|Ribz Front Pack in action on the Wissahickon Gorge Orange Trail|
- To redistribute weight from my back to my core in order to increase balance and reduce impact on my lower back and spine
- For quick and easy access to the things I use most often while hiking - maps, hand towel, snacks, camera, binoculars, etc.
- For extra space on longer hikes, overnights or weekend trips - when a day pack isn't quite big enough but there isn't enough to fill a 60+ liter pack
|Ribz Front Pack as it came in the mail - just one pound and very compact|
Putting it on was at first a bit challenging. It seemed to be just a bunch of straps connected in the back. But I read the instructions and found that by unzipping the two pouches I could slide it on in a way similar to a regular backpack and then zip it back up in front. Once I had it on, I could easily adjust the straps to fit.
A word on sizing: I was concerned that it might not fit me because I am 6'1" and weigh 280 pounds. I got the regular and it fit me perfectly. There wasn't much room for give, though, so if you're much bigger than me or have more than a 44" waist, the regular probably won't work, and that's the biggest size they have. Also, I saw the pack for sale on Amazon with small and small/medium for sizing, so if I were you I would go straight to the Ribz Front Pack manufacturer to check on your correct size before buying.
After a more perfunctory inspection, I can definitely say I love my Ribz Front Pack. On short day hikes - five to 10 miles - I will probably still stick with my backpack, since it's got a bladder where I can store my water and enough room for snacks and such. But for longer hikes, overnights, weekend trips and even backpacking expeditions I will definitely use my Ribz Front Pack in conjunction with a day or overnight pack, especially for reason number two - quick and easy access to all my hiking essentials.
Brian Schwarz is an award-winning journalist whose career was derailed by super obesity. He fought his way back to health - losing 165 pounds in the process of his "fit-life journey". A professional communicator by trade and activator by nature, Brian's personal mission is to inspire others live their fullest lives. Follow Brian on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Ribz Front Pack for free from RibzWear as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations.