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An Exposition on the Gregory Z55 Backpack

by Dirk
11/30/2011 10:16:13 A.M.

Explaining the functionality of my internal framed Gregory Z-Series (Jade Series for the ladies) backpack is like trying to explain the resourcefulness of a pocketknife on the trail - it's essential. The versatility is broad, no matter where you find your destination.

My experience with the Gregory Z 55 has resulted in me falling in love with it…as well as a professional butt kicking to my ego because my backpack has proven to be more rugged and resilient than me! Now I know you could be thinking “there’s no way that an inanimate object can possibly throw punches…” but I kid you not, it very well might be able to do so with all its advantageous features. (It’s these) that help make it the ultimate companion on any domestic or international adventure!

Besides its stylish looks, some of the most notable features of this internal frame backpack include Gregory’s Jetstream LTS (Load Transfer System) technology – that allows for most of the weight to be comfortably carried on your hips instead of on your shoulders! “WOW”, right? It also comes equipped with a space for a hydration bladder, pockets on the hip belts (perfect for snacks and iPods), alternative access zippers to the main compartment, a removable top lid (for snacks and other goodies) and the coolest stretchy front pocket for ANYthing that requires quick access with little effort. My favorite use for the SFP (stretchy front pocket) is – as you’ve may’ve guessed – strategic snack placement, as well as: maps, rain gear, and (when technical clothing isn’t a requirement) it serves as a convenient spot for my netbook and electronics pouch – a really cool feature when quick access is essential to booking a hostel in a foreign country or checking the latest Facebook updates.

Joking aside, the Gregory Z 55 has probably been one of the most useful tools that I have invested in since I purchased it almost 3 years ago. I initially bought it for hiking trips on the Appalachian Trail because of a horrible hiking experience (due to having purchased a less expensive and cheaply made backpack) and have since used it on the AT, a European backing trip (highly recommended), an expedition through Africa AND plenty of weekend trips to visit mom in California. In the midst of this travel, one of my favorite things about the pack (besides it’s durability and features) is that I have NEVER been charged to take it on an airplane! It’s the perfect size for a “carry on” luggage piece and I have plenty of friends who share the same experience in regards to the Gregory Z65. Add the approximate $20 dollar charge (each way) to your travel budget for luggage expenses and it’s easy to see why this trophy backpack has its own exclusive space in my room but also in my heart.

A backpack of this caliber might seem expensive to a first time hiker or traveler, but over the long run, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. “Inexpensive” and the “outdoors” usually don’t translate into a good time and in order to be safe and comfortable it’s a worthy choice to buy something that fits you properly and that can handle anything you or​Mother Nature might throw at it. The best thing about Z55 is that it’s built for the wilderness, which obviously means that it is MORE than capable of handling any form of travel or backpacking adventure. This spacious suite of a backpack which also comes in a 65 liter volume has with plenty of space for clothing AND curios!

So take a good look at the Gregory Z and Jade (wm’s) series backpacks. The Z55 has worked out wonderfully for me, and at this rate – I’ll get many more years of abuse out of it before I need to replace it. It’s light, durable, and (versatile). When traveling, I never leave home without it. I highly recommended it.