HLAW received this product for free from RōM Outdoors in consideration for a gear review. After extensive testing and review all thoughts and opinions are our own.
A backpack that is more than a backpack sounds can be very useful. Ambassador Kathryn tested the RōM Outdoors 3-in-1 Pack. The following are her thoughts on the pack.
HLAW Ambassador Kathryn here with a new gear review!
As a working mountain mom of two, I can tell you that backpacks are important in my household. It seems my schedule is always rotating between day hikes, family picnics, solo hikes, backpacking trips, painting in the woods, music festivals, and sporting events. It is nice to have the right pack for the job readily on hand. That is why I was excited to spend part of my summer testing out the RōM Pack.
The RōM Pack is unique in that it is a 3-in-1 system that changes from a backpack to a hooded poncho or blanket. The concept definitely seemed intriguing for my busy outdoor lifestyle. I took this pack hiking in sunshine and rain in the mountains of Colorado to see how it stood up to a variety of needs, and here are my thoughts.
It is well constructed with durable material and nice stitching.
It is easy to convert the pack to a poncho once it is emptied of the items being carried.
There are lots of areas to attach items to the outside of the pack for quick access. That is something I appreciate when taking my dog hiking.
For being a poncho that folds into a backpack, I was impressed with the amount of extra pockets and separate storage it offered.
As a poncho or blanket, it is very warm and soft. My daughter instantly curled up on it to relax under a tree during a picnic.
The thickness of it is good to keep your core warm or wrap up in if needed.
Because it is a soft structured pack that’s meant to convert, there is not enough support to comfortably carry much weight over a long distance.
It is a bit on the heavy side. Because they went with a heavy-duty fabric, durability is increased, but that also increases the weight and sometimes clumsiness of the pack.
The waist strap is somewhat thin for my liking.
I feel that the liner bag should have been included with the pack and not sold separately. This was a big deal to me. For a bag that converts into something else, that function is lost if you can’t quickly and conveniently take all the items in and out of the pack. If a rainstorm hits, you are left fumbling to get your items out of the bag, find a place for those items, and then convert the pack to a poncho.
Once the poncho is wet, you could be stuck waiting a while to convert back to a bag and resume hiking if you don’t want your items to get a little moist or if you are hiking in an area that easily gets muddy after a rain. You really need an area to lay it out and convert it after a storm, while rain gear can be more easily rolled up and stored away.
I feel there is potential for this concept to work well for many scenarios. It would be a great bug out bag to keep in your car for emergencies. That is likely what mine will become for the most part. I live in a very rural area that is prone to forest fires, and I spend lots of time on the road. So, I can see the RōM being ideal to fill with essential items to have on hand in case of a fire evacuation or an accident in a secluded area. I think the blanket has more realistic uses than the poncho. I took it on a family picnic and loved it.
It would be great for sporting events, concerts, or plein air painting where a shorter distance is typical and a blanket may be needed. I don’t feel this pack is very practical for long day hikes with much weight. After testing the poncho feature in rain, I did stay warm but not totally dry, which again can be an issue on longer hikes in certain regions.
If there is a possibility of rain, I find it much more convenient to put on my raincoat and pants that keep me completely dry and warm when needed and roll up easily to be stored away.
I love that this company encourages us to make this pack our own. I may find one use works better for me personally than another, and you might find a totally different way to make it function within your own lifestyle. It is definitely a unique addition to our pack collection like nothing I’ve tried before.
You can purchase this pack here.