SIMMS new Headwaters packs for your back, are perfect for day hikes, both long and short, into that special little place where the fish are. Light, comfortable and durable, they have been constructed with the fly angler in mind, but they are not so streamlined so as to leave other activities out of the loop. Hikers, mountain bikers or folks just wishing to cruise around town or to work can all take advantage of these new packs.
The new materials that they are using are pretty interesting. They claim that it is indestructible, but that could be a little bold. At any rate, it is the same type of nylon that they use in commercial airbags – so I guess that you’re covered for any of those streamside collisions you might encounter… But seriously, the stuff does feel very durable, and the packs are quite light.
There are two options:
Simms Headwaters Day Pack – For those longer excursions into changing weather conditions
Simms Headwaters ½ Day Pack – Stay light - leave a little more at home
Both packs are top loading, with easily accessible compartments on the hind side. The Day pack has a nice top compartment that is fleece-lined offering up some protection for the shades. It also comes complete with a lower compartment that holds a rain fly that can be pulled up and over the pack when the weather turns on you (Not included on the ½ day pack.) They both have an inner sleeve for hydration bladders and an outlet for the tubes.
The breathable padded construction, where the pack meets your spine and shoulders keeps air moving freely and keeps you from turning into a soggy mess- which is kind of nice.
The Day Pack will not only store more gear, but it will also carry up to four rod tubes on the exterior. This is where I think the ½ pack missed the boat - as there are no external rod sleeves, or even a strap that you could “jimmy rig” to hold a rod. Hmm, ok well I guess you could just carry it in hand, or leave one hanging out the top of the pack if need be. Lighter no doubt, but I can’t see that leaving off a simple sleeve or strap will render you more agile… Aerodynamic – yes. But functional – don’t think so.
Ok, aside from this new material, the greatest innovation with these packs is what they call their “Catch and Release System.” What this feature does is it allows you to fasten a chest or chest/hip pack to the back pack. There is only one “catch” (or two come to think of it). It is only compatible with the new Headwaters Chest Pack or the new Headwaters Chest/Hip Pack. (Which are both great products – you should check them out.)
There are magnetic receptors on the backside of the pack so that while you are hiking to your destination, the chest/hip pack, which will house all your tools, tippets and flies can be fastened snugly, out of the way. When you finally get down to fishing, you can remove it from the backside, and attach it to your shoulder straps in front of you so that everything in the chest pack is accessible while on the water.
It is a slick system that really gives you a nice array of options while fishing on the move. More than likely, most anglers will choose to remove the back pack once they have arrived, and just use a chest/hip pack while fishing, but that said, it’s nice to be able to carry everything comfortably to your destination. And there are times, when you’ll want to fish your way back down the trailhead to your rig-(or cover a lot of fishing ground) so staying functional, while keeping all your gear with you and accessible is where this innovation shines. Be ready to fumble a bit though, when duty calls and you got your waders on while taking full advantage of this system! Don’t wait till the last minute take care of business. It’s a quick release system, but not that quick…
Presently, we have both packs in only the Sand color. The Elkhorn will not become available until the start of May, but we can take pre-orders on these items if you would like.
Have a good time out there,