With an astute selection of features, the Zephyr is a full-capacity tramping pack that weighs-in at a respectable 1890g and provides a tonne of functionality.
It’s a single-sac design, with an adjustable back-length harness, two lid pockets, hip belt pockets and three large stretch-mesh stash pockets on the outside. A waterproofed side zip allows entry to the pack without having to open the lid.
I used the Zephyr for a couple of multiday trips, carrying a full complement of transalpine equipment, including snow shovel, tent, ice axe and crampons, and was very impressed. The harness is easily adjustable via a couple of pull-cords and stayed put even with my heavy load, which is borne on a basic curved wire and polypropylene frame padded with a sheet of perforated closed cell foam. The foam in turn is covered with a loose weave mesh. It’s a pretty simple and foolproof system that’s light and very comfortable. The perforated foam and mesh combo gives it significant breathability and it was something of a revelation to stop on a windy saddle and not be immediately chilled by a sweat soaked t-shirt.
The pack’s tapered shape – widest at bottom – provides a low centre of gravity, enhancing balance while walking. Something I found a real help with the extra weight of a camera and three lenses.
Functionally, it was comfortable and allowed equipment to be securely attached with its versatile compression straps and roomy external stash pockets. Some extra lash points for crampons would be a good addition.
The question of durability always arises with ‘lightweight’ products, but a good choice of fabric for the main sac means this pack is light, but not too light. The mesh on one stash pocket was punctured while travelling rough, rocky terrain. Some points have to come off here as this vulnerability detracts from an otherwise excellent product.