View Full Version : zpacks.com

02-17-2012, 15:40
Met a guy the other day using one of these ( zpacks.com ) and just wondered how many folks have used them. They appear to be just a sack with straps, but the weight sure looks inviting. Also pricey, but if you use it enough I suppose it's worth it.

02-17-2012, 16:45
I've got a medium Zero pack made from the cuben-nylon hybrid material. I added a sternum strap, 2 waterbottle pockets and a roll top closure. This pack is AWESOME! I had previously puchased a large cuben fiber Zero pack with the regular drawstring and the pack was way too big for my needs. Joe let me return the pack and used the price of the first pack toward the new pack(essentially building me a new custom pack for no additional charge).

The hybrid material should last much longer than straight cuben fiber and my pack weighs 7.2oz as opposed to 5.0oz for the same pack in straight cuben. My base weight is under 8lbs for cold weather gear so keep in mind the recommended load weight of 12-15lbs.

So far I've purchased a pack, a tarp and a groundsheet/poncho from Joe and I've got nothing but good things to say about the craftmanship of his products. On top of that, I've received THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE that I've ever experianced from an individual/company from Zpacks.

And in case anyone wonders, I'm not affiliated with this company in any way nor do I receive any compensation. LOL!

02-17-2012, 19:13
I think Stick uses one. Pretty well thought of, if you've got your other gear down to UL weights.

02-17-2012, 19:32
I have a Zpacks tent, groundsheet, wallet and stake bag. I'll probably get one of his packs when I try to thru hike again, along with a custom Zpacks Hexamid.

02-17-2012, 19:45
I have one of his packs, a hammock tarp, stuff sacks, a rain kilt and a cuben Packa made by Joe. Besides it being quality made gear, the service is outstanding.

02-17-2012, 20:12
I've got a Blast 30something. I've got about a thousand miles on it and it's good as new. It's my goto pack for longer hikes - love it.

Wise Old Owl
02-17-2012, 21:23

02-17-2012, 22:07
Yep, I have a Blast 30 (http://sticksblog.com/gear/my-current-gear/backpack/zpacks-blast-30-backpack-multipack/)...I have only been fortunate to use it once on a 3.5 day trip with a total pack weight of 17 lbs. I also use the multipack in conjunctions with the pack. It was a sweet hike though and I am totally looking forward to using it for a long time...it fir me wonderfully and I experienced absolutely no sore spots. However, I cannot comment on it as far as long term use. (Sounds like 10-K has had some good use out of his though.) Although, I do agree that the gear should match the pack (smaller & lighter). There is a bit of a learning curve with packing it too since it is a frameless pack.

I also own a number of other things from ZPacks, a Hexamid (http://sticksblog.com/gear/my-current-gear/shelter/zpacks-hexamid-solo-plus-w-beak-cuben-ground-sheet/), stuff sacks (http://sticksblog.com/gear/storage-stuff-sacks/zpacks-cuben-fiber-stuff-sacks/), Kilt (http://sticksblog.com/clothing/rain-gear/traillite-designs-cloudkilt-by-zpacks/), dry sacks, pack liner (http://sticksblog.com/gear/storage-stuff-sacks/zpacks-cuben-fiber-18-x-36-dry-sack-pack-liner/) and some over mitts. So far I have been very happy with everything. I have had to send a Dry sack back. I probably overstuffed it, but the seam came apart. Contacted Joe and he took care of it right away!

As far as customer service, I would say it is definitely top notch. I have exchanged a number of emails with Joe and he has always responded within just a few hours.

02-19-2012, 23:10
best pack I've ever owned

02-19-2012, 23:13
I have to get a few more miles out of my Golite Dawn, work my way through my Granite Gear Virga, and then I'll be able to make a decision based on the actual durability of cuben fiber. For now, I'm pretty much sold on Dyneema fabric. The stuff is on the bottom of my Dawn and is tough as nails.

02-20-2012, 23:57
i too use and love a small zero. it's my summer pack without question...

02-21-2012, 16:40
zpack stuff is light years ahead

02-21-2012, 16:46
I wonder if there should be a "has anyone ever had a negative experiance with zpacks" thread?

max patch
02-21-2012, 16:52
keep in mind the recommended load weight of 12-15lbs.

Is this a typo?

5 day hike i'm carrying 10 pounds of food. Thats 2-5 pounds for everything else? Add 2 quarts of water and that leaves a whole pound for gear....

02-21-2012, 17:22
No, it's not a typo. The pack's not intended for longer hikes where you're going to have a heavy load of food and/or water to carry. For that you'll probably want a heavier pack with a frame and hip belt. You can't go SUL with your pack unless your entire load is going to be SUL (unless you LIKE hiking in pain, that is).

Raul Perez
02-21-2012, 17:25
I have the Blast 30 which comes in at 10.5 oz with all the extras I put in. Very happy with it. I recommend the max load on that to be about 25lbs total pack weight. I got in 27lbs and it was uncomfortable in the shoulders until I ate 2-3lbs of food and water during the first day. After that it carried like a dream!

02-21-2012, 18:01
No, it's not a typo. The pack's not intended for longer hikes where you're going to have a heavy load of food and/or water to carry. For that you'll probably want a heavier pack with a frame and hip belt. You can't go SUL with your pack unless your entire load is going to be SUL (unless you LIKE hiking in pain, that is).

I would say it is a typo...unless I am just not coming across the 12 - 15 lb recommendation on the ZPacks site. What I can tell from the site is that the material and the design of the Exo pack can handle 30 lbs, and the materials on the Blast packs can handle 25 lbs, but lighter loads are encouraged. Then over on the FAQ page there is this:

How much weight can I carry in your backpacks?
Frameless packs are comfortable with weights under 20 lbs (9 kg). You can probably get away with weights a bit heavier than that on occasion, but if you plan to carry over 20 lbs on a regular basis you will be better off with a pack with a frame. A base weight (all gear without food or water) of 8 lbs (3.8 kg) or less is a good target for a frameless pack.

As far as the Zero packs, they are the same as the Blast packs, except they do not have any of the added pockets or any other features as the Blast packs, hence the name "Zero." So, I would imagine that these packs are "rated" the same as the Blast packs...that being that the material can handle 25 lbs, but that lighter loads are encouraged.

Also, I find the statement above which says that these pack's are not intended for longer hikes to be untrue too. For starters, Joe has used a Blast pack on both his CDT and his PCT thru hike. I also feel that it is safe to say that these packs have been used on AT thru hikes as well as other long trails. Cuben packs seem to be making their way into the crowds...

I feel like when someone gets one of these packs that they probably have their base weight down pretty low to begin with, which should leave plenty of room for plenty of food and water (to a point) to meet the 25 or 30 lb recommendation. I would not consider my pack weight too low, but using my Blast 30 pack I walked out on my last (cold weather) hike with a total pack weight of 17 lbs, which included enough fuel and food for 4 full days. Water is a constant change, but that 17 lbs included 1L of water too. However, I still had plenty of room and another 7 lbs before I hit the recommended load limit, so I feel like I could easily get 10 days of food in this pack with my normal gear, and still carry my normal amount of water (1 - 2L). Like Raul said, that first day may be a bit uncomfortable, but once I ate some it would get better. (And let me just say, that 17 lb pack weight was awesome. The pack fit me like a glove. It was a beautiful thing I tell ya... :) )

Granted if I were expecting to carry gallons of water constantly, along with long (10+ days) resupply points I would possibly want the Exo pack (or possibly another pack all together) rather than my Blast pack. However, luckily for me, that is not the case. I don't think that that many people are heading out on adventures that remote though as much as they are on everyday, established hiking trails with a week or less time between resupply points. (Just my opinion though.)

02-21-2012, 19:14
I misquoted the weight recommendation.

02-21-2012, 19:16
Quote from Joe about his CDT hike using a Blast 30: "My longest stretch on the CDT between re-supply was about 175 miles. 100-120 miles was normal. I frequently used my pack's top strap to lash raingear to the outside for more space."

02-21-2012, 19:20
I wonder if there should be a "has anyone ever had a negative experiance with zpacks" thread?

All I can say is that I have been using Zpacks products since before he offered cuben items. I still have one of his first pack offerings, a Z-1 sillnylon pack weighing in at around 7 oz. It is still an excellent pack about the size of a Blast 26.