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10 Reasons I love the UltrAspire Zygos 4.0

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10 Reasons I love the UltrAspire Zygos 4.0

By Mal Law on 4th February 2020 Gear Reviews

10 Reasons I love the UltrAspire Zygos 4.0

There's only one first time - Mal and Zygos 4.0 on Corner Peak

I could write this review in just 3 words…. I love it!

Or I could expand it to 11 words by also saying “it’s the best running pack I’ve ever owned”

Of course, you’ll want to know why, so that is coming. But first the disclaimer: I came by my Zygos when it turned up along with a larger UltrAspire pack (the Epic 25L) that I’d ordered from Grant Guise, the NZ importer. I emailed him and asked if this was a mistake or was it some early Christmas present? His response was a typically generous “mate, try it and if you like it then use it. If you do use it then it’s yours for free, no strings attached”.

So I did use it. The very first day I had it I took it on a trial run up Corner Peak, high above Lake Hawea. It was fully loaded with spare clothing and I carried 2 litres of water with me. It was love on the first date and since then I’ve used nothing else when a mid-large volume pack is what’s required (and believe me, I have lots of options hanging on pegs in the garage!)

Here are my 10 reasons for judging this the best running pack I’ve ever owned (despite it not having the UD logo on it!)….

1. It’s super-comfortable. This is down to the combination of good design, smart ‘UltrAcool’ materials and a well thought-through adjustment system. It means that even when fully loaded it’s easy to forget you’re carrying anything. It sits firm and does not jiggle around, even on the roughest terrain.

2. It is really robust yet light. I’ve scraped this pack over rough rock and through thick scrub and it still looks like new – no rips or scrapes. Impressive.

3. It’s a Tardis. For a 14L capacity pack it can swallow an amazing amount of gear. And that’s before you add in 4L worth of secure but easy accessible extra space in an expandable mesh back pocket (an ideal place to stow waterproofs I’ve found)

4. It has two huge zippered hip pockets that you don’t need to dislocate your arm to open on the run. I can fit many hours worth of food in these pockets and get at it really easily.

5. The ‘zip pulls’. You know, those tabs that are on zips (or too often, aren’t) to make them easier to grip. The ones fitted to the Zygos are light years ahead of any other I’ve ever come across, made as they are from a light, rubbery material and of a size that means you’re not fumbling blind to find them for minutes at a time. When you have trouble with cold fingers as I do this is a major blessing on winter runs.

6. It can hold a bladder up to 2L in size (not included) as well as fantastic, deep front pockets for soft flasks. They are perfect for holding the taller, slimmer style of flask such as the Wild Things branded ones. These front pockets have a very workable compression cord that means it’s easy to tighten or loosen the pocket as you wish.

7. It has an easily accessed shower proof pocket with Velcro fastener for your phone, that sits just behind the right side flask pocket but is so designed that it never gets uncomfortable (as I have experienced with some other packs that seem to crush the phone against your collar bone or ribs).

8. The chest fastening system is a super-easy bungy cord and loop arrangement. No fiddly clips to struggle with, which is another huge bonus for those of us who suffer a major loss of fine motor skills when fingers get cold.

9. The large-holed mesh used for the inner panels does a great job of maximizing breathability and keeping your back as cool as possible, even on a hot day and even when carrying a bladder.

10. The handily placed small zipper pockets (again with those awesome tabs) that sit on both shoulder straps. These are each capable of carrying 4 gels and give-quick access for when you’re in race mode.

So I’m a fan. A big fan. So big a fan in fact that I decided we just had to stock these in the Wild Things shop where we are currently selling them with 2 free 500ml flasks and a $20 discount for VIP Members.

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