Gaia x GTFO = Discounted GPS!


Under Armour Ridge Reaper Review: 1800 Backpack

elk hunting gear arizona
Backpack in action, camo so good you can hardly see the pack against everything else
A couple years ago I picked up the Ridge Reaper 1800 Backpack to use on my whitetail hunts.  I needed something with decent capacity that wasn't split between multiple pockets to carry my insulated and outer layers on the walk to my deer stand, and being 6'5" that takes a decent sized backpack.  Unfortunately, Under Armour doesn't appear to make this pack why am I talking about it?  Because it's a great pack that you should pick up if you find one used--and because recent marketing material has shown this pack--or one similar--in the Ridge Reaper Forest pattern, which didn't exist on the market, at least, when UA stopped making this pack which makes me believe that it could make a reappearance on store shelves.

If you want to see this backpack come back as badly as I do, consider contacting Under Armour--they're @underarmour and @UAhunt on Twitter and Instagram.

I've used this pack for a couple years on my deer hunts as a day pack and it's served me very well.  It has plenty of room to carry multiple layers that I'll store when it warms up or when I'm still-hunting, a couple smaller organizational pockets that can hold gloves/cap and binoculars and flashlight, and a couple stash pockets that hold my coffee thermos and shooting sticks.  It's darn comfortable for day hikes/hunts, but packing it full for an overnight trip definitely tested its comfort limits because it's a little too small for my frame.  As a result, the hip belt only reaches down as far as my waist and isn't able to put enough of the weight into my hips, making my shoulders carry a lot of the load.  I'm hoping I can find a good fix for that because my shoulders are killing me today.

Outside of the front pocket is a tie-down panel that is very adaptable.  As you can see in the photo, I've attached a Gerber paracord knife that I can reach back to grab for easy access.  I also attached a couple straps and a carabiner for on-demand attachment; I often use the carabiner to haul the pack into my treestand on white-tail hunts.

It also has a weapon holder that stows in it's own pocket up behind the tie-down panel when not in use.  When needed, just pull it out and adjust the length to what your weapon needs, then use the two buckles near the top to keep it secure while traveling.  If weather hits, or you need high visibility, pull out the blaze-orange rain cover out of its pocket...need rain protection without the color?  just turn it around and blaze becomes brown.   These dedicated pockets can also be used as extra quick-access pockets--that's where I often like to store my first aide kit so it's quickly accessible but not in a high-use pocket that it might fall out of.

Even though this is only 1800 cubic inches (around 30 liters), I was still able to pack it with everything I'd need for an overnight trip in summer weather.  I don't remember if the 2800 cubic inch version was unavailable in my pattern or if I decided I didn't need that big for white tail, but now that I'm elk hunting I do wish I had the 15 extra liters of storage so I could more easily do a multi-day trip.

I'm planning to use this pack on my elk hunt as a day/1-night pack.  Once I'm in the cooler weather of October, however, I'll probably have to carry some items in a compression sack tied down to the outside of the pack since it's full to the brim already.  The biggest limiter on how many nights it can take me away from base camp is the amount of water I can carry in addition to the other necessities--I had 5 liters yesterday and that's about all I can get Regardless, I was pretty impressed with myself and the pack over how much stuff got stuck into its 30 liters.

All the gear, in their compression sacks as packed

What I got into this 30l pack:

-Under Armour Ridge Reaper threadborne long sleeve shirt
-Under Armour Ridge Reaper base layer shirt
-Under Armour Ridge Reaper beanie
-Outdoor Research fleece gloves
-Buff brand merino buff
-Long underwear
-MSR Hubba Hubba tent
-3 liter MSR dromedary hydration bladder
-2 one-liter Vapur water pouches
-Jet boil minimo cook stove
-Jetboil fuel can (that I forgot to put into my stove)
-500ml titanium mug
-Marmot raincoat
-Columbia rain pants
-REI long/wide down sleeping bag
-Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer down coat
-Sea to Summit ultralight insulated sleeping pad
-Sea to Summit airchair frame
-2 Mountain House meals
-Snack mix, oatmeal, and granola
-Rat sack
-Google Nexus tablet (for maps and e-reader)
-Petzl rechargeable head lamp (I have the reacktik, the Bindi looks like a great lightweight option)
-First Aide kit
-Toilet trowel

Everything I packed in, out of their compression sacks


Gaia x GTFO = Discounted GPS!


Popular posts from this blog

Big Guy Gear Review: Under Armour Ridge Reaper

7E Chronicles Special - Early Review of Ridge Reaper Infil Ops Gore-Tex boots

Exploring the Wine Country, of Virginia