User Review: Gregory Z55
Price Paid: $120
I've loved this pack from the first outing I took it on. I've used it for 5 day trips and overnight backpacking trips as well. It's never performed less than stellar. I've had it for several years now, and I've never had an issue. I used a Medium sized Men's model. When I bought the pack, I was 5'7", 140 lbs and it fit well at that time. Now I am 5'9", 155 lbs and it still fits perfectly.
Previous to this pack, I used a Kelty Coyote 3750, which was a good enough pack, but it was too bulky. My father, who I generally backpack with, uses an Osprey Atmos 50. While I still used my Kelty, I took his pack on several trips while I was investigating lightweight packs to buy. I really liked it, but had a few issues. For one, the frame rubbed against my shoulder blade/upper-back region, causing discomfort. The other main issue was it wasn't quite large enough.
So, when I set out to look for a pack, the Gregory Z55 was actually the top of my list. My dad and I subscribe to Backpacker magazine. Backpacker consistently lists the Gregory Z55 as the best overall choice for a lightweight backpack. So, I was naturally a little predisposed to favor this pack. Then, trying the pack and several others on at REI, I decided that it was without a doubt the pack for me. I haven't regretted this decision.
I highly recommend this pack for the casual or serious backpacker. The only issue I could see a person having with it is if they don't have good gear. If you use a large sleeping bag, and a large sleeping pad, it will eat up a lot of precious room in the Z55. However, if you have either good gear or great gear, it won't even be a problem. In fact, I often I have so much extra room, I bring the bulky down feather pillow from my bed at home with me.
Great choice. I'll probably never buy a different model ever again. Gregory has made a lifelong customer out of me.