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Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 14:05:38 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review

Thomas Gauperaa
(gauperaa) - F - M

Locale: Norway
Re: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 16:02:00 MDT Print View

Very nice review - thanks!

Edited by gauperaa on 10/13/2009 16:02:46 MDT.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
"Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review" on 10/13/2009 16:19:45 MDT Print View

Great article and well written. Though I am not compelled to go out and buy this pack. Maybe because the author is slanted as he uses a G4 already (not trying to offend)?

I would like to see this pack compared to some of the other new packs on the market. Maybe the BPL staff could have a contest and everyone could take a turn with a different pack. Decide the over all favorite and give us pros and cons.

Has anyone looked at the new light Osprey packs? I was suprised by the well thought out features of those. Heavier than anything I have anymore. But I like them. They are on clearance at REI.

Edited by cuzzettj on 10/13/2009 16:21:53 MDT.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Love my Gorilla too on 10/13/2009 16:41:48 MDT Print View

I've used my Gorilla with loads up to 26lbs and it carry's like a dream. I have it outfitted with dual shoulder strap and hip-belt pockets. I'd did have the hip-belt pockets coming loose from where they anchor with the Velcro tabs, but I plan to put a few stitches in, attaching the tabs to the hip-belt to alleviate this problem.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 20:15:09 MDT Print View

>Has anyone looked at the new light Osprey packs?

BPL has tested the Exos series packs.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Love my Gorilla too on 10/13/2009 20:17:59 MDT Print View

+1 Gorilla so far. I have used it for less than 200 miles... but so far it looks like it's going to retire my GGVT which has been my goto pack for the last six years. I pretty much agree with everything Will said.

The one thing I would add is that the stays aren't connected directly into the hip belt which can limit weight transfer. If a bit of care is taken when packing this isn't an issue though the pack has a bit of side-to-side motion around the center where the pack fabric and he belt connect. I actually find this slight pivot makes the pack more comfortable for me with <25lb loads.

As to the Osprey Exos line... there was a review of the Exos also by Will here earlier. For my purposes I found the Gorilla just the right size where the Exos 46 was the wrong shape to take a bear canister and the 58 was too big. For me, the Gorilla is more comfortable carrying up to 25lbs. I thing that from a feature standpoint they are most pretty nice. The only thing that the Exos is notably better at is back ventilation. The Gorilla is worse than average, the Exos is better than average.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 12/27/2009 00:24:20 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 20:21:37 MDT Print View

Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM? What am I missing?

In any event, I think a comparison test is due by BPL with competing packs are in order (including frameless ones).

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 20:28:21 MDT Print View

> Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM?

Nope. Those were the two packs I tried this summer. I tried the Ohm the first half of summer and then switched to the Gorilla. I think the Ohm is visually more attractive, likely more durable... and I might have slightly preferred the Ohm's usability (type/location of pockets, closure system, etc). But when it came to carry comfort I much preferred the the Gorilla. I think the combination of the shaped stays and the encircling hip belt of the Gorilla are an improve over the the wing attached hipbelt and strait stays on the Ohm. The Ohm carry reminded me of the GVP Miniposa with the strait stays. Ok, but not great.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 10/13/2009 20:31:20 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 20:30:18 MDT Print View

"Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM? What am I missing?"

Nope. There are at least two of us. :)

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : "Keeping hands dry in winter" on 10/13/2009 21:34:34 MDT Print View

An annoying feature of packs like this, is that the sleeping pad can become soaked when it rains. More an annoyance than a major problem, but enough to put me off. My Starlite suffers from the same issue.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Love my Gorilla too on 10/13/2009 22:27:52 MDT Print View

Mark, I'm also a long-term user of the Vapor Trail but have been tempted to try the Gorilla for the weight savings. How would you compare the volume of the main body of the Gorilla? Is it more, less, or about the same as the VT?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 23:11:42 MDT Print View

I thought the sleeping pads were closed cell.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review on 10/13/2009 23:23:35 MDT Print View

"I thought the sleeping pads were closed cell"

Depends what pad you use. :)
CCF mats will not absorb water, but they still become wet. My Thermarest outside fabric did soak up water.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Goriila on 10/14/2009 00:30:23 MDT Print View

I was very close to getting a Gorilla, but in the end I felt the capacity was a bit too small to make the most of its weight carrying ability. Instead I decided to try the frame less route with an MLD Exodus. For a few years now I have been using a frameless sack I made myself by modifying an existing sack and have been quite pleased. However if the Exodus doesn't work out for me I will going back to the GGG.

Tracy Novak
(tracyn) - F
Have a woman review it. on 10/14/2009 04:30:11 MDT Print View

I'd like to see a review from a woman about the fit. Those shoulder straps do look wide.

Andy Waters
(dirtyhiker) - F

Locale: NC mountains
gorilla rocks!!! on 10/14/2009 07:20:11 MDT Print View

Deadbear here!! Just finished the 130 mile 100 mile wilderness... Monson to Katadhin... 6 pound base and 8 pounds food and water, HOOOOOORRRRAAYYYYYY for the gorilla!! A very cold and mostly wet hike the Gorilla responded superbly.. Even working as a foot box cover to protect my down on the worst of nights... Large shoulder straps no problem for me although you need lots of poofy down , or a bear canister, to fill it up to the point you can tighten down the center strap... The pockets are perfect.... did i say perfect? I mean absofreakinglutley perfect... Wet tarp, water bottle, rain jacket, camp shoes, any thing you can imagine... Greatest pack ever!!!

Quick edit- After reading the rest of the posts I just wanted to say that 5 days/ nights of intermediate to heavy rain/ snow on white top/ ice on Katadin, my gorilla happily kept everything dry without rain cover... The only stuff that got wet was because of me being s moron!!!

Thanks Grant for your help and absolute amazing customer service!!!!!

P.S> the G.G. Lightrek 4 poles--- I have never touched anything as cool as these before... I love my ninja stix!!!!

Edited by dirtyhiker on 10/14/2009 07:28:44 MDT.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Stay Correction on 10/14/2009 07:30:37 MDT Print View

I believe the statement that the stay is made from aluminum tubing is incorrect. The stay in my Mariposa Plus is made from solid aluminum. I had a discussion with Grant at GG about it. He said they tried aluminum tubing but ran into manufacturing and durability problems. The discussion was for the Mariposa, but since they list the same stay weight (3.4 oz.) for both packs, I assume the same rod material in the Gorilla.

I wouldn't characterize this as nitpicking because in a backpacking genre in which label removal as a means of weight reduction is considered rational, so too then would a quest for a workable means of forming high strength tubing to shave of a few ounces.

I would also like to add another facet to this review. The company behind the gear is almost as important as the gear itself, and in this respect, I find Gossamer Gear in the very top tier of the industry. They are responsive to inquiries and stand staunchly behind their products. They go to great lengths to assure long term customer satisfaction.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Ohm on 10/14/2009 07:36:40 MDT Print View

My Ohm in medium with no accessories weighs 20.1 ounces so the statement about the Gorilla being the 2nd lightest internal frame pack available is incorrect. At 3000 cubes it's also a direct competitor with the Gorilla as mentioned above.

Darin Butler
(darinbu) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Great Review on 10/14/2009 07:54:49 MDT Print View

Thanks, Will. Some questions:

1. Are you saying that the NeoAir can, or cannot, be used in the pad sleeve? Would the NeoAir size matter (I have a Large), and would you have any NeoAir durability concerns when doing so?

2. What size of bear canister is usable with this pack? I have both the BV450 and the BV500; will they both work?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Love my Gorilla too on 10/14/2009 08:00:35 MDT Print View

> How would you compare the volume of the main body of the Gorilla?

I would say that it is less. The Gorilla lists the main bag and collar to be 2400ci. The GGVT main section (without the ridiculous collar) is somewhere between 2600-2800ci. The packs are similar width, the GGVT main body is a tiny bit taller, and the real difference is that GGVT is deeper.

--Mark