View Full Version : Gregory Z55 Backpack Advice

12-03-2014, 15:11
So after a dacade and a half haitus form hiking and backpacking and having given away most of my gear to my grown children I'm in the process of doing some research to re outfit myself with some new gear. I'll probably be taking a middle of the road approach weight wise, definately lighter than my old heavweight gear but not quite so minimalist as some of the ultralight gear I've seen. The Gregory Z55 pack is one of the packs that appeals to me, the frame is reported to be super comfortable and highly adjustable, very important to this aging back. I'd rather carry a couple of extra pounds of pack than have a pack that doesnt have a cushy ride. Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions? One question I have is the online prices are all over the place. Is this because some of the cheaper prices are older versions or factory seconds. the price range I see is from $109 all the way up to $239.00. ($199 at REI and EMS).

12-03-2014, 15:45
I tried a Z55 on during the pack search. Didn't end up buying it because their sizing just didn't match me. I'm 6' 2" and 160 lbs. so thinner than most my height. On the Gregory with the correct torso size the "universal" hip belt could not be adjusted small enough to fit me correctly even taking it down to the smallest notch. That aside I would agree the padding is very generous and cushy, I'd venture to say too generous for me. Specifically the lumbar pad was so big it kinda felt like a rock in my lower back. that was my experience though, and being 40 years your junior it's fair to say my back likely needs something different. One thing I did like about it was the outside stretch pocket was larger than a few others I looked at, I'm a big fan of stuffing those full hence the HMG Windrider I'm now carrying.

Regarding the price difference it's hard to say for sure without links but very likely due to a model year change. Aside from sales most of the major online vendors price pretty equally so there definitely is a cause for it. Yeah before getting into backpacking I had no idea things like rain shells and packs change years just like cars do, makes for some steep discounts if you get while the getting's good.

12-03-2014, 16:28
I looked a little forther at the various ads. Back Country has a cyber monday sale that expires today $107.53, Sun and Ski has 2012 model for $134.89, Gearex has a 2011 model for $139.97, The rest pretty much seem to be $199.00

12-03-2014, 16:38
I'm a gal and have a Z65. It was a tough decision not to get the 55, it probably would have worked, but I wanted the extra space for winter trips.

I really love the pack, fits great, carries extremely well, my back doesn't get all hot. My full weight including the pack itself is usually 24-30 lbs. and I never find myself saying my shoulders hurt, my pack feels heavy, pinching, bothering me, etc. I tried a lot of other packs, many women's including their women's version of the Z (the J). Nothing fit me quite right. Don't get hung up on men's/women's--get what fits good and feels good.

As for prices, I'm trying to sell a gently used Deva right now and prices for it new are all over the place too. I agree it's probably sales, model changes, etc. I don't think if you buy from any reputable store, online or otherwise, it'll be seconds or anything. I had my small local outfitter order mine in, they had a 20% off coupon going on.

The only issue I did have with the pack is I couldn't reach back to get at my water bottle in the side pocket. There are solutions for this, so don't let that be a deterrent. PM me if you need a solution for that.

12-05-2014, 11:29
I have a Z55 Large and love it.
Keep in mind, the older models have different straps than the new ones. The new straps don't tend to cut into the collarbone as the older ones did.

12-05-2014, 12:20
I like the fit of the Gregory Z30 I tried a few weeks ago. It was well made and very comfy. If you're looking at the Z55 and don't care for all the features and pockets, the Osprey Exos 58 is worth checking out. Different set of features, and less durable, but almost a pound lighter and also very comfortable(as always, *assuming it fits you*).

12-05-2014, 12:26
I love my granite gear. Big plus is molle webbing on thr hip belt. Love this pack! I looked at the zpacks but i like accessories...