From weekend backpacking to a day at the crag.
The Gregory Z65 Backpack is so versatile that you can take it backpacking for a weekend and then load all your ice or rock climbing gear for quick trips to the crags on weekdays. This pack can store all your climbing gear or the equipment you need for a weekend in the woods. Its CrossFlo suspension
system provides airflow to help keep you cool in warmer
weather without sacrificing load transfer. The spring steel bar curves
with a wire frame directly into the lumbar pad in order to ensure the
load's entire weight transfers to your hips. Gregory covered the
shoulder straps and waist belt with ventilated EVA to maximize your
comfort on trails and approaches.
This top-loader also features a U-zipper side access so you can whip out an extra layer at a moment's notice. The floating top lid is removable, and the integrated rain cover should protect your gear in case some black clouds unexpectedly float over your routes. Gregory also added an interior hydration sleeve with a hose port, a front bucket pocket that's perfect for helmets, a zippered front pocket for smaller items, two external stretch pockets for water bottles, and dual waistbelt pockets for sunscreen, lip balm, and snacks for the trail. There are also hideaway loops for ice axes or trekking poles, and compression straps at the bottom and sides to secure your gear.
- CrossFlo suspension
- Spring steel bar with wire frame
- Ventilated EVA foam at shoulders and waistbelt
- Top-loading main compartment with U-zipper side access
- Floating, removable top lid with zippered pocket
- Integrated rain cover
- Interior hydration sleeve with hose port
- Front bucket pocket and zippered pocket
- External stretch water bottle pockets
- Dual quick-access waistbelt pockets
- Hideaway loops for axes and trekking poles
- Side and bottom compression straps
Share your thoughts
Jack of all trades, master of none
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
I order this pack to use for multi-night mountaineering trips where I would pack in with this pack, set up camp, and summit with something smaller that I stowed inside. To that end, I returned this pack before I used it.
The biggest thing was the suspended back panel. I should have realized this beforehand but I was mainly looking at the weight of the pack when I ordered it. The pack has one of those frames that actually keeps the pack off of your back with an exaggerated curve and lays some mesh across your back for ventilation. It pushes your center of gravity further back so while you may only be carrying 35-40 pounds with this pack it will feel like more. Also, it means your water bladder, if you use one, can't lay flat in your pack and you have to do some strange packing behind/below it. So while it is a 65 liter pack it felt like it had less space because of this. I do not see myself doing anything steep or off trail with this kind of pack.
For my purposes I would also be packing in an ice axe, helmet, and maybe crampons. I didn't care for the elastic loops that you secure the axe/poles with - it never felt very secure. The bucket pocket, which I imagine is what they think of as one of the places to stash a helmet, was too small when the pack was full. Not a big deal though since you could lash it somewhere else pretty easily.
The top closure is also not the double skirt kind you find in many alpine packs - just the one drawstring.
So while it didn't quite fit the bill for me it is still a well made pack with thoughtful features for regular backpacking. The lumbar padding is good. The "U" zipper on the front makes getting into the pack very easy and it has lots of pockets outside the main compartment for storing stuff you might want to get at during the day without digging into the rest of the pack. If I had ordered it just to get a normal lightweight backpacking pack I would have been perfectly happy with it.