Rating: 5 / 5
For those of you not familiar with ZimmerBuilt, at this time all of his packs are custom-made to order.
I found out about Chris through the MYOG forum here on BPL and after reading a few of his write-ups, felt like he was just the guy to make the pack I'd been wanting for my CDT thru-hike.
The ZB2-DEGRAW is a combination of cuben fiber, dyneema, and x-pac, is 2500 ci and weighs 18oz. I asked for a lot of features, otherwise the pack probably could've weighed several ounces less. I'm not going to review all the features of the pack, simply because they are entirely up to you. My pack included: 5 external pockets of varying sizes, webbing loops for stretch-cord, roll-top closure, small internal pocket, hydration port and sleeve, padded shoulder straps and hip-belt, external sleeping pad sleeve for frame/support, and removable pockets on the hip-belt and shoulder straps.
Chris was super easy to work with, asked lots of clarification questions, and built the pack just the way I wanted it. The turnaround time was surprisingly quick (about two weeks after we'd settled on a design) which was what I needed since I was starting my hike soon.
Since this is a custom pack, I was obviously pleased with all the features, but I also found the quality of the work to be higher than I'd even hoped. A thru-hike can be rough on gear, especially packs, and I didn't have much experience with cuben fiber either. But this light-weight pack made it the whole way, with the only wear being spots that the material itself was failing due to sun exposure. I was truly pleased with its performance, and got many complements and inquiries about the pack from other hikers on the trail. I expect to get many more trips out of this pack, and am already designing the next pack to order.