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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Gear Review: Gregory Z35 Backpack

This pack from our 2009 Gear Guide won't buckle under even the heaviest loads.

by: Kelly Bastone

Gregory Z35 (
Gregory Z35 (

More Reviews
Field Test: Daypacks

Criteria: 1,800-2,500 cubic inches; 3 lbs or less; $150 or less; hydration compatible
Test Numbers: 44,100 total vertical feet ascended; 735 total pounds carried; 44 hours of rain and snow endured
Ratings Scale: 5=Perfect, 1=Save your money (Overall rating is not an average of other scores.)
Load Monster
Sybarites, rejoice: If you like to pack serious poundage–a bottle of bubbly on the summit, anyone?–get the Z35 (or Jade 35, the women's version). "Even if you're carrying bricks, it'd be hard to overload this workhorse," reported a tester who toted it through Arizona's McDowell Mountains.

The suspension uses two tubular steel stays that flex like tent poles and reinforce a tensioned nylon framesheet; its curved shape supports 30 pounds and effectively distributes the weight to your hips. The well-padded hipbelt proved sufficiently cushioned under maxed-out loads, and it never sagged. "While hopping boulders during a steep descent, I noticed no slippage thanks to the sticky lumbar pad," reported one hiker.

The trampoline-style mesh backpanel allows superior ventilation. The top-loader has excellent organizational features: A zippered pouch stashes flat items like gloves or a journal; a U-shaped zipper provides access to the main compartment; two small hipbelt pockets hold snacks (cameras don't fit); two shock-cord attachments hold trekking poles; and webbing loops on the bottom make it easy to lash on a sleeping pad. But the Z35 isn't light, and capacity is cut when you load the pack with a full hydration bladder.
  • Capacity 2,196 cu. in.
  • Sizes 5 gender-specific; 16"-22" torsos
  • Weight 3 lbs.
  • Price $149
  • Info

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Reader Rating: -


Sep 28, 2011

excellent bag! however, i do not understand why it didn't come with a rain cover...

Sep 02, 2011

How large does this pack fit? I'm 6'3 260lb w/t big shoulders.


Dec 20, 2010

A small camera definitely does fit in the pocket.

Sep 12, 2010

small enough for a day pack but large enough for a overnnighter

Tom W
Jul 20, 2010

small camera does fit in waist pocket ... I love this pack ... even for day mountaineering it's a fine choice; holds snow shoes, ice axe, trekking poles and enough food / water for day peak bagging in winter


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