Note: We’re temporarily pausing Zoro orders
As of 7/13/2020, we’re not taking new orders for Zoro backpacks. We have a couple of improvements coming to the Zoro and want to make sure we have the time to offer retrofits to existing customers before we take on any more. Our time is in very short supply thanks to COVID-19 so it may take a while, but we do intend on the Zoro’s return sometime this fall.
Thank you for your patience!
The Zoro is a backpacking pack built for the desert, but ready for anything. Our unique suspension transfers weight to your hips without restricting your freedom of movement, and our durable Xpac construction is waterproof for the long haul. And the Zoro won’t weigh you down, coming in at just 2.2 pounds after seam sealing.
The Zoro frame starts with twin aluminum stays and a half-framesheet. Then we add our cushy full-wrap hip belt, which is contoured to fit both men and women’s hips. At the top of the stays, load lifter straps take the weight off your shoulders.
Instead of adding a lumbar pad, we attach the hip belt only at the base of the stays. This frees your pelvis to move naturally, independent of the pack.
We rethought the whole way backpacks are made and designed the Zoro from the ground up for maximum waterproofness. With minimal seams on the inside of the pack, just a small amount of seam sealer is required to keep out rain*. Your pack ships with a tube of sealant and instructions.
*We still recommend using dry bags to protect critical gear if submersion is a possibility, because the rolltop closure will leak slowly if underwater.
Optional Bottle Pocket
Tired of awkwardly reaching back for a water bottle in your side pocket? We were too, which is why we made an optional easy-access bottle pocket. The pocket is designed for popular ultralight water bottles (PET bottles such as SmartWater). It will also fit a nalgene bottle, although we recommend a SmartWater bottle with the sports cap for the most convenient drinking experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Hip Belt Removable?
Yes! The hip belt attaches via metal snaps, allowing you to change hip belt sizes if needed in the future. We are also working on a water sleeve that snaps into the belt, making it a useful daypack.
How Waterproof is the Zoro?
Short answer: Very! We made the Zoro with external and flat seams, which makes it very easy to seam seal on the inside with Seam Grip. Thanks to the inner liner of Xpac, the waterproof membrane is protected on both sides and long-lasting.
For packrafting we recommend a second layer of protection for critical gear, since the rolltop closure isn’t 100% watertight when submerged. We also recommend periodically checking for leaks and patching them.
Is there a Hydration Port?
Yes and no. Rather than introducing a hole in the waterproof body of the pack, we used a double-layer construction for the back panel. This creates a sleeve in between the two layers where you can put a hydration bladder. As a bonus, any leaks from your hydration bladder won’t go into the main compartment.
And if you don’t use bladders, don’t worry – the sleeve doesn’t actually add much weight to the pack, and makes the seam sealing much easier. So it’s a win for everyone! The increase in weight is under half an ounce if you account for how much less seam sealer is required with a double-layer design.
What’s in a Name?
The Zoro is named after Zoroaster Temple, one of the hardest-to-reach summits in the Grand Canyon. Just to reach the base requires going down and back up a vertical mile, all while hauling climbing ropes and protection. In 2013, our Founding Panda Nick spent three nights at the base and climbed the peak twice via two different routes. He had too much water, too much gear, and very sore knees. That trip started Nick down the road into making ultralight gear, which led to the start of Rogue Panda the next year.
2 lbs 3 oz (for a 55 liter with 32-38" hip belt, DX40 sides and VX21 rear+rolltop fabric)
Xpac for primary construction, HDPE Gridstop for pockets and back panel
40 lbs Comfort, 50 lbs Maximum
The Zoro comes with built-in drawstring hipbelt pockets, side pockets, and a rear mesh pocket. The pockets altogether total about 10 liters and are included in the volume of the pack.