ALPS Mountaineering Zion Pack
After wanting to get back into backpacking after many…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $97
- Poor construction
After wanting to get back into backpacking after many years, I bought myself and my son a ALPS Mountaineering Zion Pack. They looked roomy and the price was right for an entry level pack. My initial reaction to the pack was favorable, it looked solid and the material for the pack and frame looked sturdy.
Initially, it seemed to easily hold 30-45 lbs of gear and the load felt stable. The pockets on the pack are plentiful and the zippers have proven to be dependable and sturdy.
After about 4 hours of hiking time, I had a clevis pin that holds the pack to the frame give out, no biggy, but glad that I carried an extra.
My son and I are both pretty average, about 5'8" and found the pack was uncomfortable to carry under load on the trail. The webbing in the back of the pack that holds it away from your back loosens quickly and a bar on the frame tends to dig in at low shoulder level. My son gave up on the pack after about 30 hours of trail time (approx 5 hikes) while I put some foam around the bar and have soldiered on.
After about 70 hours of trail time both grommets that held the shoulder straps to the pack frame ripped out of the webbing on the straps. With gentle usage I was able to continue to use the pack. I used by son's pack after this and the same thing occurred after about 6 or 7 hikes.
While the problems with the packs didn't render them unserviceable, I wouldn't want to rely on this pack for anything longer than a weekender.
Here's what other sites are saying:
When you compare our external frame packs to some of our competitors, you'll quickly notice that you get more features and a lower price with ALPS... without sacrificing quality. As ALPS's reputation for quality packs has grown, we've had numerous requests for external packs, so we've designed 3 models that are worth checking out. The Zion has a sleeping bag compartment and top loading access. There are various pockets to keep your gear organized and important items handy. The padded shoulder straps have multiple positions so you can adjust the pack to fit your body. The features found on the Zion make this pack top-of-the-line!
The ALPS Mountaineering Zion external frame pack is full of comfort and convenience features to help you haul large loads in the backcountry. Spacious main compartment features a divider for your sleeping bag and other lightweight, bulky gear. Top-loading design features a generous front flap with zippered pocket. Hydration-compatible design features an external reservoir pocket and drink tube routing for on-the-go hydration (reservoir sold separately). Mesh-backed foam in shoulder straps and waistbelt provide exceptional carrying comfort; waistbelt helps evenly distribute pack weight. Multiple shoulder strap positions offer a custom fit. Mesh panel on back allows air to circulate as the hike intensifies. Telescoping aluminum frame accommodates various torso lengths and is easy to adjust. 4 large exterior pockets keep gear organized. Lash tabs, daisy chain and ice axe loops allow gear to be attached. Made of durable nylon ripstop fabric. Special buy.