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