This review is gonna be short and sweet. Chris Zimmer makes excellent packs, customized to your exact specifications. The workmanship is nothing short of outstanding. The response to emails was excellent, with questions being answered promptly and appropriate questions from Chris himself to nail down my needs. His prices are very reasonable. Once the specifications were finalized and the invoice paid, I had the packs in hand within a matter of days, not weeks. Here's the chronology of my experience:
• I asked for slight modifications to his standard Hybrid Daypack. Done. Paid. Delivered.
• I inquired about a custom front pack to match the Daypack. Perfect. I've been using it all season. The components are robust, meaning the strapping is wide and the buckles are solid, the attachment system is good for any pack I own, the zipper is rugged and the materials are tough (hybrid cuben).•
Pleased with this front pack, I ordered a completely custom backpack with these specifications:
- Hybrid Day Pack Body Style but larger volume
- Pack Volume - 1700ci
- Pack Material - Hybrid Cuben Fiber - Olive/Black
- 3D mesh padded back panel
- Foam Padded Shoulder Straps
- 3D mesh padded hip belt - minimal size
- Side Pockets - Dyneema X - Slanted top - Pleated
- 2 Side Compression Straps per side
- 2 Front vertical daisy chains
- Front Pocket - Mesh
- Ice Axe Loop - Left
- Zipper Pulls - 2
- Sternum Strap
- Haul Loop
Once finalized, I had this pack in less than a week.
• Noticing some wear on my clothing from front pack bottom attachment straps over the past few years,
I asked about slide on "mitigating rub pads". Done, delivered, tested and worked perfectly.
• Impressed enough with my pack experience,
I asked about a custom pack for my daughter:
- 2200ci ZB2 Style Pack
- Pack Dimensions - 11" wide by 7" deep by 22" tall plus the roll top
- Pack Material - Dyneema X
- Aluminum Stay
- Load Lifters
- Haul Loop
- Sternum Strap
- Foam Padded Hip Belt
- Foam Padded Shoulder straps with daisy chain
- Front Mesh pocket
- Front bungee cord compression
- 1 Axe loop - Left
- 2 Side compression straps per side
- Side Pockets (dyneema, pleated)
- Dry Bag Style Roll Top
- 2 Top straps for securing bear can if needed.
This was to be a "do all" pack, able to haul heavier loads if need be but not so huge as to preclude using it as a day pack. This was to replace a GG Mariposa, which proved uncomfortable at best with heavier loads. Used all season with excellent results. Sturdy. Perfect fit. Comfortable. Rides well when scrambling. Accommodating for large or small loads. Stylish. Great value. 'Nuff said.
I've used the smaller 1700 c.i. pack on most of my trips this season, including Mt. Adams Timberline Trail (2 days, 40 miles), the West 57 miles of the Wonderland Trail (2 days), a complete Wonderland Trail Fastpack (3 days, 93 miles) and a circuit of Mt. Adams along with numerous day trips of varying lengths. Scrambling. Running. 'Schwacking. Biking. Bashing. Snot bombs. Sharp talus. Scree. And I wasn't gentle. Of all the equipment I have purchased over the years, these packs rank among the best purchases I have made, including best bang for the buck. The most outstanding customer service. Best selection of materials for a combination of ruggedness and light weight. If you are experienced enough to know exactly what you want in a pack, buy a Zimmerbuilt.
Zimmerbuilt Custom Packs in use......