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GG Kumo
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Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
GG Kumo on 01/25/2013 15:24:30 MST Print View

Been looking at pulling the trigger on the Kumo and I've been interested to see if someone can convince me otherwise. Now that it's been on the market for around a year (I think) can any owners of the Kumo give me their impressions?

The search function isn't revealing too much feedback of overall performance quite yet.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: GG Kumo on 01/25/2013 16:13:16 MST Print View

Small, frameless backpack. It will carry like any other small, frameless backpack.

As such, I would focus on the feature set v.s. price point. It would seem to me that the ULA CDT is a better buy.

janos mathiesen
(janosm) - M

Locale: phinney ridge
i like it on 01/25/2013 16:26:55 MST Print View

I bought it as my long weekend summer pack here in the cascades. I find it to be the perfect size for 3-4 day trips and is very comfortable. The mesh on the large back pocket has taken a beating on some of my off trail rambles but I have patched it up with a little t-tape. Overall, without owning another pack of its size to compare to, I have really liked this pack. I actually use it every day to walk and or run to and from work -- couple miles each way.

My 2 cents.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Re: GG Kumo on 01/25/2013 17:03:15 MST Print View


Do you have the Kumo?

I feel like the CDT is way more than what I need as far as features, capacity and total weight go. There are some things that I really like about the CDT, others not. It certainly seems like a do all pack, but that isn't what I'm looking for.

Having said that, It would be a way tougher decision if ULA had a smaller version of the CDT.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: i like it on 01/25/2013 17:04:18 MST Print View


Thanks for cents!

Pete Garcia
(pgjgarcia) - MLife

Locale: SE PA
Extended-use review on 01/25/2013 19:29:54 MST Print View

Guthook used a Kumo on his through-hike of the Long Trail this past summer & provided a good review of it afterwards.

Personally, I have the MLD Burn and absolutely love it for 3 season use (my kit decreased in size & weight and I found so much empty space in my Jam I wanted a smaller replacement). Although I do LOVE the Burn, the top cover closure & exterior pad area on the back panel of the Kumo make me almost question my choice. However, I've had enough great experiences that I won't look for a change at this point.

Edited by pgjgarcia on 01/25/2013 19:31:14 MST.

Russ Maynard
(russmay) - F

Locale: Central California
good review on 01/26/2013 05:11:35 MST Print View

This is good review.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: good review on 01/26/2013 06:30:24 MST Print View

Thanks, Russ. I was going to mention there are several rather impartial reviews out there. Some, of course, are from affiliated trail ambasadors. Google returns at least a half dozen.

I have one on "order" from Gossamer Gear ((Febuary someting as part of the new batch.) I normally use a Murmmur, since it is a whole lot lighter, more than 5oz. Last year I beat the snot out of mine logging close to 50 nights with it. Overloaded more than 50% of the time, I found some serious weaknesses that I have been communicating to GG.

Many have been complaining about slipping buckles. This HAS been addressed by Grant, et al. This was by far the most serious problem.

I have used a 3 piece nightlite pad as a frame. I prefer the longer (52") 5 piece fanfolded Nightlite pads. Unfortunatly, GG no longer offers the longer pad, but Nunatak does as the Luna pad. Note that GG often lost money when people only ordered a pad due to the shipping. Anyway, with the 5 piece pad you can easily carry a load of 25 pounds. I did so with the Murmur regularly, despite the smaller hip belt and lighter padding on the shoulders. A good example was a couple week trip along the NPT and into the High Peaks area in late August.

It IS large enough to fit a sleeping bag, bear ball (with food), my jacket, sleeping cloths and socks, my cooking kit and tarp. Camera, log, raingear, fishing gear all went into the larger outside front pouch. The two pockets, of course, were dedicated to water/drinks. This 15 pound kit went into the High Peaks area of NY for 4 nights (and 7 peaks.) This was in September soo I was carrying my larger sleeping bag.

I missed the internal hydration sleeve that the Kumo has. This is an excellent add on and well worth the weight. The over the top closure was real good for keeping rain out of the pack. In June I spent several weeks on a canoe least 5 days were raining...HARD.

The map case? Well, I just fold up a map in a baggie and stick it in my pocket. I use it too much to keep it in the pack. I don't see much use for it.

The extra durability of the heavier fabrics would have been nice doing some bushwacking in July/early August. I was a but more carefull that was strickly necessary climbing through blowdowns.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Kumo on 01/26/2013 11:02:18 MST Print View

I haven't used it, but the Kumo looks like a sweet little pack. Durable, simple and light. I like how the hipbelt is removable, because I wouldn't use it. To me, a frameless pack is sweet for those sub 20 lbs 1-4 day trips and on trips like these I much prefer the freedom of no hipbelt.

I'd ditch the bladder sleeve and most of the shockcord too and wind up with a nice simple 12-13oz pack.

Edited by dandydan on 01/26/2013 13:37:03 MST.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Kumo on 01/27/2013 09:12:06 MST Print View

Thanks for the links. I've gotten so used to hitting the search option on BPL for gear reviews, as opposed to going the google route. Going google usually leads me right back to BPL more often times than not :)


The MLD Burn was and still is a strong second option. I really like the look of the top closure system of the Burn as opposed to the ULA, but it looks like to me that the Kumo has them both beat with the design. I also like the the pack material used as I tend to go off trail and my pack takes abuse often.

This will be my first "framless" pack and I have some reservations about diving in head first so I like what Gossamer Gear is doing with the removable SitLight pad on the exterior.


Do you have any idea what the "new" batch of packs come February will look like?

I like organizational pockets on the outside of my pack so I'll most likely add on a few for my "go-to" items.


Thanks for the comments. Your opinions are always appreciated.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Kumo et al on 01/27/2013 11:14:20 MST Print View

I'll divulge a bit more because I've actually been thinking a lot lately about adding a simple frameless pack to my quiver.

I think what keeps me coming back to the Kumo is the aesthetic. The whole pack has a beautiful cohesive design that achieves its lightweight through smart design rather than flimsy fabrics. I like the sitpad area design and those cord buckles are awesome. For comparison, the ULA CDT is 50% heavier (21oz vs 14oz) largely because ULA added an overkill hipbelt (IMO) for a frameless ruck.

My suspected dislikes of the Kumo are the flat mounted shoulder straps and the lack of waterproof fabric. Some reviews have commented on the former, and since I'd plan on carrying all the weight on my shoulders I'm nervous about anything that might hinder an optimum fit. Almost all packs sew on the shoulder straps at an angle to match the downward angle of a persons shoulders. Could be a non-issue though.

GG's 140D Dyneema G fabric is handsome, durable and supposedly has a wonderful feel, but having a truly waterproof pack material is an epiphany. When it's cold and rainy, there are enough extra hassles to deal with without needing to worry about pack liners/covers. The slate or tan cuben/hybrid fabric that Zpacks is using for some packs won't have as nice of a hand as GG's 140D, but it's waterproof. If I hiked in the desert southwest I'd prefer GG's 140D, but in the wetter locales where I hike I really prefer a waterproof fabric with a roll top closure.

Thus right now my favorite option for a frameless ruck is a cuben/hybrid Zpacks Zero with custom options to suit my style. Zpacks also has the option to add sleeves for a Sitlight pad if you prefer, and they'll do whatever options/features you like. I think the GG packs have a nicer aesthetic and refinement, but Zpacks scores highest for functionality.

So my choice right now would be a size small cuben/nylon Zpacks Zero with:
- Dual side pockets
- Rear center pocket (hmm....mesh or hybrid cuben?)
- Roll top closure
- Some side/top straps for external gear

It comes in around 8-9oz and $150.

Edited by dandydan on 01/27/2013 11:15:56 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Kumo et al on 01/27/2013 11:38:37 MST Print View

Well Dan, the CDT has a belt which allows it to carry more so perhaps a belt less CDT should be compared. A quick call to ULA gets you that very pack. In addition, the CDT has options that don't exist with the Kumo, and which are removable reducing the weight of the CDT to 15.8 oz and that is with the belt. You make it sound as if the Kumo is made of Unobtanium to create its amazing lightness.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

CDT on 01/27/2013 21:12:34 MST Print View

Good point about the removables. The CDT is much closer in weight than I thought.

Unfortunately I really ought to be buying a bigger pack right now for some longer trips coming up. Ohm doesn't so much cut it at +40 lbs. Maybe a porter....

Edited by dandydan on 01/27/2013 21:33:09 MST.