It’s about that time, fall is here, it’s rainy and cold.. I’ve been stuck indoors and getting desperate to get out! In lew of getting out i’ve acquired a bad case of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), in other words I keep buying new gear. This time around I bought a Zpacks arc blast backpack. As many of you know I have done a review of my Laufbursche huckenpack here. While I really liked the Laufbursche I felt that being mainly a hammock camper nowadays I needed a bag a little more useful for my needs – I.E with a frame. Of course I could and did pack my laufbursche a few times on longer trips without a frame, but no matter how well I packed it, I just didn’t need all the extra stuff inorder to make a viable frame in the pack, and as the longer trip became shorter and my food packs got eaten up, my frame started to disappear and the weight distribution would just get weird on my back.
So I decided to try the Zpacks arc blast and so far I am very happy with it. I have a large version with all the bells and whistles. I have to say that here is where Zpacks really excels is in customer service, my order changed about 20 times during the course of production and they where more than happy to do all the changes and upgrades without even the slightest complaint.
The Arc blast is a very comfortable pack, when fully loaded it holds its suggested weight limit without any problems or discomfort. (I have also included the extra lumbar support add-on) I love the massive mesh pockets on this pack – (two side mesh pockets are purchased separately – I suggest buying these add-ons). also, I find the side pockets well placed and much easier to access without having to take off my pack than many other packs I’ve owned and used, including the pockets on the Huckenpack. On day trips or weekend trips I usually just pack one 500ml water bottle in the side pocket, on longer trips where I wont have access to water as often I take a 2 liter platypus with straw.
All in all this is a great pack, and if you really want to lighten the load on your back start with the big 3. Backpack, sleeping bag and tent. I can’t think of a better pack for the weight (just remember you don’t want to load more than 15kilos on this pack). Big mesh pockets, carbon fiber frame, more or less waterproof and not too terribly ugly! For me, this is the perfect pack.
My Arc Blast weighs in at 560grams with the side pockets.