Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack – Is It Worth It?

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Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack – Is It Worth It?
Our Verdict
Hip Pack Quality
Value For Money
The Good
A great size for fishing light with all your essentials 
Features multiple inner and outer pockets for excellent gear organization
Lots of external attachment points
100% waterproof and submersible
The Not So Good
A higher price ranged item compared to others
Check Price

I like to fish light and this is mainly because I wade fish almost all the time. I either spend my days walking up rivers, around lakes, or across saltwater flats.

Walking for hours at a time with a heavy waterproof backpack isn’t my idea of fun as it adds a lot of weight, constrains me when I’m casting and is generally not as comfy as not wearing a backpack at all. 

So, what are my options? I have to have some kind of bag with me to carry important things like my lunch, a rain jacket, spare flies, and the rest of it, so how do I avoid a backpack? 

While waterproof backpacks are incredibly useful, it’s always good to have another option when the chance to fish light becomes available and the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is perfect for just that. 

Let’s dive into the details!

An Overview Of The Fishpond Thunderhead Hip Pack

The fishpond Thunderhead lumbar pack is perfect
for roaming while fishing

The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is a small waterproof hip pack that is perfect for a half-day of fishing, or when you have left camp to fish the golden hours of dusk or dawn. 

It’s big enough to hold everything you need, is fully waterproof, is built to last, and features clever design elements that make fishing a lot easier. Plus you have the pleasure of not wearing a heavy backpack as you do.

How Does It Look? 

The Fishpond Thunderhead Hip Pack looks like it’s meant to live on a fly fishing guide’s hip, it’s that good-looking. Between the yucca camo color, smooth finish, and all the attachment points, it’s one of those bags you would see in a fishing shop and walk straight up to. 

What Is It Made Of & Will It Last? 

The Fishpond Thunderhead Hip Pack is made from 1680d TPU-coated recycled Cyclepond nylon. Now, if you know your Denier ratings, you’ll know that 1680d is a thick material and when you take into account that it’s also TPU coated, it becomes pretty bulletproof, plus its 100% waterproof.  

If you’re worried the Fishpond can’t go the distance, well don’t be. This hip pack is puncture-resistant and abrasion-resistant, and therefore it will survive the harshest environments while keeping your gear bone dry. 

Another great thing about this material is that it’s recycled Cyclepond material. Fishpond takes old pond linings and other used waterproof materials and turns them into waterproof packs, so this is about as “green” as a waterproof pack can be. 

Is It Waterproof? 

The pack is super waterproof to the point that it’s submersible. Once the TIZIP zipper is fully closed and locked in place it creates an airtight seal and when combined with the waterproof material and stitching, if you tried to sink the pack it would float. So it’s beyond waterproof!

You can swim across rivers and creeks with this pack on and your gear inside won’t have a drop of water on it. The pack will actually float and make your swim a little easier. 

Is The Zipper Reliable? 

Yes, the zipper on the Fishpond hip pack is super reliable but it is a little stiff to open and close, and this is because of the air-tight seal it creates. The hardest part of opening the zipper is removing it from the lock when closed. Be sure to pull hard but smoothly so as not to damage it over time. 

You will need to look after the zip by putting some zip lube in the form of vaseline on the zip every few months. This makes the sliding motion a lot smoother and will ensure the zipper lasts without damage. 

How Much Space Is Inside? 

The lumbar pack comes with a 10-liter capacity which is more than enough for fishing light. You’ll be able to put in a few fly boxes, a sandwich, a rain jacket, and more to make sure you have everything you need while wading. 

Are There Any Pockets Inside? 

Inside the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack, you will find a clear stash pocket that is perfect for valuables like your keys, wallet, and phone. Plus, being clear you can even see if you have any messages with a quick scan. This is also another zippered pocket inside that is great for keeping your gear separate and organized. 

Around these two pockets is a large compartment that is perfect for fly boxes, a water bottle, and a rain jacket. 

Is It Comfortable To Carry? 

You have two options of how to carry the pack, either with just the hip straps or with the shoulder sling too. The hip straps work well and most people only use these, plus being padded they ensure maximum comfort and support. 

If the pack gets a little heavy, you can always add on the shoulder sling for extra support and to keep the pack riding high. 

Are There Any External Attachment Points?

Yes, there are a ton of external attachment points that make organizing your fishing gear about as easy as it can be. There are plier holders, clips for water bottle holders, and places to attach your nippers, and the Fishpond Thunderhead even has a net sleeve. 

Fishpond has an optional bottle holder called the FishPond River Rat 2.0 Beverage Holder,  that you can attach to the hip pack. The bottle holder can hold cans or any lockneck bottles of your own choice. This is a new item for 2022!

No matter what you need to do on the water, whether it’s to net a fish, unhook it, or change a fly, this pack makes sure your tools are close by and ready for action. 

How Good Is The Lifetime Guarantee? 

The Fishpond stands by the lifetime guarantee they have on all their products and will repair or replace it for you for free if it fails due to a defect in materials or workmanship.

This means you’re getting a bag for life when it comes to the Fishpond Thunderhead. 


  • Built from ultra-strong materials that last and are 100% waterproof 
  • Abrasion-resistant to handle any environment from saltwater flats to high-altitude mountain streams 
  • A great size for fishing light with all your essentials 
  • The TIZIP zipper is 100% waterproof and submersible so you can swim with this on and nothing will get wet 
  • Comes with a waist strap and shoulder sling for excellent carrying comfort 
  • Features multiple inner and outer pockets for excellent gear organization and easy access to your gear on the water
  • Enough space for your lunch, rain jacket, camera, and more 
  • Multiple tool attachment points so you can keep things like pliers, nippers, tippet spools, and floatant close by
  • A clear stash pocket inside is perfect for keys, wallets, phones, and fishing licenses
  • It comes with a neat sleeve so you never struggle to find your net in a time of need 
  • Lots of external attachment points so you can add things like a water bottle holder 
  • Includes a lifetime guarantee 


  • A little bit expensive 
  • The zipper can be a little stiff to open but that is due to the airtight seal it creates 


Capacity: 10 Liters 

Dimensions: ‎13.58 x 9.09 x 4.69 inches

Pockets: 4+ 

Waterproof: Yes 

Material: 1680d TPU-coated recycled Cyclepond nylon

Is The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack Worth It? 

The thunderhead is perfect if you plan to fish
standing up for several hours

The Thunderhead Lumbar Pack is a great hip pack and without a doubt worth owning if you’re on your feet while you fish. It just makes fishing so much easier as all you have to do is pick up the small hip pack, and your rod, and walk to the river. 

The days of leaving your backpack on the bank while you wade and having to go back for it will be gone. As will those moments when your shoulders ache from casting & carrying a large backpack. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you plan to fish deep mountain canyons or saltwater flats, the Fishpond Thunderhead submersible Lumbar pack is a great addition to your fly fishing gear and any other type of fishing, especially when roaming while fishing.

Not only does it keep everything tidy and easy to find, but the 100% waterproof protection also gives confidence that all your accessories and valuables are kept safe.

I hope this article was useful to help you decide to purchase this fantastic lumbar pack, alternatively, check out my review on the Vixyn Fly Fishing Waist Pack.

Jamie Melvin