I’m so excited to announce something new on the blog. Gear Reviews! Every Wednesday I plan to publish a short video gear review. I promise to make the video’s short, the reviews honest (even if I received the product for free to test and review) and to tell you the background stories about why I select the gear that I do for these reviews.

Here’s our first one…

Ribz Front Pack

A few years ago my husband was sent a Ribz Front Pack to test and review for Just Trails. He had nothing but awesome things to say about it so one day when he wasn’t hiking I decided to try out his Ribz. I liked it so much that I borrowed it from him whenever he wasn’t using it. Finally, he got sick of sharing and last spring for Mother’s Day purchased a Ribz just for me.

If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Since then my Ribz has been my constant companion on the trails. Last year when I hiked every day for 100 consecutive days this thing was a lifesaver because it made it so easy to carry a kid on my back and still access the things we use a lot on hikes–like water and snacks and a camera without having to take a backpack off.

I also coach biathlon in the winter and I always need to be able to grab things like ski wax, a notebook, and rifle tools so this pack proved invaluable from a coaching standpoint as well.

Here’s the scoop on the Ribz. 

MSRP: $64.95

Features:

  • 11.7 ounces
  • Water-resistant nylon fabric
  • Holds 700 cubic inches

The Good:

  • The RIbz packs down small but can hold a lot of gear.
  • This product fits well with a daypack & kid(s) in baby carriers (to use this while double-carrying I just unzip the front and scoot the pouches over each hip).
  • I Iove having easy access to food, water, first-aid kit, camera etc.
  • This is a durable product, I’ve worn this pack on well over 200 times in the past year and it shows no signs of wear and tear. I’ll be able to use things thing for many more years. Product longevity is important to me.
  • This is a well made product and Ribz has great customer service.
  • At $64.95 I think this is a reasonably priced product.

Things I’d Change:

  • It’s easy for the straps get twisted and tangled when not in use, I try to take mine off and store mine the same way between hikes. This is really a minor issue though.
  • I’d love to see a key loop inside the zippered pocket, I’m in and out of my pouches a lot and while I stash my keys in the front zippered pocket I just think key loops are cool because I’m paranoid about losing my keys out on the trail. I might just sew one on myself.
  • My kids think that our Ribz packs are really cool and it’d be great to see a kids version come out.

The Final Verdict:

  • 5 stars out of 5 stars (I love this thing)…and I have 8 gear reviews scheduled and I promise that and you won’t see a lot of 5 stars coming from me.
Note: My husband’s RIBZ was given to us by a PR company in return for a review. We paid full-price for my RIBZ and RIBZ generously donated a product for our Week 7 #HIKE2015 giveaway. All of the thoughts and opinions on this product are my own after over a year of testing. For our full gear review policy click here.

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