Please join me in welcoming Maggie and Wesley as the first readers of Brian’s Backpacking Blog to become guest gear reviewers!
Brian was so gracious to provide me with some Ribz Front Pack from RibzWear to test out and review for all my fellow BBB readers. I was finally able to get out of the office and into the woods for a short backpacking trip in SE Arkansas with one of my friends, Wesley.
- Capacity: 500+ Cu In (Small) or 700+ Cu In (Regular)
- Fabric: 210 Ripstop
- Weight: 11.1 oz. (Small) or 11.7 oz. (Regular)
- Waist: 26-36 in (Small) or 32-44 in (Reglular)
We each wore the Ribz Front Pack one full day, so you’ll get both the male and female perspective.
Wesley wore the Ribz for the first day when it was a little on the warm and humid side. Once we figured out how to get it on him (it had been a long day’s drive, so cut us a little slack ), he loaded it up with his phone, camera and 2 maps.
His immediate remarks were about how surprisingly comfortable it fit, even with a full pack on his back. As we started hiking, he started to note how warm it was and how the Ribz were getting soaked through with sweat. Despite that, none of his electronics or maps got exceedingly wet. However, if it is warm outside and you know you sweat quite a bit, he suggests putting your items in a dry bag or Ziploc to keep them from getting sweat-soaked.
Wesley really enjoyed having the camera available at a moment’s notice to take pics of the scenery or any wildlife we happened upon. The same goes for having the map right there without having to dig in his pants pocket for it. Once we made camp, he took off his pack & the Ribz and they were pretty saturated, but nothing inside was any worse for wear. By the next morning, they were dry and ready for the next reviewer to try.
The second day was my (Maggie’s) day to try out the Ribz. And, luckily for me, a storm had come through the night before with a cold front so the temperatures were almost chilly for my review day. Once I played around with all the straps and adjustments, I was able to get the Ribz to fit snugly across my abdomen.
I wore it over a thick, dry wick shirt and a down vest. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the comfort of the pack, as I was admittedly a little worried about how it would fit a female versus a male. And as an added bonus, the insulating quality of the durable fabric kept me warm all day long. I even had to unzip my down vest about halfway through the day to vent.
Just like Wesley, I loved having quick access to my camera for pictures and to the map to check our progress. Having everything securely zipped up also helped me not second guess whether any of my loose gear had slipped out of my pants or pack side pockets. Next time I wear them, I will definitely make more use of the space I didn’t take advantage of in the Ribz. I could have fit my lunch and snacks in there as well, to free up some space in pack and keep those items handy.
All in all, we both loved the Ribz Front Pack and would recommend them to anyone who finds themselves digging around in their pack more than once during a day of hiking on the trail or even those who find their pockets overloaded with things they need to keep handy. Here are some specifications that might be useful:
- 2 big pockets on each side
- 2 smaller front pockets
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Elastic back strap
- Zipper up the front
- Velcro closure on back of pack next to sternum
- Straps allow adjustment for comfortable fit for both males and females
- Don’t even notice it once you’re hiking
- GREAT for cool/cold weather
- The extra layer on the front of your core keeps you well insulated
- Toasty/sweat-soaked for warmer/humid weather
- Keep ziplocs/dry bags if you sweat a lot
Suggested Items to Carry
- First aid/emergency items
- Point and shoot camera
- Toilet paper/wipes
- ANYTHING you don’t want to have to stop, remove pack, dig around for, repack, etc.
- Dries fairly quickly if it does get wet
- Zippers are heavy duty and shouldn’t have trouble with wear
- Very comfortable
- Convenience is the #1 reason to buy
- A little pricey, but worth it if you take a lot of trips or have to stop every 15 minutes to pull something out of your pack
Wesley offered to keep the Ribz for me until I needed them again, how sweet of him, huh? The Ribz pack will definitely now be a staple of all my backpacking trips from here on out. (I may even try them out soon on some long-distance bike tours coming up.) Happy trails, y’all!
About the Reviewers
Maggie Canady is an avid hiker, backpacker and mountain biker, along with any other activity that involves her being in the woods. She is a member of Tennessee Trails, the Great Smoky Mountains Association, and Mid-South Mountain Bikes. She’s also a Bama alum, a Memphis native and a HUGE Dolly Parton fan.
Wesley Smith is an avid outdoor enthusiast. He hikes, backpacks, kayaks, rock climbs, skydives, camps, and mountain bikes regularly. Most of the outdoor activities take place in The Natural State of Arkansas. He recently spent a week in the Rocky Mountains. He is also a member of Mid-South Mountain Bikes. He spends his spare time reading and researching gear.
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Disclosure: RibzWear.com provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with a complementary Ribz Front Pack for the purpose of this review.