ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations
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Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 10:20:45 MST Print View

I haven't had a chance to take this out on a hike yet, but my first impressions are very positive. The workmanship seems first rate, and I can see no evidence of loose or sloppy stitching. This is my first experience with cuben as a pack fabric; from what I can see I do not anticipate durability problems with reasonable use. Some modification of my packing technique will be required as the pack is a bit narrower than I am used to, and the arc of the pack sort of pinches the pack off at the mid point, but this will be easily resolved. Parading around the house is no real test of any backpacking kit, but so far I can say that with a 20 pound load - 4 to 5 days of three season hiking for me - the pack carries very nicely, and the mesh panel provides some welcome ventilation.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 12:08:03 MST Print View

That's good to know, I have one ordered, should have it in another couple weeks I think. Part of my getting to UL status.
Duane (USA)

Steve A. Clarke
(petuni) - MLife

Locale: Quispamsis
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 12:58:17 MST Print View

Thanks Duane(s)

Ill be following this thread as I am thinking of ordering one as well. If you do not mind me asking, which options did you go with and what did it end up weighing? Thanks

Edited by petuni on 02/07/2013 12:58:52 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 14:03:13 MST Print View

This Duane ordered the belt pocket for my camera, lip stuff and two side pockets in case I can't make the transition from a 4300 ci pack (SMD Starlight). I can always leave them off on weekend trips. Just under a pound I believe, my figures are at home. I got this pack due to its weight, good reviews so far and no need for that hard as_ closed cell pad I cannot use that is dead weight.
USA Duane

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 14:29:23 MST Print View

Joe and Sheryl from zpacks stayed with us a couple of weeks back, after completing the North Island section of their Te Araroa thru hike. Their packs looked in good condition and were holding up very well.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/07/2013 18:21:40 MST Print View

Two hip belt pockets, and one shoulder pouch. As that Duane said: just under one pound.

As always Steve, nice to see a shot of the sisters.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/26/2013 18:57:34 MST Print View

Interested to hear more feedback from Arc Blast customers.

What options did you go with?

I am curious to see some pictures of one with one of the belt pouches. Hard to get a since of the size/scale from the pictures on the website since there are no pictures with the pouch attached to the pack. They seem huge and probably more than I would want/need on my hip belt. Would more likely to go with one of the shoulder pouches and maybe one of the top side pockets.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/26/2013 19:24:22 MST Print View

Mine finally shipped last week was paid for Jan 22, should be able to get it this Saturday at the PO. I only added one belt pouch and two net pockets for the sides. This will be the smallest pack I have if I leave the net pockets off, they were my fall back plan if I can't get everything in after down sizing from my SMD Starlight at 4200? ci. If no one posts pics, I won't have any until Saturday night at the earliest, oops, scratch, maybe Sunday night, going for another snow camp trip if I don't go for a motorcycle ride with my friend.
Duane

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
the arc on 02/26/2013 21:44:31 MST Print View

Im curious if you can loosen the arc of the rods to essentially straight?

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Re: the arc on 02/26/2013 23:15:31 MST Print View

Yes you can, but of course the purpose of the arc is to keep the pack off your back.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Re: ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/26/2013 23:20:46 MST Print View

I went went two belt pouches and a shoulder pouch. The shoulder pouch is a first for me but I think I will find it useful. The hip belt pockets are capacious and this is a good thing. They are removable if you don't like them, but I find roomy belt pouches incredibly handy for quick access items. These ones are great.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - M

Locale: Michigan
Aesthetics on 02/27/2013 03:29:47 MST Print View

What color are people getting these in? How white is the white and is it going to get dirty looking real quick?


*edit is to add part about it looking dirty overtime.

Edited by jrmahler on 02/27/2013 03:31:14 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks Arc Blast - Preliminary Observations on 02/27/2013 06:47:47 MST Print View

One thing I realized a day or two ago, with the belt pouch and maybe even the net pockets, I should be able to remove them and maybe attach to my shorts for short jaunts away from camp or while fishing. We'll see if my shorts will work out. I've been wanting for years to get a SUL daypack for my week long vacations so I can carry a few things if strolling around or hitting a lake close to camp. Enough room for lunch, jacket, water.
USA Duane

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - M

Locale: Michigan
SUL Daypack on 02/27/2013 09:34:28 MST Print View

For the daypack idea, do any of the bottom, top, or side straps come off? If so, perhaps these could be used to create a belt to hold the hip pouches and/or mesh pouches.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: SUL Daypack on 02/27/2013 10:39:23 MST Print View

That's a good idea. However, looking at the pictures on the website it doesn't appear the hip belt can be removed. It appears sewn directly to the pack. They do offer the Multi-Pack - 4 in 1 Backpack Lid / Chest Pack / Belt Pack / Satchel

http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/backpack_lid.shtml

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Arc Blast pics on 03/03/2013 20:24:28 MST Print View

Here are two pics, my puter is super slow with land line to boot. Pics took about 20-30 minutes each to download and resize. Quart Gatorade bottle for reference.

front view

View of belt with attached pocket.
Hip belt with pouch

Edited by hikerduane on 03/03/2013 20:26:21 MST.

Stephen Adams
(stevemkedcom) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
Zpacks Arc Blast Review on 03/03/2013 20:54:04 MST Print View

I love my Arc Blast so far. I got mine last September and took it on a 5 day 100 mile trip through Indian Heaven and the Goat rocks on the PCT in Washington. It was very comfortable and had plenty of room. Of course I have been using a modified Golite Ion previously so this pack has three times more room and Hip belt for a few ounces more than the Ion.
Joe must have changed the color because mine came in brown. While hiking on the PCT I did run into another guy that had the regular Blast in white that he Had through hiked the PCT with the previous year and still looked in great condition. I will be leaving in 6 weeks for a through Hike of the PCT so I will be able to report on the durability after 2,650 miles. I have a Bearikade Expedition and tried that inside it. It only fits on end but there is some room next to it I could stuff my tent and still have plenty of room for the rest of my stuff. I was a little concerned when I first tried it on with the Bearikade because I could feel it on my back. but once I tightened the stays for the carbon fiber frame to put more arc in it I could not feel it anymore. I got the shoulder pouch option for my Iphone. did not get the Belt pouch because I had a couple of MLD belt pouches sitting around which clipped right it.

Drew Jay
(drewjh) - F

Locale: Central Coast
Re: the arc on 03/08/2013 02:50:06 MST Print View

"Im curious if you can loosen the arc of the rods to essentially straight?"

I made this mistake the first day I carried my Arc last summer. It compromises the weight transfer. Once I tensioned them back to the original setting the pack was much more comfortable. I love my Arc, can't imagine a better pack!

Edited by drewjh on 03/08/2013 02:50:43 MST.