by Norcal4ufromOk, for under 35lb loadsThis is an ok bag for 35lbs or less. The suspension starts to really tweak if you push 45lbs plus. I didn't like the fact that I couldn't get my water bottles while I had the bag on. Also this bag needed more hooks and straps (especially on the top for a bear vault). Hip straps needed to be wider or replacable. Zipper for panel access was very tight and you would definately need a rain cover in light rain. No removable day pack. I returned it after my knees killed me on a simple 10 mi trek.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 4out of5
by MJPerkinsfromVery nice packThough I'm a big guy, I find this pack's "small" size a very comfy way to carry smaller loads. I like the way the design focuses the weight to where it sits on the lower back/hips and allows good ventilation around mid back. The hip and shoulder pads are harder/firmer than I like, but it's not uncomfortable and they seem designed for good ventilation.
Though the "small" can expand to fit my big body(6'2", 220 lbs), it also adjusts down enough that my small-framed wife and even my 8 & 11 year old boys can wear it.
I like that it's a top loader but also has side access via a long zipper. Note that the zippers seem to be water-proof and feel tight and smooth. The whole bag looks and feels very high quality.
I'm quite impressed!
Date published: 2011-03-08
Rated 5out of5
by Captain-ETfromTerrific PackI got the Z65, because my 2007 Z55 just couldn't hold it all. I got the large which is 71L which is just right for my use. I tend to over pack too many "just in case" items, but have been able to keep the pack to 38 lbs or less. That's everything but a bear canister, which will be tough to integrate, but I think I could make it work as well.
I choose Gregory mainly for the Jet Stream suspension and air-flow on my back; but the whole feature set makes it the best choice. The pockets on the hip belt are super for camera, knife, and snacks. All the adjustment straps are located well and work easily. Although there's a good air gap between you and the pack, when it's all cinched up, you are one with the pack. The Z55 had a big "shovel pocket" which was OK, but I don't miss it in the Z65 because the zipper panel makes it so much easier to unload. It's impossible to have it all because features tend to conflict. For example, it is difficult to access my 3L water bladder due to the curve of the pack, so you have to pack it first. If you had to re-fill the bladder mid-hike, you'd empty half of the pack & repack to fit it in. The air flow on my back is more important, so I accept that. If you want a bunch of pockets, then you'd have to choose a heavier pack; this one's just over 4lbs. My Z55 lost a zipper pull on the very first outing, a friend also lost one on his Z55. So far with the Z65 it hasn't happened, but they do appear identical so I have a spare in an emergency kit. There are two loops on the front corners of the lid. It would be ideal if they were one on all four corners so I could mount my GPS for easy access. I look at other packs, but still am very pleased with this one, and would choose it again.
Date published: 2010-12-02
Rated 5out of5
by mom rocksfromGreat weekend pack!This is a great pack for day hikes up to three day trips. For cold weather trips or gadget lovers, this might be a little on the small side. For minimalists, it might accommodate a longer trip.
Multiple straps allow you to easily redistribute weight if you have a smaller load, and there are plenty of options for attaching extra gear to the outside of the pack if you don't have quite enough room inside the bag. The loops at the bottom were just barely big enough to slip in a Thermarest Trail Lite mat.
On the trail, there are multiple easy-access compartments to reach gear without unpacking everything. I especially like the roomy belt pockets - great places to stow a point-and-shoot camera, snacks, Kleenex, etc.
Comfort-wise, I loved the lumbar cushion and the ventilation. It was very easy to reach the straps to pull the weight closer to my back without taking the pack off.
My only complaint is that almost every time I use the pack, I get the buckles on the straps mixed up and have to backtrack to figure out which ones I mismatched. It would be nice if this were dummy-proofed. :)
Date published: 2011-04-25
Ask a question and have it answered by REI product experts and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Need immediate assistance? Use Live Help.