Re: [backpackgeartesters] LTR - Outdoor Research - DryComp Ridge Sack - Derek
You are right. In this particular instance, since Jamie completed an FR, you were required to do the IR and then the LTR. I couldn't make BridGeT behave until you posted the LTR. All is well now.
----- Original Message -----
From: Derek Hansen
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 12:50 AM
Subject: [backpackgeartesters] LTR - Outdoor Research - DryComp Ridge Sack - Derek
Kurt or John:
Here is my report for the DryComp Ridge Sack, but I'm a bit confused
as to whether this should be the FR or LTR for me. Initially, I was
instructed that I would write the IR and then an LTR for this sack,
but the note in BridGeT says I have an LTR due in March. I wrote this
as an LTR, but if I need to extend the test into March, I'll edit this
to just FR. Let me know.
# # #
LONG TERM REPORT
4 Jan 2011
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have used the pack 11 times over the past few months, which
comprised of a several day hikes and 5 overnight backpacking trips.
Oct 8-9 ~ Sycamore Canyon, near Flagstaff, Arizona. I led a Boy Scout
adult training session at Camp Raymond. Elevation was 6500 ft (1981 m)
with temperatures around 40 F (4 C) at night.
Oct 15-17 ~ Snow Canyon State Park, St. George, Utah. We had an
opportunity to visit family and took a few trips into Snow Canyon and
went on a few day hikes, including Pioneer Names Trail, Johnson's
Arch, and Whiterocks Trail to name a few. Elevation was around 3200 ft
(975 m) and daytime temperatures around 75 F (24 C). We experienced
some light rain this weekend.
Oct 22-23 ~ West Clear Creek, Arizona. My son and I went on a
backpacking trip into a canyon we have yet to fully explore. Elevation
was around 6500 ft (1980 m) and daytime temperatures around 50 F (10
C). We experienced a lot of rain on this trip.
Nov 10 ~ Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. On a
recent family trip we stopped for some day hikes in the Grand
Staircase to the Paria Rimrocks and Toadstool Trail. Elevation was
around 4400 ft (1340 m) and daytime temperatures around 50 F (10 C).
Nov 20 ~ Old Caves Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona. I took two of my kids
on a day hike, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km), to explore some of the
many trails around a cinder cone near our home. Elevation was 7100 ft
(2164 m) and daytime temperatures around 40 F (4 C). A winter storm
was approaching and we encountered some high winds, 30-40 mph (48-64
kph) with gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph).
Nov 26-27 ~ Snow Canyon State Park, St. George, Utah. Hiking the Red
Mountain Trail has long been on my to-do list (because of the amazing
views above the canyon) and I finally got a chance to do it, although
it was a lot colder than I expected. The overnight low was in the
teens (-9 C) with scattered snow drifts and a prevailing nighttime
wind gusting from the south west. Elevation was 5000 ft (1524 m). We
backpacked about 6 miles (10 km) total.
Dec 17-18 ~ Two Guns, Arizona. I joined the Boy Scouts on an overnight
camping trip to see the Canyon Diablo and Two Guns ghost towns, along
with the Apache Death Cave. Our camp site was about as dull and
nondescript as I've ever seen, but we enjoyed swapping stories around
the campfire and doing day hikes and geocaching around the ruins.
Overnight low was around 32 F (0 C) at an elevation of 5500 ft (1676 m).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During the Boy Scout training, I used the DryComp as a bear bag
overnight, and then during the day I used it to train the leaders how
to bear bag, so the DryComp was hoisted up and down the tree multiple
times. I used the small hang loop as the attach point and it survived
the all-day abuse, much to my relief.
Snow Canyon Panorama
Snow Canyon overlook via the Red Mountain Trail.
Not long after I had the pack I did some hiking and afterwards noticed
some wet spots on the outside of the pack. It looked like water or
sweat had wet through the pack, but I could feel no dampness on the
inside. Later, during my hike into West Clear Creek with my son, I got
a chance to hike through some rain and noticed the same wet spots on
the outside of the fabric. I had all my gear double packed in dry
bags, so I wasn't worried about my gear getting wet, but I wondered
about the permeability of the backpack and its waterproof claim.
Wet splotches at West Clear Creek
I had a definitive test on the waterproof fabric after a weekend trip.
I wasn't extremely happy with putting a water bladder on the outside
of the pack because it really shifted the weight so far away from my
back that it strained my neck and shoulders. I found I could fit a 2 L
Platypus water bladder inside the pack and fed the drinking hose out
of the rolled top, which worked great. My drinking hose has never
leaked (yet), but I decided to use a waterproof sack inside to protect
my sleeping bag and other gear just in case.
Days later, when I grabbed the pack for a new trip, I noticed I left
my hydration bladder inside the pack and the hose was situated in such
a way that a lot of water had syphoned out. There was about an inch of
water (2.5 cm) in the bottom of the pack, but nothing had leaked out
of the pack. This accidental test was enough proof to me that the pack
was indeed waterproof, and that the wet spots on the outer fabric was
something related to the outer fabric and inner coating relationship.
Using an extra stuff sack for more gear.
As the temperatures have cooled, I have still attempted to use this
pack for overnight trips, but capacity has been an issue. I found that
I could still get all my gear by strapping an extra stuff sack to the
exterior of the pack, and/or using a small hip pack for extra gear. In
fact, I've been using the extra hip pack anytime I use the Ridge Sack
now because it allows me easy access to gear, such as my compass,
since there are no hip pockets on the pack itself.
Grand Staircase - Mushrooms
Day hike at Grand Staircase.
For day hikes, the pack has been great, and the compression straps on
the side have really helped reduce the pack volume when I didn't need
to carry so much gear.
One area that I wish were different on the pack is the length of the
roll top. I think the length is too short, even when I have little
gear in the sack. With a little more fabric, I would be able to get a
better roll and seal on the top, especially when I have the pack
completely full. With a full pack, getting a good turn on the fabric
The DryComp at Two Guns
Using the DryComp at Two Guns, Arizona. I packed the tent in an
outside stuff sack.
The side compression straps work great for their primary function, but
I wish the straps were just a bit longer so I could easily put some
extra gear under the straps (like a rolled-up sleeping pad). I was
able to fit some torso-sized pads rolled up under these straps, but
the strap was barely long enough to accommodate.
The only "modification" I've done to the pack is to insert a small
closed-cell foam pad on the inside to help give the pack some rigid
form. Without this pad, the pack easily barrels out and the round
shape rolls around my back--especially when the pack is fully loaded.
The waist strap helps control the rolling, but only on the bottom;
around my shoulders, I still experience this issue. Having a stiff pad
on the inside has helped shape the pack, making packing and wearing
the backpack much easier.
The DryComp Ridge Sack is a capable backpack and has worked well for
short overnight backpacking using lightweight, minimal gear (no more
than 20 lbs/9 kg). Adding extra gear to the outside of the pack is
possible, but not the most convenient as the pack doesn't have any
extra daisy chain straps or gear loops.
While the outer fabric wets out, I've found the pack to be completely
waterproof, in spite of my misgivings about the roll-top opening not
being long enough for my preference. The side compression straps are
useful to reduce the pack size for my lower volume packing needs.
When fully loaded, the pack "rounds out" easily, and I found that the
pack rolls from side-to-side on my back. Adding a small foam pad on
the inside of the pack helped me eliminate this issue.
PRO--Waterproof, durable, and rugged.
CON--No side pockets for water bottles; short roll-top collar; no
loops for lashing extra gear.
I would like to thank Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for
providing me with the opportunity to test this product.
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