Why we like it The Z nails the tester wish list: ventilated trampoline suspension with a super-stable carry; low weight for the capacity; and smart, uncluttered organization.
Breathability The tensioned trampoline suspension lifts the packbag a good 1.5 inches off your back, and kept our testers’ backs sweat-free, even on uphill slogs in muggy, 85°F weather. One tester, who carried it on a weeklong trip through Utah’s iconic redrock labyrinth, The Maze, says “I could actually feel the breeze flow between my back and the pack.”
Comfort The suspension components are cleverly integrated: Shoulder straps connect to a slightly elastic tensioning panel behind the trampoline, which extends to the bottom of the frame and attaches to the pivoting hipbelt. “This pack magically absorbed big loads—up to 55 pounds—with no shifting or swaying,” reports one tester.
Weatherproofing “The detachable rainfly kept everything dry during a 14-hour downpour at 12,500 feet,” says one tester after a trip in the Maroon Bells, Colorado. On another trip—a canyoneering excursion in Zion National Park—the pack was partially submerged three times yet never leaked.
Access A U-shaped zipper offers easy entry. “I could pull my sleeping gear out for a trailhead bivy without unloading the pack,” says a tester.
Gripe As with most trampoline packs, volume gets pinched at the middle due to the structure, making loading a bit fussy.
$229; 3 lbs. 6 oz.; 65 liters; 3 sizes each for men and women (J 63); gregorypacks.comFloating top pocket, hideaway axe/pole loops, rain cover