Z Pack Arc Blast

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
Forum rules
Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby wayno » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 9:58 am

thanks for the correction Mark
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby icefest » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 11:34 am

Strider wrote:Can we open a new forum section specifically for bitching about manufacturers, please?

Yes, with one thread per manufacturer.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby icefest » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 11:37 am

Mark F wrote:Wayno - I think the link you put up has it wrong about the pack containing cuben. The fabric looks like a Dimension-Polyant fabric. Even Mountain Hardware describe it as "HardWear™ X-Ply Ripstop". You often see it mentioned with a codes like VX-21 - different weights and face fabrics. It is an excellent fabric but not cuben.

From some close reading of the dimension-polyant website, X-Ply seems to be a aramid fibre of sorts.
So, it's like cuben but aramid instead of UHMWPE.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 12:02 pm

I was not going to mention the workmanship on my Zpacks accessories, in particular here on a forum, I was curious on the quality of the stitching on the pack and wanted to view some close up images of the workmanship, hence why I asked, if you wish I can take a few images of my pouch I purchased from ZPacks and you guys can tell me if this is normal quality. However I don't think this would be fair for Joe, obviously someone, whoever put this pouch together has very poor workmanship or rushed it. there is an area that the sewer completely missed. I think you would all be shocked if you seen this as I was when I received the item in the post.

I have nothing against Zoe or his gear, I have no doubt that his putting out some great quality gear as many have testified on this forum. But I still would like to see some close up images to compare to my recent purchase.

To be honest I am very happy with my Gossamer Gear packs, there's really no reason to update my packs. I don't have the money anymore for one of Joes Pack.
I am happy with his support, with no questions his offered to send a replacement and will oversee the pouch in person and make certain it's off high quality and has spoken to the person that made the pouch, Hopefully this will not happen again.

There's no bitching going on in my part.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Sat 07 Dec, 2013 11:31 am

Just a quick not to inform that the replacement Multi pack has arrived in the post from Z-Packs a few days ago and the quality is far superior to what they first sent to me. The stitching is professionally completed, not like the first one that was sent to me, even the proportions are a lot better on this one and there's no areas that was missed with the sewing like the original one they sent to me. I noticed Z-Packs is expanding to bigger premises. Unfortunately quality control issues on my purchases. Unless Joe personally foresees the Item before delivery, like he has with the replacement that was sent to me, I will be very hesitant in placing another order.

Some might think I am bagging the company, just saying the truth, my recent purchases was not good. I'm being honest. I'm sure Zoe has sorted this out and I trust it will not happen again. But who ever made the original that was posted to me is not very good at his or her job or was rushed, what ever, I don't know, but it should not have passed quality control in the first place.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Empacitator » Mon 09 Dec, 2013 1:26 pm

I have quite a lot of Z-Packs stuff over the last few years and it has always been great, saying that I'm glad yours got sorted out. Hopefully quality control doesn't suffer but we'll just have to wait and see. I think Joe is pretty innovative with his designs, I never thought the Hexamid would work as well as it does. I'm looking at the Duplex or another Hexamid but will not be hiking again until Summer is finished, way too hot in WA for me!
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Tue 10 Dec, 2013 7:15 am

Same here, its way to hot to think about bushwalking. I did that mistake last summer and it was torture.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 10 Dec, 2013 9:00 am

ULWalkingPhil wrote:Same here, its way to hot to think about bushwalking. I did that mistake last summer and it was torture.


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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby icefest » Tue 10 Dec, 2013 10:33 am

Well I've just come back from the Tassie south west. I took an arc blast as my pack.

The entire south coast track and the wade/bush bash up new river lagoon and up precipitous bluff and there are still very little signs of wear.

I wouldn't take it bauera or scoparia bashing but it's fine for easier walks.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Joomy » Sat 14 Dec, 2013 4:21 pm

My next pack will be an arc blast. Or at least an MYOG pack inspired by it.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Watertank » Sat 14 Dec, 2013 4:45 pm

Tracking in usps says mine has arrived in Australia - I'm looking forward to lighter trips
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby craigprice » Sat 28 Dec, 2013 3:48 pm

Well, my 2cents worth, I've been using a hexamid and cuben pack from Joe for a while now, no issues. Just stepped up to the arc blast this season together with a new hexamid, it looks fine out of the box, no field experience yet. I think it is a little unfair to bag a manufacturer for one bad experience, particularly if they demonstrate the customer service ethic.

And we cannot blame the US guys for our local excessive costs for postage from AusPost.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Watertank » Fri 17 Jan, 2014 8:17 am

Got my Arc Blast just before Xmas - took it walking around Bogong and Mt Feathertop. I was ready to think I had made yet another expensive mistake but I was wrong. I think it is a great pack. I realised this when I got into camp and was walking around for awhile and realised I had forgotten I had my pack on rather than as it has been in the past getting my heavy pack off ASAP. Very happy with design and thought that has gone into it.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Eljimberino » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 12:55 pm

Hello. Thought I'd resurrect this thread as I'm considering one of these packs. I have a macpac cascade which weighs 2.8 kg so the Arcblast advantages are obvious.

Mostly what i'm worried about is durability. Anyone have any long term thoughts?

I'm considering using this pack with 10 days of food. Plus water for each day. So the load will be at or around the 15kg limit.

Also see the various modifications, all of which seem to have some merit.


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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Bubbalouie » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 3:32 pm

I've been using mine this season a fair bit. On the first use the belt buckle disintegrated, I replaced that and it's been fine since.

Regarding the durability it's ok, I've used it for a fair bit of off track bush bashing, scrambling and a bit of climbing.

It now has one small rip (about 1cm) in one if the side pockets and the bottom is a bit scuffed but is otherwise in good condition.

Given the way I use it I'd expect it to only last 3-4 seasons, if you're gentle (no off trail stuff) it should last longer.

It's not as solid as a 2kg pack but should be fine for up to 15kg of stuff (that's about what I've carried in it) for most purposes.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Eljimberino » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 9:46 pm

Ok. Would you buy another one?


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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Bubbalouie » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 10:35 pm

Eljimberino wrote:Ok. Would you buy another one?


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Probably, it's the lightest frame pack that has the required capacity. I expect I'll get another few years of use yet and something different may be available by then too.

I'd try and get a few extra customisations made though, mostly they'd amount to a few very small tweaks and seeing if I could get a tougher material (thicker nylon laminate perhaps) for the bottom and side pockets.

Overall it's a good pack you just can't throw it around like you would do with a Gregory pack for example. I imagine a Gregory pack (at several kg depending on the model) would stand a decade of serious abuse, they're much heavier and not as comfortable though.
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Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Eljimberino » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 10:51 pm

Cool. Yes. I agree. My cascade is bombproof, like I said 2.8kg.

Are you aware of zpacks adding an extra layer to the bottom or would you do that yourself?

I'm prepared to have a pack up to a kilo if it has all the bells and whistles and less fragile.

Thank you for your comments.

What would happen if you loaded it to 20kg for example?


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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Bubbalouie » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 9:22 am

I am not aware of them doing these sorts of things, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

As it stands I'll likely be adding some extra layers if/when I get some holes that affect function. I'll be patching the side pocket this weekend but that's just cuben tape on both sides of the hole so things don't get caught.

Other than putting in several bladders I think you'd struggle to fit 20kg of gear in one. I wouldn't do it though either, the "air back" would basically be useless and the whole thing would be very uncomfortable.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Strider » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 10:24 am

If you are carrying 20kg then you have far more unnecessary items to worry about a lightweight pack.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby icefest » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 10:34 am

Eljimberino wrote:Cool. Yes. I agree. My cascade is bombproof, like I said 2.8kg.

Are you aware of zpacks adding an extra layer to the bottom or would you do that yourself?

I'm prepared to have a pack up to a kilo if it has all the bells and whistles and less fragile.

Thank you for your comments.

What would happen if you loaded it to 20kg for example?


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Have a look at the HMG packs, they're more robust and larger at the cost of some weight.
Last edited by icefest on Wed 27 Aug, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Z Pack Arc Blast

Postby Eljimberino » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 11:43 am

Thanks Louie and Icefest.


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