Mystery Ranch Wet Rib
Highly recommend for winter hikes. If you don't like to take off and put on your pack through the day, this backpack accessory is the ticket.
- Pockets are a good size
- No instructions came with my Wet Rib
I use this mainly for winter hikes where you don't want to fuss with taking your pack off and on. In the winter I want to keep moving and stay warm, this accessory allows me to do that with storage for my map, compass, mittens, snacks and medication.
The zippers work great although I did add MSR Universal Reflective Zippers for easier grip with mittens. As I remember shipping cost was high, so if you can, do a group buy.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40 plus shipping
Puts your water where you can get to it often and easily, along with a map, sunblock, glasses, and other things you want close at hand.
- Extra storage for small items
- Sturdy construction
- One more buckle to undo to get out of your pack
- It can ride too low if you don't adjust it properly
In wilderness first aid training we are taught to assume anyone in the wilderness is dehydrated, even if there is water all around in streams and ponds and the person is carrying water. Even with in-pack hydration it can be hard to drink enough because sucking on a tube causes a walker to lose his breath and stop drinking too early, and bottles carried elsewhere on a pack are too hard to reach to drink often enough.
The Wet Rib puts a full liter bottle right in front, where its weight helps counterbalance the larger weight on your back. Pull out the a wide-month bottle, gulp down all you want, and put it back easily.
Every year or two I spend a couple months walking in Nepal, where I have seen many people swearing at their Camelbak or Platypus gear when the mouthpiece has broken after weeks of biting, or the water bag is too hard to fill or clean, or the thing leaks inside your pack. And there's that dehydration thing, even with the water close at hand. No such problems with the wet rib.
Also, I swear by Steripen water purification devices which allow you to completely purify a full liter in ninety seconds without chemicals, and there's no wait before drinking. Keep it close at hand, along with your bottle in the wet rib, and you can refill in a couple minutes and be ready to move on with potable water and without even taking off your pack to fiddle with pumps, chemicals, bad taste.
The Wet Rib attaches to the webbing on most packs, but is hard to fit on some. Look at pictures of how it's attached before you buy; it might not work with your favorite pack. When you take the pack off, there's one more buckle to open along with the main belt and the chest belt. No problem at all when you get used to it.
Since your water is in an easily accessible bottle, it's also easy to get out for lunch stops and to have in your shelter at night, unlike in-pack hydration gear.
I own three packs for different length trips and have Wet Ribs for all of them. One would do, but this saves me from having to move on among packs.
The only inconvenience you'll encounter is finding one. Few retailers carry them, so you have to order online from Mystery Ranch, which fills its mail orders rapidly.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40
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Historic Range: $23.14-$40.00
Reviewers Paid: $40.00
5 oz / 142 g
200 cu in / 3 L + water bottle