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  1. #1
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    Default ZPacks Experience for a Thru-Hike

    I'm going to invest in new gear for my upcoming thru-hike. Any real experiences with their packs and or the Plexamid tent for a thru hike? Durable for the weight savings? Pros or Cons that may not be evident. Any feedback would be great as it could be an expensive mistake otherwise.

    l0ngterm

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    I had their Heximide (and still have it). It is a great tent for a thru, almost ideal and cost per night is not that bad when you consider how many nights one will be using it. It does not hold water like silnylon so one can shake off most water (if wet) before packing. It is translucent and other hikers can see you through it in a crude form, especially if you have a light on inside the tent. It is somewhat 'delicate' in terms of puncture and abrasion, always put it in the stuff sack, don't use it as a pillow.

    My tent has perhaps 5 pieces of cuban tape to repair those spots which I suspect will be a permeant repair and shows no sign of coming off. I suspect several more lights in it however it does show some fabric fraying at the summit pole. The original stuff sack, also cuban actually wear out, the fraying became just strands of fabric and this from friction, rubbing inside the pack, so make sure it's protected.

  3. #3

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    I used an Arc Haul. Overall it was a very good choice. Pack held up well. The shoulder straps would slip, so I ended up putting a knot in in the strap just below the slides so they couldn't be extended by slipping. Not optimal, but that was the only issue. I did that early in the hike and made some minor adjustments as I lost weight along the way. I found the pack to be close to waterproof. I used a trash compactor bag as a liner and did not bring or use a pack cover. Never had anything get wet.

    I had some mice chew up my belt and by the end I wore out the strapping on the trampoline back. Z-packs replaced both free of charge and quickly, I might add. I have no regrets. Considering your pack is your best friend on a thru-hike, I never regretted spending money on a high quality, light weight pack.

  4. #4

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    Lots of people use Zpacks gear for a thru hike, and some have done multiple hikes with the same gear without major issues. It is a little more delicate than some gear, but it is made to hold up for at least one thru if you treat it with some care. I have hundreds of miles on my Duplex and ArcHaul with almost no signs of wear. I don’t think you will have an issue.

  5. #5
    Leonidas
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    Your not going to find any long-term reviews on the Plexamid as it is new. You might check out the Reddit UL site as a couple of guys were selected to beta the tent before it went into production.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/user/tehJC13

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    AS said below, the plexamid is new, BUT it really is just a solo version of the Duplex, or a fancier version of the Solo+ zpacks model, both of which I own and have extensively used and thoroughly like and endorse. I used the Solo+ for half of an AT (bought it midway through the hike) four years ago. Combined with the Duplex, I probably have 150 nights on the tents (I use the duplex when my wife is along). So far zero wear issues whatsoever. Seems like zpacks once said that their UL tents should be good for at least one AT thru hike, but I believe this statement to be conservative.

    One side note, my solo+ is in the thinnest 0.51 DCF (AKA Cuben) fabric and again, seems strong enough, no rips/tear/punctures anywhere after a lot of use (maybe 100 nights), but that being said, when I bought our Duplex, I opted for the thicker 0.74 spruce green fabric, adds 1.2 ounces and $15, not 100% sure why I did this, I just like that green color and figure it will wear slightly better over many years of use.

    I really don't see how you can go wrong with the plexamid tent. When'if my solo+ "wears out", I'll replace it with the plexamid.

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    Theyíre extremely popular for thru hikes.

    I think their tents are great and most people seem to be happy with them.

    Their packs less so. I met plenty of ppl that loved their arc blast but others who had issues with the straps. They also seem to let anout a thru hike. If you finish the AT with one of their packs itís probably done. Worn out, delaminated, messed up straps.

    Just from what Iíve seen, so sample size of a dozen or so. But then again the cost of the weight is probably worth it for such a long distance.

    Iím not a zpacks guy (I used a ULA Circuit thatís still going strong) but my experience talking to guys in the Trail kinda makes me think DCF/cuben fiber is good for shelters and maybe less so for packs.

    I loved my cuben fiber tarp (also going strong) but thatís kinda irrelevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    ....

    but my experience talking to guys in the Trail kinda makes me think DCF/cuben fiber is good for shelters and maybe less so for packs.....
    This is my take on it as well, though I only have their tent. The packs seem to wear more, and may have issues. Also IIRC they are made with heavier cuban fiber, so losing the advantage of the light weight material to gain durability. Also packs need to fit and be comfortable . The wrong fit is going to be worse then any weight savings. I would put my money into the tent, the pack would be to me a luxury shot in the dark.

  9. #9
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    Their packs less so. I met plenty of ppl that loved their arc blast but others who had issues with the straps. They also seem to let anout a thru hike. If you finish the AT with one of their packs itís probably done. Worn out, delaminated, messed up straps.
    Not sure exactly what you're saying in this third sentence (due to the obvious typo), but I might amend your "If you finish the AT with one of their packs itís probably done. Worn out, delaminated, messed up straps." statement to say that this might be true for their DCF fabric packs, but not so with their more traditional material packs, like the Arc Haul. I've used an Arc Haul for about 1500 miles so far, not a sign of wear anywhere. I would think this pack would last a couple of thru hikes pretty easily. I purposely avoided the Arc Blast (DCF) in lieu of the Arc Haul (grid stop nylon) because of this concern and I recommend this to others. 3 ounces of weight penalty, but actually slightly cheaper ($299 vs $325).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not sure exactly what you're saying in this third sentence (due to the obvious typo), but I might amend your "If you finish the AT with one of their packs it’s probably done. Worn out, delaminated, messed up straps." statement to say that this might be true for their DCF fabric packs, but not so with their more traditional material packs, like the Arc Haul. I've used an Arc Haul for about 1500 miles so far, not a sign of wear anywhere. I would think this pack would last a couple of thru hikes pretty easily. I purposely avoided the Arc Blast (DCF) in lieu of the Arc Haul (grid stop nylon) because of this concern and I recommend this to others. 3 ounces of weight penalty, but actually slightly cheaper ($299 vs $325).
    I'd agree with this sentiment too. I went with the Arc Haul primarily for the durability factor. DCF in ZPacks Arc packs is more about being waterproof than lightweight as there is really very little difference in the weight, and not enough to be of concern. I do love my Arc Haul and wouldn't hesitate to take it on a thru-hike...nor my Duplex (before I sold it for an upgrade).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not sure exactly what you're saying in this third sentence (due to the obvious typo), but I might amend your "If you finish the AT with one of their packs itís probably done. Worn out, delaminated, messed up straps." statement to say that this might be true for their DCF fabric packs, but not so with their more traditional material packs, like the Arc Haul. I've used an Arc Haul for about 1500 miles so far, not a sign of wear anywhere. I would think this pack would last a couple of thru hikes pretty easily. I purposely avoided the Arc Blast (DCF) in lieu of the Arc Haul (grid stop nylon) because of this concern and I recommend this to others. 3 ounces of weight penalty, but actually slightly cheaper ($299 vs $325).
    True, I was referring to the DCF packs, I havenít seen many of the newer Hauls. Iíll edit my post now

  12. #12

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    Arc Blast and Arc Hauls are popular LD packs for thru hikes. They can work well for an AT thru hike. So can HMG packs if you want DCF. IMHO HMG packs can last a little longer than ZP packs. But the traits are somewhat different. One thing among several I really like about the ZP Arc Series is the Arc Frame for air circulation on hot weather hikes with some precipitation. HMG packs are more UL expedition oriented IMO. IMO the ZP Arc series are not packs to over spec or abuse on a thru but tears do repair easily. As ZP pack wts have risen there are several non DCF packs that come very close or ARE EVEN LIGHTER WT than the Arc Blast or Haul. For example I get more usage(miles) out of a ULA CDT or MLD Burn but those packs are frameless with different feature sets...including being much less pricey. Heck you can still get a ULA CDT for $145 and since it lasts generally 1 and 1/2 as long its a double $ savings AND THE PACK WT ISNt ALL THAT DIFFERENT WITH MY ULA CDT's WEIGHING LESS!

  13. #13

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    i recently got the 57L Arc Zip, however im feeling the need for some additional space to put stuff due to its size, how do people clip on / attach / or otherwise affix additional items to their pack when options seem limited ?

  14. #14
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    I have the Arc Zip. I attached small clips to the four corners of the pack. I bought a mesh bag about the size of the pack and attached small clips to it. The clips are the male/female type which you squeeze to unlock. I can now attach the mesh external bag when I need additional carrying capacity. I remove the bag when I don't. Works great.

  15. #15

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    Thats a novel solution, do you have a link to what you acquired ?

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    I did my thru hike with an Arc Haul but I wouldn't recommend it if your going to carry more then 35 pounds. Mine was easily 50 on a resupply so way overloaded but it held up... until going through Mohoosic Notch I hoped off a boulder and the bottom connecter that holds the right shoulder strap snapped right off. I got to camp holding my poles in one hand and my shoulder strap in place with the other. I had to rig the shoulder strap and the strap that bends the bar together and that got me up Katahdin and a few overnights since coming home. The bag is definitely shot now. The thing is my McHale demo pack feels better at 55-60 pounds then the Arc Haul did at the 35-40 it was rated for.... so is it really worth saving a few pounds?....
    NoDoz
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  17. #17
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    55-60 pound pack weight? Really? Makes my back hurt just thinking about that.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushed Grapes View Post
    55-60 pound pack weight? Really? Makes my back hurt just thinking about that.
    Perhaps he was ramping up for taking a future trip with Tipi.
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  19. #19
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    yea I know excessive and not recommending for a thru hike, just saying lighter isn't always better. Not putting Z Packs down either as it held up the whole hike with the ridiculous loads I put in it - for 30-35 pounds max it should work great and have no problems with it. I like to resupply less but even for a week I'll have at least 50, but I wont skimp on anything or go hungry for an hour. Don't even feel anything in my back, just my legs getting back used to that weight again.
    NoDoz
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  20. #20
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    1/4 IN - BLUE - Side Release Buckles with Round Ends. Mine are black.1/4 IN - Side Release Buckles with Round Ends

    Perfect for making survival bracelets!

    Length: 1" 1/16
    Width: 3/8
    Height: 1/4

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