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Gregory Z Pack Review

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BowlderMan, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This will be a fairly brief review - it's based on one weekend trip. It's also my first gear review, so it may not be the format everyone's used to - oh well....

I have the "medium" size of this pack, which is listed at a bit over 3 pounds and something like 3700 cu. in. of volume.

I often take my son (now 9 years old) backpacking with me, so have to take more stuff than I would need for just me. This pack worked just fine for this situation. I was easily able to fit my son's sleeping bag and a bearproof canister, along with everything else, into the pack. My tent fit into the outer partially mesh pocket. The only thing I had to carry on the outside was my z-rest pad and my cheapo imitation Tevas.

I think my total pack weight was a little under 40 lbs., and the pack was very comfortable. The hip belt was a little less padded than my previous pack (an REI pack from 1986), so my hips got a little sore, but it wasn't a big deal. With a more typical load - say 30-33 pounds - I'm confident the hip pads will be sufficient.

One of the main features I liked about this pack was the ability to shrink the thing down to a miniature size using the compression straps. This made an excellent summit pack for our challenging loop "hike" (and scramble) during product testing.

The top lid is removable. On my old pack, there are straps on the lid that you can hook up to make it into a little daypack. With this pack, there are no straps on the lid (the straps that connect it to the main pack are sewn to the main pack), but I believe there is a way to make the lid into a fanny pack for dayhikes from a base camp. Just haven't figured that out yet.

Hope this info is helpful to someone...."


Runemael, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I have used a Large Z pack for 7 months now. At 3 pounds 5 oz it offers plenty of capacity for gear.
By removing the single aluminum stay you get even more flexability.
The zipper on the top compartment and side access operate smoothly and are extremely water resistant.
I have been leary of zippers in packs, afraid of having them blow out if stressed to much, but I have yet to experience that with this pack, and I stuff it to the limits at times.
The Mesh bucket style pocket surprised me whith how much could fit in there. It is great for moist tarp, rain gear, clothing and umbrella.
While you have the ability to place a water bladder in the pack with an opening for the drinking tube, I find the only real disapointment to this pack is the lack of a water bottle container.
I think Gregory should consider an angled container similar to what they have placed on their Palisade pack.
I have heard the 2005 model has reduced the weight even more, but is still missing the bottle carrier.
For packs of this size, I would list this as a lightweight pack (not ultra light) and a great peice of equipment in any backpackers selection."


S Dot, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This is a fantastic pack. Last summer I went to the Boundary Waters for a 4 day trip with 5 other people. This pack held it's own with some of the other, slightly larger packs that the group had. I also use this pack during the winter, I am a teacher and snowboard instructor. I am able to put all my gear, except my board, in or on this pack so I can go right to the mountain after school. It handles this duty with ease. Another, and possibly the best aspect of this pack is that it can fit in an overhead compartment! This is the only piece of luggage I take during vacations (usually 5 days or fewer). It's great to be able to carry your luggage on your back and not your hands. I would agree with another review in that the worst part of this pack is that there is no water bottle holder and the hip padding is a little light. Overall a great, versatile pack."


Don Atkins, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I used the Z pack for a three day, 25 mile hike in the toughest part of the Appalachian Trail through the Smoky Mountains. I carried 38 pounds of gear and still had room for more. I stretched the bag to its limit and was very please that over the rough terrain, there was only one small blemish on the bag.
To get past the water bottle problem, I used a large plastic flask and refilled it from my canteen. It slid nicely into the mesh pockets. The external straps held my trek poles, fly rod, and sleeping pad with plenty of strap to spare. All of my food was kept in the removable zipper bag on the top of the bag and was easily hung up and away from bears for the night.
I was impressed how the loaded bag hugged to my back on the steep climbs up and down the Trail, but I did have to regularly adjust the straps for a tight fit."


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