User Review: Gregory Z35
Design: Top loading internal frame
Size: 3.5 liter
Number of Pockets: 3 plus two belt pouches
Max. Load Carried: about 13 pounds
Height of Owner: 73"
Price Paid: $155
I am a big guy, 73" tall 270 lbs. I wear a size 56 jacket and have a 21" neck. I am in pretty decent shape for a 55-year-old guy and I have been enjoying hiking and backpacking for many years.
It has always been a problem for me to find a backpack that fit my long torso and big shoulders. Before getting the Gregory Z35, I had been using a Gregory Baltoro for everything including as a daypack. The Baltoro fits me and carries very well, but it weighs 6.5 empty.
I had tried a North Face Scarab and a Granite Gear Latitude Vapor. Both were very nice packs, but left me hurting after an arduous day of hiking the steep rocky trails of the Sandia Mountains which are near where I live in Albuquerque, NM, and are my favorite haunts. These trails are beautiful but are dry, for the most part. I typically carry a 100oz hydration bag and a liter or two extra in Nalgenes. Since these are wilderness areas, I also carry a little extra stuff in case the dayhike accidentally turns into an overnighter.
The Z35 has been the solution to my problem. It has a full size "Jetstream" harness of the Z "fast and light" series and is a lightweight 3500cc top loading, roll top pack.
The top opening has two flexible hoop type things that snap it open or closed, covered by a top flap. It has a "bucket type opening in front that is ventilated and the sides and easily holds a rolled up jacket and sweater. Its main compartment is generously roomy for 3.5 liters and has a nice hydration bladder pouch with tube openings on either side.
The pack has a nice zippered mesh pouch on either side of its waistband that you can actually reach while hiking. The shoulder straps are light but substantially made and very comfortable. It weighs a little under 3.5 pounds. The Z35 is very well designed and built, as is typical of Gregory packs.
Overall, I rate it as an outstanding extended trip day pack.
If I am taking a sleeping bag, tent and cookware I will still take the Baltoro.