Submitted: 05-11-2011 by Cliff
When I told a friend about my plans to attempt a "source-to-sea" Mississippi River trip, he suggested I contact the people at RIBZ about their new front packs. I took his advice, and I am very pleased with my decisions.
As the name implies, RIBZ is a pack that comfortably wraps around your midsection and ribs, giving you quick access to your most critical gear. For my upcoming trip, the RIBZ will allow me to keep my maps, phone, sunscreen, camera, and any other items in the many pockets the unit provides. Rather than have to dig around the canoe or worry about getting things wet, the RIBZ keeps everything comfortably organized and ready to go. In my training runs, I've used the RIBZ pack, and its been very useful and comfortable during long periods of paddling. By adjusting the shoulder and back straps, I was able to fit the RIBZ PERFECTLY over my Stohlquist Wedge PDF. It fits like it was made to sit above the Wedge, with the edges of both units lining up exactly.
As for hiking and backpacking, I can really see where the RIBZ would come in hand. By putting the gear you want quick access to on your front, the RIBZ acts as a counterweight. Beyond the obvious convenience, this improves posture and walking comfort.
Overall, the RIBZ is a great piece of equipment. I recommend it to both paddlers looking for a way to keep things close and accessible, and to backpackers tired of having to take off their big packs to dig for gear. The people at RIBZ are great and willing to help.
Check out their website: http://www.ribzwear.com/