The Zpacks Arc Blast is a popular ultralight backpack that has gained a reputation for being one of the best options on the market for long-distance hikers, thru-hikers, and backpackers who want to keep their pack weight to a minimum. This pack is designed to be lightweight, durable, and versatile, with a number of features that make it ideal for use on a variety of different trails and in different weather conditions. It works well for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike, but the Arc Blast was ultimately designed to be the best backpacking back on the Appalachian Trail.
Lightweight: The Arc Blast is one of the lightest backpacks on the market, especially for its capacity
Durable: The pack is made from Dyneema Composite Fabric, which makes it both waterproof and tear-resistant.
Comfortable: The arc frame helps to distribute weight evenly across the wearer’s back, reducing strain on the back and shoulders.
Versatile: The pack has a number of different compartments and pockets, making it easy to organize and access gear. Since it is waterproof, it is also suitable for many different trails and conditions.
Hydration Compatible: The pack can accommodate a hydration bladder, making it easy to stay hydrated on the trail.
Expensive: The Arc Blast is an extremely expensive backpack, mostly because of the Dyneema construction.
No Hip Belt Pockets: The pack does not have any hip belt pockets, which can be annoying when stowing and organizing quick-grab gear
Load Limit: The pack has a maximum load limit of 35 pounds, which may be too low for some hikers
Minimal Padding: Because of its lightweight, the pack has minimal padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt.
One of the standout features of the Arc Blast is its weight. At just 21 ounces, it is one of the lightest packs on the market. It is a solid choice for backpackers still looking to carry comfort gear, but want to do so in the lightest way possible. Despite its lightweight, the Arc Blast is still durable enough to withstand the rigors of long-distance hiking.
SpecsVolume: 55 liters (3350 cubic inches)Weight: 21 oz (595 grams)Load Capacity: Up to 35 lbsFrame: Arc frame (carbon fiber and aluminum)Material: Dyneema Composite FabricHip belt: Adjustable, padded, and removableShoulder straps: Adjustable and paddedBack panel: Breathable meshPockets: One large front mesh pocket, two side water bottle pockets
The Arc Blast is constructed from Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF), a high-tech, incredibly strong, and lightweight material. This fabric is waterproof and tear-resistant, which means that it can withstand heavy rain, snow, and other weather conditions without sustaining damage. Additionally, the Arc Blast features reinforced seams and high-stress areas, which helps to increase its durability further.
Another notable feature of the Arc Blast is its design. The pack features a unique “arc” frame, which is made from carbon fiber and helps to distribute the weight of the pack evenly across the wearer’s back. This design helps to reduce strain on the back and shoulders. It is an ergonomic design that aids in the long carries and rigors of a thru-hike and we think is worth the hype.
The Arc Blast also has a number of other features that make it a versatile option for backpackers. It has a large main compartment, which can hold up to 55 liters of gear, as well as several smaller pockets and compartments for storing smaller items. It also has a hydration port and can accommodate a hydration bladder.
Our Overall Choice: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack
Ultralight with good capacity: ZPacks Arc Blast 55
Best Value: Gossamer Gear Mariposa
Best Value Ultralight Option: Gossamer Gear G4-20
Budget Option: Granite Gear Crown 2
Overall, the Zpacks Arc Blast is an excellent choice for backpackers and thru-hikers who want a lightweight, durable, and versatile pack that can handle a variety of different trails and weather conditions. Its innovative design, high-quality materials, and attention to detail make it a standout option on the market, and its popularity among hikers and backpackers is a testament to its quality and performance.