When our faithful gear review coordinator Craig gave me the latest box of gear to ship to our testers the Ripcord 2L Pack caught my eye.
I saw it’s potential not so much as a running pack but as a potential light weight pack for my winter pursuits. It appeared to have just the right form factor, number of pockets and stash areas for all the things I need when skiing/skinning inbounds or snowshoeing.
Given that, a few of the things I can’t talk about is it’s fit, form or function while running or the bladder system that comes with it. I can talk in detail about my experience using it to skin uphill, ski inbounds and snowshoe. As I suspected, it did have the right form factor and storage for what I needed. When skinning uphill at the resorts I will stow my helmet, pair of gloves, goggles, water bottle, food and down jacket all within the pack. It’s a really stable fit without having to over pack. The waist and sternum strap make for an excellent fit as well.
Once reaching the top of my climb I swap gear and on the downhill ride the pack will hold my climbing skins, fleece hat, pair of gloves, water bottle, sunglasses and remaining food. While skiing downhill I did not notice the pack. I’ve provided ratings and notes based on our standard rating system, although this was an individual test during winter conditions after 20+ days of use.
Overall Fit & Comfort: 4.7
Applied to day hiking, snowshoeing or inbounds ski touring.
Hydration & Packable Space: 4.6
While it does not have as much volume as the Ultimate Direction PB or UltrAspire Omega the Outdoor Products Ripcord Pack does have the room to support a full day of hiking, snowshoeing or skiing. Jackets, water, food and needed safety equipment can all fit into this pack.
Rating based on winter use while wearing heavier clothiers. I could see the overall construction being a little unrefined for use with summer weight shirts.
Storage & Accessibility: 4.0
The storage, as mention above, is quite ample. Accessibility to pockets and storage comes from removing the pack. It does not have front storage like most of today’s running packs. That said, once the packet is removed the zippers and storage pockets are extremely accessible.
In the 20 days I’ve tested the pack there have been zero failures. Zippers have worked perfectly with no binding. The material has not ripped even after repeated run ins with branches. There have been no stitch releases. In addition to typical wear and tear, the Ripcord Pack has held up to no less than 5 epic ski crashes where substantial amounts of time and distance were spent riding on the pack.
Keeping in mind the pack has many uses we can also point to in being a tremendous value. At $30 on Amazon I can think of a pack I’d rather have more.