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Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW

Removable carbon fiber stays make it one of the lightest and most versatile internal frame backpacks on the market.


Overall Rating: Recommended

The Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus is a highly refined and highly versatile backpack. If an ultralight backpacker wanted to purchase just one backpack, this would be it. With the stays in, this 20 ounce wonder will carry a 20 to 30 pound load with remarkable comfort, and its feature set is focused on what an ultralight backpacker wants and needs.

The primary reason the pack is not rated "Highly Recommended" is that the pack’s straight carbon fiber stays are not bendable to allow an anatomical fit to the user’s back. Switching to curved flat stays would create a more comfortable fit, and including shapeable stays would allow the user to create a custom fit. Also, I would like to see Gossamer Gear offer optional lightweight hipbelt and sternum strap pockets to further refine the pack for on-trail convenience. Finally, I feel that the pockets in the shoulder straps and hipbelt to insert socks for padding are getting a bit outdated; the provided foam pads weigh just 0.9 ounce total and can easily be sewn in to eliminate the Velcro closures.

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by Will Rietveld |

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 1
The Mariposa Plus on a 6-day backpack in the Wind River Range, Wyoming.


Backpacking Light reviewed the original Gossamer Gear Mariposa backack in 2004. We were delighted with its light weight and load-carrying capacity, but noted that it needed a few refinements. The Mariposa has since been tweaked to near perfection. The new Mariposa Plus is essentially identical except it has a removable wraparound hipbelt and uses more durable fabrics. Therefore, my review of the Mariposa Plus, contained herein, pertains to both packs.

What’s Good

  • Removable stays, sternum strap, and hipbelt
  • Highly versatile; can be used as either a frameless or internal frame backpack
  • Very high volume to weight ratio
  • Very high carry load to pack weight ratio
  • Durable fabrics
  • Large capacity front and side mesh pockets
  • Comfortably carries 20 to 30 pound loads

What’s Not So Good

  • No hipbelt pockets
  • Stays cannot be shaped for a custom fit



2007 Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus


Internal frame or frameless, top loading, drawcord closure with top compression strap


4200 ci (69 L) total; main body 2900 ci, pockets 500 ci, extension collar 800 ci (48 + 8 + 13 L)


1 lb 4.5 oz (581 g) measured weight with stays and supplied padding; pack with hipbelt 18.7 oz (530 g), stays 0.9 oz (26 g), shoulder strap padding 0.6 oz (17 g), hipbelt padding 0.3 oz (9 g); manufacturer’s specification 1 lb 4.1 oz (570 g) with stays

  Sizes Available

S, M, L (size L tested)

  Torso Fit Range

S fits 12-16 in (30-40 cm), M fits 16-20 in (40-51 cm), L fits (20-24 in (51-61 cm)


Body is 70d 2.2 oz/yd2 (75 g/m2) polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon, stress and abrasion areas are reinforced with 200d 4 oz/yd2 (118 g/m2) polyurethane coated ripstop nylon, backpanel is 30d 1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon


Durable fabrics, wide shoulder straps, removable padding in shoulder straps and hipbelt, removable hipbelt, removable carbon fiber stays, 11 inch extension collar, drawcord closure, Y-strap top compression, backpanel sleeping pad sleeve, one large front and three large side mesh pockets, front or side bungee attachment/compression system, interior hydration sleeve with two hose ports, one ice axe loop, removable sternum strap with whistle, three hipbelt lengths available, haul loop

  Volume To Weight Ratio

204.9 ci/oz with stays (based on 4200 ci and measured weight of 20.5 oz), 214.4 without stays (based on 4200 ci and measured weight of 19.6 oz)

  Comfortable Load Carrying Capacity

30 lb estimated comfortable load for an average person carrying the pack (with stays) all day

  Carry Load to Pack Weight Ratio

23.4 with stays (based on 30 lb and a measured weight of 1.28 lb)


$150 US




The main differences between the standard Mariposa and the Mariposa Plus are the more durable fabric and removable hipbelt of the Plus version; the pack volume and other features are the same. The Plus is made of 2.2 oz/yd2 polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon, compared to the standard Mariposa’s 1.3 oz/yd2 silnylon. The heavier fabric and removable hipbelt add about 3 ounces, which is a small weight penalty for the durability and utility gained. However, I have used the standard Mariposa, and find its silnylon body adequately durable for my needs, so the choice ultimately depends on the intended use.

The Mariposa (and Mariposa Plus) have received some useful refinements since the original version, with minimal weight gain:

  • Taller mesh pockets
  • Drawcord closure
  • Three pack sizes available
  • Removable hipbelt available in three sizes (Mariposa Plus only)
  • Internal map pocket
  • Lower and more adjustable sternum strap
  • More durable stay sleeves
  • Hydration sleeve with two hose ports

The following photo gallery will help familiarize you with the pack:

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 2
Views of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. The frontpanel (top left) has a large bellowed mesh pocket plus loops to add a bungee attachment/compression system. The backpanel (top right) has a sleeve to allow the use of a sleeping pad for padding and weight transfer (the sternum strap pocket and camera case are my additions). The right side (bottom left) has two mesh pockets, and the left side (bottom right has one tall mesh pocket.

Frame and Suspension

The frame is the lightest to be found anywhere - two carbon fiber rods weighing 0.9 ounce. They have rounded aluminum caps to prevent them from puncturing the fabric. Although they are very light, they are straight and are not bendable to fit the curvature of the user’s back. More on this in the Field Testing section.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 3
The Mariposa Plus’s frame consists of two straight carbon fiber rods that slip into durable sleeves inside the pack. The two stays weigh just 0.9 ounce.

I really love the pack’s wide shoulder straps and hipbelt. They’re 3.5 inches wide and have openings (with Velcro closures) to insert either articles of clothing (e.g. socks) or the provided 3-inch wide, ½-inch thick closed-cell pads. Since the shoulder strap pads weigh just 0.6-ounce and the hipbelt pads weigh 0.3 ounce (that’s a total of 0.9 ounce for all four pads), it might make sense to simply sew in the pads and eliminate the weight of the Velcro closures.

The pack does not have load lifter straps or hipbelt stabilizer straps.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 4
The suspension consists of 3.5-inch wide shoulder straps (top left) with 3D wicking mesh on the underside, a sleeping pad inserted into a pad sleeve (top right) to serve as a padded backpanel and pack stiffener, and a 3.5-inch wide removable hipbelt (bottom) with 3D spacer mesh on the underside.

Features and Utility

The Mariposa Plus (and Mariposa) has an essential set of features to meet the needs of a lightweight or ultralight backpacker. For starters, several components (hipbelt, stays, padding, and sternum strap) are removable, so the pack can be stripped down to a frameless backpack weighing about 14 ounces. Like many ultralight backpacks, the outside of the pack is covered with three large mesh pockets (500 cubic inches total) capable of holding a lot of gear and keeping it readily accessible on the trail. The lower right mesh pocket is designed to make a water bottle reachable without taking the pack off.

Conspicuously missing are hipbelt pockets, and I highly recommend that Gossamer Gear design some optional lightweight pockets, perhaps in different sizes, that can easily be slipped on the hipbelt. Further, an optional sternum strap pocket would also be a desirable option for convenience on the trail. To accommodate it, the sternum strap would need to connect at one side rather than in the middle.

Although the Gossamer Gear website states that this pack has an inside "small map/permit/sundries pocket", my sample pack did not have it. Such a pocket would be a nice addition, and worth the miniscule weight. A length of elastic cord and cordlocks are provided (0.4 ounce) to create a bungee attachment/compression system either on the front of the pack or the two sides, using loops sewn into the seams.

The pack body is not large enough to hold a bear canister, but the Y-strap on top is designed to hold a canister carried on top of the pack. I don’t have a bear canister, so I was not able to test that feature. In normal use without a bear canister, the Y-strap is a little cumbersome to use compared to a single strap because of its extra length and tendency to get twists in it.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 5
The Mariposa Plus has an internal hydration sleeve and two hose ports (left). Also note the sleeves that hold the carbon fiber stays. The pack’s roll-down closure is secured with a Y-strap (right), which is designed to hold down a bear canister carried on top of the pack.

Although an internal hydration sleeve (and two hose ports) is provided, I find it more convenient to carry a smaller water bladder in the upper right side pocket (as shown in the photo gallery above). The side pocket location makes it much more accessible for refilling, and I offset the weight by packing a little more weight on the left side inside the pack.

Field Testing

I carried the Mariposa Plus on three backpacking trips and simply loved it. On two trips I carried all the shared gear and food so my wife could carry a lighter pack - this allowed me to test the Mariposa Plus with a heavier load. I carried 20 pounds on an overnight trip and noted that the Mariposa Plus carried the load much more comfortably than a frameless pack. On a 6 day trip in the Wind River Range in Wyoming my measured starting weight was 29 pounds. I marveled at how comfortably the pack carried the weight, in large part due to the pack’s wide, firm shoulder straps and effective weight transfer. The third trip involved carrying my overnight gear plus supplies to a remote aid station we manned for the Hardrock 100 Endurance Race in Silverton, Colorado. When packed with about 35 pounds of dense weight, I felt that the Mariposa Plus had exceeded its comfortable limit, but it did in fact carry the weight without damage to the pack or unusual discomfort to me.

Although the carbon fiber stays (along with a stiff sleeping pad) definitely help to support a heavier load, the stays are as straight as an arrow (in fact, they are arrow shafts!). There is no way to bend the stays to fit the curvature of your back. Consequently, the top of the pack tends to lean back (see first photo). The pack does not have load lifter straps to pull the top of the pack against the shoulders, because they would be ineffective with the unbendable stays. Switching to a curved flat carbon or fiberglass stays would be a lightweight option to attain an anatomical fit. Thin aluminum stays would be ideal because they could readily be bent to customize the curvature against the wearer's back, but they would increase the weight of the pack by about 3 ounces.

I tested the Mariposa Plus with several different sleeping pads I have, and found it to be amenable with the Bozeman Mountain Works TorsoLite, Gossamer Gear NightLight, Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest ¾, and Therm-a-Rest Prolite 3 Short. The NightLight is ideal because it provides a stiffer backpanel (for better weight transfer to the hips) with minimum thickness. The folded RidgeRest provides a lot of stiffness, but it’s 2.5 inch thickness pushed the pack’s center of gravity away from my back, which is undesirable for heavier loads. Inflatable pads provide a comfortably padded backpanel, but do nothing to stiffen the pack for weight transfer.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 6
A trick I used on a standard Mariposa pack to overcome the straight stay issue is to fold my TorsoLite pad so that it's square and stuff it into the bottom part of the pad sleeve. My wife sewed a strip of Velcro on the top edge to secure it. This modification pushes the bottom of the pack out and levers the top of the pack in closer to my shoulders, making the pack fit better.

Since the weight of the carbon fiber stays and foam inserts for the shoulder straps and hipbelt are so miniscule, adding up to 1.8 ounces, I made no effort to remove them from the pack to save weight. For me, the additional comfort and weight-carrying capacity are well worth the weight. I suspect other hikers will do the same, unless they intentionally strip the pack down and use it as a frameless backpack for loads less that about 15-18 pounds.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 7
The only problem I had with the Mariposa Plus was a seam came apart that attaches the elastic binding to the top of a side mesh pocket. My wife re-sewed it and there were no further problems.

On their website, Gossamer Gear notes that the mesh used for the sleeping pad sleeve has been reported to stain clothing, and they recommend giving it a good rinsing before using the pack. Also, they note that stitching on the mesh pockets may unravel (as mine did), and offer to repair existing packs at no charge. Both problems will be remedied in future production runs.


Because of its removable stays and other components, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus (and Mariposa) is easily the most versatile ultralight backpack around. When stripped down, it’s a very comfortable and capable frameless pack. With the stays in, the comfortable range is extended to about 30 pounds.

When you hold the empty pack in your hand, it is hard to believe that it will comfortably carry up to 30 pounds, but it does. If your total pack weight is normally in the 20 to 30 pound range, consider getting the 20 ounce Gossamer Gear Mariposa or Mariposa Plus instead of a conventional internal frame backpack that can weigh 3 pounds or more. The standard Mariposa and Mariposa Plus are fully capable of carrying 20 to 30 pound loads with a good level of comfort. However, many conventional internal frame packs have additional features that fit the pack more closely to the user, like adjustable torso length, load lifters, bendable stays, adjustable shoulder strap width, and anatomically shaped padding.

For short ultralight trips, the Mariposa Plus simply has too much volume. One solution is to put your sleeping pad inside the main compartment to take up some of the volume. If you use an inflatable pad, you can even partially inflate it to adjust the volume. This technique would allow you to use one pack for practically any application. Alternatively, you could purchase Gossamer Gear’s Miniposa pack (3300 cubic inches, 18.6 ounces), which is about 900 cubic inches smaller.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW - 8
We all loved Gossamer Gear's G4 (left) in its heyday, but its 4600 cubic inch volume was simply too much for ultralight backpacking. The Mariposa Plus at 4200 cubic inches (center) is much better. It’s about the same size as the Six Moon Designs Comet (right), although the Comet has a specified volume of 3700 cubic inches. Volume specifications don’t always indicate the actual size of a pack.

The only other packs on the market with features and weight comparable to the Mariposa are the Six Moon Designs Starlite and Comet. The Starlite (30 ounces) has the same volume as the Mariposa, is constructed of rugged fabric with Dyneema gridstop, has hipbelt sizes available with and without pockets, has load lifters and hipbelt stabilizer straps, and has removable, shapeable flat aluminum stays. It also has a zippered security pocket on the inside. However, it weighs about 10 ounces more and is available in only one size that adjusts to fit a wide range of torsos. The slightly smaller (3700 cubic inches, 27 ounces) Comet has been re-designed for 2007, and has a similar feature set to the Starlite.

A distinct advantage of the Comet and Starlite is their torso length is adjustable and their aluminum stays can be bent to match the curvature of the user’s back to provide a customized fit and more comfort and weight carrying capacity.

What’s Unique

The Mariposa Plus is easily the lightest durable internal frame backpack on the market in its size class. It’s also extremely versatile. With the stays and other components removed, its weight is competitive with many frameless backpacks on the market and it’s more comfortable to carry because of its wide padded shoulder straps.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Offer hipbelt pockets and a sternum strap pocket as an option or accessory
  • Switch to curved flat stays to achieve a more anatomical fit
  • Sew in the padding in the shoulder straps and hipbelt, and eliminate the Velcro closures
  • Move the sternum strap buckle to one side


"Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2007-09-12 03:00:00-06.


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Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW on 09/11/2007 20:32:12 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW

Ed Jones
(cowboy) - F
Mariposa Pack Review on 09/11/2007 23:48:43 MDT Print View

I have found that by removing the 2 stays, the pack fits my back more comfortably and I have no loss of weight distribution, even at 25# load range--The Bear Vault will fit vertically inside the pack as well, but it is tight. By storing gloves or socks in the shoulder straps, they are less likely to cut into my neck, and are more round in shape. Emergency items (credit card, DL) fit nicely in the small end of the strap pouch, but the velcro will snag the sock or glove. Overall--very high rating

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Can carry bear can outside but ... on 09/12/2007 00:17:27 MDT Print View

I've carried both the traditional Garcia bear can and a Bear Vault (BV200) on my Mariposa Plus, not just by putting them under the "Y" strap --- I wouldn't feel secure with that. One can purchase a cover for the Garcia, and using that, it can be sufficiently secured. I used an old Army sleeping bag cover for the Bear Vault, but anything that secures tightly to the can and then can be in turn really secured to the pack would work. In both cases I put the covered-can under the "Y" strap, but connected the "Y" strap to the cover.

My wife and I both use a pretty cheap after-market pouch we bought via Campmor on the waist belt --- we transitioned from ULA packs and agree that a waist pouch (or two) is/are nice.

The one minor issue I have is that I would like the chest strap to tighten more than it can; a little stitchery will likely fix that, I just haven't gotten around to it.

I definitely agree that this is a great pack.

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Mariposa Plus Comments on 09/12/2007 06:12:03 MDT Print View

I too had problems with the mesh pocket seams tearing. But other than that, I loved the pack during a two week trip earlier this summer. I found that my Thermarest Prolite 3 worked fine as long as it was completely deflated.

Grant at Gossamer Gear has indicated to me that they plan on offering accessory waistbelt pockets sometime this fall that can be attached to the existing waistbelts. That will help tremendously. During my hike, I swapped my ULA P2 waistbelt for the Plus waistbelt so I could have pockets.

Gregory Doggett
(Gregory) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Mariposa is plenty big for a bear canister on 09/12/2007 07:53:09 MDT Print View

When evaluating several packs for a JMT thru-hike I found I could load a BearVault vertically in my standard '06 Mariposa and still get a medium size Nano fabric stuff sack with clothing in it down one side of the pack and stuff my Patagonia Micropuff down the other side and around the front of the pack effectively padding the bear canister and protecting the silnylon pack fabric. This was while using a BMW Torsolite in the outside pad sleeves.
The '06 Mariposa is quite large enough for a bear canister.
I didn't get to do the JMT but my hiking buddy left Muir Trail Ranch with his bear canister and 9 days of food in his '06 Mariposa Plus.
So unless GG has significantly reduced the volume of the '07 Mariposa's, the will handle a bear canister just fine.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW on 09/12/2007 08:16:32 MDT Print View

Is the belt pocket included as show in this pic in the upper right:

I didn't see any reference of the belt pocket on the GG website.

Edited by fperkins on 09/12/2007 08:17:09 MDT.

Gregory Doggett
(Gregory) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
P.S. on 09/12/2007 08:54:48 MDT Print View

The pack I ended up choosing for the JMT hike was an '07 SMD Comet.
I could pack it the same way I did the Mariposa with a Gossamer Gear Nightlight pad cut to 36" and unrolled INSIDE the pack. The edges of the pad just barely touching each other. The Comet has a good bit more girth to it than the Mariposa.
The other factors that made me choose the Comet were the bendable aluminum stays because of their customizable fit, the "load lifter" straps because they pulled the top of the pack closer to my back and the way the hipbelt wrapped around my pelvis. Although these features added weight to the pack they made the percieved weight of the pack less, due to the improved fit.
Like Will I would say replacing the straight carbon fiber stays with curved ones, whatever the material, would be a big leap forward in the Mariposa's design.
Ditto on the velcroed shoulder and hip belt.
I used spare clothing as shoulder/hipbelt padding in my earliest GVP Gear packs but, after the novelty wore off, went back to using foam padding. Except with a thinner 1/4" thickness in the shoulder straps. All that daily ripping open, stuffing and unstuffing and restuffing became a real pain in the butt.
I like the Mariposa best as a frameless ultralite pack for 2 or 3 day winter camping where my gear is bulkier but the weight doesn't exceed 15 or so pounds.
The Mariposa is my wife's favorite pack, with a Prolite 4 short unrolled in the interior, the stays installed and a Nightlight sit pad in the exterior pad sleeve.
She really likes the extra volume so she can load her sleeping bag and any other high loft garmets unstuffed.
She doesn't notice the pack riding too far from her back due to the straight stays and when I pointed this out to her replied "NO! You are not buying me another pack!"
Sometimes stuff only bothers people after they learn that its supposed to.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Mariposa on 09/12/2007 09:03:09 MDT Print View

Had two different versions of this pack over the years. Think that this might be something that I might re-invest in. Great review too. The only complaint that I have with the pack is the shoulder straps. Otherwise the load carrying and comfort (sans straps) is quite nice. The size of the pack is perfect. Extra pockets make this a strong candidate for my next pack in the next few weeks

Daniel Richardson
(drichardson23) - F

Locale: Wasatch
edited on 09/12/2007 10:01:25 MDT Print View

This post has been corrected and removed.

Edited by drichardson23 on 09/12/2007 15:42:47 MDT.

Jeff Sharp
(tsjeffery) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
Updates/Corrections from Gossamer Gear on 09/12/2007 11:41:20 MDT Print View

Thanx for the great review Will. I just wanted to clarify and correct a few things I noticed in the review, as well as give an update on upcoming developments on things that Will pointed out were lacking in the current design/model.

It was stated in the review that the current Mariposa Plus has an internal map pocket. This is incorrect. We have been discussing putting something like a map pocket on the inside of the pack but we have not instituted that feature yet and don't have plans to in the near future.

In the caption under the picture of the G4, Mariposa Plus and Six Moon Designs Comet, it states that the specified volume of the G4 and the Plus are the same at 4200ci. This is also incorrect. If you check our website you will see that the volume of the G4 is specified as 4600ci (3100ci in the main pack body, 600ci in the extension collar and 900ci in the outside pockets).

We have been evaluating other stay options for the past year and are close to developing a new system. This won't be available until next Spring at the earliest.

We will be coming out with removable waist belt pockets and shoulder strap pockets in early to mid winter. The pockets won't be specific to Gossamer Gear packs and can be used on any backpack. The waist belt pockets will be offered in three sizes and the shoulder strap pockets in one size. The shoulder strap pockets will fit onto the shoulder strap with two velcro attachments, rather than attaching to the sternum strap. This will allow you to carry slightly more weight (more weight! horrors!) in them without compromising the function of the sternum strap.

We have chosen to stay with the removable waist belt and shoulder strap padding for the simple reason that the foam padding compresses over time and loses it's cushion. The velcro openings allows backpackers to replace the padding when this inevitably occurs.

Finally, as Will pointed out, the stitching issues around the top of the mesh pockets have been resolved. If anyone has a problem with the stitching coming loose, please send it back to us and we'll repair it at no charge.

Jessen Jacobsen
(SmokiesHanger) - F

Locale: Boulder
belt pockets on 09/12/2007 12:45:19 MDT Print View

So from my understanding, I could buy the Miniposa now and get the belt pockets later?

matthew murphy
(bern0416) - F

Locale: Texas
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus on 09/12/2007 12:47:40 MDT Print View

Great review. I love this pack as well. I have the 2006 version. I find it very versatile in regards to load weight carried and size of load carried.
I have have used with upwards of 30 pounds
in it and been comfortable.
I have used it with small light loads and was able to
cinch the pack tightly for a comfortable fit.

My brother used it to hike in to the Wetterhorn Peak basin
and then used it as his summit pack.
The materials held up very well, even during the descent
when the pack was scraping heavily along the two class 3 pitches.No tears in the ripstop.

The only problem I had was a stitching issue with the
hydration sleeve. My son was putting gear in the pack
and the hyadration sleeve tore free from the body and left a 5 inch rip through the ripstop. This was most likely a result of my son not paying attention and forcing something.It was an easy fix and the pack continues to serve me well.

Edited by bern0416 on 09/12/2007 13:05:45 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Mariposa on 09/12/2007 17:16:52 MDT Print View

Just bought one a minute ago. Ummm wife does not know though!! I wanted another pack for multi days with that volume. I use a Granite Gear Vapor Trail but this should get some extended work as well!

robert courson
(bertcourson) - M

Locale: lake michigan
my mariposa plus on 09/12/2007 17:56:06 MDT Print View

I hiked the SNP with the Mariposa + this past June. The low weight of the pack is all you need to know. To prevent "sweaty back I did not put anything in the area where you are supposed to put a pad of some sort. What I did was use some foam squares (really small) at the four points of contact: shoulders and hips. This allowed a breeze on my back some of the time! The hot back has always been a concern as I tend to backpack during the summer months. I am a teacher. I really like this pack and hope to be able to put some stays in it so the pack is closer at my shoulders. I have four packs and like this best, even over the Osprey Atmos, which is impossible for me to figure out how to carry a water bottle. later,

Jeff Sharp
(tsjeffery) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
Re: belt pockets on 09/13/2007 10:17:14 MDT Print View

That's correct.

Regarding stays that allow you to bend them to fit your back/torso, aluminum bar stock works the best. But it also adds the most weight out of all the materials we've tested. You can find aluminum bar stock at your local Home Depot or Lowe's.

Edited by tsjeffery on 09/13/2007 10:19:34 MDT.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW on 09/13/2007 13:11:31 MDT Print View

My experiences, including the mesh tearing at the edges of the elastic, totally mirror Will's conclusions in his excellent review. A few other things of note:

- I wrote this post about adding my own custom hipbelts to the Mariposa; in the field it worked great.
- My Mariposa's pad sleeves permanently stained a white (of course, it HAD to be white...grr...) Icebreaker wool top that I wore with it. Grant from Gossamer Gear reports that most of the units they ship have totally colorfast ink, but that a small number of users are reporting non-colorfastness on the pad sleeves. He chalked it up (having to take a guess) to sweat composition and individual biochemistry...unless I have acid for blood I'm not sure that's enough to make textile dyes run. He recommends soaking the pack to leach out the excess dye.

The backwards lean is, indeed, the pack's primary failing. However, it's really not that bad at 20 pounds or less (for me). It's a great pack, and despite its drawbacks (no product is perfect), it's perhaps my favorite backpack.

dave hollin
(backpackbrewer) - F

Locale: Deepest darkest Wales, boyo
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW on 09/14/2007 19:34:25 MDT Print View

agree about the carbon stays. I always remove mine as I find the rigidity with them in too uncomfortable. And in any case by taking them out it encourages you to be ruthless with the packing!

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
GG Mariposa + Carbon Stays on 09/14/2007 21:45:41 MDT Print View

How hard would it be to get a carbon fiber stay made that had some degree or bend built into it?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: GG Mariposa + Carbon Stays on 09/15/2007 00:37:00 MDT Print View


I'm just thinking out loud here...

Even if the carbon fiber stays were bendable, I really doubt they can maintain the shape of the pack's back -- given how thin they are. More likely, the two thin tubes will simply twist sideways... giving essentially zero effect.

A pair of bendable stays would need to be flat -- and also wide and strong enough to force the pack's back to conform to the shape of the stays when everything is cinched tight. I think that will be adding a lot of weight to the pack.

If one wants a real frame to add some form and rigidity to the pack -- but not 100% straight up -- then a partial HDPE framesheet plus peripheral fiberglass hoops used by some pack makers may be a better answer then slipping in two metal stays in the middle. Again, just thinking out loud.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Re: GG Mariposa + Carbon Stays on 09/15/2007 04:51:46 MDT Print View

If anyone remembers, theres a post of the condensation tents article, about using the BD light sabre poles as stays for SMD starlite.