Nero 38L Backpack
Designed for hikers pushing their limits and obsessing over every gram. The ultralight Nero is a compact frameless backpack streamlined to only the most essential features making it great for hikes where less weight and volume is required.
Multiple thru-hikes of the Triple Crown trails have been completed with the Nero, helping to prove that smaller volume frameless packs are a legitimate approach to long-distance hiking.
Featuring a removable webbing belt, sit pad, and a variety of optional modular add-ons, the highly versatile Nero will allow you to get the most out of any day, section, or thru-hike.
- Constructed from 3.1 oz/sqyd Dyneema® Composite Fabric (Hybrid).
- Strategically placed attachment loops accommodate our most popular backpack add-ons like our Top Side Pockets, Shock Cord Lashing and Ice Axe Loops.
- Three belt positions allow you to move the webbing belt up or down to fit a range of torso heights. The included belt is 1" (2.5 cm) wide and has a maximum adjustment of about 50" (127 cm) circumference. The belt contributes 1.2 ounces (34 grams) to the total weight. It can be trimmed down or removed.
- Belt pouches with integrated belt pads are sold separately for those who desire more belt cushioning.
- Integrated roll-top closure straps clip to the sides of the pack using the same 1/2” side release buckles featured on our Arc Series backpacks. The straps can be cinched to compress the pack's volume or used to stand tall items like trekking poles in the side pockets.
- A closed cell foam sit pad measuring 11" x 15.5" (28 cm x 39.4 cm) is included and adds an additional 1 ounce to the total weight of the pack. The foam provides some cushion and support against your back. The sit pad is held in place with shock cord and comes off quickly for breaks. The shock cord (.3 oz / 8.5 g) and sit pad are removable and replaceable.
- The shock cord can also be re-tied to accommodate up to 20" tall folded sleeping pads, or taller sit pads.
- The pack material is waterproof. All seams and attachment points are taped with Dyneema® Composite Fabric Tape and the pack is constructed using hydrophobic thread, making the packs highly water resistant.
- Comfy 3/8" thick by 2.5" wide padded contoured shoulder straps. The straps have a daisy chain for clipping on items, and an adjustable position sternum strap is included. The shoulder straps have 3D mesh on the underside which gives them a little bit more cushion.
- Side pockets are sized to fit 1 or 1.5 liter bottles. They are positioned low on the pack and slanted forward for easy access without removing the pack. The pockets have drainage holes at the bottom, and elastic that keeps them tight at the top.
- Large stretchy mesh center pocket is great for quick access items. Mesh also lets you dry wet clothing and gives you a clear view of your gear.
- This pack can be folded up to fit inside a 1 gallon Ziploc bag. It can easily be packed in your luggage or used as a carry-on.
- All Zpacks gear has a two year limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. Please see our return / warranty policy.
- Made in the USA.
Pack Weight: 10.7 ounces (303 g) | Foam sit pad adds 1.0 oz (28 g)
Belt (included): 1" (2.5 cm) wide x 50" (127 cm) circumference, 1.2 oz (34 g)
Body dimensions: 5.5" x 12" x 23" (14 cm x 30 cm x 59 cm)
Volume: 38L (25L main body, 2.5L each side pocket, 8L center pocket)
Load Capacity: Recommended up to 20 lbs (9 kg)
.3.5 oz/sqyd Mesh
This is the mesh that we use on our backpack's center pockets. It has a relatively light weight for mesh, while being difficult to tear. It can withstand getting caught on branches and other typical abrasion that backpacks are subjected to. The hole size is a about 4 mm (a little over 1/8").
Weight: 3.5 oz/sqyd (119 g/m²)
5.3 oz/sqyd 3D Spacer Mesh
This mesh has a three-dimensional structure which allows airflow and adds cushioning. It has a tricot backing so you can't see clear through the holes. We use it on the underside of our backpack's shoulder straps and belts to absorb sweat, add cushion, and add grip. Our 3D mesh weighs less than most other types.
Weight: 5.3 oz/sqyd (180 g/m²)
Thickness: About 3/32" (2.5 mm)
This backpack has three belt attachment positions allowing you to move the belt up or down to fit a range of torso heights. The actual distance on the pack from the bottom of the belt to the top of the shoulder straps can be adjusted from about 18" to 22" (46 to 56 cm), which will fit most adults. On a frameless backpack, it is nice to have the shoulder straps roughly level with the tops of your shoulders (rather than wrapping up around them) so that more weight is forced on to the webbing belt. The pack body does not extend much above your shoulders and load lifter straps are not needed.
The webbing belt will fit up to around 50" circumference and can be trimmed down for smaller waists or swapped out for larger waists. To move the belt to a different position, slide off the belt buckle and back the webbing out of the backpack attachment points.
Click here for full instructions on how to wash our Dyneema® Composite Fabric backpacks.
Lightweight one, great. But I'm too short, the backpack strap doesn’t fit my body.
I bought one of these for 3 weeks on the AT in September. I removed the sitting pad and elastic cord that held it. Even thought it's ultralight, and I hike ultralight, I wanted a waist belt. I affixed one from a previous backpack (manufactured by another company - not Zpacks.) It was FANTASTIC. I loved it so much that I just bought another one, the same 38L Nero, for my girlfriend.
Always very good quality and innovation.
Overall I like the pack so I will focus on smaller areas that could be improved or changed. First the back pad need to go along with the ridiculous shock chord used to try and keep it in place. Find another solution or ditch the idea all together. Maybe internally sew in a stretch fabric piece the can be used for a multitude of pads. The grab handle is a little annoying due to its thinness. A wider, softer piece of webbing would do better. Also the webbing that feeds into the shoulder straps needs to be longer and folded over to prevent it from sliding out unintentionally. Those are my suggestions for improvement. Still like the pack but its not quite there yet.
All I can say is wow. But stay under 20-22 lbs like they say to. Thing rides beautiful, does make your back sweat but I folded the sit pad up and gave some breathing room. At 10.7 oz Ill deal with it!