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.