Outdoor Research makes its DryComp Ridge Sack for mountaineers who want to travel light on summit day. The waterproof backpack is roomy enough to carry your essentials and comes with ice-ax loops and a large mesh pocket that can hold a hydration bladder, a shell jacket, or other gear.
I tested the Ridge Sack ($125) a few dozen times last summer. I know what you’re thinking: a summit pack in the Adirondacks? In summer?
Well, the Ridge Sack is also ideal for paddlers on day trips. I bring it on nearly all of my canoe excursions. This tough nylon pack, with its watertight seams, always keeps my stuff dry. Like traditional dry bags used by paddlers, the Ridge Sack is closed by rolling and buckling the top. When you need to portage, you wear it like a backpack.
The Ridge Sack isn’t overloaded with bells and whistles. (Actually, there is a whistle on the sternum strap.) Its features include the ice-ax loops with associated shock cords, the mesh pocket, shoulder straps, waist belt, and two compression straps. Otherwise, it’s just a big sack (34 liters) that you can wear on your back. For days trips on the water or up an alpine slope, that’s all you need.