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Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Sack : It's a Cinch in Wet Weather

I'm glad I have Outdoor Research's new DryComp Ridge Sack in my arsenal. It's one of those packs that's absolutely perfect for anything wet and yucky: rainy bike commutes, ocean trips on dive boats, peak bagging in storms, hikes in rainforests, or days in a kayak. The list is endless. If it's gonna be wet, I take my OR DryComp Ridge.

I got to test out this 34-liter bag in California on a recent hiking trip to the Channel Islands National Park. No peak bagging, no rainforests, no wet bike commutes -- but a wet boat ride to the islands, and then a really wet boat ride on a skiff through a huge swell to get to the beach. We unloaded and were totally soaked - but all my food, camera gear, and clothing were completely dry. Big points for OR's backpack.

The DryComp Ridge is made of a waterproof nylon material with a roll-top closure like a drybag and tapeless, welded seams that are totally waterproof. It's got compression straps on the sides, which keep the bag's contents from flopping around. What's more, the straps stabilize the load and cinch it tight, so, in a weird way, the contents work almost as a suspension system. As a result, I found the bag carried really well. It was comfortable for an all-day hike loaded with food, water, warm clothes, and a big SLR camera. Even though the material is waterproof, I found I didn't get too sweaty; the comfy, padded shoulder straps are made of mesh, so they breathe well, and I didn't get too sweaty.

I'm really looking forward to using this bag in the middle of winter, too, for peak bagging and alpine ascents. It weighs just one pound! Also, it has ice axe loops and the chest strap buckle has an integrated emergency whistle. Brilliant!

Bottom Line: Unique backpack fills a variety of needs - and is invaluable when it pours. --N.W. (July '10)

BUY ONLINE : $120 click to shop at

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Worldwide there are more than 12,000 species of ferns. In New Zealand, the silver fern is the national symbol. According to Maori culture,the unfurling tip of the fern, called a "koru," represents the cycle of life and death. This image is often used in art and jewelry.

Source: 100% New Zealand, The Official Site for New Zealand Travel

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