I edited this yesterday. See message #54419. Am I missing something?
----- Original Message -----
From: "bbanker1974" <brad_banker@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 4:40 PM
Subject: [backpackgeartesters] REPOST - FR - RIBZWEAR Front Pack System -
> apologies, the FR was not included in the original post...
> RIBZWEAR - RIBZ FRONT PACK SYSTEM
> TEST SERIES BY BRAD BANKER
> March 29, 2009
> TESTER INFORMATION
> NAME: Brad Banker
> EMAIL: brad_banker@...
> AGE: 34
> LOCATION: Greensboro, NC, USA
> GENDER: M
> HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.80 m)
> WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)
> I went on my first backpacking trip at 5 years old, and hiked quite a bit
> growing up. I picked it back up again in my 20's and have regularly
> backpacked now for over 10 years. I backpack the mountains of North
> Carolina and Virginia on 1-5 night solo or group trips, mostly on or
> around the Appalachian Trail in all seasons in temperatures from 90+ F (32
> C) to under 0 F (-17 C). My companions are my wife and my two golden
> retrievers, or whoever wants to disappear into the woods for a while.
> INITIAL REPORT
> PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
> Manufacturer: Ribzwear
> Year of Manufacture: 2008
> Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.ribzwear.com"
> LINK TEXT = "www.ribzwear.com">>
> MSRP: US$ 59.95
> Listed Weight: 18 oz (524 g)
> Measured Weight: 12 oz (338 g)
> Other details:
> Ribz is a front/ side pack system that offers 800ci of space for easily
> accessible storage.
> INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
> Ray from Ribzwear called me before he sent the pack system, due to my
> measurements being on the upper end of the large size with with full
> layers on. In sizing the pack system the measurements used were waist and
> bust size, My waist is 38 in (97 cm), but being a larger chested male at
> 6'0"(1.58 m) and 240 lb(109 kg) or so my bust was 53 in (135 cm) with the
> total sum of all of my possible cold weather layers. Ray said that the
> sizing tends to follow the waist size more so than the bust size, due to
> the pack's position on the ribs. He recommended the large size. The pack
> system is significantly lighter than advertised on the website on my
> Initial impressions:
> The pack seems very sturdy and constructed of tough nylon material. The
> material seems to have good potential to be water and abrasion resistant.
> The shoulder straps are 1.5 in (3.81 cm) wide and are also made of
> lightweight tough nylon material. The stitching seems very solid all in
> all areas.
> The measurements of each panel on the large sized pack are 17 in x 12.5 in
> (43.18 cm x 31.75 cm). The pack panels are connected in the back by
> three elastic straps and in the front by a zipper. The zipper teeth are
> heavy duty plastic with metal pulls. There are nylon pull tabs attached
> to the ends of th zipper pulls for quick access. There is a double
> thickness webbing strap sewn on the bottom of the pockets at the base of
> the pack. I'm not sure as to its purpose (it may have one), but I see a
> possible place where weight may be trimmed off to decrease the weight of
> the pack system in this feature. Also, the zippers seem very sturdy and
> remind me of the zippers on a life vest for water skiing. The front of
> the pack system is zipped shut like a life vest as well, which seems to me
> to be appropriate for this type of zipper, bit the zip closures on the
> pockets may be best served by a smaller lighter zipper type.
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz front">>
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz open">>
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz side">>
> The pack system is made of two panels. In each panel there are two zip
> pockets. The largest pocket in each panel zips open from the top. This
> main pocket is further subdivided into one long pocket the entire length
> of the side of the pack toward the outside, and another bisected set of
> pockets deep to that. Also on each panel there are pockets that zip from
> the front, rather than the top, on either side.
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 6" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz top pocket
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 7" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz front
> pocket open">>
> The pack system fits snugly, but is very comfortable. I notice that the
> elastic bands in connecting the panels in the rear allow for significant
> volume changes with different layering options. The shoulder straps are
> easily adjustable. This may be a good thing in the long term for me, in
> that unfortunately my weight tends to yo-yo from 220-250 lbs (100-113 kg)
> , and I also backpack in all seasons. I therefore vary quite a bit in
> size throughout the year(s). My initial impression is that this product
> shows promise in keeping up with this size factor.
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz on front">>
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz on back">>
> READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
> No specific instructions were included. It seemed self explanatory to me.
> Zip the front to close, adjust the straps to fit, put stuff in the
> MY HISTORY WITH FRONT PACKS
> Years ago, after college, I backpacked Europe for 5 months. I think my
> starting pack weight was somewhere around 70 lbs (31.75 kg). This type of
> backpacking was completely different from wilderness backpacking. This
> type of packing was mostly riding trains, walking city streets, country
> roads, and going from hostel to hostel from September through February
> from Neutron Africa to Denmark. One method I developed to balance my
> heavy load was carrying a day pack on the front of my chest. I found it
> balanced my load very well, and I had easy access to water, camera, guide
> book and maps, food and rain gear. It also kept my money and passport
> near my hands. Pickpockets are sneaky there in the touristy areas.
> I have, in the years since, tried to perfect and modify this system for
> wilderness backpacking. I have tried many types of front packs. The old
> day pack was too heavy for this type of application, and after years of
> trial and error, I have settled on a method that I am satisfied enough
> with not to radically change, but not satisfied enough with to stop
> looking. I've settled. Something I don't like to do. I use a small fanny
> pack style system clipped around my waist with the buckle in the back,
> hanging over my hip belt of my pack. I tend to keep my map, knife, first
> aid kit, firestarter, headlamp, some food, a bandanna and whatever else I
> can cram into it. It's not super comfortable, but not too annoying. It
> works somewhat as a daypack, if I clip a couple of Nalgenes to it with
> carabiners. I must admit I am quite excited about testing this product
> and putting it to use as a way to balance weight from front to back and as
> a multi-purpose item as a day pack.
> <<IMAGE 8>>
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 9" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz loaded
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 10" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ribz loaded
> This concludes my Initial Report. Please be on the lookout for my Field
> Report in two months after some cold weather testing. I would like to
> thank Ribzwear and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this
> <a name="FRPT">FIELD REPORT</a>
> FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
> This pack was tested in winter conditions as a complement to my regular
> smaller sized 3000 ci pack system to make a lighter winter system. It was
> used as a daypack as well in rain, snow, cold as planned.
> PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
> Overall, I have been very pleased with this pack's performance. I found
> it to be very comfortable as a day pack and in addition to my backpack. I
> decided to put my first aid and toiletry supplies, camera, knife, fire
> starter, bandanna, glasses, sunglasses, hat, rain jacket, gloves, snacks,
> 2 soda bottles with water, water filter, and emergency supplies in it for
> both dayhiking and backpacking. I found that the volume of items that I
> wished to stow fit nicely into the system. I consider these items
> essential for both applications.
> Structurally I have been pleased with several things:
> 1. The durability of the pack so far overall.
> 2. The zippers are solid and sturdy.
> 3. The straps are functional, adjustible and comfortable.
> 4. The elastic bands in the back do a good job of allowing the pack to
> flex and adjust with movement and layering. I honesty sometimes forget it
> is on.
> 5. The pocket configuration works well for me. The front access pockets
> work well for maps, bandanna, and more flat type items. The top load
> pockets and multiple places to put things and are surprisingly high
> I have identified a few issues or weakness that may be improved upon:
> 1. The nylon on the inside near the zippers has frayed slightly, and
> threatens to get caught in the zippers from the inside.
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "nylon around
> 2. For an ultralight application, I would recommend a smaller, lighter
> zipper for the pockets, although the original zipper may be perfect for
> the front closure.
> 3. There seems to be an excessive amount of strapping sewn to the bottom
> of the pockets. Initially I had questions as to the purpose of this
> material and still don't understand its purpose. It may be unnecessary
> weight, but of course it may have a structural benefit of which I am not
> 4. I would not hesitate to consider this a lightweight modular backpacking
> component, but it would be a stretch to call it ultralight, although an
> ultralight version would be easy to configure from this design.
> Overall, I am very pleased with the Ribz Front Pack System as of this
> field report. It has survived cold, wet, snow, ice and a big guy who is
> rough on his gear for several months, and I will continue to utilize it
> for the forseeable future. I have found that the nylon material is water
> resistant to a greater degree than anticipated.
> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "RIBZ in the
> TESTING STRATEGY
> I plan to continue to use this pack to ammend my small volume pack and as
> a day pack. I want to put a bit more wear on in, and will then follow up
> with my long term report and some more pictures to demonstrate the wear a
> This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
> Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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