Gregory Zulu 30L Pack

9.0
9.0 score
(GearWeAre.com) score (9.0)/10

Our GearWeAre.com score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Gregory Zulu 30L Pack Review Facts

The Gregory Zulu 30-Liter Men’s Day Hiking Backpack is best used for hiking, camping, trekking, backpacking, and travel. At just 2.7 pounds in weight, it is the smallest pack in the Zulu model series. The excellent fit is ergonomic, comfortable, light, and breathable due to the CrossFlo Suspension System incorporated. When the pack is on the back of the user, there is a space in-between the user and the pack. This keeps the back cool with good airflow and aids with back and lumbar support. This suspension is firm for heavy loads because the weight is well-distributed among the shoulders, back, and hips of the wearer. Plenty of compression straps attached provide the stability needed to secure the backpack contents, and the many pockets give you lots of places to keep your items organized and in sight. The Zulu 30 is hydration compatible with two exterior side mesh pockets. included are attachment points on the outside for trekking poles or an ice axe and a rain cover to perfectly fit over the backpack in rainy weather. Although it is the smallest pack of this group, the Zulu 30 is substantial for interior content size. It can hold quite a bit of gear and accessories for a trip of several days or even weeks. We provide the full results of our research and details about the characteristics and features of the Zulu 30 in our full review below.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Hydration compatible and 2.7 pounds in weight
  • Breathable, cool, light, and comfortable
  • Leaves a comfortable space in between the pack and the user
  • Attachment points for trekking poles or an ice ax
  • Includes an integrated cover for rain
  • Smallest pack within the Zulu model lineup
  • Best used for hiking, camping, walking, day hikes, and travel
  • Suspension is firm for heavy loads with an ergonomic fit
  • Good back and lumbar support with great airflow
  • Side pockets have easy access without removing the pack
Cons
  • Top zipper for the main compartment can give some trouble
  • Shoulder straps were uncomfortable for some buyers
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 2.5 hours analyzing a total of 123 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • The design of the back panel prevents this pack from trapping heat.
  • The design and look are streamlined yet practical.
  • This pack fits a range of heights.
  • The pockets are generously sized.
  • It works as a day pack as well as some light overnight pack.
  • A rain cover is included.
  • Although this pack does not include a water reservoir, it has a designated reservoir pocket and opening for the reservoir hose.
  • High quality craftsmanship is apparent.
  • The narrow design makes getting around obstacles on the trail or in crowded areas easier.
  • There is a good amount of storage organization for small items.
  • The zippered opening is wide enough to easily get items in and out.
  • The quality is satisfactory for the price point.
  • The buckles and straps don't get in the way of any of the zippers.
  • Buyers like the bright, rich colors.
  • The stuff pocket is convenient and can hold a lot.
  • The hip belt fits well and distributes the weight comfortably for many people.
Negative
  • The bottom side compression straps make it difficult to use the side pockets.
  • Some sellers have incorrectly advertised that a water reservoir is included.
  • For some reviewers, this pack is a little oversized for a day pack.
  • There are mixed reviews on how comfortable the shoulder straps are.
  • The main compartment doesn't have much internal organization so things can shift around.
  • The water reservoir pocket is not insulated.
  • For people with slim hips, it can be difficult to get a snug, secure fit with the hip belt.
  • One reviewer notes that the internal hydration reservoir pocket zipper is installed backwards.
  • The zippers have tab pulls instead of loops.
  • The shape of the frame can make it difficult to get things out of the bottom when the pack is full.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 123 reviews we found in total, 11% were negative, and 89% were positive.
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Comfort

Comfort

The Zulu 30 is hydration compatible, breathable, and comfortable. A wide assortment of water bottles will fit in the external mesh stretchable pockets. you will have easy access to these even when still wearing the pack. Cool and light to tote, this backpack is breathable because of the mesh material used throughout and the excellent suspensions system that keeps the pack off the back of the user. The weight is decreased, and the breathability is enhanced with the ventilated mesh materials on the hip belt and harness, as well. this makes for a lighter pack than one that just consists of nylon and polyester solid fabrics. There are plenty of online customer comments on how comfortable this pack is on the back even many hours into a long hike or trek. The unique shoulder support of the suspension system that distributes the weight to other parts of the body and the durable internal frame that keeps the pack off the back is the most comfortable aspects of the Zulu 30.
Durability

Durability

With updated and ventilated CrossFlo Suspension, this Gregory product leaves a comfortable space in between the pack and the user without decreasing the storage volume or making the pack harder to carry. The wearer’s back does not contact the back of the pack due to the arcing wireframe of tensioned steel that stabilizes the back open mesh panel. There is a harness yoke to transfer the load weight to the frame, and this frame stiffens the mechanism when the pack becomes heavier. In this way, the ventilation is increased for the user’s back and enhances the breathability of the outerwear in wet, cold, or hot conditions. You would think that this system would be hard on the back because the pack is not close to the body core. Being away from the body would pull the user backward or cause strain on the shoulders. This is not the case with this ingenious system. It adds airflow to the user’s back and gives the needed support to make the pack light and comfortable.
Flexibility

Flexibility

The many pockets, main compartment, and exterior attachment points are the flexible components of the Zulu 30 backpack. There are seven pockets in all on the outside and inside of this terrific item. There are two stretch pockets for water bottles on the exterior and two quick-access pockets on the waist belt. You can easily put a cellphone in these pockets to get to them quickly and in front of you on the waist. The back-mesh pocket is large enough for a tent body or a rain jacket. This is a really big space that can also accommodate several days’ worth of clothing and accessories. Hybrid access to the loading panel in the top with the front U-zipper is a handy feature of this backpack. With such an opening, you can view the entire contents of the pack in the main compartment. This makes it so easy to find something you are searching for whether it is day or night. The attachment points on the outside can be for trekking poles or an ice axe, as they are of different sizes. You can lash on these larger pieces of equipment or gear, so you will not have to hold or carry them as you travel.
Stability

Stability

There is a stuff pocket in the front of the Zulu 30 pack made of stretch-woven fabric and a quick-release surface-mounted buckle closure. It is a large space that is big enough for a rain jacket or sweatshirt when the weather turns cool or rainy. The included, integrated rain cover has its own exterior pocket that can also hold some accessories too, even in good weather. According to online customers, this rain cover fits perfectly on the pack to keep it dry from the rain. Buyers were pleased with this splendid accessory that comes with the pack to make it more comfortable and enjoyable to wear. Having a custom-fit cover is much better than trying to cover the pack with something else that will not fit as well.
Style

Style

The Zulu 30 is a 30-liter backpack for men that weighs just 2.7 pounds when it is empty. Made of embossed denier polyester and denier nylon material, it is the smallest pack within the Zulu model lineup. This upgraded version of the Gregory Z30 pack is offered in four sizes of XS, S, M, and L, which goes according to the user’s torso length. Even though it is the smallest model of this series, it does not give up much in storage capacity, strength, or support. it is a tough contender that can hold plenty of gear and accessories for many days’ use in your travels.
Support

Support

The durable polyester and nylon materials and stitching are strong on this Zulu 30 backpack model. It is reliable and robust, according to happy buyers who love and use this pack as much as they can. When manufacturers make a product, such as a backpack, they have the opportunity to incorporate many features that will give you comfort, pleasure, and support while you are away from the luxuries of home. The Zulu 30 has several of these characteristics to please the user. There are seven pockets and the main compartment to organize and hold the many items you want to bring along. No matter the size, there is a pocket on this pack that will hold what you want to include. In our research of backpacks, we have noticed that the number of pockets a pack has is one of the most important aspects of a backpack to users. Many pockets aid with organizing and keep you from searching for things constantly that are mixed in with other items. Exterior pockets are the best for the easy access while still having the pack on the back. On the Zulu 30, the shoulder harness has a stash for sunglasses and an inside key clip and security pocket for your valuables. Little extras such as these qualities are almost as important as the comfortable fit of the pack.
Use

Use

Best used for hiking, the Zulu 30 is also great for camping, walking, day hikes, backpacking, trekking, and travel. It is good for a camping trip overnight or a hike in the mountains or the desert. Not all backpacks would be suitable for use in the hot desert climate because they would be too hot on the back. This one, however, is ideal with its excellent suspension system and increased airflow dynamics. The back of the user is kept cool with the great airflow of this pack. It will easily hold several days’ worth of clothes plus some gear and accessories nicely for trips of a few days or many. This depends on the user and the things they pack in the product, but the Zulu 30 will certainly be perfect for a trip of one to several days.
Weight

Weight

The suspension of the Zulu 30 is firm for heavy loads with good back and lumbar support. this is especially noticed after you have been hiking or walking for hours with the backpack on. Advanced users that purchased this pack were glad to see how well they felt without back pain after traveling with the Zulu 30 all day long. It is a well-made pack with plenty of compression straps and pockets throughout. These reliable straps hold your gear in the pack secure and stable, so it does not shift when you are moving. You do not want to be thrown off-balance by your supplies in the pack moving around loosely. On the exterior and interior, there are these highly beneficial straps. The dynamic yoke connects the X-frame to the shoulder harness for ideal weight distribution. This prevents the entire pack weight from being carried by the back alone. Your shoulders and hips help support the weight, so your back is not strained with the whole load.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

The Zulu 30 is one of the easiest to use packs that we have seen lately. The side pockets are easy to get to even without removing the pack from your back and there is a good ergonomic fit on the body without shoulder pains. Plenty of pockets are the key to a great backpack to keep things organized and tidy. The exterior pockets are needed for the essentials of a smartphone, water bottle, rain gear, and camera. You should not have to dig and search for these needed items in the main compartment or interior pockets. The Zulu 30 is well-equipped for pockets. As we all know, backpacks can be used for city life as well, such as for students, office jobs, and teachers. However, this Gregory pack is too big for daily use or a few hours in the city. One of the smaller packs would be more suitable for that purpose. For traveling on airplanes or other forms of transportation for trips, such as trains or buses, the Zulu 30 is perfect. It fits into bins that are overhead well because of its smaller size than some other types of backpacks.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

There are so many backpacks on the market today from plenty of manufacturers who make terrific products. It is very difficult to find the exact one that is ideal to all of your needs and wants. The Gregory Zulu 30 is a small pack with the accommodations to carry a heavy load of gear and supplies for trips of several days or weeks, depending on the contents. The majority of customers for this pack are highly satisfied with their purchase because of the excellent suspension system, the U-zipper on the main compartment, and the many pockets. it is a unique product that suits many people. Some buyers had trouble with the main zipper, while others could not seem to get this pack on their backs comfortably. As long as these complaints are not wide-spread, then the manufacturer has a great product. The Zulu 30 is loved by most of the people who purchased it, and we see it as an outstanding item from this highly-reputable company.