Tuesday, 21 August 2007

REVIEW: Gregory Z30 rucksack £80

The Gregory Z30 is part of the brand's Fast and Light range, designed to strike a balance between weight and durability without sacrificing performance. It has the new Jetstream air sprung back system with a capacity of around 30 litres, so it should be ideal for day trips as well as superlight overnights. Trail reviewed a bunch of these sacks in the August issue, but here's one that missed the test, yet is well worth a closer look.

It's good:
The Gregory Z30 benefits from a new Jetstream airsprung back system, which means it doesn't stick to your back like a wet flannel in hot weather. However it still fits reasonably close to your back so it remains stable when walking. I even used this for scrambling and found it great. As the back system is not too curved, it does not impede packing, unlike some other pre-curved back systems. You get a massive hip belt, which is unusual for this size of sack, but the result is a good close fit that is comfortable and not too hot and sweaty.
The main compartment of the sack is fairly conventional with a capacity of 30 litres according to the manufacturers. There is a zip around opening, which works well. A compression panel on the front is ideal for stashing a jacket too. You get a zipped front pocket that is large enough for OS maps, a OS map sized lid pocket, plus mesh wand pockets, that are deep enough to hold a waterbottle. Poles can be stashed on the sides quite easily too thanks to a pair of compression straps and those deep wand pockets. It is hydration system compatible and generally ideal for walkers.

But: Not everyone will like the zip around opening and I would prefer a single buckled conventional lid. Some may prefer side pockets, rather than a front pocket. So not a great deal to complain about here and it is really down to personal preferences when you are looking for drawbacks to this design. At 1200g there are lighter sacks if you want to travel light.

Verdict: Excellent well ventilated rucksack that is ideal for valley, hill and mountain walkers and it is fine for scrambling too.

Vital stats
Manufacturers capacity 30 litres
Fabric 210 D nylon
Features Jet Stream DTS suspension well ventilated sprung back system, lid pocket, front pocket, compression straps, zipped main opening, top tensioning straps, ice axe loops, hydration system compatible
Weight 1200g
Made in Far East

Reviewed by Graham Thompson

For more information go to Gregory web site

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