19 May 2013

Re-designed Hip Belt Pack Pockets

During my stint as a "trail angel" for Joe Valesko from Zpacks (he and his wife hiked the length of NZ recentlyon the TA Trail) I mentioned his hip belt pockets, whilst having waterproof zippers, still leaked.

During his trail hike experiencing NZ weather, he agreed. Joe's theory was the water was entering from the top sewing seam of the zipper. On returning to the US, Joe tinkered with some new designs. He came up with a simple solution that works well.

Not only are these new pockets waterproof (Joe tested them in the shower!), but much easier to use. I always found the zippers a bug to open and close as they sat on a horizontal plane.

These are not on his website yet, but if you are interested, I am sure Joe will make these for you. To explain - these are like a tube with an elastic opening, much like side pack pockets. To close, you just fold over and clip shut.

Here are a couple of pictures.

Pocket open
Pocket closed


  1. These were updated on the ZPacks website on April 12th. I documented the change here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=196326447157853&set=a.188450694612095.6907.180971708693327&type=1

    I ordered up a pair and have been using them. I too have found them to be much easier to get into.

    Closing them can be a pain that requires two hands... they need to increase (from the bottom of the bag) the height location of the bottom snap by a half inch, maybe an entire inch, to make it easier to snap shut with one hand.

  2. Gosh John you are quick - I hadn't uploaded additional photo. Shouldn't you be tucked up in bed:-)

    Would increasing height of bottom snap lessen the fold-over (weather=proofing protection)?

    Re two hands - I found I was doing this with the zipper to get it closed.


Hey, thanks for you contribution - I monitor my blog weekly. I will reply with comments, ideas and suggestions ASAP - In the meantime, remember, hiking is an outdoors experience to enjoy, not an army boot camp training exercise!!