Nov 27, 2019 at 1:42 am #3620576
Rogue Panda has come out with their first backpack, the Zoro:
There’s a long Reddit topic on it here:
The specs on the pack are impressive:
- 35 oz for 55L
- Load rating of 40lbs comfort and 50lbs maximum
- Hipbelt attached at the base of the stays
- Durable fabric options (DX40, D40, VX21)
- Neat side pocket water bottle access
- Drawcord hipbelt pockets?
The pack seems to have the basics right for a durable load hauler. I’d be interested in seeing more details of how the hipbelt connects to the stays. I am genuinely impressed at how comfortable my Elemental Horizons Aquilo is with the frame terminating directly in the hipbelt, so the Zoro could carry as well as advertised.
There’s a lot of focus on the pack being waterproof, which I’m not sure I really care about. I would probably ask about getting the side and rear fabrics of the pack in all Dyneema-X Gridstop, which would save weight and possibly even increase durability over VX21.
The only other things I wonder about are compression straps and external attachment points. Little loops around the pack are handy for attaching snowshoes or foam pads (I see none on the Zoro). And it seems there’s only one compression strap.Nov 27, 2019 at 6:11 am #3620587Link .BPL Member
You could ask NICK SMOLINSKE (Rogue Panda is his company) here he has been a BPL member for about 6 yearsNov 27, 2019 at 5:03 pm #3620617
I’ll be shooting a video tomorrow showing all the details, including how the pack attaches. We do have a video on our Instagram showing the hipbelt pockets in action:View this post on Instagram
Fastest hip belt pockets in the West. For the first few years making backpacks, I tried all kinds of zippered hip belt pockets – built-in, removable, etc. None of them worked as well as I wanted, and I always had to take pains to keep them out of the dirt when setting down my pack. So when I worked out this one-handed drawstring design, I never looked back. The Zoro comes standard with two hip belt pockets, and they can fit 12 Huppybars EACH! #adventuregear #ultralightbackpacking #hikefurther #takeahike #madeinAZ #livelifeoutside #hikingsnacks #trailfood #hikerlife #hikingvibes #backpackinglight #optoutside #getoutside #ulbackpacking #happyhiker #modernhiker #gohike
A post shared by Rogue Panda Designs (@roguepandadesigns) on
As for the attachment straps, that might be something we’d be willing to do on request. I try to keep things as streamlined as possible with the base version of all our packs but since these are custom made we can make small changes like that.
Dyneema gridstop is a possibility as well. Personally I’ve gotten spoiled by not using a pack liner, so it’s hard to imagine going back. So much easier just to stuff my sleeping bag straight into the backpack. But it’s not a problem to sew it with another fabric.Nov 27, 2019 at 6:50 pm #3620631Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Looks great! Those hipbelt pockets are genius. Looking forward to the video and hopefully a better understanding of how the hipbelt is attached to the frame and bag.Nov 27, 2019 at 6:59 pm #3620634
So much easier just to stuff my sleeping bag straight into the backpack.
That is some bold trust :) But maybe a seam-sealed, waterproof pack would be something to try.Nov 27, 2019 at 7:09 pm #3620638
That is some bold trust :) But maybe a seam-sealed, waterproof pack would be something to try.
I’m pretty confident about rain protection. What’s really bold is using it without a liner for packrafting. I’ve done that and I do have to say, if you’re expecting submersion you should do two coats of sealer and/or test for leaks. I missed a spot and got a bit of dampness on my sleeping bag after the Zoro was sitting in water in my raft (for about 3 hours).Nov 29, 2019 at 2:08 am #3620791
I just posted an overview video of the Zoro:Nov 29, 2019 at 4:36 am #3620811Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
THANK YOU for NOT making a zippered hip belt pocket. FINALLY.
Well done – the pockets, and the suspension design!Nov 29, 2019 at 5:35 am #3620815matthew kModerator
Nick, what are the dimensions of the main compartment of the pack in the 45/55/65 liter sizes?Nov 29, 2019 at 4:35 pm #3620842
The pack looks great, Nick. I like how you explained the logic behind the various features in the overview video. It seems like a well thought-out and tested pack.Nov 29, 2019 at 10:16 pm #3620867Tom PBPL Member
Ditto, the question about the compartment sizes… Or the liter specifications? Does 45 liters mean the main bag compartment only, excluding the netted back pocket and two side pockets and hip pocket? OR is 45 liter all encompassing; including all pockets?Nov 29, 2019 at 10:50 pm #3620871Max OBPL Member
Under the specs it says:
The pockets altogether total about 10 liters and are included in the volume of the pack.Nov 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm #3620929
Maybe I’ll add a section of the FAQ for that info, as well as how the pack volume was measured. For the main body of the pack I filled it with water, rolled the top 3 times, then picked it up and stepped on a kitchen scale. The pockets were measured by filling them with ping pong balls while the pack was stuffed. It’s about 5 liters for both side pockets, 1.5 for both hip belt pockets and 3.5 for the rear mesh pocket.Nov 30, 2019 at 3:34 pm #3620934
The dimensions of the pack would be good. I was also wondering how tall the pack is, with the extension collar fully unrolled.Dec 2, 2019 at 5:11 pm #3621188David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Nick, that thing looks awesome. Congrats.
I’m a bit surprised you haven’t had abrasion issues with DX40. Years ago I found that the disparity in denier between the warp and weft caused it to wear shocking fast when used in canyons. It seems DP has changed the fabric since then (2012)?Dec 3, 2019 at 2:16 am #3621273
Yeah I haven’t had any abrasion issues with the DX40. It definitely feels more sturdy than the D40 that I have in the shop, even though the specs are ostensibly very similar. The history is this from my understanding:
DX40 white, with X-ply (pre-2014?)
D40 white, no X-ply (2014-2017ish)
DX40 silver, with X-ply (currently available)
So, given that the DX40 silver is the newest version, perhaps they made improvements. As I said, it definitely feels different and for that reason I chose the DX40 silver for the pack raft I just made (yes, an Xpac packraft! More on that when I test it on the water, but it does hold air for now).
And thanks! I’m excited to finally launch this thing. One downside of being a more established company is that I have to bring a product to a much more polished level before launching, and it takes a long time with something new.Dec 3, 2019 at 5:23 pm #3621339David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
I “think” I bought that DX40 from Scott at Porcelain Rocket, who I recall had longer term issues with it as well. It was strange, the pack survived a spring of skiing and a summer of packrafting in Montana and Alaska no problem, and a week of slot canyons wore the bottom down to the PET. Good to hear DP sorted that out, a great fabric otherwise.
Mad respect on the pack and taking the time to get it dialed.Jan 23, 2020 at 11:32 am #3628414RobBPL Member
Anyone received one of these yet. Really curious about a review.Jan 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm #3628420
I bought one and received it a couple weeks ago. I think I’ll be selling it. My Elemental Horizons pack is much more comfortable to me.
I’ve only used it on a couple of short test hikes, but IMO, I’d set its comfort limit at around 30lbs. It’s pretty good up that amount, but I got it to carry up to 14-days of food and gear (mid to upper 30lb range for me).
The limiting factor seems to be that the hipbelt is fairly narrow and the shoulder straps have very thin padding. The basic design of the pack seems good and it is well constructed. Aside from this, the lack of a haul loop is annoying to me – I never realized how much I use that and I don’t understand why it would be left off of a pack.Jan 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm #3628480
Sorry to hear you don’t find the Zoro comfortable. It works well for me, but I want to make the pack fit as many people as possible so any constructive feedback is welcome.
I did rework the shoulder straps since the launch and they now have thicker padding. We also removed the binding around the outside – they’re now sewn and then flipped instead. I haven’t noticed a significant difference in comfort myself because I rarely put any weight on my shoulders at all, but I tested them out with others and decided to switch going forward.
Once we move into our new shop (Feb 1st) I’ll be sending out an email to the first round of Zoro customers offering a retrofit to the new straps. It’s pretty straightforward to switch them out and we’ll pay shipping both ways. Just gotta wait until we can receive packages at the new location.
As for the haul loop, I omitted it because I found that I got used to using the y-strap instead, and it seemed in the spirit of ultralight to leave it out and have a multi-use strap instead. But I’m considering putting a dedicated haul loop back in. The weight is insignificant, it was just for simplicity.Jan 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm #3628482Iago VazquezBPL Member
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
Just providing feedback. I love the look of the pack–I just don’t need another pack at the moment, but if I did, you’d be on top of my list. I like removing my Y straps when not in direct use as it makes accessing the main compartment easier. My preference is for Y straps to be connected via triglides. So a haul loop would be my preference as well…
Best of luck with the pack and the move!
iagoJan 23, 2020 at 9:54 pm #3628493rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Definitely put the haul loop back in!Jan 24, 2020 at 5:55 am #3628514Joshua SSpectator
I really like the look of this pack and the custom colors, I was seriously considering ordering one. The waterproofing seems bombproof compared to a lot of other water tight packs that I’ve looked at and I need something new for bigger loads, but those straps look uncomfortably narrow and thin for carrying a 40+ lb load for multiple days. I guess that could be okay if a lot of the time was spent in a raft, unfortunately I don’t get too do much of that.
In my opinion one of the nicest looking packs out there.Jan 24, 2020 at 6:51 am #3628520
Glad you like the look of the pack. We did change the shoulder straps with the most recent run, they’re thicker (1/2″) and 2.75″ wide. And without the grosgrain ribbon on the edges. The hip belt is 5/8″ thick and 3.75″ wide.
When we have time I’ll update the pack photos and video to reflect the newer shoulder straps. I think we’ve got one in the next run that would be suitable for the main product photo.Jan 24, 2020 at 7:25 am #3628524
The hipbelt on my Elemental Horizons pack is 4” wide the whole length. On the Zoro, the widest part of my size Small hipbelt is 3.5”. It quickly tapers – by the time it reaches the middle of the hipbelt pockets, it is only 3” wide. By the end when it reaches the buckle, it is only 2” wide.
That’s a lot of lost contact area to wrap around the body. I think this is the biggest reason why the pack struggles over 30 lbs (and the shoulder straps, although hopefully the revision fixes that).
Maybe others will find it true to its 40 lb comfort rating. I currently see this pack as being good for people whose load rarely goes over 30 lbs, but who want a very durable pack with good pocket configurations.
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