December 8, 2012

Zimmerbuilt DeadDrift Pack -- review

Like a lot of tenkara anglers, I like to fish remote waters. To do this I like to be able to carry my gear in a practical yet compact way to the waters I am going to fish. I have used a variety of packs to transport my gear but, as always, I am looking for a better way to get the job done.

from Zimmerbuilt

I recently received a Zimmerbuilt DeadDrift Pack. It is a 800ci pack that is basically a small day pack designed for tenkara fishing. It's compact and streamlined with the advantage of being able to use the Zimmerbuilt tenkara modular gear system. For instance, since I use a Zimmerbuilt Guide Sling for most of my fishing, but occasionally need a different way to carry my gear, all I have to do is remove my Tenkara Strap Pack and Micro Pack from the Guide sling, attach them to the DeadDrift Pack and I am ready to go! This is easily done since the DeadDrift Pack has the same daisy chains on its shoulder straps as the Guide Sling. So convenient!!

Here are the specs of this ultralight day pack:

-      Pack Volume – 800ci
-      Pack Weight – 8.25oz
-      Pack Materials – Xpac VX07 & VX21
-      3D Mesh padded Shoulder straps
        with daisy chains
-      2 Dyneema X Rod Sleeves
-      2 Daisy chains with shock cord
-      Haul Loop
-      Internal Hydration Hook
-      Water resistant Zipper
-      Whistle Sternum Strap

The pack has a V-shape which is different than other packs I have used. I initially had some concern about this in that it causes the rods to splay outwards on top possibly increasing the risk of  catching on brush. However, Chris assures me that this design was intentional: "I used this triangular shape because I wanted to create a pack that was is the 800ci range but with a large zip opening to make accessing items on the stream easier and less likely to drop anything. To meet these criteria this is the shape that made the most sense. This shape also helps keep the weight of the pack up higher and does not interfere with arm movement making the pack ride better. I realize the rods angle out slightly with this pack, so care is going to need to be taken when going through brush with the larger rods that stick out more. I made the rod sleeves close to the back to help keep the rods more protected and less exposed...".  In reality, I doubt the design will hinder my exploration of brushy streams. I believe my fears will be proven to be unfounded.

All in all, this is a really nice little pack! It carries my tenkara rods well, but it really carries my corkless handled rods even better! 

As far a capacity, this pack is not designed for carrying a lot of gear -- just enough to get you through day hike of fishing. I stuffed in my Chota Hippies, an ultralight rain jacket, a light thermal jacket and some snacks and was still able to close the zipper easily. I probably won't carry water with this pack, as I would use it for hikes less than 3 miles, but if you need to there is a hydration bladder hook on the inside. For water I use a Pure Sip Personal Water Filter. It takes up no space at all!

With my Micro Pack (left) and Strap Pack (right) attached 

Conclusion: I think this pack is a nice option for someone who wants a day pack design instead of a sling for their tenkara outings. It rides on your back well, it carries a respectable amount but not too much, it is very customizable with the Zimmerbuilt modular options; in all, it is a great pack! As a side note, it also would make a killer packable day pack for travel as well! Next time I go to the UK I'm taking this in my luggage.  It rolls up into near nothing and will carry just what I need on my day outings around London.


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