Weighing less than a can of soda, the ZPacks Vertice hard shell series sets a gold standard

Ultralight backpacking equipment manufacturer ZPacks launched a fully featured and high-performance waterproof breathable “Vertice” series of shells for the true trail-rat gram counters. The series makes use of a Ventum-WPB 3-Layer material which claims to offer a whopping 60k breathability and 20k waterproofing. With this much breathability, a hiker can sleep or hike in cold climates with ZPacks products without getting clammy — according to the ZPacks website, that is.

Those impressive numbers don’t just beat the industry performance standard of 20k / 20k for premium shells, they crush them.

All this performance does come with a minimal burden to the nimble-footed hiker, however. The Vertice Jacket, Pants, and Mitts combine to weigh 10.8 ounces which is less than the weight of a typical full can of soda and lighter than most waterproof breathable jackets on their own. The Ventum material used in the series barely tips the scales at 1.8 oz per square yard and is treated with a short-chain C6 durable water repellency to help prevent the fabric from wetting out.

Furthermore, the Ventum material used in the series barely tips the scales at 1.8 oz per square yard and is treated with a short-chain C6 durable water repellency to help prevent the fabric from wetting out. The three layer sandwich in the Ventum-WPB fabric consists of a tricot wicking liner on the interior, a super light 7 denier ripstop nylon exterior, and a mysterious waterproof membrane in the middle.

Digital Trends reached out to ZPacks founder Joe Valesko for more information about the Ventum-WPB fabric being used in these shells, however, the fabric and fabric supplier remain shrouded in trade secrecy.

“I can tell you that they are a large reputable manufacturer,” Valesko told Digital Trends regarding the supplier.

Valesko did disclose some information regarding the membrane used to reach those 60k breathability claims, “It is not Event. It is a proprietary product of the manufacturer.”

Prospective Vertice buyers hoping to get new gear for the Summer backpacking season should place their orders soon, as ZPacks products are made to order in the USA and the Vertice series currently has a four-week wait list.

Smart Home

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

The Smart Light Starter Kit contains a smart lightbulb and a Google Home Mini. For those seeking to try out smart lights in their home, it's a great option and is currently on sale for just $35 through Google.
Deals

The 6 best blackout curtains to banish excess sunlight and preserve heat

Whether you're a fussy sleeper, work odd hours, or are just sensitive to light, a set of blackout curtains can help. Along with allowing you to enjoy better rest, light-blocking curtains can insulate your home, saving you cash.
Outdoors

The best sleeping bags to help you conquer the cold, no matter what season it is

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Mobile

SatPaq’s satellite messaging is a lifeline for when you’re off the grid

The great outdoors can be a beautiful place, but it's also fraught with danger and hazards. Make sure you're always able to connect with the world with SatPaq's satellite messaging accessory.
Deals

REI’s Cyber Week deals will save you up to 65 percent on top brands

Cyber Week deals are still going strong at REI, with discounts lasting up until this weekend. If you've been meaning to follow REI's mission and hit the outdoors, now is the perfect time to save big on outdoor gear and more.
Deals

Cyber Monday Extended: Best Cyber Week Smartwatch Deals

Cyber Monday is known for its awesome online sales. Smartwatches, fitness trackers .. they both will see deep discounts. Now is your chance to score a new wearable at rock bottom prices.
Outdoors

Columbia’s latest Star Wars jacket will keep you as warm as a Wookiee

Columbia Sportswear introduced a limited edition parka based on the jackets that were worn by the crew that filmed The Empire Strikes Back in 1979 that are sure to be a coveted item for Star Wars fans.
Deals

REI slashed the price of the Garmin Fenix 5, but the sale ends today

The Garmin Fenix 5 is a multisport fitness watch, built almost entirely for use with just about any indoor or outdoor activity you can think of. From now until the end of the day on December 1, you can save $150 on a brand new model.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Outdoors

Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding canoe for waterborne adventures

The Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding kayak that measures 15 feet in length when fully assembled, yet can breakdown and be stored in a small, easily transported box making it a great option for apartment dwellers.
Outdoors

Lime’s dockless electric bikes land in London, but its scooters aren’t allowed

Lime has landed in London with its dockless bikesharing service. The pedal-assisted electric bikes are unlocked via Lime's app and can reach speeds of 15 mph. It plans to have 1,000 bikes on the streets before the end of the year.
Outdoors

Forget pumps. This innovative filter purifies H2O in 8 seconds flat

The Grayl Geopress water purification system removes more than 99 percent of all bacteria, cysts, and viruses from water in just eight seconds, providing clean drinking water to travelers and outdoor adventurers.
Outdoors

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.