Most people who enjoy the outdoors have probably been there – you put on a backpack that is way too heavy and awkward, then when the uphill sections start it gets much, much worse. Sometimes, the problem is that you brought more than you needed, in which case trimming the fat will help, but not always. Parents, Scout Masters, through-hikers, or anybody who enjoys real food in the outdoors can relate. Instead of trying to get rid of stuff (you really do need that extra helping of trail mix), take a look at the RIBZ Front Pack.
RIBZ is a system designed to make carrying gear better for your back and getting to the essentials easier. By putting items that you want to get to quickly (like snacks, a first aid kit, maps, a pocket knife, a camera, etc.), you are not only keeping everything within reach, but moving a good amount of weight to the front of your body. Instead of having an extra 50 pounds on your back, you can move up to 10 of that to the front, meaning you only have 30 pounds pulling your balance backward (since the RIBZ pack up front helps balance out your backpack). Of course, RIBZ can also be used by itself, and is especially great for day hiking, fishing, or skiing. Made from Cordura 210d ripstop nylon that is treated to increase water resistance, the RIBZ is engineered to last while protecting up to 700 cubic inches of your treasures.
After reading about the RIBZ Front Pack, my immediate concern was that it would get in the way of my backpack. Straps would get tangled, pressure points would occur, and the usefulness of the RIBZ would be negated by frustration and discomfort. Happily, I had no need to be worried. Putting it on is simple thanks to the zipper connecting the two sides of the pack and the ability to adjust both the shoulder and back straps. Get everything how you like it once, and from then on out just put it around your back and zip it up. The padded, harness-style straps going over your shoulders don’t interfere with other packs and are wide enough to be comfortable, even when considerable weight is applied. If I hadn’t been opening it so often to reach for snacks, grab my camera for a couple of quick pictures, or check out my map, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed it was there (which is probably the highest praise that can be given to any pack of whatever type). Having long, thick strips of fabric to help open the over-sized zippers adds a nice touch, making all 4 pockets easy to access whether gloved or not. Dividers inside the pockets make it simple to get what you need quickly and without searching.
Given that the guys at RIBZ aimed to make a pack that helps with balance while centralizing all of the essentials, they hit a home run. Easy to use, pain preventing, time saving, and convenient. Personally, having a separate place to keep all of the essentials that goes with me on all my adventures makes packing easy and forgetting something important a thing of the past. Not to mention how important it could be in an emergency to have all of those items ready to roll. With all of those benefits, and a price of only $60, it’s a steal. If it’s not already on your wish list, add it. Then head on over to the RIBZ website so that you can quickly scratch it off of the list. The Front Pack is currently offered in Alpine (green) and Stealth (black).