View Full Version : "Ribz" front packs...

05-22-2014, 22:53
Has anyone tried the Ribz front packs? I'm 5' tall and small framed, so my goal is to more evenly distribute my pack weight between front and back. 25 lbs on the back of a 160 lb person is not so bad... but sometimes I feel like I could end up like an inverted turtle. I have experimented with adding pouches on the front of my shoulder straps. I liked the more even distribution of weight, but not the downward pull on the straps. With this having its own harness it should hang better. I would put smaller, heavier items in front (food/water/personal/etc) while keeping bulkier items in back. I should be able to change my center of gravity this way. I believe the packs are 12 ounces, but will off set this with eliminating some stuff sacks. Any thoughts?

05-23-2014, 02:53
No experience with the Ribz Front Pack.. However after viewing the video below here are my thoughts...it looks like a great concept but it appears to me as if the pockets are too big/long wrapping underneath the armpits and would interfere with natural arm movement. You would have to be selective with your choice of items that could be stored in this pack as any bulky or hard items would be uncomfortable. I can't get past the thought of having my backpack straps riding over the top of the Ribz straps either, potential chafing ... Also the plastic piece attached in the back of the Ribz straps in my opinion would concern me with a backpack riding against it, again chafing could result. Zippers? Are they quality YKK zippers?
Just curious how much body heat it would create, may be okay for short term periods...
However, just my opinion and I could be totally wrong, it may work for you and be perfect for your needs...


05-23-2014, 07:16
Check out the Aarn backpacks. Many of their packs have balance pockets on the front. Click HERE (http://www.aarnusa.com/) for Aarn USA's site. I think carrying more weight up front is more comfortable, too. I carry my water bottles shock corded to the front of my shoulder straps and--water being so heavy--that balances pretty good.

I'd be concerned about the second shoulder harness of the Ribz being too bulky, hot, fussy, etc. Lots of people like them though... . Good luck! :)

05-23-2014, 19:26
Thank you... I'll check that out. I was concerned about doubling up the shoulder straps as well. In general I don't get hot, but this may hold in to much body heat.

05-23-2014, 20:25
I bought a ribz during their last sale. Their straps sit inside of my packs straps so no doubling up or chaffing for me. If you adjust properly the back clip fits low enough so that my pack doesn't force it into my back. The have huge storage and if to full can rub your arms if you swing your arms by your sides. Walking with poles keeps arms out so no issue their for me either. I don't use it often but comes in handy when I do. Mainly winter camping to help with extra weight.

05-23-2014, 23:08
I used mine last month on my section hike from the James River to Dalesville. Removing the lid from my pack, i moved everything to my Ribz. It worked well as it was all there in reach. Snacks, map, journal, hat, gloves, phone/camera. it was useful

05-24-2014, 08:55
I used the front pack on a section hike from ASP to Neel Gap last year and found them very useful. This year I have started using them to carry my Platypus 1.0 L water bottles. Carry three and still have room for necessary equipment. I have had no problems with them in over 100 miles or so. Make sure you keep them closed. If you lean over you will lose stuff. You can unzip the front on hot days and zip them when you hit rough areas. I would recommend them to a friend.

05-26-2014, 20:18
The Ribz don't really change the weight charge to the front. That's not really what they're good for. They are convenient large pockets to carry stuff you need to keep close. The real use I get out of them is when I winter camp as I wear them under my down jacket to keep my water and electronics from freezing. In the summer, the Ribz are too warm too hike with. I replace them with gossamer gear hip belt pockets. Hope that helps.

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05-28-2014, 11:54
Never tried Ribz, but I do attempt to redistribute weight. I wear a hip pack (fanny pack) in front. In it I carry everything I want to access quickly - gloves, phone, knife, water tablets, etc. I also made two water bottle holders that attach to my shoulder straps. I feel like these definitely help with the weight distribution.

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05-28-2014, 12:30
Zpacks makes one. I also made my own, but I really didn't like it as it tended to bounce back and forth against my chest. Maybe it was what I had in it, or maybe I just walk too fast.

07-24-2014, 19:03
Met a thru hiker about your size, he used 1 ribz pack. Seemed to work pretty well for him. Super convenient for commonly used items.

07-24-2014, 21:31
I ended up buying the Ribz pack and like having some things handy up front. I am going to add some plastic clips in the "harness". That will let me use it as intended or to attach it to the front shoulder straps of my backpacks.

07-25-2014, 00:44
does it make you sweat more in the front? seems it would block the cooling air from your chest.

07-25-2014, 00:48
does it make you sweat more in the front? seems it would block the cooling air from your chest.

I don't have the Ribz, but the Mystery Ranch front pack... I too was worried about additional heat (figures it'd be good for winter at least), but I haven't noticed anything much. And I'm a fat & out of shape hiker.