best for you. It’s a personal choice and only you know what your needs is on your adventures. 

My idea of a perfect pack no matter what size or style may be is a pack that stays organized and items do not become lost. A pack has to be comfortable so that it’s forgotten while wearing it. It has to have enough flash to easily be seen for the times you do remove it so as to not get forgotten and left behind. Easy access to the tools you need is quite important. I’m sure we could brainstorm many more requirements of a great pack but I would like to get on with a new pack that has me pretty excited.

I have been slinging waist packs over my shoulder for years before any company ever named a pack a “Sling Pack”. But waist packs or chest packs thrown over the shoulder never quite met my needs and wearing a waist pack or a chest pack just always seemed to be in my way. Especially now that I Two Hand cast so much of the time, a chest pack is absolutely out of the question. On longer days I normally go with a backpack for the hydration capabilities enough space for lunch and all my needed gear. They do have the disadvantage of having to remove it to get to things but I can attach my tools and carry a fly box in my wader pocket for the basic needs.

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack in Lead Color
What I needed was a pack for all those other times such as short morning or evening adventures, and day adventures that don’t take me too far away from the truck and winter adventures where I don’t need to carry more than a 20 oz bottle of water or small thermos of coffee but still roomy enough to stuff a layer in it for the hike out or pack a PB&J for some stream-side energy. I also like to make sure I’m equipped with a good variety of flies and plenty of leaders, tips and tippet. Tools are a major importance to me. They need to always be at reach.

The Simms Headwaters Sling pack has all these needs covered and I can comfortably wear it all day and honestly forget about it being on my back. When I need something it slings around easily and the pockets are upright directly in front of you. The tools are also right at reach. You can equip it with tools on the pack and on the strap also so you always have tools were you need them no matter where the pack is. I really like the clamp holders and so far the magnets have been strong enough to keep them secure. Another great feature is the hideaways for the accessory straps. Tuck the rod and waist straps when not in use and you have no loose straps dangling around. I quickly figured out to use the back pocket (the one closet to your body) for larger items like a bottle of water and it’s perfect to stuff a fleece layer in when things warm up. The large front pocket holds my extra flies and leaders and the outermost pocket is perfect for the flies and tippet that I am currently using. The inside of this pocket is compatible with Simms hook and loop items such as the Simms Fly Patch. I have one of these stuck to the inside of that pocket to hang my wet flies to dry. The removable hook and loop floatant and tippet-spool retainers are also a nice feature. Just stick them on the outside of the pack while using them or stash them away when you’re not using them.

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack (smaller version)
Simms also makes the Headwaters Sling pack in a smaller version pictured here to the right shown in the Fury Orange color.

I am angler that likes to lean toward the minimalist approach. The large Headwaters Sling pack has a roomy 15 liter capacity but it feels compact, comfortable to wear all day and gives me the security of knowing I have what I need for any situation I may encounter. I've never had a pack that I liked as much as the Headwaters Sling Pack.

Gorge Fly Shop 
Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

Features and Specs - 
  • Lightweight pack for a full day on the water – pack in all your gear & fish on the go 
  • 2 large zippered compartments with stretch mesh pockets 
  • Quick-access stash pocket beneath the waistband allows easy access without slinging pack all the way around 
  • Compression molded front pocket creates a fold-down workspace 
  • Removable hook & loop floatant holder & tippet-spool retainer 
  • FABRIC TECH: 420 Denier Abrasion resistant fabric with DWR 
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 32 oz 
  • CAPACITY: 15 liters, 915.36 cubic in. 
  • DIMENSIONS: 20” x 14” x 8”

Simms Representative Eric Neufeld demonstrates the functionality of the New Simms Headwaters Sling Pack at the 2013 I-CAST / IFTD Show in Las Vegas

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

1 comment :

  1. I'm looking for a sling pack for left shoulder. Hope Simms will make this one for left shoulder but if there are other products, please let me know.


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