What a happy day it is when you check your mail and there is a Zpacks package in your mailbox :)
My custom hybrid/cuben Zero is here. I immediately packed it full of gear and tried it on and messed with all the features, wow is it a nice pack. Very comfy, the shoulder pads are thick and carry well. I will take it out this weekend on an overnighter. The material is pretty solid, there is very little give and no stretching anyplace. It feels smooth and I think/hope that it will deal with bushwacking quite well, that was a main consideration when I was trying to decide on which pack. Here is an example of the thick woods I often hike through from my latest trip report:
On my scale it is 240g or about 8.5oz. I was surprised at how big it is, considering it is the "small" size. It fit all my summer gear plus food and water with room to spare. The roll-top closure is such a great idea. It opens and closes easy, and is snug and secure. The top strap is tiny! I was actually a big skeptical about it, but it holds my summer foam mat firmly in place with no issues from my initial tests.
I opted for the security of a hybrid/cuben pocket rather than mesh, plus I also had him do a custom zipper on the pocket so I never have to worry about anything falling out. The pocket is a bit narrow, but very long and wide. It swallowed up my FAK and ditty bag, I could fit lots more thin-type gear in there.
But enough talk, here are some pics:
Joe warned me that the black fabric might rub off on my clothing, but so far I have not been able to tell of any rubbing off. Maybe when it gets wet? I am going to give it a light hand wash to see what happens and perhaps prevent the dye from rubbing off.
Joe was very professional, polite, and quick with answering emails. I felt kind of bad, I sent him like 20 emails with questions and such, so props to him in addition to very fine craftsmanship.