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With enough room to carry all your essentials for an overnight hike, the Zulu 40 from Gregory Mountain Products is a perfect pack for weekend warriors. It’s also an excellent choice for winter day hikes, and offers a lot of cool features that make it a fun and versatile hiking backpack.
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Specs and Stats
With a capacity of 40L, the Gregory Zulu 40 is just the right size for an overnight weekend hike. The pack itself weighs 2 lb 14 oz, and is rated to hold 35 lb of gear. It’s an internal frame backpack with an alloy frame, die-cut shoulder harness, sternum strap and adjustable hip-belt. The main body of the pack is made of 210-denier nylon.
One of the things I really like about the Zulu 40 is the U-zip main compartment, which allows easy access to its contents. You don’t have to set the back down and completely remove the top pocket to access the main compartment.
It also has numerous additional internal and external compartments and pockets, plus key clip, sunglasses storage and adjustable loops for external gear attachment. There’s a lot to explore in this pack! The Zulu is hydration bladder compatible, and comes with a rain cover that zips into its own pocket.
Pros of the Gregory Zulu 40
- Built for comfort. The pack has a body-hugging fit that makes it super comfortable and helps with weight distribution. Open air ventilation and moisture wicking mesh also enhance comfort.
- Adjustable suspension for all body types. The Gregory Zulu 40 has free-floating suspension with adjustable torso length. This means you can easily adjust it to get a better fit. The Pack itself also comes in two sizes: S/M (15″ to 19″ torso, 27″ to 46″ waist) and M/L (18″ to 22″ torso, 29″ to 51″ waist).
- Lots of storage options. In addition to the main compartment, the Zulu 40 has a front stretch mesh pocket for easy access to essential gear on the trail. The pack also has hip-belt pockets, dual side mesh water bottle pockets, and loops for attaching trekking poles or other gear.
- Great warranty. Gregory Mountain Products offers a lifetime warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials in all their backpacks.
Cons of the Gregory Zulu 40
- Some users have noted issues with the pack’s adjustable suspension. Specifically, the Velcro pad that holds the suspension in place can come undone when you lift the fully-loaded pack, and need to be readjusted.
- It is possible to pack a sleeping bag into the main compartment of the Zulu 40. However, there is no separate compartment for it. The larger Zulu 55 does have a zippered sleeping bag compartment on the bottom. Go with that model if that’s a feature you need.
Gregory Zulu 40: Final Thoughts
The Gregory Zulu 40 is an excellent overnight pack. It also works well for day hikers who like to pack a little on the heavier side. If you plan to be out on the trail longer than one night—two nights at most—you may want to upgrade to A 55L pack. However, but the Zulu 40 is an excellent choice for a night in the woods.
Richard CorriganRichard Corrigan has been writing about outdoor adventures, gear and travel for more than 10 years. His work has been featured by USA Today, 10Best.com, Next Luxury, and Gone Outdoors. He lives in Upstate New York, and If he isn't at his writing desk, you can probably find him out in the woods somewhere.
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