Product Review: Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Sling Pack

Finally, a sling that will sling most anything for any feather slinger. Simms new Freestone Ambidextrous sling is a well-balanced pack perfect for day-trip excursions on the water. The Freestone series from Simms needed some changes and improvements and Simms has accomplished that with their new line-up. I’ve always been somewhat of a geek when it comes to Simms gear but never a fan of their sling packs. Fact is I’ve never really been a sling guy, could not find one I liked, so I deemed the new Simms Freestone Sling worthy of a go-around.

I was in the market for a smaller day pack, unlike my Simms G4 backpack, I wanted something lightweight that would allow me the gear I needed and the ability to move quickly on shorter days. My biggest complaint with sling bags is they always made my casting arm uncomfortable. I’m already somewhat of a lazy angler and the last thing I need is a sling pack prohibiting my movement thus making me even more of a bum. I’ll be the first to cover a bunch of water but if I can save some energy by casting less, carrying less, and moving smarter I want a pack consistent with those goals making it easier to pursue new water.

AMBIDEXTROUS

As I stated above the main qualm I had with sling packs is they usually caused some type of discomfort with my casting arm. It’s a question I’ve heard on many occasions: Why doesn’t somebody make a sling that hangs on the other shoulder? This problem was dramatically solved with Simms Ambidextrous design. I write left-handed, cast mostly with my right, but use both in various directions. Having this pack on the first day of chucking streamers for a quick two-hour session made it so much better. I was able to use the sling on my left shoulder, cover loads of water, and no soreness in the shoulder. Simms put in work for all of us and answered the question with a proper solution when it comes to slings on either shoulder.

DIMENSIONS, CAPACITY, SPACE

One of the other issues I’ve had with sling packs is the ability to pack “properly”. I felt as though all packs I had used before were either too large or too small. I never wanted a large sling because all the weight is resting mostly on a single shoulder. On the other end of the spectrum too small doesn’t do me any good on the water because I can only carry limited gear and I feel naked without snacks, extra water, and barley soda. This solves all those problems with plenty of room for all the gear, food, water, and an extra jacket like my Simms Slick Jacket. It also has a four-way zip with plenty of pockets and other attachments for a net and tools.

PROS:

Ambidextrous – sling can be used with ease on both shoulders (adjust-ability is on point)

Magnetic Docking Station – perfect placement for most pliers/tools and easily accessible

Capacity – perfect for holding all my necessary gear for a day on any body of water

CONS:

DWR water resistant finish – not completely waterproof and not cable of a full dunking

Water Bottle Storage – no outside spot for convenient storage(should come with bottle holder)

Plastic – lots of plastic parts like where I prefer to hang my net, no issues yet(personal preference is metal)

Pockets – be nice if it had one more outside larger pocket and another inside instead of the looped webbing(just my personal preference)

 

BOTTOM LINE

Finally, a sling pack I can live/fish with…although I’d like to see some minor changes to this sling I’d still recommend it and I’d get another one in the blink of an eye!

Feel free to give us a call at the shop if you have any questions – thanks for reading!

 

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