View Full Version : Gossamer Gear Packs?

Bucky Katt
12-12-2008, 12:12
Does anyone here have experience with Gossamer Gear Packs, specifically the new Mariposa plus? I rather like the idea and design of this pack, but was wondering if it carries a load well and stands up to normal wear and tear on the trail (I'm not talking about thru hiking wear and tear --just normal weekend warrior type stuff).

ALso, I tend to use one of those self-inflating thermarest pads in the regular length--does anyone know if you can use that as the back support, or do you need to use a 3/4 length pad or a foam pad?

Any light you can shed on this pack and how it works, etc. would be great!

12-12-2008, 12:22
ALso, I tend to use one of those self-inflating thermarest pads in the regular length--does anyone know if you can use that as the back support, or do you need to use a 3/4 length pad or a foam pad?

You can fold the mat over all you want for back support, I used to use a Long Self Inflating Thermarest as back support before i started using a 3liter platypus instead

12-12-2008, 12:31
I have an older Mariposa Plus with quite a few miles on it. I find it to be a comfortable, easy to use pack.

As far as the back support...on shorter hikes, when I can afford the extra weight, I carry an inflatable pad inside the pack and put a section of Z-rest on the outside. One of the features I like best about the Mariposa is having the Z-rest outside the pack where it's easy to grab for sitting on during breaks.

IMO, the Mariposa is not quite as durable as the equivalent ULA packs, but I think it's also lighter. (I don't know how the current prices compare.) I think the ULA packs are more forgiving of overloading than the Mariposa. I have overloaded my Mariposa and it has some permanent signs of strain as a result. It's a big pack so it's easy to get enough stuff in their to bring it over the weight limit.

Bucky Katt
12-12-2008, 12:46
The Mariposa Plus said it can carry up to 30 lbs of gear. Would you say that is accurate? I try to never carry more than 30 lbs anyway. I've recently decided that so long as my lighter weight gear doesn't sacrifice practicality or usefulness (in terms of sleeping bags actually keeping you warm, tents keeping you dry, etc) than lighter, for me, is going to be better.

12-12-2008, 12:55
That seems accurate to me. It gets pretty uncomfortable above 30 pounds. Where I've had problems overloading it is when I have to carry a week (or slightly) more of food. That has done some permanent damage to the shoulder straps, where they attach to the pack.

I find the pack incredibly comfortable at 20 pounds or less.

12-12-2008, 14:10
I agree with Marta on the comparison with ULA offerings. I used a Mariposa Plus throughout my PCT thru-hike this year, though I actually used two of them. I loaded mine with up to maybe 40+ pounds on entering the Sierras (lots of food, bear can more clothing, etc), and by the time I left the Sierras there was some alarming looking thread wear where the pack straps are sewn into the pack at the top.

To be clear, I had no trouble with this, and looking more carefully there's a denser layer of thread holding it together, but out of some concern I nevertheless had my wife mail me hers (same pack, I think a year older model) and I carried that for the rest of the trip, with typically 30 pounds or less in it.

I have an older ULA pack (a P2), and I think it's slightly more comfortable, but if I recall correctly I saved a full pound going to the Mariposa Plus, and was happy with it. A bear can was a bit of a tight fit; I started out with strapping it on the outside but wasn't happy with that. Fortunately the Sierras melted out fairly early this year, so everyone mailed a bunch of stuff home early, which helped me to carry the can inside the pack for most of those 300 or so miles.

Bottom line is that Mariposa is a fine pack; apart from the strap thread wear (where I arguably overloaded the pack), I think it held up very well over thousands of miles of not particularly gentle use this year.

I have no personal knowledge of using an inflatable, I used the standard z-rest type torso pad they sell for it.

Brian Lewis

12-12-2008, 14:53
I've been happy with my Mariposa, and it doesn't have the more durable fabric of the Plus. If you look on the GG website, it shows a demo from a lady who puts her inflatable mattress and camp chair kit in the pad sleeve. I have got to try that.

Bucky Katt
12-12-2008, 16:51
Anyone know about the Equinox Katahdin and its comfortable carrying capacity? This is the other lightweight back I've heard good things about.

12-12-2008, 23:20
I use a thermarest as a back support in my packs.

12-12-2008, 23:27
not the mariposa, but i own a miniposa and love it. i've used an inflatable mattress in the pad sleeve as well as a z-rest. a very comfortable pack for sure! pack fits like a glove! would guess that the mariposa is just as comfortable?