On 21-June-2016, I ordered from Zpacks, $2,051.50 USD worth of gear.  After the exchange rate and $35.00 USD shipping, I paid $2,751.31 CAD.  I was elated when my package had finally arrived only to find out that Canadian customs decided that they wanted some of my money as well.  So I had to pay them $19.72 CAD to retrieve my package that they were holding ransom.

I quickly brought the package home and opened it so that I could bask in the glory that would be my new light weight hiking set-up.

I purchased

  • $299.00 USD – 60L Dyneema Arc Haul Backpack
  • $45.00 USD – 2x Belt Pouch
  • $599.00 USD – Duplex Tent
  • $45.00 USD – Cuben Fiber Pack Liner Dry Bag
  • $435.00 USD – 20F Wide Width Sleeping Bag
  • $275.00 USD – Challenger Rain Jacket
  • $59.00 USD – Cuben Fiber Rain Kilt
  • $115.00 USD – Wind Shell Jacket
  • $85.00 USD – Challenger Rain Gaiters
  • $50.00 USD – Bear Bagging Kit
  • $44.50 USD – Liteflex Umbrella

Then finally I came to the Arc Haul. The piece of gear that would cut approximately 4 lbs of weight off of my base weight, as compared to my Kifaru Mountain Warrior.  I donned the pack and quickly became aware of the extremely poor fit.  It seems that I ordered the wrong size. The cross bar that the shoulder straps attach to was pressing into the back of my head.  I had no weight in the pack, nothing was tightened and still the problem persisted, so I took a few pictures and sent an email off to Zpacks asking for some assistance…

Good evening,

My name is Devon and I recently purchased a number of items from you, including an Arc Haul backpack.  My question is in regards to sizing.  I received the pack yesterday and after putting it on, I believe I may have the wrong size as the cross bar that the shoulder straps attach to is pushing forward into the back of my head.  This is incredibly uncomfortable.  I’ve included a few photos for you to see what I am referring to.  Also the shoulder straps seem to be sitting very far off my shoulders as well.

Am I wearing it incorrectly, or have I ordered the wrong size?  I’ve never had this problem before with any other pack I’ve owned.

Any advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

For reference, my Transaction ID: #################

Thank you for your time and assistance in this matter.

I waited …

… and I waited …..

….. and I waited some more.

Finally 5 days had gone by and I was becoming impatient.  I took the pack out of my gear closet and I decided I would load up the pack with a full weeks worth of gear and food and go for a day hike.  I thought maybe I just needed to put some weight in it and everything would work itself out.  Well, it was while I was loading up the pack that I noticed that one of the stays looked strange.  I turned the stay 180° to find that it was actually cracked pretty bad.  Definitely not how it should be.  This was it.  At this point I was pissed.  I had paid $299.00 USD for a pack that not only didn’t fit me correctly, but was also broken upon arrival.

So I took a picture, and sent another email off to Zpacks.

It’s been 5 days since I sent the last email, and I have yet to receive a response, so I decided that today I would just load up the pack and take it out for a day hike and see if maybe the problem would be resolved with a loaded pack.  That’s when I found that one of the stays is broken.  specifically the one that would sit behind my right shoulder while worn.  I gotta say that I am extremely disappointed with this pack so far.

I hope these problems can be resolved before I post my review.


Literally within 1 minute of sending that email, I received a response.

Hello Devon,

Thank you for checking in.  I can tell from the pictures that your pack frame is too tall for you.  Please send it back with the attached form and we will swap you out for the next smaller size.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Best Regards,
Matt Favero
Brand Manager / Customer Experience Dir.

Notice that there is no mention of the broken stay in the response from Zpacks.  There was also no attached form.


 Thank you for the prompt reply.  I don’t know what included form you’re referring to.  The only paperwork that came with  my package was the instructions for the duplex tent and the customs declaration.

25 hours later, I sent another email.

What form are you referring to?

15 hours later, I received a response.

Hello Devon, 

I have attached a .pdf to be used with the return.
Today I sent the package off to Zpacks after having to pay $47.62 CAD so that they can replace or repair what they need to.

Needless to say, I am extremely unhappy with this interaction with this company.  It’s rather unfortunate as Will Wood aka Red Beard, whom works at Zpacks, is one of the reasons I got into lightweight backpacking and is certainly one f the reasons I decided to invest my money in Zpacks products.  I do hope this comes out in a positive result as I do generally like the products they make .


I received my new pack, and have little to no problems with it, with only one exception.  The mesh back panel is super loose, so I made a short video demonstrating the issue and I sent an email off to Zpacks…


They emailed me back stating that they would send me a new mesh back panel.  After it arrived, I installed it and have had no issues since.

Despite the several problems I’ve had with Zpacks since investing in their products, they have stood behind what they make and have made it right.  At this point in time, I feel I can safely recommend them to anyone who is looking to shed some weight and still have a quality product.

Good job Zpacks!

Categories: Gear

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