Over the past few months, the Fishpond Thunderhead Hip Pack and I have come to know each other very well. In short, it's the best hip pack I've ever owned.
Through the seasons I've played a few games of pack roulette, owning 2 vests, 3 chest packs, and now 4 hip packs. I've never been a sling guy but many of my buddies love them.
The Thunderhead hip pack is pretty bare bones in terms of pockets and storage, but I love it because it's completely submersible. There are plenty of attachment points for zingers, tippet T's, and cup holder mounts (crucial), and most importantly its large enough to keep as many fly boxes as you'd feel comfortable carrying. The integrated net slot is also a huge plus! If you've ever waded a little too deep with a pack that isn't water proof, you'll quickly understand the value in having one that is.
Without waxing poetic on the virtues of hip packs I give this a 5/5. Fish pond knocked this one out of the park.
If you are a hip pack person, heres what makes this one my favorite.
Comfort: The wide lumbar straps hold you tighter than a slow dancing couple at Jr Prom. It comes with a sling , I wear mine without it , and find the pack to feel weightless when adjusted properly.
Durability: Fish and guiding in the Rio Grande gorge is rough on gear. Sliding down basalt shoots and trouncing through cactus patches takes its toll. This pack has taken a beating and is showing no signs of serious wear.
Features: I love the ample storage space that is enough to carry a light rain jacket, boxes and light lunch. The minialmist attachment points allow you to customize the pack to how you see fit. And of course its waterproof. Like really waterproof. After a couple of self imposed baptisms in the waters of Northern New Mexico I can attest that contents inside the pack stayed dry as a bone.