This Gregory Zulu 65 review is about a new ultra-lightweight pack suitable for multi-day and week-long tours. It comes with a suspended mesh system which offers great ventilation and comfort.
- Great ventilation.
- Removable hydration pack serves as a day pack.
Note that they have launched a new 2019 version of this pack, the summary of changes is given here.
Best price & place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
This pack comes in three different sizes, S (63 l), M (65 l), and L (67 l), and in two different colors. High quality, abrasion resistant, and durable materials are used in its construction, both in the upper body and on the bottom.
The pack has dual access to the main compartment, under the top lid and through the zippered U-shaped entrance on the front. The top entrance is through a spindrift collar equipped with a compression strap. The lid is floating-type and removable.
To get to the pack through the front entrance, you have to undo the two buckles that are on the straps, plus to undo a buckle which secures the large pocket on the front. You can see them in the picture. So this is a bit annoying in my view, although having such an entrance can be convenient.
You also have a bottom compartment with the usual zippered entrance. Dual removable compression straps are there as well for attaching a sleeping pad, see the picture above. There is a divider between the bottom and main compartments, and you can open it to have one large compartment when you need it.
On the bottom, you have a set of two larger attachment loops for gear (trekking poles, ice axe) and two smaller loops. On the upper front section, you have the corresponding bungee tie-offs to fix the gear attached through the loops. Small attachment loops are available on the lid as well.
The pack comes with a hydration bag which is removable and equipped with straps, so you can take it out from the main compartment and use as a summit or day pack. You will see this in the video below.
What you have here is Gregory’s updated CrossFlo suspension system. It is based on an aluminum X-frame and an HDPE frame sheet, supported with an anti-barreling stay.
All is made lightweight here so the padding is good and it is only in areas where it is necessary. This implies that on the back you have a suspended mesh, which in my view is the best system for ventilation for this size, see it in the picture below.
You have die-cut EVA foam on shoulder straps and on the hip belt. Lumbar padding is really generously padded, as you can see below.
On the hip belt, you have two zippered pockets for small items. On the sides, you have the usual stretch mesh pockets for water bottles or for gear. Compression straps run over them and you can secure whatever you put there.
One large zippered pocket is on the top lid, and yet another zippered pocket is underneath the lid.
On the front, you have a large stretch pocket where you can store a lot of gear. Inside this pocket, you have a small zippered pocket with rain cover.
See all these features in this great video:
Pros & cons
Summary of my cons and pros is as follows:
The harness is not adjustable. Instead, you have three different sizes to choose in the moment of purchase.
This is a new model and it has not yet received reviews by Amazon customers. I have no doubts many will be very happy with it, with all good reasons.
- Weight (M): 3 lb 12.3 oz (1.71 kg).
- Volume (M): 65 L (3966 cubic inches).
- Max. carry weight: 40 lbs (18 kg).
- Fabric: 210 D nylon; 100 D nylon.
- Torso fit:
– Small: 16 – 18 in (41 – 46 cm).
– Medium: 18 – 20 in (46 – 51 cm).
– Large: 20 – 22 in (51 – 56 cm).
- Updated CrossFlo suspension system.
- Dual-density hip belt and shoulder harness foam.
- Top and front access to the main compartment.
- Floating and removable lid.
- Integrated rain cover.
- Bottom compartment for sleeping bag.
- Dual hip belt pockets.
- Large front bucket pocket.
- Colors: 2, see the pictures.
Comparison with competition
See a few packs from the same or similar size range, for comparison:
AG 65 M
|Zippered side pockets||no||yes||yes|
|Hip belt pockets||yes||yes||yes|
|Metal internal frame||yes||yes||yes|
Gregory Zulu 65 is a great pack but I rank it below the top competitors in this size range. It lacks some features that should be there, like side zippered pockets and an adjustable torso. For example, Deuter Futura in the table is also with a tensioned mesh (Deuter invented this system several decades ago), but the harness is still fully adjustable. So Gregory pack is indeed lightweight but this is partly due to these missing features.
To conclude this Gregory Zulu 65 review, this is a great and reliable pack with many nice features and built of very good materials. Ventilation in packs with suspended mesh is the best you can have. You will see some claiming that this implies that the pack is too far from the body and that this is not good for stability. I own one pack with such a tensioned mesh and have never had issues with this. So yes, I can fully recommend this pack to anybody.
If you need a smaller pack with the same features, please see this Gregory Zulu 40 liters version.
Thank you for reading. It will be great to hear from you, there is a comment box below. Have a nice day.