My thoughts on this pack are the complete opposite…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $345 USD


My thoughts on this pack are the complete opposite of the previous reviewer. I love this pack. Great waist belt and weight transfer, very comfortable, highly water resistant.


  • Adjustable arc frame allows for excellent weight transfer
  • Lightweight
  • Highly water resistant
  • Durable Dyneema Gridstop fabric
  • Customizable


  • Expensive

I ordered this pack from Z-Packs on a Wednesday and received it 10 days later. I live in Canada and for an international shipment this was very fast. So far I have taken the pack fully loaded with approximately 35 lbs on some overnight and weekend hiking trips and multiple day hikes.

The waist belt has two tightening straps one high and one low as well as an adjustable arc frame made with carbon fiber stays that keep any pointy objects off you back and allow air flow keeping you cooler. The frame and hip belt with it's high and low straps also ensure the weight is transferred to your hips.

The shoulder straps are also completely adjustable for different torso lengths and are equipped with load lifters. There are compression straps on each side to secure your gear. In my experience I found the pack super comfortable and the load extremely stable. There are load straps on the bottom and top for securing extra gear or a sleep pad. 

The main body of the pack is 49 L with a Velcro and a roll top closure that keeps the rain at bay, side water bottle pockets are 2.5 L each and will accommodate two 1 L smart water bottles each, the back mesh pocket  is 8 L and large enough for my rain gear, sit pad, tyvek ground sheet, fuel bottle, with room to spare for any wet clothing or my tarp. I ordered the optional hip belt pockets, they are 1 liter each, and able to hold quite a bit, including my camera, snacks, compass and phone.

The pack is completely seam sealed and is highly water resistant but not waterproof. I was caught in a torrential downpour that lasted over three hours with rain coming at me from all angles with wind gusts of 25 mph and found approximately two dozen drops of water in the bottom of the pack after unloading and no water penetration in the hip belt pockets. I always keep my down and anything I want to keep dry in a compactor bag just in case.  

The Arc Haul is made from Dyneema Gridstop fabric that is slightly heavier and much more durable than its Cuben Fiber cousin; all seams are taped. The hip belt and shoulder straps are made with 3/8 closed cell foam and 3D mesh making them very comfortable. With tons of options like, shoulder strap pouches, bottle holders, top side pockets, bear canister strap, key pouch, multi pack, ice axe loops, trekking pole holders, lumbar support pad and shoulder strap pads, it is highly customizable.

I would recommend this pack to anyone that is looking for a roomy, lightweight pack that is able to comfortably carry heavier loads than other light and ultra light packs.


Nice review, Ross! Thanks for taking the time to share your pictures and info about the Arc Haul.

1 year ago

Load capacity caused weak belt design to sag and rash…

Rating: rated 1 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300


Load capacity caused weak belt design to sag and rash on lower back on first day while the weight begged to be on lower back and shoulders no matter what I tried. Bear canister was at top.


  • Durable
  • Very lightweight


  • Load capacity causes belt to sag and rash
  • Expensive
  • 6 weeks order wait
  • Belt pockets cost extra

This style is stated to have a 40-lb load capacity. I took it for 35 miles in three days holding 33 lbs. On day ONE I felt a rash forming on my lower back. All the weight was pushing down resting on my lower back and I tried everything to get it to my waist....and YES...I know how to pack, dress, and adjust straps properly.

Upon my return I had a rash the full length of where the belt is sewn into the backpack. Bad design for heavy loads. Also, the flat rods running vertical along the sides for support cause a sharp thick razor-like edge at the bottom, which sliced my thigh when resting it and then bringing it around to my back. 

Unfortunately I didn't hike within 30 days of receiving my pack because it was winter for'm only eligible for store credit which is useless for me. Keep this in mind when buying. Plan a long day hike fully packed within 30 days of receiving.  

UPDATE: I just brought it into my local reputable sports shop because I'd really like to use my investment. We loaded it up to 35 lbs and a few of us with similar torso lengths tried it on and no one could get the weight to their hips. So, case closed as far as I'm concerned. I tried.






Welcome to Trailspace, Nao. I'm sorry to hear this pack didn't work out for you. Do you have any pictures that can show others how the weigh of the pack shifted and pushed down on you?

2 years ago
Nao Stock

Hi Alicia. I have a picture of the rash and took pictures to show how the belt is sewn to the pack which will clearly show a lack of support for it's stated 40lbs load capacity to the human body and I was only carrying 33lbs including bear canister.

2 years ago

Thanks for adding those, Nao. I'm sorry to hear your pack didn't work out. It was a good idea to see if anyone at the local shop could help you out though.

2 years ago

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