Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $69.50
A well built summit pack that is able to carry the essentials and tools when bagging peaks from a base camp.
- Tool capability
- Keeps gear dry
- Packs small
- Dual purpose
- Straps have a tendency to slide
- Hot to wear
I sought out this pack to fill a unique need. I wanted a summit bag that held about 30 liters, could hold tools like ice axes, crampons, and skis, and be frameless so that it could stuff inside a multiday pack. The OR DryComp Ridge Sack hit every one of those categories.
For tool capability, the pack includes an external mesh pouch which holds crampons well. There are also two compression straps on either side which can be used to attach skis in an A-frame style. Additional there are two ice axe/trekking pool loops.
As you can see from the picture, because there is no frame, the weight of the skis does pull away from the shoulders. Also, the compression straps are not specifically designed to carry skis and therefore the skis sit high raising the center of gravity.
Since this pack is designed as a summit pack and NOT as a structured day or backcountry ski pack, the issues mentioned above do not lower my rating of the pack. The fact that I could attach skis and carry crampons externally on this pack was a great bonus.
When not loaded with skis, this pack sat very comfortably on my back.
Due to the lack of frame system it is important to load this bag so that hard/pointed objects are not directly next to you. In the picture above, the pack was holding a ski helmet, gloves, a puffy, a headlamp, a first aid kit, and a liter of water.
In the picture above I had the first aid kit on the bottom, followed by my helmet which I placed dome side out with the gloves on the inside, followed by my puffy, headlamp, and water. By placing my gloves in my hat I was able to keep cushion all along my back.
Another aspect of this bag that I appreciate is that it serves two features. By design it is a dry bag which means you can use it as such during extended overnights in the backcountry.
This allows me to limit the number of extra dry bags I carry since I can unpack any contents at camp and use this pack to bag the summit.
Finally, the DryComp Ridge Sack packs down to the size of about a 32 oz. bottle. I was able to roll it up and place it in the water bottle holder on one of my larger packs which made for easy carrying.
The only negatives I have were that the pack is warm against the back and the straps tend to slide over time. The warmth on the back should be expected since the pack is a dry bag and is therefore not breathable against the skin. This issue did not result in a reduction of any stars however because this is not a design flaw with the pack. The half star was removed because of the straps sliding, particularly the sternum strap. During all of the hikes I have used this pack on I have needed to re-position the sternum strap every 30 minutes or so.
I would highly recommend this pack to anyone looking for a versatile summit pack. It should be noted that this is NOT a day pack and would not perform comfortably under that type of usage.