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Cuben fiber pack, practical for me?
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michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Cuben fiber pack, practical for me? on 08/31/2012 19:24:27 MDT Print View

Right now I have 5.8 pounds of gear without a pack, with the max amount of clothes I will usually bring add 1.43 pounds.

So the max weight I will be carrying will be:

Baseweight = 7.23


5 days of food @ 1.25 per day + 2L of water = 6.25 + 4.4

Max load = 17.88 pounds

Should I go with a custom zpacks small (or medium?) zero w/ options that will weigh 6-7 ounces.

Are these packs practical?
What should I get if not this?
Are these comfortable?
What size do you reccomend?
Sweat issues?
Ease of use?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Cuben fiber pack, practical for me? on 08/31/2012 19:30:49 MDT Print View

"Should I go with a custom zpacks small (or medium?) zero w/ options that will weigh 6-7 ounces."

I'm not sure if that is the question.

First, you want to get a handle on the volume of your gear, food, clothing, etc. Then you can go after the right size of pack, which may be cuben fiber or not. If you don't have any idea about the volume, then there is no sense getting a new pack.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
volume on 08/31/2012 19:32:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for the quick reply, I had a feeling I should have stated that everything fit very snugly into my 28L Marmot Kompressor Summit (28.2 ounces or 1.76 pounds).

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

CF Pack on 08/31/2012 20:05:26 MDT Print View

The Zpacks Zero's are nice packs. I had a size small but extended a bit taller, so it still had that narrow shape but it could expand if needed. It was quite spacious and I wouldn't have wanted the medium for my near SUL gearlist. A normal 'small' pack is a good size for a 6-8 lbs typical baseweight.

As with anything, there are compromises. The Zero is going to be adequately durable if you take care of it, but it's not something you'd want to skid down a talus slope on. It's a specialized tool.

I think the biggest question for you is how versatile you want your pack to be. The Zero would work nicely for the trip style you mention, but what if it's a colder weather trip where you want even more clothes or snow shoes? Or a desert trip where you're packing a lot of water? Or with a spouse/friend and you're carrying some of their gear? Or a camping centered trip where you want more luxuries? The Zero's are sweet packs, but they're quite specialized and I would normally recommend one only as part of a multi-pack quiver, or for someone who truly only does SUL/UL hikes in relatively docile conditions.

For me, I find that on a lot of trips I'm either carrying a lot of food (long trips), carrying a lot of gear (hiking with my wife) or carrying alternative transit methods (snowshoes, packraft) so my Zero hardly gets used, which is why it got sold despite being a really neat piece of gear. It was only a suitable choice on short/light solo trips, and on those trips I'm already far lighter than my average trip, so owning another pack to save even more weight on these few trips wasn't justified.

So for most hikers I'd suggest some sort of a 1.5 lbs pack with simple frame stays as a good all around pack. Something like the ULA Ohm (my favorite), HMG Windrider, GG Gorilla, MLD Exodus FS etc.

Edited by dandydan on 08/31/2012 20:06:16 MDT.

Mike Feldman
(MikeF) - M

Locale: SE USA
Zpacks here on 09/01/2012 05:42:15 MDT Print View

Will be in Ca.Sierras next week 9 day trip w/resupply, w/food n water I am at 15-17 pounds maximum. I have a Zpacks Zero in small made 3 inches longer w/back n side pockets w/no waist belt that am using for the trip. My bearcan fits fine. For me 17-18 pounds is the upper limit of comfort w/out a belt, though there may others who can go a little higher, some lower. Very comfortable 10-15 pounds..Mine is the Cuben/nylon reinforced hybrid, weighs 8 ounces. Without the nylon reinforcement mine would be about 5.5 ounces.. I considered a Zimmerbuilt cuben pack but ultimately I liked the options one could add w/Zpacks and Joe is very easy to work with, very accommodating.. His cuben framed packs are about 14-15 ounces.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
ok on 09/01/2012 09:52:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies Dan and Mike, I am still highly considering getting a zpacks pack.

I emailed Joe about the possibility of upgrading to "white" hybrid cuben fabric.

I think the added weight will be worth the extra durability, so I emailed him and he said that I could get white, so I emailed him back and asked him for some pictures of that color if he has any.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
joe on 09/02/2012 17:21:36 MDT Print View

Joe didnt have any pictures of white hybrid fabric.

Anyways I am still ready to order one, I just cant decide if I want hybrid fabric or plain white or olive cuben.

I am pretty easy on my gear so im thinking regular cuben might work...

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
ordered one on 09/13/2012 20:41:43 MDT Print View

Well I ordered a small zero (1500 ci), with all the options I got its now at 2600 ci...

I hope everything will fit... my gearlist is in my profile, im at about 7.5 pounds with clothing just the basics.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Cuben fiber pack, practical for me? on 09/14/2012 10:49:37 MDT Print View

"Well I ordered a small zero (1500 ci), with all the options I got its now at 2600 ci...
I hope everything will fit... my gearlist is in my profile, im at about 7.5 pounds with clothing just the basics."

Unless your gear is amazingly bulky, I suspect it will fit just fine. My full load out with all consumables is 25 lbs and it all fits fine in a 2400 cu in pack. The sole item I have that has to be strapped to the outside is my bear canister, when I have to take it.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re Cuben fiber pack, practical for me? on 09/14/2012 10:54:00 MDT Print View

Dena, thanks for the assurance. I think It might be a tight squeeze but I am actually trying to go even lighter so fitting everything in this pack will be motivation.

And I consider myself unlucky, I have never had the pleasure of packing a bear canister!

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: Re: Re Cuben fiber pack, practical for me? on 09/14/2012 16:20:30 MDT Print View

I have a Zero, size small and the only options is a front mesh pocket and some loops so that I can strap a GG SitLight pad to the outside as the frame (when I choose to carry it) My regular size, Original NeoAir is always my frame in this pack.

I have carried up to almost 20 lbs in this pack and it has been great! I mod'ed it to add my own hip belt (which is also the hip belt that goes with the Multipack) however, I have hardly needed it.

For me, here in the Southeast and with our temps, this is really a perfect 3 season pack for me. I can easily fit some extra clothing and 5 days worth of food in the pack and still have a little extra room. In the hottest part of the summer, it is almost too big...I try to let my quilt loft up to take up the room, but the weight of my food will make short work of that... it is still great though...

For (our) true winters I have a Blast 30 pack, which is a little bigger than my Zero, and also has a real hipbelt. This pack is great for those hikes, however, I will be checking out a GG Gorilla pack this winter... No real reason to change out my packs, other than just wanting to try the Gorilla due to curiosity...

Anyway, if you are interested in how much stuff fits in the packs (Zero & Blast 30) here is a review I have on them, along with some video of everything in the pack...

Zero Pack review with video:

Blast 30 Review with Video:

Here is another video in which you can check out what I put in the Zero, and is a bit more than what is in the first link. Check out the video about 15:30 in for an unpacking:

Mike Feldman
(MikeF) - M

Locale: SE USA
first trip w/zero/small extended in Sierras on 09/16/2012 15:06:35 MDT Print View

Just got back from central CA, 9 day 8 nights leisurely JMT and 3 other trails, basically Mammoth Lakes area down towards Bishop( Piute Pass)..With BV450, one resupply at VVR, w/food n water never over about 18 pounds, at times around 14-15. Mine has 3 extra inches length, no waist belt, a sternum strap,top n bottom straps, side and front pockets, bout 2300 CI.I was with 2 friends, and younger brother who were carrying much larger packs, carrying 30-40 pounds each. Even at 18 pounds for me the pack was comfortable, a little shoulder fatigue towards end of a couple long hiking days..Oh mine is the hybrid Cuben, nylon coating.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 05/10/2013 15:06:57 MDT Print View

Mike did you use the small zero with options?

Mike Feldman
(MikeF) - M

Locale: SE USA
For Michael-small zero on 06/24/2013 18:26:15 MDT Print View

Michael, my zero is a modified small, basically a small 3-4 inches length over the stock size Zero. The bearcan fit fine in the Zero.. Have used it some since last years Sierra trip.The nice thing about the Zero, and really Joe, is he will modify the Zero to whatever you want. I have comfortably carried 20 pounds, most ever carried. For me w/out a belt it is very very comfortable in the 12-15 lb. range.