Sep 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm #1307728
Got two custom backpacks — one lighter and one heavier / slightly larger for long trips — excellent construction and quality. I will look his way again for any pack purchases. Good communication with him as well. Great packs!Sep 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm #2025336
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Pictures! They're worth a thousands words, they say!Sep 17, 2013 at 7:28 am #2025399
How funny you posted this today…I just got my photos of my hopeful PCT pack and I'm terribly excited to give it a try. I would have thought it intimidating to do a custom pack, but it turns out I really do know what I want, and Chris was able to help me tweak that into this masterpiece. And a big thank you to a fellow BPLer (thanks Robert!) who I met on the JMT and drooled over his version of this pack, which he swears carries a bearikade without your even knowing its there.Sep 17, 2013 at 7:43 am #2025404
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Would it be possible for you to provide info on weight, capacity and cost?
Nice looking packs.Sep 17, 2013 at 8:13 am #2025411
Pack is made of XPac for improved waterproofness
Orange pocket on straps is padded for my glasses
Not exactly sure how to do volume for it (it isn't yet in my hands…) but dimensions are 22" high, 8.5" deep (to accommodate the canister) and 11.5" wide. Then I've got the large pockets all around…
Weight with removable frame and all pockets is 33 oz, but Chris said there is a lot of excess strap to be cut. A little heavier than I'd hoped for, but I'm pleased with the waterproofness of the XPac. Also easier to pack and live out of than dyneema X, so for a thru hike pack should be worth it.
Price was $340 with all the trimmings. It starts at $230 for the basic pack, but as I added the lid and pockets and a frame etc etc it goes up (you pay per addition).
And seriously, I know how people love to rave around here about customer service, but Chris really was wonderful to work with.Sep 17, 2013 at 8:18 am #2025412
Does the pack model have a name? (where would I find the closest to this on his site?)Sep 17, 2013 at 8:22 am #2025413
The base model is the half dome. Half dome Perkins and half dome Tilly were the closest on his site to what we came up with for mine, but you really do give him the dimensions, additions, pockets you want…colors (the orange cord was my idea :) everything.
You can also mix models if you choose…
I wanted a tall pocket on one side for my shelter, then the shorter one for water and water treatment and whatever else.Sep 17, 2013 at 8:25 am #2025414
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
That's all we need. More pictures of gear to invest our paychecks on … er, I mean, blow our paychecks. Got … to … resist …
Seriously though, what fabric is on the underside of the new Zimmerbuilts? Notice it's different than the rest of the pack (been browsing some pack fabric threads).Sep 17, 2013 at 8:43 am #2025417
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Thanks for the info. Very helpful.Sep 17, 2013 at 9:05 am #2025422
The pack body is VX07, the bottom and the front (back?) are VX21.
Both are XPacSep 17, 2013 at 9:16 am #2025426
Jennifer, is there a frame?Sep 17, 2013 at 9:52 am #2025438
Yep. Removable aluminum U stay (looks like Gossamer Gears to me), and a small internal sleeve for a CC pad.Sep 17, 2013 at 10:20 am #2025450
Carrying capabilities? I've been looking a little at a new pack for winter trips. I keep forgetting when I'm home for the weekend to measure the volume of my winter gear to get an idea of the cubic inches I need. My old Epperson pack was supposed to be around 5500 I believe. I'll have to shoot Zimmerpacks an email to see if they can make a winter pack that can carry shoes, shovel,when needed, top loader, close to 5000 ci and do in comfortably, maybe around 30-35 lbs.
DuaneSep 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm #2027458
I've been in contact with Chris about a winter pack. How much have folks carried comfortably in there pack? I should be 30-35 or so for winter trips in the snow.
Thoughts of Xpac over Dyneema for wear and tear? Doesn't really matter if it is more waterproof, seems all packs leak anyway.
DuaneSep 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm #2027461
I also have a Zimmerbuilt pack and like it a lot. I've never carried more then 20 pounds or so on the trail but I've done short hikes with up to 40 pounds in it for testing. The limiting factor for me is not the frame but the hipbelt. Around about 35 pounds the hipbelt starts to collapse and put more weight on your shoulders. 35 pounds is sort of tolerable but 40 is miserable.
This is not a knock on Chris, he made exactly what I asked. I think a different hipbelt design (my fault) might improve carrying a bit but 35 pounds is probably about the limit. Packs they carry more then 35 pounds usually have a beefier frame and hipbelt.Sep 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm #2027484
I had Chris build me a pack recently and I would say it was one of the easiest transactions I have ever had. To be able to end up with exactly what you had in mind when you entered into the process is awesome. I have had worse luck ordering breakfast at a restaurant of late.
I just got back from a four day cross country trip in the southern Sierras and was very pleased with the pack. It was my first pack with a frame since I traded in my old traditional internal framed monster. It was very nice to get some transfer to the hips. The only negative was that the X-Pac on the bottom and side pockets did not get along with the Sierra granite and I have a few holes to patch up.
All in all, I would buy another pack from Chris in a heartbeat and will recommend him to anyone looking for a pack.Sep 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #2027511
Thank you. I'd need this for Fall trips too, out in late Sept or early Oct. Loaded with more clothes, warmer coat. I've tried to get lighter gear, but the colder weather trips seem to cause heavier packs. Summer, I'm mid 20's for a week and a liter or so of water. At least a newer pack will lose me 1.5 to 2 pounds of pack weight. My 20+ year old Epperson pack is 5 lbs. Just wonder if a HMG pack could be customized, I've read they handle more weight.
DuaneSep 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm #2027522
I imagine a HMG pack would be a better bet for weight. Don't get me wrong Chris was great to work with, he made exactly what I asked. The basic design he uses has limitations inherent to that design not his work. You could try to have him make something different but reinventing the wheel might be more trouble then its worth.Sep 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm #2027534
I think I need about another 600 ci over what the biggest HMG pack comes in at. The cuben fiber pack HMG makes is the same price Zimmer quoted with the volume I want I think in Xpac material. HMG is gonna be a pound lighter at least.
DuaneSep 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm #2027572
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
Another shout-out to how easy Chris was to work with! I have had my pack for two summers and it looks brand new, and that is with a partial SHR cross country trip, a JMT hike, and some bushwhacking in Yosemite this summer, and several extended weekend excursions with it. The most I have carried in it was 25+ lbs at the start of my JMT hike last summer. It carried fine at that weight, but I wouldn't want to take it over 30 lbs, IMO. What I liked best is how Chris took the dimensions of my Bearikade Weekender and other positive traits of previous backpacks I'd owned, and tailored them to what I wanted in a pack. It is not a major load hauler, but it wasn't intended to be one as my weeklong kit has shrunk significantly over the years.
Jennifer- Enjoy that pack on the PCT! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip next summer!Sep 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm #2029238
Just came back from a quick, uber hot and uber wet overnight hike with my new Zimmerbuilt pack and I have to say WOW. I packed a little heavy on purpose to get a feel for the pack, and for a bit of exercise. The XPac was waterproof enough to keep my stuff dry in a nasty pouring rain (I have not seam sealed it yet…), the belt and straps were amazing, I never felt the pack at all. Granted I only had about 17 pounds in it, but it felt soooooo good on my back, the belt was comfy and the pack carried like a dream.
Can't wait to give it a bigger workout…..
Thanks Chris!!!!!!Sep 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm #2029240
Jennifer glad you found a place to hiker in Texas (I'm assuming you did it in Texas). Where'd you go?Sep 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm #2029247
Did a single night on the Lake Georgetown loop. It was actually a sweet trail and as soon as it gets cooler here I'm going to do the whole thing. CharlieDog and I were a tad toooooooo hot!!Sep 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm #2029251
Well sorry for the thread drift but based on the earlier Texas thread I'm glad you found a place to go. I'm too far away for Lake Georgetown so I'll be checking out the Guads soon.Sep 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm #2029266
Luke, I am planning for my ARk Autumn trip; so I followed up on your April Eagle Rock Loop thread. I was glad to see you got closer to the Rockies. Gotta love those Ouachita colors in Autumn too… GuMo is beautiful in mid/late Oct. Whether you take Bear Canyon, or ascend through McKittrick you'll find those both 'good & steep' and they will keep you stopping 'to take pictures'. Guad Pk is OK; but, I'd suggest a quick there and back. Take ur water for the ' sky island' assault though, and have fun! Heck, it's in your 'backyard' now…
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