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ZPacks™ Arc Blast Backpack


Description:



Our Patented Flexed Arc carbon fiber frame creates an air gap against your back for a super comfortable fit. The air space keeps your back cool and also provides a buffer from any lumpy items in your pack. The curve of the frame is adjustable for optimal air flow and fit. No extra padding necessary.

The pack is constructed from tough 2.92 oz/sqyd Cuben Hybrid fabric. This material is Cuben Fiber on the inside with a protective layer of 50 denier Polyester on the outside. The outer layer gives it even more strength, prevents fraying, and gives it a nice solid color. The material and design can handle loads up to 35 lbs (16 kg).

Specifications:



The torso height and belt size choices are independent of the pack volume.

45L Pack Size:
Total Volume: 45 Liters / 2,750 cubic inches - 20.8 ounces (590 grams)
Main Body Volume: About 32 Liters / 2,000 cubic inches
Body dimensions: 5.5" x 12.5" x 30"  (14 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

52L Pack Size:
Total Volume: 52 Liters / 3,200 cubic inches - 21.0 ounces (595 grams)
Main Body Volume: About 39 Liters / 2,400 cubic inches
Body dimensions: 6.5" x 12.5" x 30"  (16.5 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

60L Pack Size:
Total Volume: 60 Liters / 3,650 cubic inches - 21.2 ounces (601 grams)
Main Body Volume: About 47 Liters / 2,850 cubic inches
Body dimensions: 7.5" x 12.5" x 30"  (19 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

Pockets:
The side pockets account for 5 Liters / 300 cubic inches and the mesh center pocket is 8 Liters / 500 cubic inches, and are included in the total volume.

Load Carrying Features:

Standard Backpack Features:


Torso Height:

The torso height on our backpacks is the actual distance on the backpack measured from the bottom of the belt to where the shoulder straps attach. Your best bet for sizing is to find an existing pack that you like and measure it directly. The torso height on this pack is adjustable up and down within a 4 inch (10 cm) range for a perfect fit. The Medium range is a good bet for the most people unless you are fairly tall or short. If you are on the line get Medium.

The shoulder straps should be positioned level with, or a bit below the tops of your shoulders. The included Load Lifter straps will pull the shoulder straps up off your shoulders and will also pull the top of the pack in over your shoulders to help stabilize it.

Belt Size:

The belt size is the length of the belt padding from tip to tip. For example, a medium 30 inch (76 cm) belt has 30 inches of padding from tip to tip. The belt can cinch down to the point of the padding just about touching in front. The belt webbing extends 15 inches (38 cm) beyond the padding. So for example, a Medium belt would fit a range of 30" to 45".

Use a string or cloth tape measure pulled tight around the spot on your body that you want the belt to ride. You want at least a few inches of webbing in front to allow for adjusting the buckle. If you are on the line, size down so that you have room for adjustment. As an example, if you measure 35 inches, a medium 30 inch belt would give you 5 inches of webbing to adjust in front but a large 34 inch belt would barely fit with almost no room for adjustment.

Ordering:



Backpacks are made to order. There is currently a lead time of about 6 weeks. If you have a hard due date in that vicinity make sure to let us know after you order so that we can schedule accordingly.

Arc Blast Backpack - $315
Volume
Color
Torso Height
Belt Length
Notes

Additional Options:


Every option below is detachable and can be added later.

Shoulder Pouches



These clip to your shoulder straps and are an excellent spot for your camera, GPS, phone, sunglasses, or other items that you want to grab quickly. Mesh on the front of the pouch gives you additional storage for small items like chap stick, keys, etc. They can also be used for .5L water bottles to counter balance a small pack.

These are detachable and can be used on non-ZPacks backpacks as well. They are symmetrical and can be switched left or right.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams each   Price: $21.95 each / $41.95 pair

Shoulder Pouch Details Here

Belt Pouches



These pouches clip securely to the daisy chain on your padded belt. They have taped seams, a waterproof zipper, and are highly water resistant. Each pouch has about 1 liter of volume and is perfect for maps, snacks, hat and gloves, gadgets, you name it.

These are detachable and can be used on non-ZPacks backpacks as well. They are symmetrical and can be switched left or right.

Dimensions: About 6" wide, by 2" deep, by 5" tall.

Weight: .75 oz / 21 grams each  Price: $21.95 each / $41.95 per pair

Belt Pouch Details Here

Multi-Pack - Four in One Backpack Lid / Chest Pack / Belt Pack



This four-in-one backpack accessory can be attached to the top of your pack as a lid, carried on your chest as a front pack, or worn at your hips as a fanny pack, or carried over your shoulder as a satchel.  About 3.5 liters / 215 cubic inches volume. This will also work on non-ZPacks backpacks as long as there are loops to clip it to.

Weight:
2.9 ounces - 82 grams   Price: $39.95

Multi-Pack Details Here

Top Side Pockets



These pockets have a loop at each corner to connect them to corresponding loops on the sides of your pack. Since these are not sewn to the pack you can still stand tall items like trekking poles, an umbrella, or a fishing pole behind the pockets. The pockets can be taken off or added later.

The dimensions are roughly 6" wide x 3" deep x 8" tall. They are a good fit for:
-A 1 Liter or smaller pot
-A 1 Liter water bottle
-A water filter
-A poncho or light jacket
-Hat and gloves
-An inflatable sleeping pad.

Weight: .5 oz / 14 grams each Price: $18 each / $35 per pair

Quantity

Key Pouch



A small pouch with a zipper is clipped inside the backpack just behind the shoulder straps. This is a good spot to safely store your car keys and wallet until you get back to the trailhead. The pocket is located near the top of the pack so that you can access it w/o digging too far into your gear. The pocket can be added later, or taken out for other uses.

If you order this later w/o a backpack, we include two stick-on-loops to hang the pouch from. The loops can be positioned anywhere inside the backpack. The usual spot is just above/behind the shoulder straps. The stick on loops will adhere to Cuben Fiber, as well as any polyurethane coated backpack material.

The pouch measures about 7" wide x 5.5" tall (18 x 14 cm).

Weight: .3 oz  /  9 grams    Price: $12

Ice Axe Loops



A pair of loops are attached at each corner of the pack for securing ice axes, one at each corner. The head of each axe secures through a loop at the bottom, the handle is kept tight at the top with a shock cord band. The loops can all come off when you aren't carrying axes.

Weight: .1 oz  /  3 grams    Price: $3

Trekking Pole Holders



One adjustable shock cord loop is attached to your shoulder strap and another loop is attached to your belt to temporarily hold a trekking pole. These are convenient if you want to quickly stow your poles for climbing, or road walking, or other situations where you don't need your poles temporarily. You can stow them and retrieve them without stopping to remove your pack. You can carry both poles on the same side if you prefer.

You can easily attach these to any older ZPacks backpacks, or other brand packs. They can be moved to either side, or you can get them on both sides.

Weight: .2 oz  /  6 grams per side    Price: $3 per side

Quantity

Shock Cord Lashing



3/32" Shock cord is criss-crossed along the front of the backpack. It can be used to compress the pack, or to strap on items. The shock cord can be detached when not needed. It does get in the way of the center pocket a bit.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams    Price: $6

Roll Top Straps



All Arc backpacks include a roll top opening by default. Normally the opening is closed by rolling it shut, and clipping a buckle together at the top of the pack as shown on the Green backpack. The included top strap can be used to keep the roll top snug to the pack.

Roll top straps let you clip the roll top down to the sides of the pack, rather than simply to itself. You can compress the top of the backpack down a little easier, but you can do the same thing with the normal roll top just by rolling it down. This is more of a cosmetic option / personal preference. If you add these you still have the freedom to secure the top of the pack in either of the two ways shown to the left.

The straps are now made to be detachable, and they can be clipped on to any older Arc backpack.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams    Price: $5

Lumbar Pad



The belt on Arc backpacks already has full-wrap padding behind your back, but this option doubles it with a detachable lumbar pad. The pad slides on or off your existing belt and is held in place by two bands on the back. It is also tied in place at the bottom center so that it can't ride up or down. The Lumbar Pad is made with 3D mesh against your back for more cushion and grip.

If your belt is just a little too large, this reduces the belt circumference by about an inch.

Most people probably won't need this option, and it can be added later if you find you want it in the future. It will also fit all older ZPacks backpacks.

Weight: 1.0 oz  /  28 grams    Price: $12

Shoulder Strap Pads



The shoulder straps on Arc backpacks already have 3D mesh on the underside, and most people seem to find them comfortable without any modification.

If you think you need more padding, these pads clip on over your normal straps and can be positioned right where you need them. These can be ordered later if you find that you need them down the road. They will likely fit non-ZPacks backpacks as well.

Weight: .95 oz  /  27 grams    Price: $15

Shoulder Strap Pad Details Here

Roll Top Dry Bags



Up to 6 size medium or medium-plus size roll top bags will fit inside the body of the pack, and up to 3 more can be strapped on to the top and bottom of the pack for long carries. That's alot of capacity! Put your heaviest items (food, water) on the inside of the pack close to your center of gravity, and lightweight items (tent, clothes, pad) on the outside if you run out of internal space. The Large Rectangle Food Bag  is a good fit for this pack.

Roll Top Dry Bags

A medium Cuben Fiber Pack Cover, or a Pack Liner are also sized for this pack.

Custom Options



If you have emailed us about adding special features to your pack you can add custom charges to your order from the Payments page.

Back Story:



The Arc Blast backpack was originally designed in 2012. Prior to that most of our backpacks were "frameless" and relied on a folded or coiled sleeping pad for support. I did my first three thru-hikes (AT, PCT, CDT) with frameless packs very similar to our current Zero backpack. Frameless backpacks are ok for super ultralight loads, but they start to get uncomfortable on the shoulders when they are pushed beyond about 20 lbs (9 kg). On a long hike, heavier food and water loads are inevitable.

Our goal was to create a comfortable pack with a frame without adding any more weight than necessary. A frame keeps the pack rigid making it easier to pack and it also holds its shape when half full. A frame transfers weight to the belt, and feels alot better on your back and shoulders when pushing weight loads into the 20-30 lbs range.

My wife Sheryl and I gave Arc Blast backpacks their first big test on our 2012-2013 Te Araroa thru-hike in New Zealand. This hike was close to 1,900 miles and four months long across all types of terrain the length of New Zealand (Trip report / Gear list).

Our packs held up very well on that trip with minor wear and tear. Since then we have added taped seams and more strategically placed reinforcements for even better longevity. Our packs felt great. They were a big improvement in comfort over the frameless packs we had used in the past. The extra few ounces for the carbon frame was totally worth it, and the cushion and air flow against our backs was appreciated in the warm, wet, humid New Zealand weather.

Our longest carry on that trip was through the Richmond Range. We carried a starting weight of about 35 lbs (16 kg) with 9 days of food. The Arc Blast feels "heavy" at that weight, but not terribly uncomfortable. It is ok once in a while. The recommended comfort limit is about 30 lbs (14 kg). If you need to carry higher loads regularly, consider the Arc Haul backpack.

Reviews and Customer Testimonials:


Please email us with feedback (good or bad) if you have any!



"What really sets it apart in the market; it’s amazing that a pack weighing so little can carry so well."
Read the Arc Blast Review at HikeitLikeit
CleverHiker Top Pick! - Read the Full Arc Blast Review at CleverHiker.com

Will Wood gives a Post-Appalachian Trail Thru-hike Video Review of his Arc Blast backpack after 7 months of use.
Adventure Writer Keith "Fozzie" Foskett reports from his 2013 El Camino de Santiago thru-hike with his Arc Blast!
Read his informative Arc Blast review with photos.

Update- Keith has finished his second El Camino de Santiago hike in 2014. "My Arc Blast now has 1900 Miles on the clock and it barely seems worn in."
"On the impressiveness scale, I would put the load carrying abilities of the ZPacks Arc Blast, for loads in the sub 20 range, at exceptional."
Check out the full Arc Bast Review by John Abela (Hikelighter.com)
"The Arc Blast is a deceptively sophisticated backpack that works extremely well in its base configuration but can also be enhanced using add-on accessories." -SectionHiker.com reviews the Arc Blast Backpack
Matt D. reviews his Arc Blast Backpack and his Hexamid Solo-Plus tent and poncho.
2012 PCT Hiker Spider Legs reviews his first generation Arc Blast Backack.
"The Tour Du Mont Blanc was amazing! The Arc Blast did exceptionally well carrying all of my gear and food for 8 days of travel through the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps!" -Ben Smith (Goosefeetgear.com)
"I just wanted to let you know that I received the pack today. I had extremely high and unfair expectations from the reviews and recommendations I had received, which the Arc Blast has (somehow) more than surpassed! This is my first ZPacks product and I am just blown away by the craftsmanship and functionality. I was expecting some imperfections from a smaller company, but the stitching and the water taped seams are just beautifully done, as is the rest of the pack. On top of all that, I just loaded it up with a lot extra gear and the weight transfer is unbelievable, couldn't really tell the difference between 1 pound and 15 pounds." -Rocky J.
"Got back from my Sequoia adventure with the Arc Blast pack. I was a little apprehensive, I didn’t think a one pound pack would handle 35 pounds, expedition canister with food for 9 days included. We weighed them with scales before heading off to trail. At that point I was committed and thought “oh boy”…. I must say this was the most comfortable pack I’ve ever used. And I’ve used ULA, Six moons, and granite gear stuff. Pleasant surprise!" -Chuck T.
"Thanks for the Arc Blast. We loved it. Best, and lightest of the breed. We used it for four days and three nights through about 32 miles and 6000ft of up and down , rain, sleet, hail, and snow without any fault or discomfort. Also, survived six airplane rides and several mad dashes through the airport with a full load. I'm sure this is nothing compared to what others have done with the pack." -Arlo A.
"I have been using the 60 liter Arc Blast backpack I purchased from you for a couple months now.  I love the pack and I think it's  the most perfect designed and constructed pack to be found anywhere.  I have shown the pack to lots of hikers and recommended it to everyone." -Chuck F.
"Your products have changed my life. I went on the most comfortable backpacking trip of my life last weekend using the Arc Blast, sleeping bag, hood, toothbrush, towels, just about everything you sell, haha. Thanks so much for the wonderful products and your amazing customer service, I will be singing your praises up and down the PCT this summer." -Otto R.
"Alyson & I can’t thank you enough for how much we enjoyed the zPacks gear during our recent walk in Spain. It’s not just the light weight – the Arc Blast packs are so well designed we just put our gear in and everything was so easy to access when we needed it." -Mark & Alyson
"The backpack was comfortable and survived the harsh environment on the Larapinta Trail in Australia. One of the most comfortable packs I have used. Just large enough for 10 days gear and dehydrated food, three litres of water and SLR camera. Start weight about 17kg." -Peter J.
"Just completed the GR-5 last week in France. The pack was fantastic, easily carrying 10 kgs, completely water resistant through every thunder storm, and unbelievably light. Thanks for a great piece of gear." -Avi. (photo)
"I seem to have (inadvertently) got the JMT southbound record time 4 days, 8 hours, 43 minutes. I used a lot of ZPacks kit on this trip - Arc Blast pack, Hexamid tarp, ZPacks sleeping bag, WPB rain jacket and kilt." -Ralph Burgess
 I am not a super-light hiker but an older guy incrementally dropping weight. I was surprised how comfortable the Arc Blast was. I expected to "give something up" in order to drop weight. Not the case with the Arc Blast! -Doug L.
"The pack is great! 6 days in the Grand Canyon loaded with water, 8 days bushwhacking in the Wind Rivers, 6 days on the AT, all loaded for the duration. Carries far more weight than you rate it for and does so well ... it's a beautiful thing and my favorite of all my packs!" -Bob M.
"The Arc Blast I got some time ago worked great at Philmont this summer, even when hauling up to 50lbs. The Scouts still haven't learned anything about light weight food, so we had plenty of canned goods and gallons of water due to the drought. The pack was uber comfortable, even under such heavy loads. Love your gear!" -Daniel L.
Disclaimer: You probably should not carry 50lbs in this pack, but it is nice to know that you could in extreme circumstances. 30-35lbs is a more reasonable upper limit.
"I just returned from a 10-day trip in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho. The Arc Blast pack was wonderful. It is the best backpack that I have ever owned. Thank you for lightening my load by approximately 2 pounds from last year's trip!" -Todd G.
"I used the Arc Blast on my recent JMT thru hike. The pack performed perfectly! It was super comfortable even with 7 days food in my 12" Bearikade (about 31 lbs total weight) and shows no visible wear and tear. I actually saw several other hikers with the same pack and 100% of the people who had them loved them! I put the Bear can in the middle of the pack to avoid any  potential wear and tear on the bottom, and the weight distribution was great." -Mick P.
"Thank you for quickly sending out my new backpack to Reds Meadows. My old pack was falling apart and I was able to complete the John Muir Trail without interruption. The Arc Blast fits perfectly and was a joy to carry. Many people asked about it and we gave them your website! The Hexamid solo is still working wonderfully after 3700 miles too! Hope you continue to have great success with your business." -Jellybean
"I just finished a JMT thru-hike with a 60L Arc Blast and a Hexamid Duplex, and they both worked fantastically. The pack held my BearVault 500 with a peak weight of about 25 lbs without problem, and it still looks in good shape!" -Austin L.
"This year I was trekking in the French Alps and found Arc Blast just fantastic! It sits very well on your body, I could easily adjust the frame to regulate the distance between the pack and my back, size and placement of the side pockets is very good, my drink bottles and small snacks were very safe there. I felt like backpack was very well 'united' with my body. We were trekking through some difficult terrain and it was very comfortable, I'm really impressed. I did get some tiny scuffs on the bottom from resting it on sharp rocks, but other than that it is great. I'm so glad my friend told me of your website." -Ewa K.
"Just wanted to send a quick thanks for my Arc Blast! I have been absolutely loving it and giving it a workout. Best pack I have ever owned. Here's a view of the Chinese Wall in The Bob Marshall Wilderness." -Will F.
"I received my 52L Arc Blast a couple of weeks ago and am more than impressed with the quality, workmanship, and the overall comfort! I’ve never hiked 20 mile days in a more comfortable pack! I don’t even feel like taking it off during breaks on the trail! Its INSANE!!! I tell all my hiking partners and friends about you guys!" -Rock S.
Fellbound discusses the merits of his Arc Blast Backpack and his Challenger Rain Jacket in this Arc Blast Review.
"My pack rocks. I really like the lumbar pad – just that extra bit of comfort and also stands it off my back a tiny bit more. Plenty of ventilation, but still firmly in place. Carries loads from 15 to 25 lbs with ease. Very, very nice; and gets lots of comments on the trail." -David A.
"Thanks a lot Joe. I just took the Arc Blast out on a 5 day section hike from Deep Gap NC to Fontana Dam. It was awesome! I had a fairly low pack weight but it felt like I was not using a pack at all. I also tried out my new Duplex tent, 30F Down bag, and Challenger rain jacket. They all performed really well. I had a lot of interest from AT thru hikers I met on the trail. I took the opportunity to sing the praises of your great equipment." -Michael H.
"Our May 2015 Gila Wilderness trip became an epic. We bushwhacked through extreme terrain, climbed canyon walls with belays down obstacles, and swam through canyon pools that had no other way of progress. We each had Arc Blast packs, and your tents and sleeping bags. The weather was cold and rainy with snow above 9,000 feet. We bushwhacked through some of the most difficult terrain I have ever challenged. Both ArcBlast packs took a beating. We scrambled through and over rocks as well as through heavy brush and stickers. We even swam our ArcBlast packs through a 40 foot canyon pool. John must have been more careful than I because he needed no trail repair. He did have some fabric injury but nothing serious. My side pockets developed several snags and small holes that I repaired on the trail with Cuban Tape. Otherwise I have found no other damage. The ArcBlast pack is comfortable beyond my expectations. We were each carrying about 22 pounds and I found that I hardly noticed the pack on my back. I have used many packs and none have ever accomplished this. After swimming through a canyon pool 40 feet pushing my pack ahead of me (they do float fully loaded) I might of had a tablespoon of water inside the pack." -Jay B.
“I bought an Arc pack from you a month ago at the ADZPCTO-- it is PERFECT and I enjoy perfect things. Now I would like to buy a Duplex tent and the titanium stakes to go with it.” -Tom L.
"I love your pack that I bought way back in 2012! I enjoy is so much I've finally posted a long overdue Owners Review on BackpackGearTest.org. I hope you all find the review as enjoyable as I find the pack!" -Steven K.
"My pack performed great! Here's a picture of a happy hiker taken on side of Sonora Peak on the PCT. I had gear & water for both of us & it carried really well. As I hiked with my new pack I was really impressed by all the care and thought and inventiveness that you put into creating it. When it arrived though it looked delicate — all that exposed carbon — long time since I'd had an external frame pack. But it performed so well and I got used to seeing the frame and was reminded how much nicer the carry is on external frame packs. It's really well done. I'm glad for all the features I chose. Turned out just right. Oh and that grey color is particularly beautiful. Nicer in person than on the website." - Aife M.
"The Arc Blast backpack was wonderfully comfortable (and of course light) even with a 7.5-day carry of food. I especially appreciated how modular the pack was. Being able to take off the belt pockets was particularly useful when scrambling and rock climbing during summits of random fun mountains (Banner Peak, Warlow, Huxley, and John Muir Rock)! I found the pack to be impressively water proof during persistent rains." -Nathaniel C.
"I wanted you to know that your Arc Blast pack performed beautifully during a six day hike on the AT in New Hampshire. It is super light and very comfortable. It has been terribly wet up here so the trails were awful, but the slogging was made easier with your pack." -Rand W.
"I took my new Arc Blast out for a four hour test up Mount Tamalpais this morning and it performed flawlessly. It has just enough space for the Bearikade Expedition as you said it would. Thank you for the superbly designed Arc Blast and your prompt reply." -Jon O.
"I just finished hiking the PCT from Campo to Cascade Locks and couldn’t have done it without my Arc Blast, ZPacks sleeping bag, and Duplex tent. I have never had a backpack fit so comfortably on my back or carry loads with such ease. The quality of your products and customer service of your company is unparalleled." -Austin J.
"We have just completed our 515 mile hike across Washington on the PCT. Having now put our new Duplex tent and my Arc Blast pack through their paces, I wanted to send you some product feedback. I admit I was very skeptical about ordering this minimal pack, but I soon came to know it was a perfect choice for me. I love it! It is so comfortable, easy to use, and durable, not to mention attractive. Barely a day went by without another hiker noticing and asking about my pack. Many thought I was a ZPacks Ambassador because of my glowing and hearty endorsement of the pack!" -Heidi P.
"My friend's bag arrived. Gorgeous green. Your colors are much more beautiful than they appear on the website. I was worried flying recently since the bag frame measured about 23" and the carry on restrictions are 22", but I can tell you the bag slides into overhead bin (like a roll bag would) with an inch or two to spare. Yay. I use my 4 in 1 multi-pack all the time now and it is the best. Comfortable. You have put so much good thought into these bags and I'm feeling quite lucky as the recipient" -Aife M.
(Editor's note- Airplane overhead bins are curved in the shape of the hull of the airplane. You get a few extra inches of depth at the bottom of the bin. I have flown a dozen times on different airlines with no issue with a medium frame.)
"Is this what you had in mind with you designed the Arc blast? :). Arc Blast backpack shown fully loaded. The bear can is mine but the two extra sleeping bags were to help some other folks. The pack works great." Doug L.
"You're just too good at improving things, Joe. A never ending source of temptation. Thanks for everything. Hiking has brought me so much happiness and spiritual growth -- and your brand of trail magic had been essential in making it possible for this well worn 67 year old body." -River M.
"This pack have seen a lot of use in the last year and a half since I've owned it and I really have enjoyed carrying it. This Arc Blast has been a bombproof pack. Thanks for your design and your production quality." -John K.
Our Flexed Arc Frame is is covered by US Patent No. 9,060,590