So you wanna go light eh? Or at least lighter? Well, let me tell you about the new pack I just got. It’s the Zero by Zpacks. It’s light dude. It’s not zero, no, but close…4.0 ounces!
The Zpacks Zero is a frameless bare bones pack offered in three different sizes. The small being 27.5 liters with a total weight of 4.0 ounces. The medium 36 liters at 4.2 ounces and the large 44 liters at 4.6 ounces. I got the small, so that’s my reference point in this post.
You can customize the Zero to fit your personal needs. The small pack “bare bones” will run you about $95.00 U.S. but the cost and weight can add up quickly. Just ask my wife, I’m sure she will talk your ear off about that! When I finished adding all the extras to my pack I spent a total of $240 and my total pack weight is now at 8.4 ounces. Still very light, even compared to my Zpacks Arc Blast.
Now, the pack does come with padded shoulder straps, about 3/8 of inch thick. The straps are reinforced to the pack with cuben hybrid material. The cuben hybrid material also lines the bottom corners of the pack. The cuben hybrid is more durable than regular cuben and that comes standard with the Zero. My Arc Blast is made from this material and I’ve had the pack for over 2 years now and it’s still in great shape.
Another thing that comes with the Zpacks Zero is a sternum strap which is adjustable by means of a daisy chain that runs along the shoulder straps and also has 2 small loops for attaching things too. The entire pack is waterproof and all seams are stitched and taped with cuben fiber tape to keep out all that rain you will be hiking in. Oh yeah!
The Zero is offered in 1.43 oz/sq yd cuben fiber or 2.92 oz/sq yd cuben hybrid. I chose the Cuban fiber version. I also ordered the pack without the hip belt, after all, this is a ultralight pack right?
My experience is this; if you’re carrying light weight, 10 pounds or less, you don’t really need a hip belt. Now everyone is different and that’s not to say a person couldn’t carry a 20-pound pack without a hip belt or that a person wouldn’t want a hip belt carrying an 8 pound pack. It’s all about your comfort level.
Now on to the add-ons. I added 2 cuben side pockets, one for each side, a total of 6 side straps, 3 on each side, a roll top closure, a haul loop, 2 bottom straps (for holding a pad), a top strap, and an outer mesh pocket with shock cord lashings. I know right, it seems like a lot of add-ons! Well, it probably is.
Some other accessories that are offered from Zpacks are belt pouches, shoulder pouches, load lifters, the multi-pouch etc. for a full list go check out their website .
The pack is expensive. Anything made from cuben or cuben hybrid is and will be for the foreseeable future. Cuben material is a lot tougher than it looks, so don’t get caught up in thinking your pack is going to fall apart on the trail. I do recommend purchasing some Cuben fiber tape though in case you were to puncture it.
Lastly, I want to tell you that I’m in love with cuben fiber. I have 2 packs, 3 tarps, countless stuff sacks and 1 hammock sock made of this stuff. It is the shizzle!
Go check Zpacks out!!! www.zpacks.com
To see an overview of my pack you can check out my video.