You can never be 100% sure about the weather, so it pays to be ready for any occasion. Such was the genesis of RōM Pack – a backpack from RōM Outdoors, that’s also a groundcloth/blanket and a warm, heavy duty poncho with hood.
Through a simple series of folds and quick connect plastic buckles, the RōM Pack folds itself into a mighty large backpack – capable of holding 30.4 cu.in. of gear and grub. Two outside removable pockets each hold more than 200 cu.in. of gear and the main pack holds almost 2,600 cu.in.
While the empty pack isn’t light, weighing in at 4.6 lbs., the material is a super durable, 600D water resistant poly with a soft, fleece-like PVC backing. It’s available in three colorways: black, tan and camo. As a blanket, when opened, it measures 66” by 51”.
Wide, padded straps feel sturdy and comfortable at the same time. Separate chest and waist straps insure that the pack stays put while you are hitting the trails.
Additional strapping occurs on the face of the pack for lashing on additional gear, hiking poles, camera tripods or whatever your sport requires.
If you are purchasing a RōM Pack, be sure to spend the additional $5 and get an “inner pack” to accompany it. Without it, when you need to use your pack as a poncho, you’ve got nowhere else to store or carry your pack’s contents. With the 14” x 20” inner pack, everything stays together and can be tossed on your back before donning the poncho.
Dual mesh side pockets are ideal for a pair of water bottles or anything else you might need to access easily. Two more hidden zippered pockets at the top are ideal for all those small, easily lost items like keys, coins, pills, or lip balm.
Keeping in mind that the RōM Pack is meant to convert to a poncho when it rains, it should be pointed out that the top of the pack itself is not designed to shed water. Since it merely folds over the contents and tucks itself in between the front and back layers, rain would naturally roll right down into the interior. You would need to unfold it slightly and reposition the flap outside the front face to have water run off the pack, instead of into the pack.
Speaking of folding – don’t worry about it being complicated to do – a five-year-old could do it. Literally, here he is – five-years-old and doing it. Now, I’m sure you can do it too – can’t you?
Learn more about all the RōM products at their website: https://romoutdoors.com/.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a RōM Pack and inner pack for free from RōM Outdoors in consideration for a gear review. Opinions expressed, as always, are totally our own.
Also published on Medium.