Ribzwear recently sent me their new Ribz Front Pack to review. I had never used a front pack before, but was excited to take it out on a new hike up in the Tillamook National Forest.
The Ribz Front Pack is a light weight bag that – as the name implies – wraps around your abdomen. Unlike a traditional fanny pack, the Ribz hangs over your shoulders and then zips together in the center similar to a life jacket (but way less bulky). You can wear the pack alone or as a compliment to a traditional backpack making it useful for just about any outdoor activity. With pockets on the front, the Ribz places your most important gear (if you pack it right) within hands reach and situates more of your gear’s weight around your waist.
For a day hike up to the top of Elk Mountain (3.2 mile round trip and over 2000 feet of elevation gain), I packed in the Ribz Front Pack my first aid kit, map and hiking guidebook, sunscreen, sunglasses, Canon T3i, small tri-pod, extra batteries, headlamp, snacks and keys. Distributing the weight nicely around the front, the pack looped easily through my Osprey backpack’s hip strap and held the pockets close to my stomach. With two top large pockets and two small front pockets, the pack made it easy and convenient to pull my camera in and out while I hiked without having to take my backpack off.
As the hike twisted and turned up the mountain, the pack helped to balance my center on the steep sections and was actually way more comfortable than I thought it would be. The shoulder straps are light weight and offer a little cushion without being bulking so they fit nicely under my backpack’s straps. Once at the top, I also took a short jaunt around the peak with just the Ribz Pack and found it just as comfortable – though a little big for me without my backpack. Alone, the pack could be a great supplement as a day pack on long backing trip.
Overall, I’d recommend the Ribz Front Pack for:
- Day hikes
- Supplement for longer hikes/backpacking
- Outdoor photographers
- Easy access to necessities
- Webbed pockets to keep things organized
- Access to items without having to remove pack
- Nice weight distribution
- No water bottle holder
- Straps not very adjustable
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Ribz Front Pack for free from Ribzwear as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.