Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Ribz Front Pack for free from Ribz as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations for this review. The official start of Fall is September 22nd. This is the time of year when you will start to see the leaves change, the air will get crisp, and the temperatures turn perfect. What better time after a long, hot Summer, to get outdoors and enjoy nature? I’m going to, and I’m taking my Ribz Front Pack with me. When I was in Boy Scouts (many moons ago) I backpacked a lot. Since joining the military over a decade ago, I still do, just not always for fun and recreation anymore. Regardless of why you do it, if you have ever been a backpacker, you know the frustration as I do of having to stop, drop your pack, dig something out, then have to put the dreaded thing back on to keep going. It’s a pain and it messes up your rhythm. The alternatives are having someone else dig it out for you or loading down your pockets, but those make you look unprepared and they are both a little annoying. No more. I first saw Ribz on Twitter in 2012 and fell in love. I wish there had been an option like this when I was a true backpacking enthusiast! It’s a front pack unlike any you have likely ever seen. I’ll spare you the details of how it was co-created by a US Navy Seal, how it’s ultra-light yet durable Cordura fabric construction will take a beating, and how it’s generous 500-700 cubic inches of storage space will ensure that you have all of your essentials load-distributed and conveniently located on your ribs—where you can always get to them quickly and efficiently (all while never breaking stride, mind you!) You can read all that on their site. I want to tell you about how it feels—and that is comfortable. I’ve been testing the Ribz Front Pack all Summer. Aside from it being a little hot on the chest (anything would be during the Summer, obviously), I found it wicked simple to adjust on the fly and it never got in my way during exercise. Yes, I have been using it as my trail running companion! Granted, it’s not the typical fishing, hiking, backbacking, or snow adventure use, but it works like a charm. I strap my Ribz Front Pack on for a run and can carry all of my essentials: car keys, identification, iPod, access pass, water bottles, and trail map without feeling weighed down at all. The front-wear design redistributes weight to my front, so I don’t feel it as much. The elastic and nylon quick-adjust straps keep the pack from bouncing—a no-questions-asked deal killer for me. The water resistant fabric ensures my maps never get soaked, and as soon as I’m finished, I can drop the pack in a zipper pull.
Bottom line? I love this thing. If you are into outdoor gear, I know you will too. Try it once and you’ll never leave base camp without it. If you are a recreation/functionality-only kind of person, I’m willing to bet you can find some great uses for it also—like conveniently holding extra camera lenses or accessories somewhere they will never touch the ground, maybe? Or even something to throw a day’s-worth of snacks into, along with your wallet, some bug spray, and the rest of your essentials when you take your kids to the park or trail? I had even considered it for amusement park visits where you cannot afford to drop things from your pockets and, on rides, bags are almost always held in front of you anyway! The possibilities are endless. So what are you waiting for? Go get one and get outside!