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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 4.8 oz/sqyd Dyneema X Gridstop fabric. This fabric is a bit thicker and better against abrasion. It can handle a little more weight. It costs slightly less than Cuben Fiber.

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.


Total Volume: 62 Liters / 3,800 cubic inches - 24.0 ounces (680 grams)
Main Body Volume: About 49 Liters / 3,000 cubic inches
Pockets: About 5L (300 ci) in the side pockets, and 8L (500 ci) in the mesh center pocket.
Body dimensions: 8" x 12.5" x 30"  (19 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

Load Carrying Features:

Standard Backpack Features:

Torso Height:

Please watch our Backpack Fitting Video with Matt and Will.

The torso height on our backpacks is the actual distance on the backpack measured from the bottom of the belt to where the shoulder straps attach. Your best bet for sizing is to find an existing pack that you like and measure it directly. The torso height on this pack is adjustable up and down within a 4 inch (10 cm) range for a perfect fit. The Medium range is a good bet for the most people unless you are fairly tall or short. If you are on the line get Medium.

The shoulder straps should be positioned level with, or a bit below the tops of your shoulders. The included Load Lifter straps will pull the shoulder straps up off your shoulders and will also pull the top of the pack in over your shoulders to help stabilize it.

Belt Size:

The belt size is the length of the belt padding from tip to tip. For example, a medium 30 inch (76 cm) belt has 30 inches of padding from tip to tip. The belt can cinch down to the point of the padding just about touching in front. The belt webbing extends 15 inches (38 cm) beyond the padding. So for example, a Medium belt would fit a range of 30" to 45".

Use a string or cloth tape measure pulled tight around the spot on your body that you want the belt to ride. You want at least a few inches of webbing in front to allow for adjusting the buckle. If you are on the line, size down so that you have room for adjustment. As an example, if you measure 35 inches, a medium 30 inch belt would give you 5 inches of webbing to adjust in front but a large 34 inch belt would barely fit with almost no room for adjustment.


Backpacks are currently built and shipped in about one week. If you need your gear by a certain date please email us after you order and we will schedule accordingly if possible.

There are a handful of lightly used Backpacks in our Bargain Bin!

Dyneema Arc Haul Backpack - $299
Torso Height:
Belt Length:

Additional Options:

Every option below is detachable 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.

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

Shoulder Pouch Details Here

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.

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

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

Belt Pouch Details Here

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.

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

Aquaclip Details Here

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.

2.9 ounces - 82 grams   Price: $45

Multi-Pack Details Here

Key Pouch

This pouch is attached to two stick-on-clips. It is stuck inside the backpack as a safe place to store your car keys and wallet. If you order this at the same time as a backpack we stick it on for you towards the top of the pack right behind the shoulder straps so that it is easy to get to. The adhesive bonds well with Cuben Fiber and will also work on any urethane coated backpack material.

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)

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

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

Key Pouch Details Here

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 1 Liter water bottle
-A water filter
-A poncho or light jacket
-Hat and gloves
-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    Price: $10

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 per set of 4 loops.  Price: $10

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 as shown on the Green backpack. The included top strap can be used to keep the roll top snug to the pack.

Roll-top closure straps let you clip the roll top down to the sides of the pack, rather than simply to itself. You can compress the top of the backpack down a little easier, but you can do the same thing with the normal roll top just by rolling it down. 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 in either of the two ways shown to the left.

The straps are detachable, and they can be clipped on to any older Arc backpack.

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 likely fit non-ZPacks backpacks as well.

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

Shoulder Strap Pad Details Here

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.

Spare Arc Belt - $45
Belt Length

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 Dyneema 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.
"This is to let you know how satisfied I am with the Arc Haul, purchased earlier this year. I just finished a walk from the South of Holland to Rome, through all kind of country and the pack has made it without any problem at all. My base load was 8-9 kilo (17-19 lbs), including tent, sleeping bag and such, but with water, food and fuel I sometimes carried up to 14 - 15 kilo's (33 lbs) which the pack took easily and without making it less comfortable. I am tall (6'8") but the pack fit perfectly. I really liked the roll top as it made it easy to adjust the volume of the pack. The mesh front is somewhat vulnerable and I have one or two holes torn by branches and such. The holes, however, do not rip. I was curious to see how the frame would work, but it was great. It is nice to have some airflow between the pack and your back. I was a little concerned at first that the tips of the bowed frame poles would eventually pierce the fabric but it all holds up well. As the name suggests, the Arc Haul is a real hiking pack." -Dirk K.
Our Flexed Arc Frame is is covered by US Patent No. 9,060,590