Rating: 9.0 / 10
Value for Money 2.2 / 2.5
Versatility 2.3 / 2.5
Weight 2.5 / 2.5
Durability 2.0 / 2.5
These packs/packing cells are aimed squarely at the ultralight hikers amongst you. The Exped Zip Pack UL (UL stands for ‘ultra light’) is one of the lightest packing cells on the market and in Australia at least the most readily available although you will definitely need to search to find them. Any number of brands on the market produce similar products which are cheaper but will typically be twice the weight for the given size. This is where the weight versus cost decision comes in.
I have been using the Expeds for over a year now and while not a card carrying ‘gram weeny‘ I am slowly trimming weight off my gear in an attempt to go as lightweight as possible as I work up to some long multi week hikes over the coming years. My journey towards becoming an ultralight hiker is a work in progress and one I may never reach given the additional podcasting and blogging gear I carry and the selected luxury items I’m not willing to do without. For me this journey is about making hiking as comfortable as possible and its amazing how the grams add up.
The Exped Zip Pack UL packs range in size from XS, S, M, L and XL. I personally use three of these bags (XS, S and L) and find that as a large male I can fit my clothing (that I am not wearing) into the large size which has a 13 litre capacity. I also use the large size as my pillow. These packs are very lightweight, well made, and while they don’t claim to be waterproof they are sold as weatherproof. The seams are sealed and the zip provides a pretty good seal. I have found that they will cope with heavy rains quite well.
These packs are colour coded so when its dark and you are looking for a particular cell they are very easy to find in a dark tent as the zipper pull is also fluorescent so you don’t need to get your torch out when you are in bed at night to locate your bag.
If you are a gram weeny then these little packing cells may be the ones for you. If you are the typical hiker and don’t really care about an extra 100 grams here or there then these are definitely for you.
Exped Zip UL Packs. The 1 litre water bottle on the left provides a size comparison. The packs in order are extra small, small, medium and large. The extra large pack is not shown and is not a size I normally use
Exped Zip Pack UL extra small size next to a 1 litre water bottle. I use this pack for storing bits and pieces including my battery pack, compass and headlight
Exped Zip Pack UL medium size next to a 1 litre water bottle. I use this pack for storing my podcast recorder
Exped Zip Pack UL medium size next to a 1 litre water bottle. I don’t use this size but Gill will pack her clothes in this size and may use two of them
Exped Zip Pack UL large size next to a 1 litre water bottle. As a large male I use this pack for storing my clothing including my lightweight down jacket. This pack also doubles as a pillow for me
Being used as a pillow. When camping this ‘pillow’ sits off the end of the sleeping pad as I don’t like bulky pillows. If bulky is your preference then use it on top of your sleeping pad
Glow in the dark zipper pull
Seam sealed to provide extra protection for all your equipment
For hikers looking to shave grams and be organised
You may find this product through other retailers
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer