We’re out in Idaho backcountry with the Mountain Equipment Company (MEC) Zephyr 65L Backpack, putting this backpack to the test.
Highlights of the MEC Zephyr 65L Backpack
- Comprised of 210-denier ripstop recycled nylon and 420-denier nylon
- PFC-free DWR finish and a PU coating
- EVA foam padded hipbelt
- Supportive lumbar pad
- Vertical side zip access into the main compartment
- Built-in Recco® Rescue System reflector
- Hydration compatible
Initial Thoughts on the Zephyr 65L Backpack
I tested the Zephyr backpack on a 65-mile backpacking journey through Idaho’s majestic Sawtooth Mountains. This wasn’t an ultralight trek — I fit plenty of extras into this pack, including a BV500 bear canister, water crossing/camp sandals, a JetBoil stove, and a tenkara fishing rod.
With exceptional external storage options, including multiple huge mesh pockets and numerous compression straps, the Zephyr proved to clutch for such a gear-heavy trip. Overall, it was comfortable to wear and provided ample storage options. The pack is a bit over-engineered, though — the side mesh panels don’t make it easy to grab your bottle on-the-go, and the side zipper access to the main compartment just seems like extra weight.
All in all, the MEC Zephyr 65L Backpack is a solid choice for wilderness backpackers, and it’s at a price point that won’t break the bank, too.
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What do you think of the MEC Zephyr 65L Backpack? Have you tested it yourself? Share your thoughts in a comment below.