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Zpacks™ Arc Haul Backpack


The Arc Haul has all the same design features as the Arc Blast, except that it is made in heavier duty 4.2 oz/sqyd Gridstop fabric. This fabric is a bit thicker and better against abrasion. It can handle a little more weight.

All Arc backpacks have our patented 'Flexed Arc' frame which creates an air gap against your back. The air space keeps your back cool and also provides a buffer from any lumpy items in your pack. The curve of the frame is adjustable for optimal air flow and fit. No extra padding necessary.


Weight: 24.0 ounces (680 grams)

Body dimensions: 8" x 12.5" x 30"  (20 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

Volume: 49L main body, 2.5L each side pocket, 8L center pocket, 62 Liters Total

Load Carrying Features:

Standard Backpack Features:


Torso Height:

Please watch our Backpack Adjustment Video and our Backpack Torso and Belt Sizing Video.

To measure your torso height, you will need the help of friend and a string or cloth tape measure. To begin, lower your neck towards your chest. This will cause the C7 vertebra to protrude at the base of your neck. The C7 vertebra marks the top of your torso. Next wrap your hands around your love handles and then use your thumbs to feel for the top of your hipbones; also know as the iliac crest. The bottom point of your torso height measurement will be along your spine at the center point between your thumbs. Using the cloth tape measure, follow the curve of your spine from the C7 vertebra to the center of your spine at the top of your iliac crest. This measurement is your torso height.

The torso height on this pack is adjustable up and down within a range for a perfect fit. If your torso height is on the line between our choices size down.

Belt Size:

To measure your belt size use a string or cloth tape measure pulled tight around the spot on your body that you want the belt to ride. Usually this will be near the top of your pelvic bone. The tape measure should be over top of your hiking pants and shirt. Do not rely on your pant size.

The belt size indicates the length of the padding on the belt, for example a Medium has about 30 inches (76 cm of padding). Each belt size has 15 inches (38 cm) of webbing for adjustment. A medium will adjust from about 30-45 inches (76-114 cm).

You want to give yourself at least a couple inches of room for adjustment.

The belt on this pack is removable and interchangeable. It can be swapped out.


Backpacks are made to order and are currently shipping in about one week. There may also be lightly used gear in our Bargain Bin.

Arc Haul Backpack - $299


Belt Size:

Adjustable Torso Height:

Add Options:

Every option below is modular and can be added later.

Shoulder Pouches

These clip to your shoulder straps and are an excellent spot for your camera, GPS, phone, sunglasses, or other items that you want to grab quickly. Mesh on the front of the pouch gives you additional storage for small items like chap stick, keys, etc. They can also be used for .5L water bottles to counter balance a small pack.

These are detachable and can be used on non-Zpacks backpacks as well. They are symmetrical and can be switched left or right. Choose from black Dyneema Composite Fabric or black Gridstop fabric to match your backpack.

Shoulder Pouch Details

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams each   Price: $25 each / $45 pair


Belt Pouches

These pouches clip securely to the daisy chain on your padded belt. They have taped seams, a waterproof zipper, and are highly water resistant. Each pouch has about 1 liter of volume and is perfect for maps, snacks, hat and gloves, gadgets, you name it.

These are detachable and can be used on non-Zpacks backpacks as well. They are symmetrical and can be switched left or right. Choose from black DCF or black Gridstop fabric to match your backpack.

Belt Pouch Details

Dimensions: About 6" wide, by 2" deep, by 5" tall.

Weight: .75 oz / 21 grams each  Price: $25 each / $45 per pair


Aquaclip Water Bottle Holder

The Aquaclip allows you to attach a 500ml bottle to your shoulder strap or belt. The bottle can be popped in and out easily on the go.

Aquaclip Details Here

Weight: .43 oz / 12 grams Price: $4.95

Multi-Pack - Four in One Backpack Lid / Chest Pack / Belt Pack

This four-in-one backpack accessory can be attached to the top of your pack as a lid, carried on your chest as a front pack, or worn at your hips as a fanny pack, or carried over your shoulder as a satchel.  About 3.5 liters / 215 cubic inches volume. This will also work on non-Zpacks backpacks as long as there are loops to clip it to.

Multi-Pack Details

Weight: 2.9 ounces - 82 grams   Price: $45


Key Pouch

This pouch is attached to two stick-on-clips. Stick it inside your backpack as a safe place to store your car keys and wallet. We suggest positioning it towards the top of your pack, right behind the shoulder straps where it is easy to get to. Please make sure your backpack fits well before sticking this in. The adhesive bonds well with the inside of our backpack materials.

It is large enough to fit your keys, wallet, passport, or even a large phone like the iPhone 6 Plus as shown. The pouch can easily be unclipped and doubles as a large wallet around town.

The pouch itself weighs .6 ounces (17 grams) and the stick-on clips add about another .1 ounce (3 grams)

Key Pouch Details Here

Pouch Dimensions:  7.5" wide x 5" tall (19 cm x 12.5 cm)

Weight: .6 oz  /  17 grams    Price: $15

Top Side Pockets

These pockets have a loop at each corner to connect them to corresponding loops on the sides of your pack. Since these are not sewn to the pack you can still stand tall items like trekking poles, an umbrella, or a fishing pole behind the pockets. The pockets can be taken off or added later.

The dimensions are roughly 6" wide x 3" deep x 8" tall. They are a good fit for:
-A 1 Liter or smaller pot
-A water filter
-Hat and gloves
-Our rain jacket and pants
-An inflatable sleeping pad

Weight: .5 oz / 14 grams each  Price: $25 each / $45 per pair

Ice Axe Loops

A pair of loops are attached at each corner of the pack for securing ice axes. The head of each axe secures through a loop at the bottom, the handle is kept tight at the top with a shock cord band. The loops can all come off when you aren't carrying axes.

Weight: .1 oz  /  3 grams - Both sides of backpack.    Price: $10 / set

Trekking Pole Holders

Adjustable shock cord loops with cord locks are attached to your shoulder strap and to your belt to temporarily hold a trekking pole at either side. These are convenient if you want to quickly stow your poles for climbing,  road walking, or other situations where you don't need your poles temporarily. You can stow them and retrieve them without stopping to remove your pack.

You can easily attach these to any older Zpacks backpacks, or other brand packs. These are attached to both shoulder straps, but can be easily popped off when not needed. Some people also move these up higher on the shoulder strap for securing a water bottle or umbrella.

Weight: .4 oz / 12 grams - Both sides of backpack.  Price: $10 / set

Roll-Top Closure Straps

All Arc backpacks include a roll top opening by default. Normally the opening is closed by rolling it shut, and clipping a buckle together at the top of the pack.

Roll-top closure straps let you cinch the roll top down to the sides of the pack, rather than simply clipping it together. You can compress the top of the backpack down a little easier, but this is more of a cosmetic option / personal preference. If you add these you still have the freedom to secure the top of the pack the normal way by clipping the top to itself.

The straps are attached to existing loops on the backpack with toggles and they are detachable.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams    Price: $10

V Top Strap

By default there is a single webbing strap going over the top center of the backpack. A single strap works great for lashing on a soft item like a tent or a dry bag to the top of the backpack.

If you need to carry a heavier item, or a hard sided item where the strap can't dig in, you may want a V shaped top strap for more stability. This can be used to carry a bear canister on top of your pack, so long as the canister can squish into your gear as shown. Alternatively a canister can also be carried standing vertically inside the pack.

Attachment points are in place for both the normal top strap, or the V top strap, but you only get one or the other with the pack depending on if you upgrade or not. The top strap is removable and you could switch it later.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams    Price: $10

Lumbar Pad

The belt on Arc backpacks already has full-wrap padding behind your back, but this option doubles it with a detachable lumbar pad. The pad slides on or off your existing belt and is held in place by two bands on the back. It is also tied in place at the bottom center so that it can't ride up or down. The Lumbar Pad is made with 3D mesh against your back for more cushion and grip.

If your belt is just a little too large, this reduces the belt circumference by about an inch.

Most people probably won't need this option, and it can be added later if you find you want it in the future. It will also fit all older Zpacks backpacks.

Weight: 1.0 oz  /  28 grams    Price: $15

Shoulder Strap Pads

The shoulder straps on Arc backpacks already have 3D mesh on the underside, and most people seem to find them comfortable without any modification.

If you think you need more padding, these pads clip on over your normal straps and can be positioned right where you need them. These can be ordered later if you find that you need them down the road. They will fit most non-Zpacks backpacks as well.

Shoulder Strap Pad Details

Weight: .95 oz  /  27 grams    Price: $20

Roll Top Dry Bags

Up to 6 size medium or medium-plus size roll top bags will fit inside the body of the pack, and up to 3 more can be strapped on to the top and bottom of the pack for long carries. That's alot of capacity! Put your heaviest items (food, water) on the inside of the pack close to your center of gravity, and lightweight items (tent, clothes, pad) on the outside if you run out of internal space. The Large Rectangle Food Bag  is a good fit for this pack.

Roll Top Dry Bags

Spare Belt

The belt on Arc backpacks is removable and interchangeable. This is a useful feature if you lose or gain weight, or if the pack is transferred to a different size person. If the belt wears out before the rest of the pack you could replace it.

The belt is attached directly to a horizontal frame bar. To remove the belt, pull out gently at the center until the frame bar bows enough to pop out of its holster at the left or right. The belt slides off the bar.

To put the new belt on:
  • The pack belt attachment has two pockets (left and right) and two loops towards the middle (left and right).
  • Slide the bar through the right loop on the pack. Then through the back of the belt. Then through the left loop on the pack, and into the left pocket on the pack.
  • Make sure the bar is all the way into the left pocket.
  • Pull out gently on the center of the belt to flex it until the right side of the bar pops into the right pocket on the pack.

Replacing the belt can be a bit tricky and it is not something you would want to do frequently. The spare belt includes a spare frame bar.

DCF Fabric

Belt Size:

Gridstop Fabric

Belt Size:

Shock Cord Lashing

3/32" Shock cord is criss-crossed along the front of the backpack. It can be used to compress the pack, or to strap on items. The shock cord can be detached when not needed. It does get in the way of the center pocket a bit.

Weight: .5 oz  /  14 grams    Price: $10

Back Story:

The key to carrying heavier loads is effectively transferring weight off your shoulders and on to your hips. Most backpacks in this weight category rely on a bulky belt and shoulder straps, and a heavy stiff frame to handle the load. They weigh a ton. Rather than adding extra padding or a heavy frame, we made changes to our existing frame to transfer the load more effectively, and combined that with a soft flexible belt that can really grip the hips and prevent sliding. We added an adjustable torso height and load lifters to dial in a perfect fit and keep more weight off the shoulders.

I tested this pack on a 4.5 day trip on the 76 mile Foothills Trail in South Carolina in January 2015. A heavy load was not necessary on this short a trip, so I supplemented my own gear with a friend's food bag (9 people-days worth of food, 18 lbs total) plus 8 quarts (16 lbs) of water, and 8 lbs base weight. I had a starting weight of about 42 lbs. We had a really big climb the first day with full packs, and we did about 16-18 miles per day.

The pack fared pretty well at 40 lbs. The weight was effectively transferred to my hips and the load wasn't painful or uncomfortable. After a few days of diminishing food and water weight, 30 lbs felt quite good, and 20 lbs was hardly noticeable.

Reviews and Customer Testimonials:

Please email us with feedback (good or bad) if you have any!

There is some useful ongoing discussion of this pack over at Backpacking Light Here.
"I just wanted to send a big thank you for the pack! The pack arrived ahead of schedule and looked great! I got it out over the weekend and the Arc Haul handled like a dream, it was by far the most comfortable pack I have tried. My total pack weight was only around 30lbs starting so I was not able to test the 40lb limit but 30lbs carried very comfortably. By the time my pack got into the mid to low twenty pound range it was almost like I was carrying nothing!" -Matt F.
"I took the new Arc Haul on its maiden voyage over the long Memorial Day weekend for 50 miles through Yosemite, including one 20 mile day. I have to say that it was a dream to carry - so comfortable, especially for such a light weight pack. We had 2 days of significant rain and the Gridstop fabric proved to be quite waterproof. Overall I couldn't be happier with this pack." -Bob S.
"Hi Joe, I just want to let you know that my wife brought my new belt out to me on the AT several days ago. I had no problem swapping it out, and I am happy to say that the pack is back on my back as I head into NJ. Thanks a million for your support and quick turn around." -Warren
"Overall the pack is terrific. Construction is impeccable. I was worried that the volume would be too large for summer hiking, but the compression system works well and I left my quilt unstuffed. It carries 30 pounds like a breeze, and it's great having working load lifters so I can adjust the carry while hiking. I do think the hip belt is a little soft, and it slides down under load, but that may be my total lack of hips. The hip belt pockets are fantastic, much more usable than on my previous pack." -Ken B.
"Thanks for offering to swap out my belt for a larger size. I actually used the pack on a section of the AT this past weekend and the belt worked great as is. I have to say, I've never had a pack that transfers the weight to the hip belt like this one. Carried and felt good. Thanks." -Jeff B.
"I wanted to let you know that the Arc Haul is a great pack. I walked the Continental Divide Trail with it this past summer. The material held up without fail. No tears, leaks or surface abrasions. It looks like new. The pack was comfortable with 5 to 6 liters of water, 5 days of food and the base gear. In my opinion you have built a great pack!" -David B.
"All of the Zpacks gear worked out beautifully for us this weekend on our North Cascades trip. There is great thoughtfulness behind just about everything you design or select, but I was especially impressed by the Arc Haul. The frame and hip belt transfer weight better and fit more comfortably than any pack I’ve ever owned, and the pack contour, compression options, and other features ensure that it moves naturally with the body. I carry some of my son’s supplies as well as my own, so was pushing 20 pounds much of the way, and for large stretches of trail I simply forgot I was wearing a pack. After a four-day trip that included a pretty strenuous ridge climb, I was amazed to find I hadn’t any neck or shoulder stiffness—a first, maybe, in my entire career of backpacking—and could actually turn my head to see the cars behind me as we drove back from the trailhead. What a brilliant piece of gear!" -Michael J.
"The Haul not only has exceptional weight distribution due to the robust and brilliant Arc frame, but the improved shoulder straps and hip belt grip and hug the body for a very comfortable ride. I could run, jump, and scramble down hills without even thinking about the pack, let alone the normal hiking on and off trail with the Haul on my back." Read the full Review at Cesar and the Woods
"I recently completed the Jatbula Trek in the Northern Territory of Australia. I've been on many hikes, and I was in the Marines for 13 years. I've had several different packs. My Zpacks backpack was incredible! I made the necessary adjustments to ensure a good fit, and it was brilliant. My hips carried all of the weight. I have had some neck and back issues in the past, and I went on this trek with quite a bit of anti-inflammatory pills. I didn't need to take any! I can not say enough good things about the pack. It felt good, it looks good, and it's functional. It was just perfect. Thank you." -Renee T.
"I have loved everything about the design and quality of this pack!" CJ Reviews her Arc Haul backpack and Duplex tent.
"I wanted to let you know what a great experience I had ordering from your company. I had a hard deadline that I needed the Arc Haul by (upcoming Arizona Trail trip), and you were able to deliver it incredibly fast. The pack is absolutely beautiful, and the craftsmanship is top notch. Thank you!" -Paul R.
"I've had several of your competitor's packs but both the ARC Blast and ARC Haul (some times you have to haul water in the drylands) did the job better for UL backpacking. Look forward to getting out and about in the backcountry again soon." -Anthony W.
Our Flexed Arc Frame is is covered by US Patent No. 9,060,590