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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Pack

A 34-liter rucksack made of waterproof 70-denier nylon fabric with a roll top closure and welded seams.

by: Will Rochfort

OR DryComp Ridge Pack (Courtesy Photo)
OR DryComp Ridge Pack (Courtesy Photo)

The Specs

1 lb.
34 liters/2075 cubic inches
One size fits all
My favorites pieces of gear are typically multi-purpose, robust, simple, and effective. The Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Sack is all these things.

The construction is extremely basic. It's a 34-liter rucksack made of waterproof 70-denier nylon fabric with a roll top closure and welded seams. There are simple shoulder straps with a chest and waist buckle, although those are more for load stability than weight transfer. The pack bag has bungee cords, a narrow mesh stuff pocket, and security cords for up to two ice axes. The pack bottom is reinforced with tougher 420D nylon.

The DryComp Ridge designed as a secondary pack for summit days, but it's actually significantly more versatile than that. On a recent trip to South Africa, it served perfectly as the single piece of allowed carry-on luggage, as well as the ideal pack for day hikes in Elephant Addo and Royal Natal National Parks. 

The pack is comfortable with up to about 15 pounds, but don’t overload it! With no framesheet or real hipbelt and the simple simple shoulder straps, it’s just not up to the task. My one gripe is that there’s no good place for a hydration bladder or means to easily route a hose from inside the pack. The exterior mesh pocket can accommodate one, but having that much weight on the outside of the pack is rather ungainly.

Bottom line: This is a super versatile daypack that you’ll grab over and over again, whether it’s for a hike up a 14er, a globetrotting airplane stint, a rainy day bike commute to work, or as a daypack to carry inside your load monster on a big expedition. This thing’s a workhorse.

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Reader Rating: -


Jul 08, 2010

Hydration packs are for dilettantes and bicycle riders.
I made a sack that I hook to my waist belt for holding my sipping water bottle. And I carry another 2 bottles in my pack for cooking and rehydrating food.
While I have to suffer the terrible effort involved in lifting a bottle up to my mouth, plus carrying a few extra ounces, I also don't have to worry about freezing tubes, burst sacks, drenched packs, and unsanitary water containers because they are so hard to clean and dry.
Hydration packs aren't worth the effort involved in having them, unless your main reason for buying gear is to look "cool" or say "look what I got".

Jul 06, 2010

I use this pack all the time on my canoe day trips in the Adirondacks and am very happy with it. Though designed as a summit pack, it works well as a dry bag that you can shoulder during carries. If you're paddling with the pack in your boat, the hydration problem is a non-issue.

Jul 02, 2010

Insulation for hydration tubes work quite well, and carrying a water bottle (with small capacity) just doesn't seem to I'll stick with my Deuter for now.

OR needs to put some thought into creating an actual daypack, not just a dry bag with straps.

Jul 01, 2010

Maybe, but I challenge you to find a better pack for indoor use.

Joel N
Jun 29, 2010

I would use a water bottle for hydration while summiting with this pack.
I rarely use hydration systems unless it's ideal conditions because I've had too many hoses freeze or bladders burst and soak my gear.
But a water bottle would probably work just fine for holding your water.

Jun 29, 2010

So what would I use for hydration, while attempting a summit, with this pack.

Matt Cave
Jun 23, 2010

The sort of person who wants an ultra-lightweight waterproof summit sack may not want to use a hydration bladder as they're not robust enough and they freeze up in the mountains. Personally, for the places I'd take that bag, I don't care that it can't take a bladder. For an allround hiking day pack I agree most people like to have the option of a bladder. Overall it looks like a great bit of kit, and exceptionally light.

Jun 23, 2010

I think your one gripe is actually a BIG gripe...with no thought around hydration, this pack just doesn't work for outdoor use.


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