Gregory Zulu 65 and Jade 38

Share

Gregory Zulu 65 and Jade 38


By Cory McLaughlin


Follow us on INSTAGRAM @ireviewgear


 

Just the Facts:

ZULU 65

Combining week long volume with a streamlined profile, the ventilated, adjustable FreeFloat suspension on the Zulu 65 gives you incredible year round versatility. The large, U-Zip opening makes access and organization of your gear a snap.

FEATURES

  • FreeFloat ventilated suspension featuring the 3D comfort cradle hipbelt with dynamic flex panels that move with the natural movements of your body.
  • Adjustable torso length with open-air ventilated backpanel with moisture wicking mesh.
  • 3D comfort cradle hipbelt with 3D construction for hotspot free, body-hugging comfort.
  • Die-cut shoulder harness with sternum strap featuring integrated safety whistle and hydration clip.
  • Perimeter alloy frame and fiberglass anti-barreling cross-stay for stable load management.
  • Raincover included with dedicated zippered pocket behind front pocket for added organization.
  • Sunglass QuickStow system on shoulder harness for quick, secure and scratch-free access to your shades.
  • Front U-Zip opening for easy access to the main compartment without removing the top pocket.
  • Hydration sleeve with SpeedClip hydration hangar compatible with Gregory’s 3D Hydro reservoir (reservoir not included).
  • Floating top pocket with zippered compartment and an underside zippered pocket, reflective attachment points, and key clip.
  • Dual side stretch mesh pockets, with side trail access, with pass-through for over or under compression.
  • Front stretch mesh pocket with secure buckle closure.
  • Zippered bottom sleeping bag compartment with removable divider.
  • Adjustable attachment loop and upper shock lock for trekking poles or an ice axe.
  • Custom comfort-grip molded zipper pulls and molded webbing keepers for strap management.

SPECS

Ideal Fit For Men
Activity Backpacking
Internal Frame Yes
Frame type Perimeter Wire
Suspension Technology Freefloat
Compartment Access Top / U-Zip / Bottom  
U-Zip Access Yes  
Closure Type Drawcord / Zipper  
Number of External Pockets 6  
Hydration Compatible Yes  
Hydration Reservoir Included No  
Raincover Included Yes  
Hipbelt Included Yes  
Hipbelt Pockets Yes  
Sleeping Bag Compartment Yes  
Trekking Pole Attachments Yes  
Adjustable Torso Yes
Fits Torso 15″ – 19″ / 38.1 – 48.3cm
Fits Hips/Waist 27″ – 46″ / 68.5 – 116.8cm
Weight 3.68lbs / 1.67kg
Volume 63L / 3844cu in  
Rain Cover Weight 0.21lbs / 95g  
Max Carry Weight 40lbs / 18kg  
Packed Dimensions 28″ x 13.25″ x 13″ / 71.1cm x 33.7cm x 33cm  

MATERIALS

External Material 100% Nylon
Frame Materials 4mm Alloy Steel & Fiberglass anti-barreling stay & HDPE
Pack Body 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip HD Nylon / 210D High Tenacity Nylon
Pack Bottom 630D High Density Nylon / 135D High Density Polyester
Lining 135D High Density Embossed Polyester
Suspension Dual-density LifeSpan EVA Foam

Jade 38

With nearly 40 liters of capacity, the Jade 38 offers far more than a daypack. Ready for long days, the FreeFloat suspension provides all-day comfort. This is the pack to take when the elevation changes and terrain challenges more than make up for the mileage.

FEATURES

  • FreeFloat ventilated suspension featuring the 3D comfort cradle hipbelt with dynamic flex panels that move with the natural movements of your body.
  • Adjustable torso length with open-air ventilated backpanel with moisture wicking mesh.
  • Women’s specific 3D comfort cradle hipbelt with 3D construction for hotspot free, body-hugging comfort.
  • Women’s specific die-cut shoulder harness with sternum strap featuring an integrated safety whistle and hydration clip.
  • Perimeter alloy frame and fiberglass anti-barreling cross-stay for stable load management.
  • Raincover included with dedicated zippered pocket behind front pocket for added organization.
  • Sunglass QuickStow system on shoulder harness for quick, secure and scratch-free access to your shades.
  • Front U-Zip opening for easy access to the main compartment without removing the top pocket.
  • Hydration sleeve with SpeedClip hydration hangar compatible with Gregory’s 3D Hydro reservoir (reservoir not included).
  • Top pocket with zippered compartment and an underside zippered pocket, reflective attachment points, and key clip.
  • Dual side stretch mesh pockets with pass-through for over or under compression.
  • Front stretch mesh pocket with secure buckle closure.
  • Adjustable attachment loop and upper shock lock for trekking poles or an ice axe.
  • Custom comfort-grip molded zipper pulls and molded webbing keepers for strap management.

SPECS

Ideal Fit For Women
Activity Backpacking / Day Hiking
Internal Frame Yes
Frame type Perimeter Wire
Suspension Technology Freefloat  
Compartment Access Top / U-Zip  
Closure Type Drawcord / Zipper  
U-Zip Access Yes  
Number of External Pockets 6  
Hydration Compatible Yes  
Hydration Reservoir Included No  
Raincover Included Yes  
Hipbelt Included Yes  
Hipbelt Pockets Yes  
Trekking Pole Attachments Yes  
Adjustable Torso Yes
Fits Torso 14″ – 17″ / 35.6 – 43.2cm
Fits Hips/Waist 26″ – 45″ / 66 – 114.3cm
Weight 2.75lbs / 1.25kg
Volume 35L / 2136cu in  
Rain Cover Weight 0.15lbs / 68g  
Max Carry Weight 35lbs/ 16kg  
Packed Dimensions 23″ x 12.25″ x 11″ / 58.4cm x 31.1cm x 27.9cm  

MATERIALS

External Material 100% Nylon
Frame Materials 4mm Alloy Steel & Fiberglass anti-barreling stay & HDPE
Pack Body 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip HD Nylon / 210D High Tenacity Nylon
Pack Bottom 420D High Density Nylon / 135D High Density Polyester
Lining 135D High Density Embossed Polyester
Suspension Dual-density LifeSpan EVA Foam


 My Story:

I love backpacking. I love the challenges of walking into places few people have seen. I love the smells of the trail and I love spending time with my family away from civilization. This love of backpacking and outdoor exploration requires some specific gear and that starts with a good backpack.

I have learned that backpacks are subjective and they are really just something that you must try for yourself. Some of the highest rated pack might be less comfortable than a lesser known or cheaper pack. It really just depends on the person. So, with that in mind how do you shop for a pack? Well, I would start by looking at technology and features. Find the pack that you think is best on paper and go from there. I can just about guarantee that when you begin to search for packs Gregory is going to come to the top end of your list.

I have wanted to test a Gregory pack for some time now and I was very excited to have the opportunity to work out some testing samples for not only myself but for my daughter as well. We looked over the line of packs that I saw at the 2019 Outdoor Retailer show and settled on the Gregory Zulu 65 and the Jade 38 backpacks.

My daughter (Ellie) was absolutely thrilled to get her new pack as it was in her favorite color, and for an 11 year old girl, this is a major concern. I was excited to find a pack that would fit her comfortably and hold just enough gear for her to carry her own load. The days of dad having a 100L backpack filled with the whole families gear are behind me and I am not sad to see them go. I like the idea of having a manageable pack that is just the right size for the adventure. The Zulu is also a handsome backpack and while the features are more of a concern to me it is nice to have an attractive backpack.

Our first testing grounds were around the house and neighborhood. Ellie and I loaded the packs with random items and took a few afternoon walks. In ideal conditions and with weight that was close to what we might actually be packing Ellie and I both agreed that the packs were comfortable and ready for the wilds.

The real testing was to be a much anticipated trip in the Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness. This is a familiar area to my family and one that we look forward to exploring every year.  Our trip was set for 5 days and we were to hike around 50 miles total. It was time to get packing and my basement looked like an outdoor store with assorted backpacking gear laying all over the floor. The first pack we set up was the Jade. Ellie’s pack held her sleeping bag, clothing bag, food sack, water bladder, sleeping pad, and a few other assorted items. The Jade 38 was loaded and ready to go.

The Zulu 65 is just a fantastic pack. This thing impressed me right out of the box and as I loaded my gear into it I came to love it more and more. From a backpackers standpoint it has everything you would want. The Zulu has a lid with pockets, hip pockets, side pockets and an integrated rain fly. It is not the lightest pack on the market but I’m not overly obsessed with staying in the ultra-light (UL) category. The adjustable torso option is fantastic and the breathable back panel is heaven sent. I also love that there are opening points, by way of the U-Zip pockets, to access the pack without removing the lid. When loaded up and sitting in the back of the car this thing just looks ready to tackle the trails of the world. It was time to find out for sure.

We hit the trail on or first day and before I knew it we made it to our camp. To be honest I did not make much note of the pack as it was so comfortable I nearly forgot I had it on.

So, I guess you could say that my first thoughts of the pack were that I hardly knew it was there, which is exactly how I like a backpack to act. With each mile and each new photo op my love for my pack grew and grew. I really loved this pack right from the start.

Ellie had to have a few trail adjustments but after we fine-tuned her load and setup she was very happy with how her pack preformed.   

We spent the next four days climbing hills and lounging around alpine lakes. Our Gregory packs were loaded and unloaded several times. The U-Zip pocket was a huge help as it allowed us to access the pack without removing the top pocket and having the shuffle through a full pack. I really enjoy this feature when it comes time for lunch.

Other features that really stood out for me were the sunglasses QuickStow as I am a huge sunglasses guy and I love that I was able to have them handy at all times as we walked in and out of shady areas. Ellie and I both love the shoulder strap design of these backpacks as they sit right where they should and never feel like they are cutting into your shoulder. The back panel and lumbar pad provide incredible comfort and temperature control and stood out as one of our favorite parts of these great packs. If I had three words to describe the Zulu I would say comfortable, functional and tough. Ellie described the Jade as “Beautiful, super comfy and awesome” so I think it is safe to say she liked it. Speaking of her thoughts this is what Ellie had to say about her experience with the jade:

My Dad and I both got to use Gregory backpacks during our summer trip to Oregon. When I first saw my backpack I was in love with it. I just loved how pretty it was and how well it fit me. I really liked the hip pockets because it helped hold my jolly ranchers and other treats. I like that I could use my water bladder. The Jade 38 held all the stuff I needed for our trip and it didn’t feel heavy. I really like the rain fly even though I didn’t get to use it I think it’s really cool. My dad and I like to go backpacking and I’m happy that I have my own backpack that is made for girls. I cant wait to use my Jade backpack again!”  

Well there you have it, Ellie loves her Jade 38, and I too can’t wait to get back out on the trail with her. Great gear makes outdoor adventure all the better and Gregory Backpacks are certainly in that category. I have no idea where the trails of the west will take my family and I but I do know that a Gregory backpack will be along for the ride. Fantastic job Gregory, you have made believers out of us.

 


Find it here:

https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/backpacking-packs/zulu-65-1115ZUL65.html?dwvar_1115ZUL65_color=Empire%20Blue&cgidmaster=packs-backpacking#start=1

https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/day-packs/jade-38-1115JAD38.html?dwvar_1115JAD38_color=Mayan%20Teal#start=1


What can be done better?

If Gregory could figure out how to get me more vacation time that would be helpful. Other than that I would not change anything with my Zulu and Ellie would not change anything with her Jade. As of now I would not change anything but If anything changes I will update this review.    

 

 

0 positive user reviews     0 negative user reviews.

About Cory McLaughlin

Cory McLaughlin is an avid outdoors enthusiast, writer, father, and coach. He spends nearly all his free time in the outdoors. He values family, friendship, and adventure above all else. If you enjoyed his review please leave a comment below.

What does Randy Johnson recommend that hunters take on the Hunt of a Lifetime?

Subscribe to the iReviewgear.com email newsletter and receive a copy of the iReviewgear.com Hunting pack list that is provided to hunters by Randy Johnson of High Desert Wild Sheep Guides as they embark on the hunt of a lifetime!

You have Successfully Subscribed!