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Zpacks™ Arc Zip Backpack


The Arc Zip has all the same design features as the Arc Blast, except with a large Zipper opening on the front of the pack to conveniently access your gear. It also has a large center pocket made with solid material and a zipper.

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.

The pack is constructed from tough 2.92 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric. This material has ultra high strength Dyneema fiber on the inside with a protective layer of 50 denier Polyester on the outside. The outer layer gives it even more strength, prevents fraying, and gives it a nice solid color. The material and design can handle loads up to 35 lbs (16 kg).


Weight: 24.0 ounces (680 grams)

Body dimensions: 7" x 12.5" x 30"  (18 cm x 31.8 cm x 76 cm)

Volume: 42L main body, 2.5L each side pocket, 10L center pocket, 57 Liters Total

Frame Height: Short 19" (48.3 cm), Medium 21.5" (54.6 cm), Tall 24" (61 cm)

Load Carrying Features:

Standard Backpack Features:


Torso Height:

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

A person's torso height doesn't necessarily correlate to their total height, a taller person can have a shorter torso and vice versa.

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 known 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 is under 17" (43 cm) consider the Arc Scout which is built for shorter torso heights.

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.

A medium belt has a minimum circumference of about 30" (76 cm) including the buckle. Each belt has about 15" (38 cm) of webbing for adjustment.

Choose a belt with a minimum adjustment a couple inches smaller than your measurement so that you can still tighten it down if you lose a little weight on trail.

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 Zip Backpack - $350


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: $29 each / $50 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: $29 each / $50 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: $49


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

Watch the 'Top Side Pockets' overview video.

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.

Watch the 'Ice Axe Loops' overview video.

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.

Watch the 'Trekking Pole Holders' overview video.

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.

Watch the 'Roll-Top Closure Strap' overview video.

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

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 and they are interchangeable. If you add this, the pack is still shipped with the normal top strap too. Detach one or the other depending on your trip's needs.

Watch the 'V Top Strap' overview video.

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.

The lumbar pad is about 11.5" wide by 4" tall with 3/8" closed cell foam and 3D mesh padding. (29 cm x 10 xm x 1 cm).

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.

Watch the 'Lumbar Pad' overview video.

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.

Weight: Size medium: 4.0 oz (113 g) DCF material | 4.3 oz (122 g) Gridstop material  Price: $45

DCF Fabric

Belt Size:

Gridstop Fabric

Belt Size:

Back Story:

The Arc Zip is a variation of our popular Arc Blast backpack that was designed in 2014. We built it because customers asked for it. Most notably, John Abela of requested the first prototype of this pack and offered some feedback on the design. Roughly 1/4th of customers choose this style now over the standard Arc Blast.

Reviews and Customer Testimonials:

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

John Abela at HikeLighter talks about the features of his Arc Zip Backpack.
"I received my new equipment in time for my trip last weekend. The pack and tent performed well and the trip was a big success. The Arc Zip pack fits really well and was more comfortable than I ever dreamed!" -Merial C.
"I took the Arc Zip pack on a week long 60 mile hike on the Pacific Crest trail west of Whitney in the Sierras. I have used a dozen packs over the years and none come close to the comfort, ease of access and stability that this pack provides. I have other ultra light packs and standard packs as well as light daypacks. The Arc Zip has displaced them all." -Ken Bell
"Hey Joe I just wanted to share a few photos with you. My crew from the PCT 2015 just hiked the Wonderland trail. All three of us using Zpacks backpacks and sleeping bags. They lasted most of the pct and still going. Thanks!" -Ross V.
"Cynthia and I had a random encounter with several different happy Zpacks owners at the Grand Canyon and on our 800 mile Arizona Nat'l Scenic Trail thru-hike. Our Zpacks backpacks helped make the journey quite a pleasure." -Bruce E.
"I had a really great hike this week along the Royal Coastal Walk in south Sydney. I experienced some utterly beautiful coastal scenery and best of all I didn't really notice that I had the Arc Zip backpack on my back. Honestly it was that good. Thanks to my Zpacks' gear my back didn't sweat and my pack was light. It was simply sublime as I was able to enjoy and soak in the surroundings and not be sidetracked and consumed by the weight and pain of my pack. Its the way hiking should be for all." -Brenden W.
"I was stunned how great the Arc ZIP I purchased was. It turned out to be everything I could have expected and more. Once on the Camino, I switched packs with a friend for a few hours and even though my Arc ZIP had twice the weight in it, it was far more comfortable and easier to carry. I can’t thank you enough for your help in sizing the pack." -Gary S.
"Just a quick note to give you some feedback on the Arc Zip. Completed 10 nights on the JMT. Pack performed very well. Tended to hit weather over the passes and the pack, especially the zip compartment, kept the water out with no issues. The Arc worked great keeping the bear can off my back. Roll top yielded great access to rain jacket. Zip compartment handled all the misc gear with ease. Zippered access to the main compartment was the best feature, easy to pack around the bear canister. Great product." -James C.
Our Flexed Arc Frame is is covered by US Patent No. 9,060,590

Our torso height adjustment mechanism is is covered by US Patent No. 9,848,687