Fishpond released the new Firehole Backpack along with a host of other new packs and bags for the ‘21/’22 season. This isn’t any ordinary backpack as it is rich with angling specific features that have instantly made it a go-to piece of gear. After traveling through several airports and spending a several days on the water, I’m convinced that the Firehole Backpack is Fishponds best backpack to date and the most feature packed backpack available for anglers. The Firehole Backpack is a 26L pack that can carry more than a day’s worth of gear for the most remote backcountry adventures or even a long weekend.
One feature that stands out from all other backpacks on the market is the Stowable Hypalon® wader/boot pouch. By simply unzipping the pouch from the bottom of the backpack and using exterior attachment points, a perfect sling is created to hold any number of items from waders and boots to rain coats, tents and sleeping bags. The Fishpond Firehole Backpack is perfect for hauling gear to alpine lakes and backcountry blue lines. I anticipate that this backpack will truly shine come July and August when I’m regularly seeking solitude in high alpine fishing destinations throughout the west.
This pack is ideal for the traveling angler. Four-way attachment points on either side of the pack accommodate Lariat Gear Straps (or similar gear straps like Voile Straps) allowing anglers to easily carry up to 4 rod tubes should the need arise. Upcoming saltwater trip? Navigating through a bustling airport can be tricky with hands full of rod tubes and cases, this backpack eliminates that issue by securely consolidating all the fishing essentials into one tidy pack.
Other fishing specific features on the Firehole Backpack include integrated net slots on either side that can conveniently accommodate larger/longer handled nets. One item of note is that my shorter handled Fishpond Nomad Hand Net fell out of the net slot several times when I bent over, so be cautious. This pack also features a ring on the back for a magnetic release if a smaller net is preferred. I’ve found that the ring on the back is perfect for attaching a tippet tender with less frequently used spools.
Standard Daypack Features
The large main compartment does not have any organization other than a pouch for a water bladder and a pass-through hole for a hydration hose. This large compartment allows room for larger items like a boat box with streamers but I use a few different zippered pouches to stay organized. One zippered pouch with key fishing gear like leaders, spare spools of tippet, fishing license, spare floatant etc and another roll-top dry bag for my phone, wallet, and keys if getting soaked is a possibility, along with a first aid kit.
On the exterior of this pack, there is a zippered top pouch on top that is great for easy access items like a spare fly box, hat, gloves or snacks. There is an additional vertical zippered pouch on the back of the pack that’s perfect for stashing a phone or other smaller items like sunscreen and bug spray.
Some of the more standard backpack features include lightweight foam shoulder straps with an adjustable and removable hip belt. I personally find the hip belt to be quite comfortable especially when I’m loaded down with a little more gear. The hip belt features a smaller zipper pocket on each side that’s great for stowing frequently used items like floatant, split shot, and tippet. This pack also has a molded back panel that keeps gear inside from poking through, allowing all day comfort.
Two water bottle sleeves with elastic cinch tops and an internal key fob round out the stand features we expect on any adventure ready pack. One of the only drawbacks I can think of is that it’s not fully waterproof, but then again Fishpond makes their Submersible Thunderhead Backpack for that.
The backpack of all backpacks.
I look forward to the spring and summer when I can really put some miles on this pack taking day hikes into the Colorado backcountry seeking solitude on blue lines and alpine lakes. In the meantime, I’ll be using this pack hiking into some of my local tailwaters throughout the winter as this pack allows me to conveniently stow all the gear I could ever need for a long day on the water.
If you’re in the market for a feature rich angling backpack or just a great all around daypack, be sure to give the Fishpond Firehole Backpack some serious consideration. At $179.95 this backpack certainly isn’t cheap but if it’s anything like my other Fishpond gear, I’ll be using it for years to come.
Article by Evan Garda on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing fish throughout the west with his trusty fly rods. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.