Zpacks Arc Blast 60 liter
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Sep 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm #1307620ROBERT TANGENSpectator
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
I received my Zpacks Arc Blast, the large 60 liter, 17.0 oz. size for winter loads, and love it. If you are worried about getting poked, don’t worry, the stays terminate at the bottom end BEHIND the hip belt, and can in no way poke you in the back, or the side, or anywhere else. I loaded it with several large, smoothly rounded Tide soap containers, totaling 42 pounds, and it carries very nicely, transferring weight to the hips: you can put 100% of the weight on the hips, or by loosening or opening the hip belt you can put 100% of the weight on the shoulders.
The stays are not round, like arrow shafts, but flat, like the whalebone slats in my girdle… oh… never mind about that. The mesh trampoline exists only in the middle 3/4ths of the back, and bears no weight. It is a couple of inches away from the pack, the exact amount depending on how much arc you put in the flat stays, which are easy to adjust. The bottom of the pack itself is what sits on your body’s back shelf, formed by your lower back and hips.
Of course, there is no way that Yours Truly is going to actually carry 40 lbs of winter gear: that is a job for the Little Wifey and our 3 Ankle Biters. I will then set up the tent, and tie the guylines around their waists, and they will sit up all night holding the tent down, while I get a little much-needed shut eye.Sep 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm #2026295Adam CriswellMember
@macrophyllumLocale: Northern California
At the risk of sounding lazy, check out my review of the Arc Blast on my blog.I will be updating it periodically.
Bottom line: I really like this pack (mostly)!
Update: After having a chance to really get to know this pack I downgraded my rating to 4. Mostly because it is not rainproof.Feb 14, 2015 at 7:31 am #2174245avi sitoBPL Member
I love this pack. I’ve owned several non-UL packs over the years, used for 1-3 weeks treks each time. Did some research before going ultra; I was looking for a pack big enough to carry full gear and food for two persons (my wife) and that would be able to carry all the weight on my hips. I had back surgery twenty years ago so this feature is critical for me. The pack needs to have a good enough frame, well-padded hip-belt, and load-lifters good enough for my height (1.90 meters) so the weight can be carried comfortably enough even with heavier loads. The ArcBlast meets all this and by far out-performed my expectations.
To begin-with, the day I received it I was very impressed by its below ½ kg weight. So if you toss it in the air, it literally floats to the ground as if it’s a balloon. Super-light – very impressive. I was really impressed.
I generally load it with 11kg-6kg total weight – it handles this weight easily. Again – all on my waist. I’ve been to 500kms with it so far, including the GR5 in france this year. The Cuben material holds out fine. A scratch here and there, but nothing serious. It was completely waterproof in the French alps during several days of rain and a couple of thunderstorms. I actually carried a Cuben rain cover with me but ended up not using it. The default side pockets do just fine for water bottlescellular. The rear mesh was very handy for drying out clothes. I do think since this is UL gear it requires more care to protect it against the occasional rosebush etc. but this is to be expected of such gear.
Overall, I think this pack is a marvel of engineering. I’m still VERY VERY impressed by how such a light pack can be comfortable, durable and water-resistant all at the same time. I highly recommend it.
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