I wanted a new pack in the 45-50L range for longer hikes that would be lighter than my current GoLite 50L 2011 Women's Pinnacle. I really love this pack, but it weighs 2 lbs.
I saw the new Arc Blast at the PCT Kick-off. I had been eyeing it for awhile, but i knew I would need custom changes to get the fit right so I waited until Kick-off to check it out. Joe and Matt helped me fit the pack, which was good to get the size right for the pack, torso length and hip belt as well as decrease the shoulder strap width and adjust the amount of "S" curve. They also showed me how to adjust the frame to have more or less "arc." I like that it's adjustible to help arrange pack contents and even fit a small bear can in the lower section.
This is what I like about ZPacks that personally works well for my needs. They are still small enough to do custom work as opposed to other "cottage" guys that are really now small manufacturers and who can't do anything custom.
I also ordered the new cuben orange. I am generally partial to black or dark colors, but my former SAR experience won out and I figured one "international orange" piece of gear would be useful.
Even with load lifters, my new Arc Blast will still be less than 1 lb for about 46L. So I'm happy. I think it would be hard to get this size pack weigh any less and still be able to comfortably carry up to 30 lbs. I have done a good job of getting my base weight down, but there will always be those times when fresh resupply and long waterless stretches will bump my pack weight up over 25 lbs. The Blast is advertised to carry comfortably at 20lbs. For short hikes, that may be okay, but I already have lighter, smaller packs for that.
I am scheduled to get it at the end of June. I'll post a review when I get to use it.