I had a lot of hope for this guy. It's three pounds lighter than the pack I've been using for years, and adds waist pockets which I love. The large(42 liters) easily held everything I needed for a weekend backpacking trip.
I absolutely loved this pack except for an issue I had with the sternum strap on the original purchase and a return. After ~3 test run hikes, the "C-Clip" on the sternum strap popped off early into a 2 day/1 night hike. There was next-to-no way to get the C-Clip back on, but I really liked the pack, so I chalked it up to a bad component and exchanged.
My go-to pack for years has been a Gregory z40. Given that the zulu40 is a more updated version, I didn't think twice about ordering one. And I almost collapsed when I discovered one fundamental change that I despise: That nice, zippered, rear-facing pocket was replaced with a stretchy mesh pocket that doesn't have any truly secure closure. I hate this. Hate it. Hate it. I was on the verge of immediately returning the pack, but I figured I'd give it a chance.
I love this backpack. I walked the Camino in it and at 40L it was just the right size and weight. It holds the load very well and very well ventilated in the back. I took off one star because I think there should be little loops and places on the pack for hanging small stuff... besides the ones for hanging your trekking poles.
I purchased the bag to for a backpacking trip out to Shawnee National Forest. It held all my gear with plenty of extra space for a few nonessentials and it supported the 25lbs (including food and water) the way I'd hope from a pack in this price range. I was satisfied. Until I got it out in the field, that is.
Was able to go on long day hikes. Comfortable abs stable.
Very well designed. Very comfortable and plenty of room.
I've owned this pack since Mar 2017 and used it in the Southwest, San Juan Mtns and upper Midwest. It carries 30 lb (13.6 kg) with comfort and ventilates extremely well on my back. The shoulder straps are well designed and comfortable. The hipbelt bears the pack load on the hips where it should be. I can't complain about compartmentalization...it's a daypack! Use stuffsacks for gear in the main compartment if stowing everything in there separately doesn't suit your needs or preferences. As for the durability of the front and side stretch-woven pockets, the verdict is still out. I haven't hiked through dense gnarly vegetation with the pack. I anticipate the material will lose elasticity with long term use and there are no means to compress the front pocket. I haven't had any issues with items falling out of this pocket and like its ease of accessibility for things such as rain gear, gaitors, toilet trowel bag, plastic garbage bag and light outer wear.
I'm new to backpacking, but this bag got me through a pilgrimage in Panama. The different access points were helpful, but this 40L filled up pretty quickly. Its a cool looking bag too.
I love this pack! I bought it for Geology field work because it had everything I needed. It works great!