A couple weeks ago we gave you our thoughts on Fishpond’s Quikshot Rod Holder; a super clever and convenient way to carry a spare fully-rigged rod on compatible Fishpond packs.
Judging by the number of comments we received on the Quikshot, it certainly truck a chord with many of you, and some of you asked for our thoughts on the backpack itself.
It’s called the Thunderhead Backpack from Fishpond. We’ve been using it a lot lately. We really, really like it, so as requested we’re going to tell you why.
- Its as dry as they say it is. Simply put, the Thunderhead Backpack is fully submersible. In other words, the main compartment of the bag is waterproof not water resistant. The backpack features the popular waterproof TIZIP closure which quite literally creates an air-tight seal when closed. We’re believers too, as we used it to carry cameras, extra layers, and other gear in some of the most torrential rain we’ve experienced in both the Bahamas and Alaska, and never once had any moisture issues (aside from natural condensation).
- Its compatible with Fishpond’s Quickshot Rod Holder. We’ve found the Quikshot Rod Holder to be a game changer on the flats, so the fact that the Thunderhead Backpack is compatible with the Quikshot makes it a no-brainer. Its worth noting however, that the Quickshot can be attached to both sides of the backpack making it equally convenient for both right and left handed casters, which isn’t the case with every Quikshot compatible bag.
- It’s tough, really tough. Fishpond touts the Thunderhead Backpack as one of their toughest bags ever. They credit that to the use of their high denier count recycled ‘cyclepond’ fabric. We could tell the first time we touched it that it felt like a burly bag, but we weren’t completely sold until we put it through the ringer at some of our lodges. We wore it on the flats, stuffed it under the seat in a flats skiffs, let it bounce around the bottom of jet boats, and crammed it under the bow of a drift boat, all under inclement weather at times, and it wore well and remained waterproof. We think that’s saying something.
- The shoulder straps are surprisingly comfortable. We’ve worn similar submersible packs in the past, most of which included relatively straight ‘non-contoured’ shoulder straps which we found to be uncomfortable if worn over long periods of time. Thats not an issue if the primary use is as a ‘boat bag,’ but its far from ideal for a bag to be worn while fishing. The straps on the Thunderhead Backpack however, are some of the most comfortable straps we’ve used on a submersible pack. We’re not entirely sure, but we think it has something to do with the ergonomic cut of the straps that allow the straps to ride inside of the shoulder rather than over the top of it (see photo below). What we do know is that several of our guides and staff took the bag for a ride, and the first thing almost every one of them noticed when putting it on was how ‘comfy’ it was.
- Functional hip belt. Any experienced backpacker will tell you that a hip belt can take a huge percentage of a pack’s weight off your shoulders for a more comfortable ride, if that hip belt can be positioned accordingly. The hip belt on the Thunderhead backpack can actually be adjusted vertically to accommodate different heights which can make a huge difference if you’re planning on wearing your pack for an entire fishing day. The hip belt can also be removed which is super convenient when traveling. Furthermore, one of our favorite features about the hip belt is an angled velcro strap designed to attach tools like fishing pliers at your side rather than ride uncomfortably under the pack on your belt.
- Gear Straps Included. Each Thunderhead Backpack also comes with a set of heavy duty velcro gear straps that can be fastened on either side of the bag. These make for a perfect way to carry a rod tube and we found it to be handy when transporting a spare rod to the skiff or through the airport.
We’re a big fan of the Thunderhead Backpack and find it to be a top-notch option for anyone interested in a fully waterproof day pack that’s comfortable enough to fish out of for long periods of time.
The Thunderhead Backpack retails for $299.99 and is available in two colors; cutthroat orange (shown above) and Yucca (a more subdued green). For more details and features, check it out on Fishpond’s website by clicking right here.
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