Everybody needs a good pack. There are lots of different wildland packs, and like any tool, they have their plusses and minuses. Let’s take a look at the
Nimrod Initial Attack Pack.
The IA pack fits just about everything you need. I can fit a hydration pack, my JetBoil Flash, my nomex fleece, extra gatorade, and my first aid kid in there easily. It’s big enough that I can easily throw together all my PPE to stay fire-ready between assignments, too. Any more space, and you would just be tempted to overpack…
What I really like is how you can readily scale it down to line-gear more suited to shorter operational periods. The slimmed down pack needs an additional water bottle holder and doesn’t natively hold a hydration bladder (though you can upgrade to one). It can fit your shelter, lunch, a roll of TP, and a multitool: just about all you need for a good burn day.
Nimrod has excellent service and support. I had a vital strap break, and they replaced and shipped it back to me quickly. The whole process was fast and transparent.
I’m hesitant to say this is “bad”, since all packs can be finicky to fit, and the Nimrod pack is no different. The chest-strap is a bit thin and doesn’t cinch down very small: if you’re not terrible broad-chested, you may find it a bit small. Getting the main bulk of the pack to ride correctly in the goldilocks zone – not too high, not too low – takes time and tweaking. There are quite a few straps on this pack, and they aren’t always the most intuitive.
I found myself wishing that the interior pockets zipped, buttoned, or otherwise could segment off from the main bulk of the pack. They also have a mesh lining that can easily get ripped by spikey fire gear.
The Nimrod IA Pack is a versatile, scalable pack system. It fits everything you need for a line assignment while also readily (with a few modifications) scaling down for prescribed fire or engine operations. Is it perfect? No. Is it a rugged pack to meet a variety of needs? You bet.