Gregory Z 40
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180
This is an excellent pack for three-season use a daypack or as a 1-2 night, minimalist pack. Lightweight. Very good weight distribution. Even when the pack felt heavy lifting it, once it was on it felt like I wasn't carrying anything at all.
- Access from top and front
- Hydration compatible
- Integrated rain cover
- Multiple pockets
- Comfortable suspension
- Limited attachment points
- Mesh water-bottle pockets difficult to use
I was looking for a pack to replace my old Jansport Odyssey 39 liter pack that I had been using. This was OK, but the capacity was limited by several different pockets and was better suited as a school/book bag.
The Z40 was just what the doctor ordered. It has plenty of space for an extended day hike (extra clothes, food, stove, 10 Essentials, and even a tarp as emergency shelter) or even a fair weather overnight. New with the 2014 revision is there is no longer bottom access or sleeping bag compartment. Instead, the front access zipper opens from the bottom and flips up over the top of the bag. This allows for very easy access to the entire main compartment, especially the bottom. The top is easily accessed through top opening.
The suspension is top notch. When loaded with about 35 lbs of gear, the pack felt heavy lifting it but as soon as I put it on I was AMAZED at how light it felt. The trampoline suspension does an excellent job of distributing the weight. I also noticed there was absolutely no sway while hiking or scrambling over blow-down.
Downside is the lack of attachment points. There are two trekking pole/ice ax attachments, but I am not sure I would use them for the latter. This reduces its functionality for winter use as there is also no way to attach snowshoes or skis. However, for three-season use it is now my go-to bag for day hikes.