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Zpacks Zero

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Zero has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best overnight packs for 2023.

photo: Zpacks Zero overnight pack (35-49l)

The Zpacks Zero is a frameless, ultralight, customizable pack made of Cuben Fiber. Consisting of only a pack body and shoulder straps, to begin with, Zpacks allows you to add features, that you deem necessary, to make the pack as full featured (or minimalist) as you’d like.

My favourite options available are the back pocket, the sleeping pad straps, and the key pocket.

If I were looking to omit some features I would leave off the webbing belt and not have the seams taped.

I’ve made a video to highlight the options available, and feature the options that I ordered (and why)...

Pros

  • Customization
  • Sleeping pad straps
  • Removable key pocket
  • Large back pocket

Cons

  • Production time
  • Not sold on the drawstring opening
  • Can be a little pricey dependant on options

Quick note on customer service:

My inquires about certain features and customization were all answered incredibly quickly. The various staff members that I emailed with were very patient and helpful in ensuring I was getting the type of pack that i wanted.

The turnaround time from ordering to shipping my pack was quite long, much longer than expected. My pack was ordered June 10, 2015, and shipped Sept 4, 2015 (over 12 weeks). I did know there was going to be a wait period, but at the time of order the site was quoting anywhere from 6-8 weeks, so almost double the stated time. I also was never given an update on expected shipping date or production time after ordering, so you’re kinda out in the cold on that one.

Source: bought it new

Good ol' times: Strong UL Dyneema zPacks Bag—highly customizable and 300g / 11 oz with pad and several pouches

Pros

  • Highly customizable in the old days
  • Lightest ever DCF bag
  • Carries up to 9kg, due to good hip belt and several padding

Cons

  • not manufactured anymore

Hey, here is my all-time favorite UL bag pack.

zpackszero1.jpg
padded hipbelt with 2 Dyneema pouches, padded shoulder straps with DCF pouches as well
zPacksZero2.jpg
"my" zPacks Zero added mesh bag
zPacksZero3.jpg
"my" zPacks Zero side view

It comes from a time when zPacks was still young, creative, and growing, and here they offered high customization options. 

I did customize a specific version, which I still rate higher than all new packs I have tried (e.g. zPacks Nero, HMG 2400, Hyberg...)

Since the other review is quite good, I will only describe the major modifications I ordered.

  • In the back: upper and lower DCF captures for a pad
  • Hipbelt with strong padding
  • Shoulder padding
  • Mesh net outside, similar to all new bags like Nero, Arc...
  • 2 UL DCF Hip belt pouches
  • 2 UL shoulder pouches
P1060834.jpg
zPacks Zero in action skitouring

I myself did do some MYOG adjustments:

  • Velcro and snaps on top of the pack (like most of newer packs have)

Summary:

It is my favorite pack for 2-3 day hiking and currently I use it quite a bit for skiing in backcountry / skitouring.

20210118_130327.jpg
zPacks Zero with sitpad next to it

 

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $200

The only pack I need.

Pros

  • 6.2 ounces
  • $120
  • Essentially waterproof
  • Minimalist design

Cons

  • Not for bushwhacking use; well-groomed trails only
  • Cuben Fiber/DCF doesn't breathe so your cheese is going to melt on a hot day. If you put stinky things in there they will get more stinky.

I paid $120 for mine, about 10 years ago now.

I can't kill it.

If I'm not using it on-trail I'm using it for my Big City life, going to CostCo and the library and everywhere with it.

Simple ruck. It has a couple of detachable mesh pockets on the straps and one big stretchy mesh pocket across the front of the pack.

Despite having a closet full of packs this is the only one I use.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120

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Specs

Small Medium Large
Price Reviewers Paid: $120.00-$200.00
Weight 4.0 oz / 113 g 4.2 oz / 119 g 4.6 oz / 130 g
Body Volume 1,700 cu in / 27.5 L 2,200 cu in / 36 L 2,800 cu in / 44 L
Body Dimensions 10 x 6 x 28 in / 25.5 x 15 x 71 cm 12 x 6 x 29 in / 30.5 x 15 x 74 cm 13 x 6.5 x 31 in / 33 x 16.5 x 79 cm

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