Jul 13, 2014

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack: Reviews are over rated!

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack
Accessories sold separately
Reviews are often over rated, fluffed up, powder coated and one sided often times scewing the truth all to sell product. So lets just cut to the chase. Or as my father would say, "Just the Facts".

This pack is Sweet!

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack: Greg Darling
Greg Darling scoping out the San Juan

I've always been a fan of spaghetti westerns so with that thought in mind. I would name this pack the "Gunslinger" of sling packs. Easy on, easy off. Similar to tactical sling packs but nothing quite as cool as this fishing friendly sling. Versatile, Comfortable - Packed full of features. Now onto the review FACTS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

In March Greg Darling and I spent two days on foot and two days floating the San Juan River. Our go to bag was this Simms Sling Pack. Perfect for the trip! 

The Good

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack
Day in and day out we knew we could rely on our packs. Ideal for easy going day trips with two side access main compartments. It's a sling pack so you must sling the pack around in front of you in order to gain easy access. Attention went into detail, from the large ring zippers to the pockets on the inside. A full zip out work station front and center allowing you access to everything you need. Room for a bottle of water, gloves, spare spool and other accessories. A true joy to use.

Just the Facts Dude:
Simms Headwaters Sling Pack: Peanut butter jelly time
Peanut butter jelly time
  • Lightweight for a full day use – pack in all your gear and fish on the go. 
  • Two 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 and loop floatant holder and tippet-spool retainer 
Product Specs:
  • 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”


It's not waterproof! It is however 420 Denier Abrasion resistant fabric with DWR it doesn't stay wet for long. I do however always pack whatever I want to stay dry in water tight containers or bags due to a unrelated (Chunky Dunk) incident . However a day on the Sandy in pouring down rain with the occasional bag dip in the river, I never had an issue.


Not much to complain about, this pack serves well for many fishing applications, it not only hugs your body and moves with you it's comfortable to wear, light weight and easy to put on and take off all day long. The only thing I find this pack is lacking is a hook and hole to hang your water bladder. I've thought about punching a grommet through and making my own but figured that might be sack/sling religious. Instead I went for the bladder out the zipper trick (the zippers zip to the top) or I just stowed a bottle of water, perfect for short day trips or easy going all day trips. If you are really in need of a water bladder than maybe this bag is not for you. Who really wants to drain the lizard 5 times a day anyways...

The Show

You may have seen our video last year, but check it out if you still haven't already purchased your pack. Simms Representative Eric Neufeld does a good job demonstrating the functionality of the New Simms Headwaters Sling Pack at the 2013 I-CAST / IFTD Show in Las Vegas.

Simms Sling Pack (Large) 2014

Simms Headwaters Sling Pack
Greg Darling getting into the swing
I'm no professional when it comes to fly fishing, just ask Tom Larimer but I've been having a blast learning. Sometimes it may be hard to tell,  just ask my wife, I tell her all the time - "I'm no professional, I'm a Pre-Fessional" - learning as I go. As I learn new things all the time I have the fortunate opportunity to take some of these great products that I have never been accustomed to and actually learn everything about it. Going on 8 years working for Travis as his Webmaster day in and day out I would read and view product photos on a daily basis, but actually feeling each new product that I get to use while fishing is completely different.
I can cast over my right or left shoulder (maybe not very well) and found this pack to be of no concern. For the price, this pack is packed full of features that I found useful and well thought out. 

Simms really nailed it on this one. 

Mike Prine 
Gorge Fly Shop - Webmaster

Be sure to also read Greg Darlings Sling Pack Review

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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