By Tim Romano
As someone who puts in long days on the water, lives a double-life as a professional photographer, and hikes fairly great distances to get to my fishing grounds, I can be a pretty demanding and ornery SOB when it comes to judging packs for carrying gear. I’m here to tell you, however, in all honesty, I have found the new Simms G4 Shift Pack to be one of the most innovative backpacks ever made for fishing… and photography.
I’m a firm believer in “less is more” and while the G4 shift pack has a bundle of features I might not ever use, the Rotation 180 waist-pack is the one thing that has simply blown my mind from a design standpoint. It’s a little tough to describe until you’re wearing it, but it lets you slide around a water-resistant waist pack that can house a multitude of fly boxes and fishing gear… or in my case a full-sized pro level Nikon D4s DSLR camera body with an extra lens and accessories to boot. Why is that genius? You don’t have to ever take the pack off and can be standing waist deep in the river, slide the waist-pack around for a shot and never remove the backpack. It locks back into place with a patented magnetic “catch-and-release” system and all that only requires a one-handed maneuver.
I just spent a week with the pack last fall in the wilds of Russia shooting a photo essay for Outdoor Life magazine, and I simply fell in love with the thing. For the angler who wants everything including the kitchen sink within reach, or the photographer who wants to shoot a little, fish a little, this backpack is absolutely something you should look at.
Like I mentioned, there are many other incredible features on the G4 Shift pack like water resistance, internal frame, breathable straps and back, magnetic docking stations for tools, water storage, rod or net storage, etc… This list is long and I can’t do it justice here. For a full rundown of the rest of those features visit anglingtrade.com for a review video or TU.org for another take on the pack.