Simms Dry Creek Backpack Review – I spent a good two years looking around for a pack I liked. I’ve gone through several vests, backpacks and hip packs in the last ten years and knew pretty specifically what I wanted. A friend has a Sage backpack that is a great gear bag but sadly they no longer make them.
I’d had a Simms day pack dry bag for a few years and it was ok but had some major downfalls and ultimately the seams came apart. I was hesitant to buy another one from Simms for this reason but liked the look of their Dry Creek Backpack and pulled the trigger. I also liked the look of Fishpond’s Wind River roll top and could have gone either way.
After 6 months of hard use, here’s what I’ve found:
Simms Dry Creek Backpack Testing Grounds
I see too many reviews that are obviously written off the spec sheets and want to break that trend here. I picked up this pack winter of 2017 and immediately took it to Pyramid Lake then on two week January road-trip up the Oregon coast. It rained most days on the coast so that was a great test. The bag kept my gear dry and held everything needed for a day trip and then some. You could squeeze in plenty of gear for a simple overnight in this thing as well. After Oregon, I drug it around Rock Creek and the Bitterroot in Montana all spring then ran the Smith River, Big Hole and a multi-day on a remote river. There were plenty of short day trips in the mix as well. 6 months with 15ish days a month is plenty for a good feel on the performance.
Simplicity – The design is very simple. I’m not a huge fan of too many pockets and dividers. Who is actually that f’ing organized? The pack has one large dry storage pocket (45L) with a roll top and buckles. I can fit a dozen fly boxes, jacket, gloves, fleece, food and a tent in here without actually filling it up. On the exterior, there are two water bottle holders that easily handle a large bottle. They also can hold rod tubes. The outer pocket has plenty of room for a few large fly boxes and it has several simple divider pockets for bobbers, floatant and car keys. There are other straps and connectors for nippers and such on the pack but I just use the pockets and keep it simple. It works great for this purpose.
Durability – The pack material is showing no wear after 6 months. At this rate, I expect it to last for a very long time. Buckles and zippers are solid. I throw it around and put pressure on the materials. So far it seems great. Worthy of a few hard guide seasons at the least.
Versatility – I love the ability to transition between wading and the boat. I’ve always been divided between a boat bag and wade pack and never seem to keep it all together. The floatant gets left in one when you transition, etc. Or maybe I’m just a shit show. Regardless, having a single pack that keeps everything dry and handles all environments well has been awesome.
Comfort – There are a few semi-negative reviews on the Simms website. I am not sure what the basis is for their discomfort. The shoulder straps are great and the pack feels good when it’s fully loaded. I’m pretty particular about straps as well.
The Simms Dry Creek Backpack is an awesome bag that can handle day trips, multi-day trips, wade fishing and boats. It’s well designed, comfortable, durable and effective. Highly recommended.
Note – I did not receive any compensation for this review. I straight up needed a bag, ordered it and the review is unbiased.