ZPacks.com Arc Blast Ultralight Backpack

Anyone had experience with this lightweight backpack? Any thoughts ? http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/arc_blast.shtml
I think they have their place for light and fast travel but they don't seem to fare well over time and with heavy use. I know two people who have had trouble with the metal struts in the back repeatedly popping out and not tensioning well. One of these people's packs completely and permanantly failed on a recent trip. I personally prefer to carry a bit of extra weight and use a pack that I know is robust, reliable and will last a decent length if time. Trail walkers seem to like them.
They have addressed the strut issue, I believe that was the first generation models. The thing about Zpacks is that they are a company that has a single focus, and that focus is thru-hiking. Therefore, if you're doing anything other than long-distance hiking they're probably not the pack for you unless you absolutely need to get your empty pack weight under a kilo. All the Arc packs are simply modern day external frames, literally, that's what they are. Other options that are slightly heavier and more durable would be the Granite Gear Crown2 and ULA Circuit, I own both packs and both perform well. I would also recommend the Zpacks however you have to treat all DCF gear as disposable to some degree, that material has issues when it comes to abrasion and weight bearing seams. DCF in a tent fly is one thing, but making a pack from it has limitations.
I’ve had the Arc zip for 3 years and it’s an excellent pack for certain purposes. Not for large volume / heavy loads or for chucking on a plane as checked baggage. I use my Osprey AG 65 for South Island trips. But for local trips with loads less than 12 kg it’s amazing. The stays issue was sorted, they send me free of charge upgraded inserts. Quite a specialised pack but not really more so than say an Osprey Exos. Hard to really recommend as a value option though as it’s an expensive pack to buy in $US and you will likely get hit for GST etc. but at 680g for a framed and confortabke (within limits) pack it’s 1.4 kg lighter than the AG 65
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My friend had the upgraded inserts and it still failed...catastrophically.
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Wanderwild, that's one person, there are hundreds of examples of people walking 5000km trails with very few problems. I know about 5 people with this pack and have put thousands of kms on it with no issues.
Looks pretty cool. Not sure if you are keen on just this one pack - I recently bought an Osprey Exos and its a nice light pack. Probably a b it heavier than what you are looking at - but its around 1.2kg. Hopefully its quite durable as its first trip to North Mangahao Biv in the Tararuas (thru plenty of scrub) was quite punishing on it. I have heard that these packs will hold up over the years.
My Exos has. A few years ago, a hunter commented on how old it was. I'd just given it a scrub the day before. I'm still using it and the new pack is staying in the cupboard. I've done a bit of stitching with dental floss to keep it going.
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Forum Gear talk
Started by giuseppe23
On 7 March 2019
Replies 7
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