Fishpond Nimbus Guide Pack: a Review

The ink had barely dried on the new line of 2012 packs from Fishpond when I had the opportunity to choose one and offer a review. I felt like I was on cloud nine as I selected the Nimbus Guide Pack. The reason for my choice is that first and foremost, I like fanny lumbar packs for carrying my fishing gear. I was also  curious about the origins of the name and wanted to see what it was all about.

Armchair  meteorologists in the crowd will not be surprised , but many of you may not know that a nimbus cloud is a cloud that produces precipitation. The fact that the pack is waterproof (though not submersible) makes the choice of a name appropriate. However, the folks at Fishpond could have just as well named it the Cumulus Guide Pack. Cumulus clouds are those big puffy, vertical clouds that we often describe as looking like cotton candy.  I should clarify that the pack in question looks nothing like cotton candy. By definition Cumulus means “heap” or “pile”, and you could pile a heap of gear into this pack.

The pack measures 12.5″ (wide) x 11″ (high) x 4″ (deep) and boasts a volume of 579 cubic inches. The 4 inch depth may sound small, but it expands considerably. The interior is vast, with a main compartment that will hold many fly boxes and a sack lunch. An internal pouch is in place to keep smaller items within easy reach. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an interior zipper pocket for securing other items as necessary. An exterior features a front zipper pocket for storing things you need quick access to.

Years ago I gave up wearing a vest. The elimination of weight on the shoulders reduces fatigue over the course of a long day, and also cuts down on additional material that can be unwanted during hot weather. It’s much easier to carry the weight on the hips, and I also benefit from using the belt as a lower back support.  There’s something about being middle-aged and walking the uneven banks of a river all day that causes low back stiffness. A support belt really helps with this. To that end, this Fishpond lumbar pack is very comfortable. The waist strap/belt is wide and vented, so you won’t overheat on a hot day. The pack also features two adjustable bottle holsters so you can carry ample water and remain well-hydrated when the hot summer sun, unobscured by clouds, beats down on you.

Just because the afternoon sun is hot doesn’t mean you started the day in a t-shirt. In fact, chances are the morning was a tad chilly. If you’re out on the water all day, it’s nice to be able to shed some clothing as the day warms up, and thanks to buckled cargo straps on the bottom of the pack, you can secure a jacket or other item of clothing rolled up (you can also carry an extra rod tube using these straps). There are several attachment points at various locations on the pack for attaching things such as tippet spools, hemostats and such. It’s quite a versatile pack that will accommodate your needs nicely.

Some folks may prefer to wear the pack across their body like a sling, which can be done thanks to a shoulder strap that is easily removed. To demonstrate just how easy it is to remove the shoulder strap, I’ve included a time-lapse action sequence showing the shoulder strap on and 5 seconds later the shoulder strap off. It’s that easy.

I don’t carry a landing net with me unless I’m floating, but there have been times, when helping Marck land big fish, that I’d wished for a net. Problem is, with the waist packs I’ve owned previously, there was no way to feasibly carry a net. On that note, perhaps the best feature of the Nimbus Guide Pack is the integrated net slot. Very cool.

In my experience, all Fishpond products are exceptionally well-made and nicely designed.  I’ve always considered their products to be high-end, and a bit pricey, but I also adhere to the philosophy that you get what you pay for. At $109.95 MSRP, you get a lot with the Nimbus Guide Pack.

And some lucky member of the Unaccomplished Angler nation is going to be on cloud nine when they get this pack for free by participating in forthcoming contest. If you don’t have your UA sticker yet, get one. You’ll need it to enter.


  1. Nutto

    now i want to know what to do for the contest ! I was just looking that this pack the other day as im ready to make the switch

    • Kirk Werner

      Mike, the first step has been outlined for you in the review. Follow that, then wait for further instructions. And no–the original, collector’s item UA sticker is not eligible to play 😉

  2. Nutto

    nice review by the way

  3. Will K

    First of all–thank you for doing a review that isn’t lame and useless and only uses photos from the manufacturers website. Second, the time lapse was fascinating. I watched it over and over. Third, I already have a spot carved for the UA deek.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Will, but you’re just blatantly sucking up right now, and flattery will get you nowhere. I’m a man of integrity and cannot be manipulated.

      Unless it involves cash, or retail goods.

  4. Tim Foster

    Just ordered my sticker! {now what?}

    • Kirk Werner

      You’ve done all you can, Tim. Now you just sit back and wait, hoping that I actually send you a sticker so you can enter the contest when it’s announced.

  5. Brian Koz

    Have yet to find a Fanny Pack worthy of hanging up my trusty and well organized vest. Could this be the one? Great Review BTW- no flattery, nor ca$h.
    Tight Lines,

    • Kirk Werner

      Koz, opinions may vary, but this fanny lower lumbar waist pack is awful sweet. I thought I’d never give up my trusty, well-organized vest but I honestly don’t miss it. And while I appreciate your forthright approach and refusal to suck-up with flattery or cash, a little flattery doesn’t hurt. Maybe a gift card?

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