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DuneElliot
07-11-2016, 19:02
I have the ZPacks Arc Haul pack with added lumbar pad and I seem to be experiencing a moderate degree of pain in the lumbar region, and lower, by the time I am half way through the day, every day. I don't think this is normal for this pack and it is comfortable in every other way. I don't know if it's the bottom bar of the frame in the pack but it seems to be as the pain is approximately in the region the bar sits, or if it's just that I'm too small for the pack (a very petite 110# and 5'5" so very little natural cushioning). I know I don't wear the pack as high on my hips as I should (buckle over the belly button) but I find that extremely constricting and uncomfortable, but it is also only about an inch or so lower and still sitting on my hip bones since I am female.

I also think this pain and pressure is causing an excess of fatigue in my hips, back and legs meaning I can't hike longer and further. I have a very low pack weight with a base weight under 10lbs (29oz quilt, 24oz tent plus stakes, 19oz pad, no or minimal alc. stove, small FA kit, base layer and extra socks etc) and two-three days of food (mostly snacks, freeze-dried/dehydrated etc) for a long-weekend and 2 liters of water at most (generally 1 liter) which is well within the specs of this pack.

Has anyone else had this experience or is it just that this pack probably doesn't fit my body type well and I should try something else. I really want to make this pack work for me but I would rather buy something else and be comfortable while backpacking.

Any and all advice or thoughts welcome. I am tempted to try a ULA Circuit at this point, and would have invested in the SMD Fusion 65 if they'd still had the older version in stock for the sale price.

cmoulder
07-11-2016, 19:39
I have 2 old-style Arc Blasts and never had a problem... then immediately! lumbar pain with an Arc Haul and relatively light load, caused by the lower crossbar (which is not present on the older Arc Blasts), which was solved with the addition of the optional lumbar pad.

While 1 of the lumbar pads cured the problem for me, it sounds as if you need 2 of them. I've heard of this and have heard that they can be 'stacked'. I'd email Zpacks about the issue and have them send you another lumbar pad pronto to see if that works.

DuneElliot
07-11-2016, 19:42
I actually tried an additional lumbar pad (not ZPacks) this weekend for a 25 mile trip between the original lumbar pad and the belt and it actually made things worse. It was better without the extra padding.

soumodeler
07-11-2016, 19:52
Have you tried it without the lumbar pad? If 2 made it worse, try it without and see what that feels like.

cmoulder
07-11-2016, 19:55
OK, I'd still shoot an email to Zpacks because if this problem has been reported before they might have a solution or at least some suggestions for you. I know of at least 2 reports myself of other people who had issues with that crossbar. One of them (on BPL... search "DK") was also a female who lost weight while hiking the Oregon section of the PCT... eventually she reported the pack to be comfortable for her, carrying nearly 50lbs... mostly water! I hope never again to carry a pack that heavy!

cmoulder
07-11-2016, 19:56
Have you tried it without the lumbar pad? If 2 made it worse, try it without and see what that feels like.

Well, that's a good idea, too! :)

I've also read that some people have found it entirely comfortable with no supplemental pad.

misprof
07-11-2016, 20:10
I had that problem with an REI Flash and a few others. What I noticed was that the lumbar pad was actually causing the weight of the pack to ride on my L5-S! joint instead of my hips. I had to get a different pack. Also have someone take a side view picture of you. It might help to see where the pack is sitting.

DuneElliot
07-11-2016, 20:21
Thanks. I will try the pack without the lumbar pad although the belt will probably be too big for me as it is almost to the point of no adjustment as it is, and the small doesn't cover my bony hips enough. I never thought there would be such an issue with being slender!!!

DuneElliot
07-11-2016, 20:30
Just tried my pack loaded without the extra lumbar pad. I can definitely feel the bar in the area I feel pain which leads me to believe that even with the extra padding the bar is the issue. Looks like I may have to try other packs.

saltysack
07-14-2016, 16:40
Just tried my pack loaded without the extra lumbar pad. I can definitely feel the bar in the area I feel pain which leads me to believe that even with the extra padding the bar is the issue. Looks like I may have to try other packs.

ULA circuit has been a great pack...recently bought a GG Gorilla on sale under $200...circuit is bigger then I usually need so trying a 40l lighter pack...I've never had any pain issues with my circuit..taking the gorilla on the collegiate loop next week...


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DuneElliot
07-14-2016, 20:02
I actually just received the Circuit in the mail...I'm trying to get the fit dialed it. It is very different from the Arc Haul which is the only pack I've hiked with extensively so I'm not if what I'm working with is a bad fit, a good fit that I'm not used to or just something different. I have found the load doesn't feel quite as balanced as with my Arc Haul, but I was also trying not to over-tighten the load-lifters. I did read some skinny guy's review mentioning that he had to keep them tighter than normal because of being so skinny...which also may be my issue.

As far as the belt/suspension system on the Circuit, I can definitely feel a difference regarding pressure points on my back, or lack thereof compared to the Arc Haul. It does feel more comfortable sitting in a more correct location (higher on my hips) than the Haul felt/feels. I'm really having a hard time deciding on this pack without having the opportunity to take it out for a few miles which I can't currently do with an inflamed achilles tendon. I guess I have 30 days to figure it out.