Boundary Supply Rift Pack Review
The Boundary Supply Rift Pack is crafted from quality materials and has ample storage space, though its large size makes it difficult to keep gear straight.
- Ample sized main compartment
- Water-resistant materials for inclement weather
- Interior zippered pocket adds separation for important items
- Main compartment lacks organization
- Strap’s long width can feel awkward
- Can look lumpy when on the emptier side
0.68 lb (0.3 kg)
6 in x 11 in x 3 in (15.2 x 27.9 x 7.6 cm)
YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware, Nylon, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), DWR Coating, EVA
The Boundary Supply Rift Pack is cut from the same cloth (literally) as the Arris Pack, but they don’t seem to come from the same inspiration upon closer inspection. Whereas the Arris Pack has organization on top of organization, the Rift Pack seems to purposely lack inspiration. Will that be its downfall, or will it have a redemption arc? Let’s find out.
Materials & Aesthetic
The pack material is a 400D Nylon that’s interior coated with TPU and complete with an exterior DWR coating. This makes it extremely water-resistant, especially when paired with proper zippers (we’ll get to those) and a design that doesn’t have anywhere for water to pool.
The material is a little crunchy, especially when the pack is on the emptier side. The more fabric that is available to be moved around, the more crunch you’ll get, though it isn’t a huge bother unless you’re constantly touching the materials.
At the time of writing, the Rift Pack comes in three colorways. We have the burnt orange model to match our version of the Arris Pack. There are also green and black options. All three emphasize earth tones and feel very natural. The logo imprint on the front of the pack uses the same color profile, just a bit darker, to blend in but still be visible if you’re looking for it.
There are two other additions to the Boundary Supply modular system that sync up with the Rift Pack, so you can mix and match the three colors to your liking for a funky-looking combination of pack materials. Between the Arris Pack, Rift Pack, and Stasis Sling, you can pick one of each color, stick to one colorway, or go with one choice for the main pack and a second choice for the sling and hip-pack. The choices are endless! Well, if endless means 27 possible color combinations, anyway. We had to have a high school pre-calc teacher check our math on that tricky equation. Thanks, Kathy!
The main compartment has a YKK #5 AquaGuard zipper. It runs around the pack, which allows the compartment to open pretty wide. Because it faces toward the side and not upwards, water doesn’t pool up around the zipper. YKK AquaGuard models are great at keeping water out, and the only time we have issues with them is when water is constantly on top of the track. Facing the zipper outwards negates this possibility, which is a smart design inclusion.
There are two zipper heads, which leaves a tiny hole where they meet. Water could theoretically sneak inside through that hole, but because it’s front-facing and such a small hole, this hasn’t happened for us.
The zipper pulls on the main compartment look like leather from a distance but feel like they’re actually made of soft vinyl. It can get a little slippery when the material gets wet, but there’s a hard plastic tab on the end that makes grabbing it in any weather situation quick and easy.
The top compartment is a YKK #5 AquaGuard zipper too, but it lays flat on the top of the pack. Pooling water isn’t much of an issue here, and the zipper has a little garage to live in when the compartment is closed to ensure no water sneaks through the cracks.
The zipper pull for the top compartment is hard plastic and has a small YKK imprint on it. There isn’t any texture to it other than the logo, so it’s hard to grab onto if things get wet. We’re able to combat this by holding it below the hard plastic and using that as a ledge to grab underneath, but even then, it can be a little tricky. It opens just as easily as the main compartment when things are dry.
The strap on the pack is an inch and a half (3.81 cm) wide and a little rough to the touch. It feels a little restricting in use due to its width, but the material feels very durable. When extended, the strap measures roughly 33 inches (83.8 cm). It’s easy to adjust but stays put when you’re wearing it.
The extra material from the strap is fed through a closed hard plastic loop, and the end of the strap is too large to fit back through it. This is great for ensuring that it can’t fall out, but it also means that you can’t loop it additional times if you have a smaller frame and there’s a lot of extra material. There are additional strap keepers where the strap meets the pack, but they aren’t very secure, so it can fall out pretty easily.
A large Woojin buckle secures the strap. It’s made from hard plastic and clips nicely. We expect quality from Woojin, and there’s nothing much to report here other than just that: quality.
The front face of the pack features two attachment loops made from the same material as the strap. They’re large enough to accept carabiners of most sizes but aren’t large enough for wider straps to loop through.
The back panel isn’t fully attached to the pack’s material, but is instead stuck on with hook and loop fasteners, buttons, and connected in the bottom corners of the pack. This might sound like a lot, but it has aerated mesh padding to keep things light and airy, and though you can slightly feel the buttons when you have just a t-shirt on, it’s not uncomfortable. Even with the aeration, the panel stops most items from poking you too much from the pack’s interior.
You can stow the strap behind the back panel, which adds to the multi-purpose uses of the pack. Simply detach the buttons, fold the strap up, and reattach the buttons. The pack could be used as a packing cube in a pinch once the strap is stowed, but it offers more as a companion on the outside of the Arris than inside your pack.
Since we have the Arris on hand, we’re able to mess around with the modularity that it offers. To attach the Rift pack to the Arris pack, we first need to unattach the back panel. There are two included lash straps inside, so slide those down under the bottom of the back panel. Near the top, you will see two male clips. They don’t move very much, so we like to fasten them first.
The top of the Arris Pack has two female clips, and the two male clips on the Rift Pack clip into those. This is the most challenging part, especially if your Rift Pack already has stuff inside. Once you’ve clicked those into place, move your attention to the lash straps that you left dangling earlier. The front face of the Arris Pack has four 360-lash hooks, and we will be attaching the Rift to the top two. The clips can be a little finicky to get on and even worse to get off, but they’re locked in once connected. A trick to attaching them is to open the clip slightly, stick the tip of the clip in, let go of the clip, and use all of your hand-leverage to push the clip all the way in.
As we said, it’s a little finicky, but things go a lot quicker once you get the hang of it. Getting the pack off is much easier because the lash straps have buckles in the middle, so you can just unhook the buckle, not the metal clip that took so much effort to connect to the 360-lash hook.
We like pairing these two packs together because it allows us to carry a smaller pack like the Rift rather than the larger 35L Arris Pack when we don’t need more space. While at the airport, leave your larger bag at the gate with your group and head off with just the Rift Pack. Load up on snacks, entertainment, and drinks for the flight. When it’s time to board, keep the Rift Pack with you in your seat with all your entertainment in tow, leaving your larger pack in the overhead compartment for the duration of the flight. This concept is easily applicable for trips from the hotel, Airbnb, or hostel. Leave the big stuff behind; just take what you need with the Rift Pack.
Inside The Waist Pack
We’ve talked a little bit about what you can use the pack for, but what does the inside actually look like? Let’s take a look.
The main compartment is, to put it simply, a large area without organization. The material feels like it’s just the back of the exterior fabric with a TPU coating for water resistance. There is a little zippered mesh pocket on the back side, but apart from that, there isn’t any segmentation here. Coming in at 3.5L, there’s a fair amount of space in the main compartment, so having a place to put items we want to keep away from the hubbub (cough…chaos…cough) is nice. There’s no key clip, so this is a good place for your keys, phone, or wallet.
The interior compartment can be supplemented with a camera insert from Boundary Supply, which adds more padding and little dividers to organize camera gear. We don’t have the insert on hand, but product images appear to show it taking away some of the volumes of the pack at the gain of some organizational features. You can decide whether or not this is something you need, but there are a lot of slings and daypacks out there that can stow camera gear without needing to purchase anything additional. We like the Bellroy Venture Sling for smaller cameras and the Peak Design Everyday Backpack for larger camera gear.
The top compartment is pretty tiny, which we find hard for practical daily use. An iPhone without a case can fit inside the pocket, but it’s a pretty tight fit, and there isn’t any additional protection other than the thin fabric. A pair of sunglasses fit here, but there isn’t much room for anything else.
We do find it handy for holding a transit card, but it isn’t a super quick access pocket, so it might be better off staying in your wallet. If you put anything with a little bit of weight to it here when the pack isn’t full, like a cell phone, it will cause the pocket to droop down into the main compartment. This is because there isn’t much rigidity to the materials, so it can’t hold itself up. When the pack is moderately full, this isn’t an issue.
Overall, the Boundary Supply Rift Pack is a great fit for those who want modularity options, especially within the Arris Pack family. It lacks organization, but this will be okay for those who don’t need everything to have a home or for those willing to shell out for the optional camera insert. The quality materials and durable construction are a big plus, too. It gets your gear from point a to point b, but it isn’t the most organized way of getting there.
- Designed to be compatible with the Arris Pack
- Can also be used as a camera pouch
- Has decent structure with its high-tensile nylon construction
- The material bunches up but doesn’t crease
- Zippers are smooth and water-resistant
- Lash straps have gotten easier to connect