for a Full Day of Fishing with the Simms Headwaters Backpack
To test the Headwaters FDP I employed the pack on everything from carrying gear
when riding shotgun in bass boats on the Delta, to hiking in the backcountry and
even a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii where it accompanied me on all my
fishing adventures from the scenic shoreline.
The pack is comfortable to wear
and fish in
The Simms Headwaters FDP was home to many of my electronics and tackle boxes
when I went fishing on other angler’s boats on the Delta, and I found that in
this situation the pack offered plenty of capacity. The fabric used on this pack
is not only abrasion resistant but also has a DWR (durable water repellant)
coating that makes it hydrophobic. While this will not stop the pack from
getting wet in a deluge it will shield your valuable contents from boat spray
and light rain.
The pack is ergonomically shaped
with a rigid back to curve to your back
backcountry or on the shores in Hawaii I found the Headwaters FDP capacity to be
just enough to hold all my tackle, some snacks and water, tools and a light
hoodie or windbreaker. If I was out for any more than a day I would definitely
need more capacity. The modular system does add some extra capacity, especially
for frequently accessed flies and lures but these optional accessory packs don’t
come cheap, but that doesn’t change the fact that the “Catch and Release”
system’s ability to attach the pack to either the back or front of the pack is a
very clever and beneficial design.
Hiking from one destination to the
next in Hawaii
The heaviest I
ever loaded this pack up to was 22 pounds (including the weight of the pack
itself) which included extra tackle, a laptop and SLR camera gear. Even with
this much weight on my back the pack still felt comfortable thanks to the
well-padded straps and the ergonomically shaped rigid backplate, which prevents
anything in the bag from digging into your back. In addition the Headwaters FDP
promotes airflow along all worn surfaces with a mesh design over a well
reinforced textured padding.
In light rain the pack will keep
all your gear secure and dry
loaded the oversized belt is a very welcome addition as it effectively takes
some of the weight off the shoulder straps. There is also hidden storage areas
in the belt section, and on the shoulder straps there are zones to bolt on
retractors right on the front of the pack. The bottom line, there are a plethora
of options in which to quickly and easily strap on accessories onto the FDP.
The pack had plenty of capacity
for gear beyond just tackle
While the Simms
Headwaters FDP does a lot of things very well there are also things that I wish
it could do better. While I really like the way the large main compartment is
organized there were times that I wished there was a mid-sized compartment on
the lower back section of the pack where I could put my frequently accessed
items like packable raingear and tools.
Need more capacity or want to add
a bag to the front of the pack?
There is a
small compartment at the top of the pack but I found that I mainly stored items
like my keys, wallet and sunglasses in this section, and there just wasn’t any
more room for mid-sized items. I could stuff everything in the main compartment
but this made it harder to access other items like tackle boxes so in most cases
I would just strap my apparel to the outside of the pack. The other thing I
would like to see is another adjustable cord on the left side of the pack so
that two rod tubes could be strapped on versus just the one.
Simms has you covered with the
easy to use "Catch and Release" system
Section: A worthy price to pay?