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  • Writer's picturePaul

Quick Review: Fishpond Thunderhead Roll-Top Duffel

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

Misery. Anger. Frustration.

These are not the first words that typically come to mind when you think of a day of fly fishing, but if your gear gets drenched that can really throw things for a loop. You need serious protection for stuff like camera gear and extra clothing that absolutely, positively MUST stay dry. For those that pack heavy and need waterproof protection that's rugged, Fishpond looks to have the solution: their new Thunderhead Roll-Top Duffel.

Fishpond uses their CYCLEPOND material in the construction of this bag which is a 1680D TPU-coated recycled nylon sourced from discarded commercial fishing nets. The bag has quite a cavernous main compartment with a 45L (2746 cubic inch) capacity which means ample room for things like cameras, jackets, snacks, extra shoes, etc. As the name implies, the top can be rolled down to seal out water. When rolled three times, Fishpond says the dimensions are 20" x 17" x 12".

The CYCLEPOND material really feels top quality. It's surprisingly smooth to the touch and isn't too stiff which helps make it easier to roll the top shut. Even though my use of the bag was quite brief and light-duty, the welded seams and stitching used throughout all feel exceedingly strong and should withstand hardcore use over the long term. I wouldn't worry even one bit about the bag holding together—this is a premium piece.

Several options exist for carrying. First, there's straps and a velcro-closure handle at the top for carrying like a gym bag. Second, there is a large rope handle on either side which are handy for loading into a truck bed or into a boat on a trailer. Finally, a removable shoulder strap with shoulder pad gives you a final hands-free way to transport.

Other features this duffel comes loaded with include welded tabs on the back for attaching gear straps or rod tubes, four heavy-duty lash points, a stretchy front storage compartment with zippered closure (this pocket is NOT waterproof), and clips for securing the roll-top in various fashions to keep it from unraveling when rolled up.

Weighing just three pounds, the Fishpond Thunderhead Roll-Top Duffel is relatively lightweight for the stout build quality it offers. At $199.95 the price is not so lightweight, but it's certainly heavy on quality. This is undoubtedly a high-end gear bag that should please even the most critical angler!

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