Waist packs and slings are by far my favorite ways to tote gear while fishing on foot. I typically don't carry a ton of stuff with me, so these types of packs are perfect for those of us who prefer packing light and staying mobile. However, the issue with some packs is they can sometimes offer too little or even too much in the way of features. To put it bluntly, you're basically stuck with whatcha get.
The new Simms Flyweight Hip Hybrid System aims to give anglers more options. Although at first glance it looks like a relatively typical premium waist pack, it allows for much more customization thanks to the integrated 5.11 Tactical HEXGRID multi-angle system and PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System).
While the standard Flyweight Hip Hybrid System is comprised of a Flyweight Tech Utility Belt with attached Flyweight Large Pod and Flyweight Bottle Holster, HEXGRID and PALS allows the user to add or remove these or any of Simms' Flyweight pods and accessories.
Anything attached to the belt can be mounted at an angle or vertical, the latter of which I prefer. When I first got the pack, I actually didn't attach the included pod or bottle holster 100% properly. As shown in the Simms video above, the attachment straps should be woven through HEXGRID or PALS for the most firm connection. I don't personally find this process to be the easiest thing, but once completed the attachments are plenty secure.
The Flyweight Hip Hybrid System is crafted with materials like 420-denier cordura and 210-denier nylon ripstop with polyurethane coatings for water resistance. With a circumference of 50 inches, the adjustable belt will fit a variety of anglers and provides a nice bit of lower back support as well. Also included is a shoulder strap which can keep the system attached even more confidently to your body.
Features of the Flyweight Large Pod include two attachment straps, two main compartments with interior pockets, forceps sheath, adjustable horizontal water bottle holster (on bottom of pod), outer fly-drying patch, and a firm front panel that opens to create a small workbench-like platform while rigging.
The Flyweight Bottle Holster can accept up to a 40-ounce bottle, sports a single attachment strap, an adjustable top, and drain hole at the bottom. I have been using mine to hold a YETI 18-ounce Rambler which works well, but even with the holster connected properly to the belt as shown below, it does tend to hinge back and forth as I move around. A minor annoyance, but this doesn't happen with an old pack I have that features permanent built-in bottle pockets.
When it comes to waist packs, innovation seems like it could be a challenge. Although it's technically more than JUST a waist pack, the Flyweight Hybrid Hip System has proven to be both innovative and useful. Comfortable, sized right, and able to easily carry the essentials for fresh or saltwater outings, I enjoy wearing it and appreciate how it allows for angler customization and interchangeability with other Simms Flyweight products.
Over the years I have yet to find what I'd say is a "perfect" setup, but the Flyweight Hybrid Hip System is an excellent piece of equipment that meets the standards of quality and utility I expect from Simms. For anyone serious about bank fishing, it is definitely worth checking out.
Colors: Cinder (tested) or Tan
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