Image of the June 2014 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more articles from the
June 2014 Issue
Home / Articles / Wild Gear

Ryan Lock’s ‘pack jacket’

Ryan Lock with his lifejacket pack. Photo: Ryan Lock

Sometimes the inspiration for a new piece of kit can come from equipment that’s used for something completely different.

Take Ryan Lock’s innovative idea to reduce the bounce of a pack when you’re running. He couldn’t find a pack that would stop bouncing altogether so took inspiration instead from life vests.

The former Outward Bound instructor from Blenheim took the buoyancy aids from the inside of a vest and re-sealed it with zips. This created one large pocket at the back and two smaller ones at the front.

Lock found it works extremely well for reducing the bounce but he’s not yet perfected the design.

“It’s limited for space and a lot depends on choosing the right kind of jacket,” he says. “You need compression straps on the side and a big rear compartment.

“There are a few issues, such as things sticking into your ribs and I imagine it could get quite hot. But there are a lot of advantages; the most surprising being that you can access your map easily and without stopping.”

Lock isn’t giving up on improving the design and is always tweaking it. “This is just a first attempt and the jacket isn’t built for carrying loads. It could do with being stronger with more webbing,” he says.

“I’m trying to put containers into the front pockets, which should maintain flatness and decrease bulkiness. We’ve bought flattish plastic storage containers that fit nicely into the front compartments. We’ll fill those containers and put them inside.”

Subscribe and save 61% for the first five months

$2.50/per month

Gain instant access to all stories, trips and gear reviews for the super low price of $2.50/month (normally $6.50/month) for the first five months. You’ll also get the Wilderness Wildcard, which offers discounts at more than 20 partners around New Zealand.

Just choose a monthly website-only subscription and use coupon code ‘2fifty’ to receive this special price.

Or view all our subscription options.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.

Discount applies to the first five monthly payments after which time the subscription price will revert to the current $6.50/month. Cancel your next payment at any time in your ‘My Account’ page. NZ subscribers only receive WildCard.