Here we go again! Another great product from Fishpond. It seems like no matter what Fishpond dabbles in lately, their execution has been right on the money. And the new Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is no exception. Well appointed, practical, and simple to use, this pack has a lot to offer the serious angler.
One major drawback to hip and lumbar packs in general is they tend to get wet. Especially when wading in deeper water, having a pack on the hip means at some point, it will get submerged. If you plan on have anything in the pack that cannot get wet - a camera, a cell phone, etc - then you need a waterproof option. The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is the perfect solution.
At first glance this pack comes across as practically designed. It has plenty of capacity without being too bulky - Fishpond hit the sweet spot in terms of a being versatile size without being too big or cumbersome. Far too often we see hip packs that are too big or too small. That is not the case here. You can easily fit multiple fly boxes, terminal tackle, lunch and a water without any difficulty.
This pack is also well suited for both saltwater and freshwater situations. It is plenty large for bigger saltwater fly boxes and will hold up to the corrosion of saltwater. In fact, this would be a great option for wading the flats. I can’t really think of a scenario that this pack isn’t suited to handling.
There are a few nice features that this pack has. On the outside of the Lumbar Pack are plenty of gear attachment points. The cross-body strap has attachment points as well with an integrated velcro fly patch, always a handy thing for temporarily storing and drying out flies. Internally the pack has two pockets. The innermost one has a zipper to keep phones or wallets secure and out of the way while the outermost pocket has a clear face to easily identify what is inside. The external zipper pocket is not waterproof but great for easy access to fly boxes leader or tippet. There are also four of the patented Fishpond UTX Flex attachment points on the pack as well. This will enable you to affix any of the Fishpond accessories to the pack if you want any added features. Lastly the pack does have an integrated net slot so you will never have to fight with your net or struggle to find it as you fight fish.
This pack is very comfortable when on the body. Its ergonomic design makes this pack enjoyable to wear even when fully loaded down. It’s easy on-easy off layout makes it less of a hassle than say a sling pack and just as versatile.
There are a few drawbacks that I found with this pack, and that you may want to keep in mind. First off, the net sleeve is a bit awkward at first. Because the opening is narrow, it takes a bit of effort to fit the net into the sleeve. It is a nice feature to have and once the net sleeve breaks in I am confident that it will be much easier to use. However right out of the gate the net has a tendency to occasionally slide into the D-handle which is a bit of a hassle.
Another thing to consider is the zipper. Let me preface this by saying that all waterproof zippers are a bit of a pain. Stiff, and a bit tough on the hands, waterproof zippers are a necessary evil and by no means an issue unique to Fishpond. The zipper on the Submersible Lumbar Pack takes a decent amount of effort to open and close. Fishpond has mitigated this my adding T-Handle grips to the zipper allowing you to apply additional force even if you are wearing gloves or your hands are wet. The zipper will need periodic waxing ( the pack comes with some zipper lubricant) to keep it as smooth as possible. If the zipper is not closed completely, it will obviously leak. And it is (in my opinion) pretty easy to leave the pack partially open. Make sure you really yank on the zipper at the end of the track to make sure that it is completely sealed. Personally, I don’t find this issue a dealbreaker but it’s the price you paid for flexible, water submersible materials. I find that with any new tackle system, there is a period of acclimation that takes place as you get used to something new. Once you put some time on this pack it will become easier to use and a pleasure to fish with.
So, all in all the new Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is a very versatile pack that has a lot to offer the serious angler. It’s no surprise that Fishpond has come out with one of the best waterproof hip/lumbar packs out there. All of their waterproof packs and bags are top tier and the Submersible Lumbar is no exception. If you are in the market for a new pack and want something that’s waterproof, the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack should be on your shortlist of options.
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