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Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Gossamer Gear Air-Frame? on 03/12/2013 15:40:16 MDT Print View

Has any one got experience with the Airframe from Gossamer Gear?
Please give good, bad, and ugly info.
I am looking at using on existing pack and would like to get some "in service" info.

The best part of BPL is unbiased opinion so talk to me!

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Gossamer Gear Air-Frame? on 03/12/2013 18:14:42 MDT Print View

Gossamer Gear Air Beam

I'll be taking it out for a few nights in the next couple of weeks here to give it a better run through.

Edited by norcalweaver on 03/12/2013 18:15:59 MDT.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Update on return on 03/12/2013 21:39:54 MDT Print View

Matt,

Please shot out an update when you get back. I curious to know how it performs.
Thx

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Air frame suspension on backpacks on 03/12/2013 21:49:35 MDT Print View

I do not have any experience with using inflatable suspension for a backpack frame. However, I think it suffers from one inherent flaw. The thickness of the inflatable frame moves the center of gravity away from the wearer's back. This goes against the principle of keeping the load as close to the wearer's center of gravity as possible.

As I said, I do not have any experience. So I am interested to hear from users of these systems once they have been tested for the long term.

Rodney

Edited by rodney_mruk on 03/12/2013 21:50:20 MDT.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Air frame suspension on backpacks on 03/12/2013 22:00:28 MDT Print View

On my Kumo the air frame is no thicker at the contact points then the supplied GG sitlight pad. The air frame is beefed up a bit in the lumbar area, which I like as the foam pad wasn't really contacting much there, more just in the small of my back where the hip belt would pull it in.

Time will tell. From my few dayhikes with it though I've really liked the added comfort. Conforms to my back and I forget it's there. Foam pads were comfy enough, but I was always aware that there was a pack perched on my back.

Barry Harrell
(Brouche) - F
Gossamer Gear Air-Frame? on 03/17/2013 12:33:56 MDT Print View

While I don't have the current version that is for sale, Grant did send me one to test out when the frame was still in the planning stages. It's lengthy but the following is an excerpt of what I sent to Grant on my thoughts about the pad:

Grant,
I've finally been able to collect some pics from my trip. To recap: 3 days, 45 miles on the AT from Sam's Gap to Iron Mountain Gap near Erwin, TN. We had a range of weather from near 90 degrees one day, low 80's the next and pouring rain the next. I was using a Mariposa in size large. This was my first trip with this pack so for comparison sake I brought the SitLight pad, internal frame and, the air frame. The max total weight that I carried with me was 24lbs.

I started out with the SitLight and internal frame in place with a full load. I can not say enough about how much I love this pack. This being my first UL pack I had some concerns that were proven completely unwarranted. I'm sure you've gotten all the feedback that you need on this set up so I'll move forward.

About midway through the first day I switched the SitLight out for the airframe. The internal stay was left in place and I refilled my water bladder to the same level it was at the beginning of the day. I pumped the frame up to the maximum of 100 pumps, put the pack back on and took off. The first thing I noticed was that this combination had very upright feel to it. By this I mean that the pack was not quite forming to my back in the same manner as it had with the SitLight. It gave the feel of a traditional internal frame pack at it's fullest level.I did notice a bit of a bounce to the pad. It was not distracting or annoying in anyway. As the day wore on and I lost some water weight, I decided to let a little air out to allow the pack to conform to me a bit better. I really liked being able to adjust the pad to suit my current mood.

I started out the next day with the airframe and internal stay in place as it was the previous day. This time I started with a bit less air in the pad and left it that way the whole day. I did notice that the pad absorbs moisture, both rain and sweat. Short term this is probably not an issue but I wonder about any funk setting in long term.

My third day I took the internal stay out of it's place. I had no where else to put it so it stayed in the back of the pack. I don't think this would have contributed to any load transfer though. This also would have been my lightest pack weight day. I think the air frame performed very well in this manner. I did feel like there might have been a little of a sag to the pack but I did not inflate the pad to it's fullest. I kind of like the feeling of the pack hugging.

As far as other uses. I did what would be expected and used it as a sit pad and as a pillow. For the pillow use I let most of the air out, wrapped the pad around extra clothing and rain gear and slid it into a stuff sack. That was probably one of the better pillow I've ever had on the trail. I own two Klymit sleep pads so I am comfortable with their durability. That's not to say that I tried to abuse the pad!! I tested it out as a sit pad on pine needles, rock, shelter floors, and benches. Unfortunately, due to heavy rains on my final day I was able to slow down and really experiment with any other ideas with the pad. We were hiking over the Nolichucky and I had hopes of a nice soak in the waters using the pad as a bit of a float! I could also see this as being a part of a first aid kit. Truly multi use!

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: Gossamer Gear Air-Frame? on 03/17/2013 13:39:05 MDT Print View

Barry,

Thank you for sharing. I just pulled my air frame out of the package this morning and cannot wait to do some testing of my own.

One of my initial thoughts when I unfolded the air-frame was that the material seems very samilar to my Exped Air Pillow UL... I'm hoping the air frame will be able to double as such (a pillow).

Barry Harrell
(Brouche) - F
Air Frame as pillow on 03/17/2013 14:12:59 MDT Print View

I loosely rolled it around some clothing and slid it into a stuff sack and used it as a pillow and it worked great. It looks like from GG's specs that you pick up a few ounces using this over the sit lite pad but if you are able to drop an inflatable pillow (assuming you take one typically)and use the frame in it's place it evens out. You also get the luxury of being able to dial in how you'd like for your load to ride, to an extent, by adjusting the pressure in the frame.