The Z35 is slightly larger than the other packs tested and more suitable for extended trips and bulky loads. The capacity of the medium size tested is given as 36 litres and it easily held more than the 35 litre packs tested – I think Gregory’s litres are quite generous! The Z35 is also the heaviest pack tested. It is made from tough materials and has a substantial back system but is still quite heavy for a pack this size. Gregory says it will handle 13.6kg (30lbs), which is a pretty hefty load, and I’ve found it okay with that much weight as the flexible frame is stiff enough to transfer all the weight to the wide hipbelt. Overall I’d say this was a small backpacking sack rather than a daypack. Fully loaded it’s quite comfortable, and there are two sizes. The ventilation gap between the curved frame and the mesh backband is narrower than many, making for reasonable stability while still keeping your back drier than a close-fitting pack.

The features of the Z35 are excellent. There’s a big pouch pocket on the front that’s good for wet gear and a curving zip for access to the main pack without having to open the lid. All the pockets are roomy.

Given the weight and cost this isn’t a good choice if all you want is a pack for day walks. However for multi-day trips or really heavy loads such as climbing hardware it’s worth considering.