Rating: 5 / 5
I love my old, but tough 2004 Z-pack. It served me well for over 1000 miles and is still in good overall shape. My size large weighs in at exactly 3 pounds (after trimming off nearly 4 ounces of unneeded excess webbing). Mine offers a hydration sleeve (not sure if the original did or not). The upper lid and stow-it pocket have made for great organization options in such a light pack. The frame has held up great for loads up to 34 pounds (for a 109-mile stretch of the Colorado Trail this past summer). It balances wonderfully well, is comfortable even in hot conditions, and its fabric has stood up well to abrasion and daily dirt, sweat, and big-mileage days. It is almost sad that the Z-pack has been cashed out for the Z-35 an Z-55 series. How these fare with their attempts at ventilation have yet to be seen.