Ultralight backpacking is the goal with most trekkers – take what you minimally need and nothing more. Heavy backpacking can still be enjoyable for trail junkies that want to take the necessities and some luxuries on a multi-night trip.
Take your seventy liter pack, stuff in your essentials and don’t forget the trail-side coffee maker and a few bottles of red wine. Throw on the heavy pack at the trailhead and stumble your way to your base camp. Your back and knees may pulse with pain from the heavy load.
RIBZ Front Pack is one solution for heavy backpackers. It’s a 700 cubic inch pack that sits on your belly and has a harness that secures the Front Pack to your body. Four zippered compartments are used to stow your gear.
RIBZ takes A common-sense approach with the benefits of the Front Pack. The gear that’s stowed on the front of your body is easier to access than on your back. And shifting some weight from an overloaded backpack to your front side evenly distributes the weight leading to better body mechanics.
The RIBZ Front Pack was coupled with a 40 liter pack to see how it performed. Then the all the gear stowed in the Frontpack and the 40 liter backpack was packed into a 65 liter pack to compare.
The testing did show benefits to the RIBZ Front Pack. It does effectively take weight from your upper back and distribute it to your body’s core, so you won’t have that hunched-over feel. Long hilly ascends won’t leave you feeling unstable like a weeble and landing on your rump. And your chance of face-planting descending a steep grade is gone.
The RIBZ Front Pack first is affixed to your body then your traditional backpack and its harness goes over it. The nylon webbing on the Front Pack’s harness is not padded and can be slightly uncomfortable when your distance adds up on longer treks.
If you’re heading to the backcountry with your honey for a romantic backpacking weekend with Merlot, a french press and escargot, the RIBZ Front Pack can make a heavy pack lighter on your back. Saving your back for other romantic escapades. (MSRP $64.95)
Jason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.
Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.
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