- Gender: Male
- 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.