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Arc'teryx did not design the Nozone 35 Backpack with any single activity in mind, but made sure it was smart, durable and lightweight so it can go where your imagination take you. Minimalists heading for the crag can remove the top lid and the waist-belt to cut more weight and get the Nozone 35 down to a bare-bones structure when grams are of the essence. Trekkers and mountaineers can go the other way, and take advantage of the extendible collar and adjustable top lid to stuff the Nozone to capacity for gear-intensive days on the mountain.

  • New rigid but lightweight Arc'on suspension system features high-density PE foam and two lightweight stays that channel the weight of the load to your hips and can be removed for shorter treks or when you need more flexibility
  • Laminated design cuts the number of layers in the suspension by more than half
  • Dual-density, anatomically shaped shoulder straps with a modular sternum straps eliminate hot spots
  • Removablewebbing hip-belt stabilizes your load when you're on the move
  • Main compartment accessed by top drawcord that's easy and intuitive and allows you to expand the capacity
  • Tough but lightweight fabrics stand up to demanding use and shed precipitation in heavy weather; reinforced high-wear areas add resilience
  • Four side compression straps help manage load packing and bulk
  • Top lid can be removed when you're going light, or extended when you're filling the main compartment to capacity
  • P'ax ice-axe holder keeps this important tool safely contained but in easy reach
  • Dual daisy chains work with included bungee to lash on extra gear
  • Dual haul loops reinforced for extra durability
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  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

In the early 2000s, Arc'teryx dialed in the "light is right" ethos to create the original NoZone Series. A decade later, they have resurrected the line and taken it one step further.

Upon first inspection, I thought this pack was on the small side of 35L. That was before I stuffed a 60M rope, screws, alpine rock rack, puffy jacket with extra layers, gloves, food/water and my helmet inside.

The design of the pack is stripped down and minimal. There is no port or sleeve for a hydration system. No velcro straps to hold your ice tools. Instead a simple, yet intelligent approach to attaching your tools using the pack's side compression straps. The materials are light, yet burly. Using a heavier Cordura in the higher wear areas on the bottom, axe holster and crampon patch and a lighter weave on the side panels. The pack is reinforced in all the right places, while maintaining a slim profile and super light weight.

The shoulder straps and waist belt are designed with climbing in mind. The pack is short enough to look up with a helmet and the waist belt stays out of the way of the gear on your harness. Stripped down it works great as a leader pack with the lid stuffed inside; while fully loaded it climbs extremely well for those big single-push days in the mountains. The 35L is large enough for Alpine Ice and compressed makes a great Summer Alpine Rock Pack.

The suspension is easily removed, but I haven't seen the need to so. It carries equally well with heavier winter gear as it does with minimal summer rock rack.

Overall, this pack is light, but burly. Simple, but innovative. One of the best packs I have carried since my original Khamsin 38, can't wait for them to resurrect that line next.