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Zpacks Exo with external stays

in Backpacks - External Frame

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (2 reviews)

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Anthony Weston
( anthonyweston )

Southern CA
Zpacks Exo with external stays on 03/14/2012 08:12:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The zpacks Exo, is light and tough and just the right size. I have a 6lb baseweight but with food and 3 liters of water, I end up carrying about 18lbs which the Exo handles with ease. It has a great suspension and can carry 30 lbs with or without the frame because it's narrow and keeps the load near your back. The stays are removable. I had been using a blast but needed a tougher material for bushwacking. The Exo has a tougher fabric. The hydration port is
in the center and allows you to use it on either side. The hipbelt isn't cushy but it does it's job; putting the weight on my hips. If used with the stays then I have no weight on my shoulders and they are wide enough apart that the stays never touch my back. I like the color. People on the trail used to stop me when I carried the blast and after awhile the novelty wore off. With the Exo, I'm ultralight but I blend in and can just enjoy the hike. The rolltop closure has tabs which help opening the velcro. The pack is well designed and has many fine features. I like that it is narrow and wide.

I've owned or tried almost every pack the cottage industry puts out and this is my goto backpack.

I did notice the bottom of the hipbelt had frayed a bit (about the size of a fingernail) after using it over the summer on about 4 trips, I patched it and no longer sit on the rocks with it on but it's light I almost don't need to take it off.

Exo - 3,000 cu in (50 Liters) - 12.8 ounces.

Zpacks Exo Next to a Nimbus Ozone
exo next to granite gear Nimbus Ozone to show how narrow it is

When I need to go for a longer trip use the two outside pockets to hold two long thermarest stuff sacks of gear, bumping the cu inches up closer to 65 liters.

Zpacks Exo alongside a HMG Porter so you can see the height
Next to a HMG Porter

Looking inside an Exo with a bear canister bearicade weekender and a MLD Klymet pad for a smooth back.with bearicade inside

with the front Pocket filled.front pocket filled

Edited by anthonyweston on 03/14/2012 08:29:49 MDT.

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John Myers
( dallas - M )

North Texas
ZPack Exo successful trip on 06/26/2012 13:55:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I recently returned from a 10 day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch and took a ZPack Exo external frame pack.

My base weight was 10 pounds but I wanted a pack that could handle the extra weight and volume of the Philmont crew gear, food supply and extra water for dry camps. The extra gear and water can add over 20 pounds to your base weight at times.

I opted for the larger 3600 ci version of the pack and was glad that I did, since it was completely full after our largest food resupply (the Philmont food packages feed 2 people and some of them are very bulky).

I found the pack to be very comfortable to carry, even when the carry weight approached 30 pounds. I had used a GoLite Pinnacle on the last Philmont trip and the framesheet buckled at that weight, which caused that pack to be uncomfortable at times. I did not want a repeat of that experience.

The Exo's carbon fiber frame does a great job of transferring weight to the hipbelt. Althought it looks like you might be able to feel the frame tubes against your back, I never found that to be the case.

The load lifters are minimal but effective. I also opted for the rear mesh pocket and used that for raingear and other convenience items. That option worked well for me.

The rolltop closure with the small plastic buckle also worked well.

All in all, I was completely satisfied with the Exo and look forward to using it on my next trip.

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