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Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW
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Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Miniposa aluminum stays on 09/15/2007 07:28:37 MDT Print View

I made stays for my miniposa from #1916 easton aluminum arrow shafts. They bend easily with a little heat from a plumber's torch, and the little rounded ends that came in the carbon stays even fit back in the ends. They only weigh 0.4 oz each, and work pretty well.aluminum stays

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Re: GG Mariposa + Carbon Stays on 09/15/2007 11:07:24 MDT Print View

Good point. Unless you provided a anti-torque arm on each of them, or connected them, then that's an issue. On the other hand, it might be just as easy to use one of the lightweight pillows folded up as a lumbar support / bottom-of-the-pack-pusher-outer. As noted in an earlier post, that would help address the tendency of the pack to lean backwards.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Comments on 09/16/2007 08:39:26 MDT Print View

Judging from your comments, its clear that a lot of people really LOVE this pack and want to share their feelings.

Jeff is right on the volume of the G4, so I corrected it in the article. Several people had told me that the G4 and Mariposa had the same specified volume, and I had always maintained that the Mariposa was smaller. So I included the photo to make the point. I guess I neglected to check the volume of the G4 on the GG website.

The internal map/sundries pocket issue is still confusing. Gossamer Gear clearly states on their website that this pack has a "Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)", but its not there. It would be really nice if they added it.

With the upgrades GG is considering, the bar is going to be raised once again for the perfect UL pack.

Sheldon McElhiney
(mcelhineysc) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Comments on 09/16/2007 13:01:31 MDT Print View


I don't know about an internal pocket, but GG's site lists "Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)" under features. This would refer to the upper right side pocket. I find this pocket on both my Mariposa and Mariposa Plus very useful for said items.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW on 09/16/2007 16:42:23 MDT Print View

Sorry to keep asking the same question, but does anyone know if the waist belt pocket is included with the pack or was that added on? I can't seem to find a reference on the GG website so maybe it's an add-on accessory?


twig .
(bretthartwig) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack on 09/16/2007 17:48:38 MDT Print View

"(the sternum strap pocket and camera case are my additions)."

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
no waist belt pocket included on 09/17/2007 11:07:16 MDT Print View

"... does anyone know if the waist belt pocket is included with the pack or was that added on?"

My wife has the 2006 model, I have the 2007 model and neither came with waist belt pockets of any kind.

To be clear, I'm talking about a pocket designed to easily stow various gear and access same while wearing the pack. The pack does come with velcro sealed "pockets" that allow you to either insert the included foam for both shoulder straps and waist belt, or some people use other gear (small articles of clothing) in there as padding. IMO it's too much of a PITA to try to put anything but the stock foam padding in those locations --- so while this could conceiveably be considered a "pocket", don't expect that you could access it while wearing the pack, and it would take the right size of item inserted and adjusted just right to work.

Edited by brianle on 09/17/2007 11:11:57 MDT.

Lance Parrish
(lancejparrish) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Mariposa Plus Concerns: on 09/17/2007 16:42:35 MDT Print View

Let me start by saying I have one of the first Mariposa Plus packs and I'm going to have to agree with the consensus about the need for some kind of belt pocket. If nothing else, I would like it for my Aqua Mira and a snack bar. I've taken to clipping small ditty bags to the belt on either side for this purpose. Another concern that I have is that if I put a pad any longer than a TRUE torso length pad - Z lite included - the pack rides too far away from my back throwing off my entire center of gravity. I like ultralite as much as the next guy, but I've taken to putting a two segment section of z-lite in the pad holder for padding and then dropping a rolled thinlite pad in the pack for my actual sleep pad. I'm not entirely convinced that this is a great method as it seems somewhat redundant, but I try to make up for that by using my pack as additional padding. In doing so, I have almost a full length sleep pad. On this note, if anyone has any suggestions for this, I'm all ears. I also found that my pack had a y-strap that was far too long if not lashing a bear canister to the top. After speaking with Grant on the issue, he informed me that they had a run with this problem, but they have since fixed it. He immediately offered to fix it for absolutely no charge. Grant is an amazing guy. I'm glad to see that there are still people like him kicking around. All things considered, get the pack. It's still one of my favorites.

Lance Parrish
(lancejparrish) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Clarification: on 09/17/2007 16:50:29 MDT Print View

I suppose I should have read all the posts before commenting, but the map/sundries pocket listed is NOT internal. It is the small pocket above the slanted water bottle pocket on the pack's right side. The only internal pocket is for the hydration system, though in truth I find that this is a convenient place to put my map where it is less likely to be ruined when I'm on a trail and if I'm in a place where I'm less inclined to consult the map every few minutes. Okay, enough from me.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Small map/permit/sundries pocket on 09/18/2007 07:43:02 MDT Print View

As several of you point out, we can only conclude that the "Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)" must be the upper mesh pocket. For me, that's confusing, because I expected it to be a security pocket, not just one of the outside mesh pockets. If GG is simply referring to the upper miesh pocket, then my point still stands, I want an internal zippered security pocket for my truck key and other things I don't want to lose. The SMD Comet pack (review to be published soon) has one and its very useful.

As mentioned in the photo caption and by other posters, the hipbelt case and sternum strap pockets in the photos are my own additions to carry my camera, map, water treatment, and other things I want to access without removing the pack.

Overall, the GG Mariposa is one of the best UL packs available. We like to nitpick in our quest for the perfect pack, and most progressive manufacturers (like GG) are paying attention and do their best to give it to us.

Best, Will.

eric levine
(ericl) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado
Pack stays and gossamer packs on 09/19/2007 00:22:07 MDT Print View

Certainly there are flat carbon stays.

My Mountainsmith 4000 (circa ~1996) has them, one of the very first full sized truly light weight packs. My old Mountainsmith 2000 has an interesting feature as well: the pack when full, forms an S curve, which keeps the pack off most of the back and allows full ventilation.

That said, my G5 and G4 packs are the ones I use almost exclusively. The G5 for 3-season (7,5-9 pounds base)and the G4 for a backup/guest pack, or in winter (14-16 pounds base).

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Mariposa Stays on 09/20/2007 00:33:58 MDT Print View

I was just wondering, as I read the posts here, if it would not be possible to design the carbon fiber stays so that there are three carbon fiber sections joined by two bendable, elongated aluminum ferrules. That way you have the lightness of the carbon fiber and the piability of the aluminum, without adding a significant amount of weight. Just a thought.

Jeff Sharp
(tsjeffery) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
Re: Small map/permit/sundries pocket on 09/21/2007 14:59:29 MDT Print View

Will and Sheldon, you guys are correct. The "Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)" is the upper mesh pocket on the right side of the OUTSIDE of the pack. This feature is included on all of the Mariposa-series packs, including the Plus and the Mini. It's also listed as a feature on all of the web pages for these packs. It's not anything new or unique for the Plus.

With that being said, Grant and I have discussed the possibility (read: we're still contemplating it so don't post that it will be on the next generation of packs please) of adding a small, zippered internal pocket just as you have described, Will. We've both been wanting something where you could securely store small necessities with easy access to them. We were thinking of including it on this last run of packs but it didn't make the cut because we haven't even designed it yet. It's still a "possibility" at this point for future runs of the Mariposa-series packs to include this pocket. Stay tuned....

Regarding Waist Belt Pockets I'll say this one more time. ;-) We do not sell or include Waist Belt Pockets with any of our packs at this time. The velcro opening in the shoulder straps and waist belts are for padding only. We will be coming out with Waist Belt Pockets and Shoulder Strap Pockets in the very near future. These will be standalone pockets that can be used with pretty much any backpack on the market. With that in mind, we most likely will be selling these as individual items and not including them with the packs. You will be able to purchase them as a separate item. I hope this clears up any confusion regarding pockets but I know there will be other posters who do not take the time to read prior posts. Oh well...

Miguel, that sounds like an interesting idea for a stay. My first thought is that it would be costly to design and produce, since you're combining two very different substances, but we might take a look at some variation of that. If Grant and I were machinists and had a machine shop at our disposal the cost wouldn't be as much of an impedance. But on the other hand we like to "keep it simple" in our design and production in order to "keep it light" and "keep it affordable".


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Small map/permit/sundries pocket on 09/21/2007 19:55:06 MDT Print View

Hi Jeff

> Grant and I have discussed the possibility of adding a small, zippered internal pocket
I make my own UL packs, and I include a small flat zippered pocket like this on the inside - just large enough to hold a passport, credit cards and a car key (not a key ring). I think the logic is obvious?

> that sounds like an interesting idea for a stay. My first thought is that it would be costly to design and produce,
I make such connectors for carbon fibre tent poles for the UL tents I make. Yes, they are messy (expensive) to make unless you have exactly the right materials. Personally, I would not bother. High tensile aluminium is about right.


David Peterson
(thegeoguy) - F

Locale: Sonoma County, CA
Re: Re: GG Mariposa + Carbon Stays on 09/25/2007 19:31:49 MDT Print View

I have played around with aluminum stays (1/2 inch 6061) and also weighed the 3/8-inch stays from my McHale pack (7000-series aluminum). In general, a 24-inch long stay of this general width runs about 2 ounces. If you were to replace the 0.9 ounce carbon fiber stays with a couple of aluminum ones, I'd guess the net effect would be about 3 or 4 ounces added to the pack.

Personally, if I ever buy a Mariposa, I will definitely try this out...

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Mariposa, Mariposa Plus, or Miniposa on 10/18/2007 02:44:05 MDT Print View

I am in the midst of clearing out my gear closet big time, getting rid of everything I don't need and trying to get my everyday life to be as ultralight as my backpack has become. I am trying to whittle down the packs that I have, too, so that I have one or two that do most of what I need. I do have a GoLite Jam2, but so far I'm just not happy with it. The straps are too thin and tend to roll, the hip belts tend to make the pack pull away from the back, the top securing strap is too short and won't cinch down when the pack isn't completely full, and the side pockets are way too shallow to porperly hold a platy bottle. Otherwise it would be a perfect size for most of what I do.

I therefore want to buy either the Mariposa, the Mariposa Plus, or the Miniposa. The Mariposa would probably be the right pack for me, except that I want to use the pack occasionally for international travel and in the craggier areas of the mountains, so that perhaps a more robest material is called for. I also like the removeable hipbelt of the Mariposa Plus. However, after using the G4 for many years and always finding it WAY too big, I wonder if the Miniposa might be better suited to the less bulky and smaller weights I carry now. I'm not worried about the straight carbon fiber stays because if I need stays I will replace the original ones with the aluminum stays from my Artic Pack. I really like the robust material of the Jam2, so the Plus might be a better choice. Most of my walks during the year are from 2 to 5 days long, with two or three trips of a week to two weeks or longer. I'd like a pack that can adapt well to all these kinds of trips.

Any opinions about what might be best to use? It's hard to tell sight unseen.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Mariposa, Mariposa Plus, or Miniposa? on 10/19/2007 08:42:56 MDT Print View

Any opinions?

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Mariposa, Mariposa Plus, or Miniposa? on 10/19/2007 09:04:06 MDT Print View

I think that the Mariposa Plus is the best option for 3+ days or 1-2 days during winter time. Based on my experience the Mariposa Plus is a bit too big for 1-2 days when the weather is warmer and less clothing is needed. Overall I would go for the Mariposa plus though if you need to settle for one single bag.

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
mariposas for miguel on 10/19/2007 15:02:27 MDT Print View

Hey Miguel I have the golite jam2 and the original mariposa and I understand your doubts.

In my personal opinion (and with my terrible grammar) I prefer the mariposa over the golite for one single reason I believe that the most important feature in a pack is the ability to carry as much weight as possible on our hips and the mariposa is one of the lightest packs with a useful hipbelt and the carbon fiber stays. This point is important because I read frecuently that with lighter loads, stays and belts are less useful ¿?

I never been capable to understand this because I used to carry a sub 3.5 kg (quite light i think?) base weight sometimes less ..(between 7.5 and 6 lb) and yes, you can carry this load witouth hipbelt .......but.... what happens when you add two liters of water and 2/3 kg of food ? (my typical load in a three days walk).......3.5+2+2,5=8Kg (17.64 lb) and with this load .. stays and hipbelt are a good option.

While is not perfect I can carry quite heavy loads with confort, and the 2007 model improves some aspects over my pack.

For general use (one or two days) I find this pack too big (I prefer the golite size) for that reason Im tempted to buy the miniposa (im resisting the temptation until now, arf!) for that reason fi you are happy with the golite size the miniposa must be my recommendation.

Well that´s not exactly true, why? Because you write that you want the pack for ocasional international travel and crag areas..............Meeec ..... we have a little problem here, I can´t recommend the mariposa for travelling and craggier areas .......because i tried both uses and unfortunately i find the pack too delicate.
The spinaker cloth is not designed for this abuse.

When I travel by plane I used to carry the pack empty as hand luggage or in a duffle bag, (as in the past TMB where I carry a tent remember ;-)

And in craggier areas i caused some holes in the pack with minimun friction with rocks. For that reason I use my Jam 2 in craggier areas. If you pretend to use the pack for travelling and cragging you must buy the mariposa plus (and I´m not sure if the stronger fabric will be adequate enought for that use) but as i told before I find it too big for short trips ...

¡! nothing is perfect. :-(

My conclusion is................. that the winner is ...................

¡the miniposa plus! .....................But unfortunately is not in production ....... :-(

but if you have one artic pack (use it in long walks) and a jam 2 (use it in craggier areas) buy the miniposa ........try it ..... and if you are happy with .... plan to buy a mariposa plus next

Anyway ..............remember one thing ...........Its REALLY difficult to find the perfect pack ...

I tried dozens ..nowadays i use one berghaus cyclops lite, one crux ak 57, one mariposa,one golite jam2, one marmot eiger 35, one GG wishper (with belt, of course) and I would like to buy more (artic pack, miniposa, cilo, mchale......) all excellent packs but I still dream with a mixture of all ............ ;-)

Edited by pitagorin on 10/22/2007 00:41:02 MDT.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Mariposa, Mariposa Plus, or Miniposa? on 10/19/2007 15:15:27 MDT Print View

I know it's not a Mariposa/Miniposa but how about the ULA conduit?

It's about the same size as the Jam2 with the same durable fabric. Side pockets are nice and the shoulder straps are really excellent.