Has anyone used both? I have the P stormfront but was wondering
about the comfort of the wider belt on the F thunderhead belt? I am
thinking about trading my Fishpond thunderhead sling for the waist belt.
Which version of the Stormfront do you have? -there have been four versions now and the current model is nowhere near the comfort or feature list as the most recently discontinued version.
The waist belt on the current Fishpond 'submersible' pack is closer in width and comfort to the now-discontinued Patagonia Stormfront hip pack.
IF, you have the latest version of the Patagonia hip pack, I'd definitely opt for something different. I ordered it and turned around and returned it on the same day only to hunt down a few copies of the discontinued version.
To grossly simplify the above: the Patagonia versions that had the handle on top were good (the 8L and 9L), the newest one that ditched the handle and other features (#48147, 10L), sucks.
The top photo below is the newest one and it's really a shame they took so many features out of it. The next two photos are two different discontinued versions, both of which were comfy and functional -
You might want to take a look at the Simms Dry Creek Z hip pack. The current model might be a bit different from the one i got a year or two ago, but it is very similar and maybe identical. Large capacity as hip packs go, good belt, and it works well for me. One thing annoying about it and some other waterproof bags is lack of interior compartments. i have sort of solved that problem by using a few waterproof bags (like for kitchen leftovers etc) as replacement "pockets" inside teh bag.