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Jam2 or Mariposa
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Nick Ahrens
(nickahrens) - F
Jam2 or Mariposa on 11/13/2007 20:57:25 MST Print View

i kinda new to ultralight backpacking and im interested in purchasing a backpack.
Through my resaerch ive narrowed it down to either the Mariposa or Jam2. They both seem like great packs. The jam is heavier but also is more durable. The mariposa gets raving reviews. Im looking for someone who owns or has tried out both the packs to give me their words of wisdom and
help me make a choice on which one to get.

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
Jam 2 on 11/13/2007 21:03:28 MST Print View

My wife and I both carry Jam 2's and love them. durable and light. I don't have experience with a Mariposa, but I wouldn't trade my Jam2 for anything right now.


Nick Ahrens
(nickahrens) - F
cons on 11/13/2007 21:06:24 MST Print View

thank you for your insight.
have you had any problems with your jam2?

Joe Vigil
(jvigil) - F
Mariposa on 11/14/2007 08:20:34 MST Print View

I have a Mariposa Plus. I've carried up to 33 lbs and been perfectly comfortable (I used the stays rather than a pad for support). Enough room for my Bearikade canister. YMMV

- JV

Peter King
(pking) - MLife

Locale: N. Nevada
Jam vs Mariposa on 11/14/2007 09:33:04 MST Print View

I have both, and now use them for different things. The Jam2, as you note, is quite durable. When loaded with food and climbing gear it didn't transfer weight fully to the hip belt until I started rolling up my sleeping pad and putting it in the pad pocket. It is now my go-to daypack to throw things in and abuse.

My Mariposa has duct tape and failed stitching, but holds significantly more than the Jam2 and is more comfortable. Hip belt transfer is excellent. It's a great choice for backpacking (not climbing) as long as you are willing to treat it carefully and repair it. If you want something with the capacity of the Mariposa but more durable, check out the Pinnacle.

Happy to give more details if you want.

Edited by pking on 11/14/2007 09:38:52 MST.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Jam vs Mariposa on 11/14/2007 09:48:31 MST Print View

I had the Mariposa and have the Mariposa Plus now. I prefer the plus due to its increased durability with a minimal weight penalty. It is too big though for 2-3 day trips (maybe except for winter backpacking). Loading the pack has to be done carefully so as to have most of the weight next to your back.
Overall a great pack; I usually do not need the stays but use my sleeping pad.

Nick Ahrens
(nickahrens) - F
people with both on 11/14/2007 20:16:16 MST Print View

any more people with both bags?

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
I have both packs on 11/16/2007 21:27:50 MST Print View

I own both backpacks. I'm not very fond of the Mariposa and don't use it much anymore. I like the Jam2. It is far more durable and I frequently backpack without a trail and plenty of brush. I just backpacked last week along the Escalante River from Neon to Scorpion canyons. The Jam2 managed it well. I think the Mariposa would have been in poor shape - even if I was constantly trying to protect it.

I don't find the large volume of the Mariposa useful. In fact, I think it is a problem. As I've lightened my load my volume also decreased. The volume hasn't been an issue. I also have and like the Golite Ion.

As far as I'm concerned, these packs are quite different with very different character.


Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: I have both packs on 11/17/2007 08:58:41 MST Print View

I have the JAM, and I have used my dad's Mariposia.. My choice is the JAM, much more durable and comfortable, and the perfect size for my gear up to 10 days without resupply

if you need more volume.. go for the mariposia

Paul Cronshaw
(beemancron) - F

Locale: Southwest US
Re: Jam2 or Mariposa on 11/17/2007 18:03:02 MST Print View

I confess, I am a GG junkie. I have 4 of their packs: the Mariposa, the Mariposa Plus, Miniposa, and G5 Hyperlight packs. I like to show new and veteran hikers how to move to the “lite side”. :)

My recommendation would be to get the Mariposa Plus. The regular Mariposa is made of 30 denier 1.3 oz. silicone-coated ripstop nylon, whereas the Plus is made of 70 denier 2.2 oz. urethane-coated ripstop nylon. The difference in material amounts to the Plus weighing only a couple of ozs more, yet it can carry 5 lbs more weight. My Plus has survived a number of minor bushwacking trips into our local chaparral community.

I note that the Jam2 is made of Dyneema which IMO works better on long bushwacking trips. However, the ULA's Conduit is my pack choice for trips I know will involve bushwacking.

I have used both Mariposa models on 9-10 day Sierra Trips. A Ursack bear canister fits well in these packs. The 4 outer mesh compartments come in real handy for easy access to items or stuffing things on the fly, and carrying 1 - 3 liter hydration systems. A variety of 3/4 pads (NightLight™, Thermarest® 3/4 length Prolite 3 & 4, and Torsolite) fit well in the back support, and provide additional comfort.

I note that other responses in this Jam 2 vs Mariposa thread mention the Mariposa's larger volume (4200 vs 3000 cu. in.) and the nice hip belts to carry a heavy load comfortably. However, being a LW addict and following the slogan of “less is better”, I have reduced the amount and volume of my gear to fit into less cubic inches. For shorter trips, I now use the GG Miniposa.

As a final note, I like the fact that GG and ULA packs are made by two small companies run by two very nice and innovative human beings. They too each have an addiction for LW backpacking, provide great customer service, and attempt to stay on the cutting edge of this industry.


Kenneth Reppart
(kreppart) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Compression on these packs for short hikes on 12/31/2007 00:48:41 MST Print View

I'm also looking at these two packs and this thread is very helpful. Please keep your thoughts coming! I'm new to lightweight hiking but in theory have my base weight down to about 13 pounds. That doesn't include my camera gear which could probably range from under a pound to perhaps 5 or even 10 pounds if photography is the focus of the trip. Most of my hikes are likely to be weekend trips, at least for the foreseeable future. I'm 6'2" in case one pack or the other is better for tall folks.

Several people have commented on the size of the Mariposa pack, can anyone tell me how well the compression cord works with smaller loads for shorter trips? How does the GoLite pack do with smaller loads? The Jam is listed as 3100 cubic inches vs 2900-4200 for the Mariposa, is the Jam really smaller?

Overall I'm leaning towards the Mariposa plus for the support I'll get from the stays as well as the ability to carry 30 pounds. I may just have to order one and see how it feels when fully loaded, they seem to have a pretty good attitude about returns.

Edited by kreppart on 12/31/2007 00:49:33 MST.