This is the Gregory Z55 internal frame backpack, a light weight pack, midsize capacity, 3200 to 3400 cubic inches depending on which size of the pack fits you best. Great set of organizational features makes this a really versatile backpack for overnights or long weekends or if you are packing properly even extended backpacking trips.
I am going to spin the Z55 around and we will take a look at its suspension system and talk about how it carries. The pack is capable of comfortably hauling loads of up to 40 pounds despite its lightweight design. I will fold this back here. This is Gregory’s cross flow suspension system. There is some separation here between your back and the pack itself, a mesh panel here. So nice air flow. Again, separation there.
If there is weight in the pack or I should say the greater the weight in the pack, the more this tensions and actually creates that gapping. So if anything this pack carries weight better the more weight that is in it, which is an interesting aspect to this design.
You do have some metal perimeter stays here, give some real structure and support to the pack that enables it to carry that weight. You have got a fully padded hip belt here. You can see kind of a broad design or a deep design to that, nice wrap at the hips, really stabilizes things. Also contoured shoulder straps or harness and nice padding there, too. While it is stripped down there is some perforation in here to keep weight to a minimum. There is still significant enough padding that I certainly find it to be a very comfortable pack to wear.
You do have a sliding sternum strap that moves up and down so you can find the most comfortable position for you. Adjustability in that hip belt as well, load lifter straps together, again, making this pack a very capable and very comfortable for loads of up to 40 pounds.
Some light weight packs will skimp on organizational features to keep weight to a minimum, but that is not the case here on the Z55. Spin this around. Take a look at those organizational features. Starting with the top lid. So as you can see, somewhat traditional in that it is a top loading pack and you have got this floating lid. And I say floating lid, the height of that lid can be adjusted. It actually can be taken off entirely, too, if you don’t need that storage capacity and are just looking to shave away. But while the lid is on here, definitely want to speak to the fact that you have got a sizable zippered pocket beneath it and a really large storage pocket right on top. So quite a bit of storage capacity there.
Drawstring closure on the top of the main pack bag opens nice and wide so you can get in through the top of the pack. Big front pocket as well. So lots of storage here on the face of the pack.
I will undo the side buckles here so you can see that you can also get in behind that front pocket and store discarded layers or whatever it might be, some things you might want to keep close at hand and get right to. I want to lay the pack down on its suspension system and show you what I consider to be a really stand out organizational feature and that is this U shaped zippered front entry. It lets you get into this pack almost like a piece of luggage, really handy to quickly get to something, but it also makes this really easy to stuff or fill. So got to love that. Again, just a really, really broad array of organizational features for a pack in this weight class.
Just a couple of other things to call out here. Some interesting tool loop attachment points here on the Z55, kind of a tuck away design so when it is not in use it is not snagging on anything. It is not in the way, maintains its nice clean profile, but certainly extends very usable when you need it.
Zippered hip belt pockets on either side and nice capacity there. You have got a phone in there, some keys, some essentials I can keep close at hand. Stretch mesh pockets on the side ideal for water bottles, tent poles, whatever you want to use there. Another really nice stand out feature here on the Z55 is an integrated, tuck away rain cover so when you run into bad weather you know that you can quickly throw that over the Z55 with a custom fit and protect the contents of the pack.
With its combination of light weight design, storage capacity and that great set of organizational features, the Gregory Z55 really does deliver versatility for varied types of back packing.
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