Nero 38L DCF Backpack
This backpack was the ultimate step into the right direction! The value of this pack surpasses almost all my other gear, without it, the path to a lighter future would never have been taken. The quality of the pack, the weight, the effortless comfort all adds to the beauty of the simple design. Only carry what you need and have no fear. The beauty of a sub 10 base weight starts here 😁 and the Nero makes it all possible!
**This backpack has been replaced by our newer Nero Ultra. It has a similar design but is constructed with a more durable Ultra material and a slightly modified feature set.
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 2.75" 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 Lycra 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: 10.9 ounces (308 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)
Made with Bio-Based Dyneema® Fiber
Reduce your carbon footprint with DSM’s bio-based Dyneema® fiber technology. Sourced from renewable, bio-based feedstock, it is the first ever bio-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (HMPE) fiber. Commit to sustainability and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuel resources and rely on the trusted performance of the world’s strongest fiber™. Click here to learn more about our sustainability initiatives.
Made in the USA.
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.
I've always used internal/external frame backpacks. I have used a variety of brands and sizes and was always comfortable with what I used. I have been hiking and camping since...forever it seems, but admittedly the pandemic opened my eyes to the niche UL market. Most of the gear I did use had a military/tactical bent, not very light - but practical. Motivated to start photographing the outdoors/wilderness and to get off my ***, I began to investigate UL equip and brands. I was hesitant to switch to a smaller capacity, frameless backpack. Hesitant because- would it hurt my back? Can I fit everything I need to bring? How will I feel after a couple days? Is it durable? After a couple years of use, this bag has exceeded my expectations and has made me a customer for life. My back does't hurt after multi day trips and I feel great. I am looking forward to putting my bag on and hitting the trail. It is durable and very light. I have never had an issue with rain or water. The biggest obstacle I faced transitioning to this bag was deciding on what I needed to bring. This can mean many things for many people. I average around 12-15 pounds of weight for weekend trips. If I bring a tele-photo lens, the bag can support up to 21lbs comfortably (not recommended). If I ever needed a larger capacity bag, a Zpacks bag would be next purchase.
Nero 38 DCF? Perfrect for 1-3 days.
Haven't used on a proper backpacking trip yet. Mostly doing local hikes from 6 to 12 miles while carrying weights of 15 to 25lbs in this pack. After my initial shakedown on varying weights I can comfortably say the suggested max weight of 20lbs and an overloaded weight of 25lbs as being no-problem with this pack. Quite comfy at 20lbs but 25lbs is definitely pushing it. Shoulders were a little fatigued past 10 miles with the pack overloaded. However, 20lbs is no problem or no discomfort noticed at 12 miles. I will say the most comfortable the pack felt was when I was under 16lbs. So far? I am impressed. Hopefully the pack can hold up to some abuse.
Awesome lil pack!
I love this pack. I wanted a UL kit for my upcoming Grand Canyon backpacking trip. I was afraid this pack would be too small but it is more than enough room! It feels very well made and is quite comfortable. I love it!!
Light and a spacewonder
I just could put endlessly stuff in and it felt not uncomfortable hot during a 40 k hike in 35 Celsius. Looking forward to my next trip with it!
Great ultralight pack
Pack is the perfect size for a weekend backpack.