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Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW

Removable carbon fiber stays make it the lightest and most versatile internal frame backpack in its size class, but curved stays would markedly improve its fit and comfort.

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The Miniposa is a smaller version of the Mariposa. Its volume is just right for ultralight backpacking, and it’s very comfy to carry because of its wide padded shoulder straps and hipbelt (with foam pads inserted).

However, the Miniposa inherits some features that are getting a bit outdated. The removable carbon fiber stays (arrow shafts) couldn’t be lighter, but we have come to realize that their straight, unbendable shape is less than ideal. It’s time to develop some really lightweight stays that can be bent to match the curvature of the user’s back, or at least some that are pre-bent. This would markedly improve the pack’s fit, comfort, and load carrying capacity. The same sentiment applies to the pockets in the pack’s shoulder straps and hipbelt - what percentage of hikers actually stuffs the pockets with clothing? The foam padding provided (0.8 ounce total) is so light it simply makes sense to sew it in and eliminate the pockets and their Velcro closures. With the upgrades discussed above, and the recent availability of removable hipbelt pockets, the Miniposa will be a strong contender for our Highly Recommended rating.

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by Will Rietveld |

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 1
The Gossamer Gear Miniposa is a smaller version of the popular Mariposa.

Introduction

The Gossamer Gear Mariposa pack, introduced in 2004, has become very popular with ultralight backpackers because of the versatility offered by its removable carbon fiber stays. However, many hikers gave feedback that the Mariposa had too much volume (4200 cubic inches) for the average ultralight backpacking trip. In response, Gossamer Gear introduced the Miniposa in spring 2007, a smaller version at 3300 cubic inches. Is it right on target for ultralight backpacking?

What’s Good

  • Highly versatile; can be used as either a frameless or internal frame backpack
  • Removable stays and sternum strap
  • Wide padded shoulder straps and hipbelt
  • Sleeping pad doubles as backpanel padding
  • Very high volume to weight ratio
  • Very high carry load to pack weight ratio
  • Large capacity front and side mesh pockets
  • Comfortably carries 20 to 25 pound loads (with stays)

What’s Not So Good

  • Stays are not bendable for a custom fit
  • Excess dye in pad sleeve stains clothing

Specifications

  Year/Model

2007 Gossamer Gear Miniposa

  Style

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

  Volume

3300 ci (54 L) total; main body 2320 ci, pockets 500 ci, extension collar 480 ci (38 + 8 + 8 L)

  Weight

1 lb 2.6 oz (527 g) measured weight with stays and supplied padding; pack 16.6 oz (471 g), stays 0.9 oz (26 g), shoulder strap padding 0.5 oz (14 g), hipbelt padding 0.3 oz (9 g); manufacturer specification 1 lb 1.4 oz (493 g) with stays and padding

  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)

  Fabrics

Body is 30d 1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon, stress and abrasion areas are reinforced with 210d 4 oz/yd2 (118 g/m2) polyurethane coated ripstop nylon

  Features

Wide shoulder straps, removable padding in shoulder straps and hipbelt, removable carbon fiber stays, 8.5 inch extension collar, drawcord closure, Y-strap top compression, backpanel sleeping pad sleeve, one large front and three large side mesh pockets, map pocket inside, front or side bungee attachment/compression system, interior hydration sleeve with two hose ports, one ice axe loop, removable sternum strap with whistle, haul loop

  Volume To Weight Ratio

177.4 ci/oz with stays (based on 3300 ci and measured weight of 18.6 oz), 186.4 without stays (based on 3300 ci and measured weight of 17.7 oz)

  Comfortable Load Carrying Capacity

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

  Carry Load to Pack Weight Ratio

21.6 with stays (based on 25 lb and a measured weight of 1.16 lb)

  MSRP

$135 US

  Options

Removable hipbelt pockets, three sizes, $11/each.

Performance

The Miniposa is made of silnylon and is basically identical to the Mariposa except it is 900 cubic inches smaller in volume. The volume was taken out of the main body (6 inches thick versus 7.5 inches) and the extension collar (8.5 inches long versus 11 inches). The other dimensions and components are the same. The Mariposa and Miniposa have a fixed hipbelt, which is shorter on their new size Small pack. Only the Mariposa Plus has a removable hipbelt available in different sizes.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 2
Views of the Gossamer Gear Miniposa. 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 pack comes with a sternum strap, to which I added a removable pocket as shown; the camera case on the hipbelt is also my addition). 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 total. They are very easy to remove and replace, and have rounded aluminum caps to prevent them from puncturing the fabric. Although they are very light, they are also very straight and are not bendable to fit the curvature of the user’s back. More on this in the Field Testing section.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 3
The Miniposa’s frame (left) consists of two straight carbon fiber rods that slip into durable sleeves inside the pack. The two stays weigh just 0.9 ounce. Shoulder straps (right) are 3.5 inches wide with 3D wicking mesh on the underside.

The suspension system consists of 3.5-inch wide shoulder straps and hipbelt with 3D spacer mesh on the underside, and a backpanel pad sleeve into which a sleeping pad is inserted to serve as a padded backpanel and pack stiffener. The shoulder straps and hipbelt have openings (with Velcro closures) to insert either articles of clothing (e.g. socks) or provided 3-inch wide, ½-inch thick closed-cell pads. The pack does not have load lifter straps or hipbelt stabilizer straps.

Features and Utility

The Miniposa has an essential set of features tailored to meet the needs of the ultralight backpacker. The outside of the pack is covered with four large mesh pockets (500 cubic inches total) capable of holding a lot of gear and keeping it readily accessible on the trail, virtually eliminating the need to enter the main body of the pack during the day. Each pocket has an elastic binding at the top to keep things from falling out, and heavier ripstop nylon at the bottom for durability. The lower right mesh pocket is designed to make a water bottle reachable without taking the pack off.

One pack feature listed on the Gossamer Gear website is a “Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)”, which sounds like an internal security pocket to me, but is actually the lower mesh pocket. Gossamer Gear provides a length of elastic cord and cordlocks with the pack (0.4 ounce) to create a bungee attachment/compression system for the front of the pack or the two sides, using loops provided.

Several components (stays, shoulder strap and hipbelt padding, and sternum strap) are removable, so the pack can be stripped down to a frameless backpack weighing about 16 ounces. However, I personally would not want to part with the shoulder strap and hipbelt padding and the sternum strap, so the frameless pack minimum weight sans stays would be 17.7 ounces.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 4
Notable features on the Miniposa. A Y-strap on top (left) is designed to hold a bear canister (or other gear) on top of the pack. The backpanel has a sleeve to hold a sleeping pad (middle), which creates a padded backpanel and pack stiffener if a closed cell pad is used. It also makes the pad handy to use as a sitting pad. A water bottle in the lower right mesh pocket (right) is reachable without taking the pack off.

Gossamer Gear’s removable hipbelt pockets were not yet available when I field tested the Miniposa, but they were announced as this review was waiting to be published, so I was able to obtain a set and include them in the review. They are made of durable 210 denier nylon ripstop, come in three sizes, and weigh 0.6 to 0.8 ounce per pocket. They fit all Gossamer Gear packs, as well as many packs by other manufacturers. I tried one on a 2006 Osprey Aether 60 and the attachment loops stretched to fit the 4.5 inch wide hipbelt. Gossamer Gear also has a shoulder strap pocket in development. The pockets are not waterproof. I personally like a pocket on the sternum strap to keep my topo map handy, and hope that Gossamer Gear will make one available. To accommodate it, the sternum strap would need to connect at one side rather than in the middle.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 5
Gossamer Gear’s new removable hipbelt pockets are available in three sizes (left). The backside (right) has two elastic straps that wrap around the hipbelt, plus a small Velcro loop tab that secures it in the Velcro closure for the hipbelt padding on any Gossamer Gear hipbelt.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 6
Gossamer Gear hipbelt pockets on the Miniposa pack (center photo). The left pocket is size Small and the right one is size Large. The Small pocket (left photo) has plenty of room for a compact digital camera and some foam padding. The size Large pocket will hold a lot of frequently needed items; the contents of the filled pocket in the center photo are laid out in the right photo (wool cap, lightweight gloves, bandana, lip balm, sunscreen, chemical water treatment kit, and energy bars).

The pack body is large enough to hold a bear canister lengthwise, but it takes up a lot of the available volume. The pack’s Y-strap is designed to hold a canister on top of the pack, and the strap is extra long for that purpose. In use without a bear canister, the Y-strap is a bit cumbersome compared to a single top strap, especially with smaller loads, because of its extra length and tendency to get twists in it.

Although an internal hydration sleeve (with two hose ports) is provided, I find it more convenient to carry a Platypus 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 Miniposa on a number of ultralight summer backpacking trips carrying loads ranging from 14 to 22 pounds. On each trip I assessed the Miniposa’s comfort with and without the stays. The stays help to transfer weight to my hips, so I prefer to use them when pack weight was over about 17 pounds (your preference will depend on your body size and strength). Because the stays are straight and unbendable, the top of the pack tends to lean back somewhat. Tightening the shoulder straps pulls the pack in toward the shoulders some, but places more weight on the shoulders and compresses the shoulders, which becomes uncomfortable after awhile.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 7
A trick I used on a standard Mariposa pack to overcome the straight stay issue is to fold my TorsoLite pad so its 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.

Without the stays, and using an inflatable pad in the pad sleeve, the pack conformed to my back better, and was quite comfortable to carry with a lighter load. Its wide padded shoulder straps and hipbelt allow this pack, with or without the stays, to carry a load very comfortably. It’s definitely more comfortable than most frameless backpacks with similar loads.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 8
For lighter loads, I prefer to use the Miniposa without stays. It fits better and is more comfortable to carry. The photos show it being used as a day pack (left) with about 8 pounds, and as a backpack (right) with 17 pounds.

I tested the Miniposa with several different sleeping pads, 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 and weight. A folded ¾-length RidgeRest provides a lot of stiffness, but its 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 Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 9
The type and thickness of sleeping pad in the pad sleeve makes a difference. An inflatable pad such as the Therm-a-Rest Prolite 3 Short (left) provides good padding but does not stiffen the pack for weight transfer. The Gossamer Gear NightLight (right) is ideal for both padding and stiffness. However, a Ridge-Rest ¾ (center) is too thick, and pushes the pack’s center of gravity outward.

The Miniposa is designed with openings in the shoulder straps and hipbelt to insert extra clothing (socks, etc.) for padding. I found the technique cumbersome and time-consuming, and socks and fleece catch on the Velcro closure. Gossamer Gear provides a set of four foam pads to insert in the pockets instead of clothing. The shoulder strap pads weigh just 0.5-ounce and the hipbelt pads weigh 0.3 ounce (that’s a total of 0.8 ounce for all four pads). My opinion is that Gossamer Gear should sew in the pads and be done with it, eliminating the weight of the Velcro closures.

On their website, Gossamer Gear notes that the mesh used for the sleeping pad sleeve on some packs has been reported to stain clothing, and they recommend giving it a good soaking before using the pack. I encountered the problem, and it was a major annoyance. Sweat from hiking caused the dye to migrate from the pad sleeve to the back of my shirt and pants (see photo below), leaving a stain that did not come out by laundering. I found the dye difficult to remove; I scrubbed the mesh on three separate occasions in hot water with laundry detergent to finally get it out. Gossamer Gear also notes that stitching on the mesh pockets may unravel, and offer to repair existing packs at no charge. They plan to remedy both problems in the next production run.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 10
On their website, Gossamer Gear has an advisory about residual dye in the sleeping pad sleeve staining clothing. I found it to be a serious problem; the dye permanently stained the back of several hiking pants, shorts, and shirts.

Although the Miniposa is made of 1.3 ounces/square yard silnylon and mesh, I found it to be adequately durable with reasonable care. In my off-trail wanderings, I frequently bushwhacked through willow thickets and heavy forest cover, with no damage to the pack. The mesh used for the outside pockets is remarkably durable for its weight. Also, I had no problems with the stays slipping out of or wearing through their pockets. For hikers who are tough on their gear, or hike where there are sticker bushes, Gossamer Gear may offer the Miniposa in a heavier fabric (similar to the Mariposa Plus) in 2008.

Assessment

Although the Miniposa is a new pack model, its straight carbon fiber stays (arrow shafts) are a carryover from the Mariposa. Back in 2004 we were impressed with their miniscule weight and ability to support a heavier load. However, they are not bendable to fit the curvature of the user’s back, and in fact cause the top of the pack to lean backward. Bendable stays that can shaped to achieve an anatomical fit would be a marked improvement for the Miniposa (and Mariposa). The improved fit and comfort would be well worth the extra weight. Switching to flat aluminum stays would be an easy fix, but it would add about 3.5 ounces to the weight of the pack. Wouldn’t it be nice if Gossamer Gear, a leader in ultralight backpacking gear, developed some bendable (or at least curved) stays with little or no increase in weight?

The continued use of shoulder strap and hipbelt pockets to insert clothing for padding is also beyond its heyday. The technique does save a little weight, but it’s a pain in the butt. Since the alternative foam pads supplied with the pack weigh a total of 0.8 ounce, why not sew in the pads and save the weight and manufacturing cost of the Velcro openings?

The Miniposa is in a class by itself as a superlight, small volume (3300 cubic inches), removable internal frame backpack. The only comparable backpacks with removable stays on the market are the Six Moon Designs Comet and Starlite packs, and the Gossamer Gear Mariposa packs, but they are all larger volume (3700-4200 cubic inches). The Six Moon Designs’ flat aluminum stays are easily bent to the curvature of the user’s back, resulting in noticeably better fit and comfort. SMD packs also have a removable hipbelt with available pockets, and are made of durable Dyneema fabric. However, they weigh 8-11 ounces more.

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW - 11
The Gossamer Gear Miniposa is in a class by itself - an ultralight, low volume backpack with removable stays. The Miniposa (center) is distinctly smaller than the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus (left) and the Six Moon Designs Comet (right).

Overall, the Gossamer Gear Miniposa and Mariposa are the lightest and most versatile convertible packs around. Their removable stays allow one pack to serve as either an ultralight frameless or internal frame backpack. In frameless mode, the Miniposa is very comfortable owing to its wide padded shoulder straps and hipbelt. With the stays in, its comfortable weight carrying capacity is extended to about 25 pounds. If your total pack weight is normally in the 15 to 25 pound range, consider getting the Gossamer Gear Miniposa (or Mariposa) instead of a frameless backpack or an internal frame pack meant for carrying heavier loads.

What’s Unique

Because of its removable carbon fiber stays, the Miniposa is easily the lightest 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 comparable with many ultralight frameless backpacks on the market and it’s very comfortable to carry because of its wide padded shoulder straps. With the stays in, this 18.6 ounce backpack is capable of carrying 25 pounds.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Switch to curved flat stays to achieve a more anatomical fit
  • Sew the foam padding into the shoulder straps and hipbelt, and eliminate the Velcro closures
  • Move the sternum strap buckle to one side to allow use of a sternum pocket
  • Source a colorfast mesh for the pad sleeve

Citation

"Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/gossamer_gear_miniposa_backpack_review.html, 2007-11-28 02:00:00-07.

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

Locale: South Texas
Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW on 11/27/2007 23:25:47 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW on 11/28/2007 02:52:35 MST Print View

A month ago I ordered both the Miniposa and the Mariposa Plus. I found that the carbon fibre stays made for an uncomfortable fit, so I cut some 4th inch strips of bamboo and inserted them instead into the stay sleeves. A huge improvement and only a fraction heavier. They are strong and tough, but carry the weight. Best of all they bend with my back and their flat form makes them much more comfortable against my back when I am not using a pad in the pad sleeves. If I sand down the edges they are smooth and don't cut at the sleeve material. And they're very cheap. Give it a try and see what you think!

Edited by butuki on 11/28/2007 02:53:20 MST.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Bamboo Stays - Clever!! on 11/28/2007 06:31:13 MST Print View

Hey Miguel,
I knew our resourceful readers would come through with some good suggestions for bendable stays, but bamboo was outside of my mindset. What a clever idea! Bamboo is strong and light, and inexpensive; it may be the perfect stay material. One possible problem though is that the bend may "set" if the bamboo gets wet. Gossamer Gear has experimented with curved round stays, and there was a problem with them wanting to turn in the stay sleeves, so a headrail was required to hold them in the right position. Thanks for your ideas. Best, Will.

Paul Salmon
(PaulSalmon) - F
Miniposa carbon stays. on 11/28/2007 07:05:26 MST Print View

I have been using the Miniposa with the carbon stays, or rather arrow shafts, as GVP tells us in the DVD, and found the pack to ride high on the shoulders, but also sit perfectly on the hips. Very comfortable for heavier loads, but today I just did a 10 mile hike, without the poles, and was very happy, and my shoulders feel fine. So, all in all, it seems that with the Miniposa, we have a choice.
Great pack.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW on 11/28/2007 07:15:51 MST Print View

How long are the stays? One can order two 24" backpack stays from sixmoondesigns.com for between $10-$15. They are made of aluminum and have a slight curve met for the human back. The starlight pack is what the stays are aimed at and the stays are not required to be bought with the purchase, one can purchase the pack without the stays and then later purchase the stays. I have ordered the stays for a friend's vapor trail pack too.

Paul Salmon
(PaulSalmon) - F
Miniposa carbon stays. on 11/28/2007 08:08:05 MST Print View

The stays are 55cm in length.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Re: Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW on 11/28/2007 13:58:12 MST Print View

So we are getting clever about the stay problem that Will Rietveld has mentioned several times in his reviews of these stellar packs. I guess the question is will the six moon bendable stays fit the Miniposa (or the Mariposa, for that matter) and will they shift or tend to turn if inserted. Seems a simple fix that one wonders why GG hasn't done this before now or offered the two choices to buyers. One for the true ultralight geek and the other for the not so geeked out ultralighter. Any thoughts, Will?

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Great pack on 11/28/2007 14:13:32 MST Print View

Along with Grant Sible I was a tester for the prototypes of this pack... The prototypes did not have the stays nor stay pockets... My recommendations were that packs designed for loads at or below 20 pounds, with occasional food surges to say 25 pounds, really do not need internal frames... But it is nice that GG include them, thus giving customers their choice.

Personally I substituted the GG pads for similiar pads cut from the 1/8 GG thin and light pads... works great and cut the pad weight by just over 50 %.

The pad access pockets are handy for another reason.... My long handles Ti Spoon goes in one, down to the bottom, out of the way and a clean area... The other side gets two ti stakes in a small plastic baggie....no risk of peg dammage to gear in the pack... Plus as noted above,it still gives the customer the option to use or loose the original foam.

I've used this pack on several trips with loads up to 20-21 pounds...A great performer... really nice to keep the weight of the carry close to the body.

Pan

Jeff Sharp
(tsjeffery) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
Clarifications on 11/28/2007 14:53:23 MST Print View

I am still surprised by the number of "personal opinions" that show up in BPL reviews. While comments like this are great for the BPL forums, do they really belong in a supposedly objective review of the functionality of a product? At the risk of sounding like I'm comparing BPL with Consumer Reports (which I'm not), would Consumer Reports have the excellent reputation they have by stating what is liked and disliked about a product in a review of the facts of a product? I guess the answer would still be an "opinion". ;-)

Case in point, the velcro closures on the shoulder straps and hip belt in now way affect the function of the shoulder straps, hip belt or pack. They are, as Will points out, annoyances to him. But how does that serve a reader of a review? If you don't like using clothing or other articles in the shoulder strap and hip belt, then simply place the foam in them and you never have to open the velcro closures if you don't wish to. The closures are not outdated, as they provide flexibility to the user by allowing the practice of "multi-use gear", which is a tenet of Ultralight Backpacking. Just because one person uses the foam exclusively in the pockets doesn't mean it's a wise decision for us to sew the foam in permanently. There are still others who like the flexibility of opening the pockets. We've had people tell us they use the shoulder strap and hip belt openings to store things such as their driver's license, car key or cash in the belt and straps (such as Jack's post above). Again, multi-use gear. Our new Hip Belt Pockets were engineered to utilize the velcro closure in order to keep them from sliding around on the hip belt as you take the pack on and off, and it works quite well I might add. This allows the pockets to be very functional on our packs, while still allowing the flexibility to remove them and use them on other packs or even inside your pack as a storage compartment (Will, you now have the internal map pocket you so desperately desire. Just attach one of the hip belt pockets to the inside of the pack. How? By using a DIY method, which is another tenet of Ultralight Backpacking).

I just don't see why it would annoy someone to insert the foam into the pocket and then forget about it, if you don't wish to use clothing. In my opinion (this is a forum, not a review), a person reading this review who is new to ultralight backpacking (and not as saavy as most folks here) and trying to make a decision on a pack, might believe that you MUST use clothing in the hip belt and shoulder straps, which according to the review is outdated and annoying. But that's simply not the case. Nowhere in the review does it state that if you don't wish to do this, then just insert the foam and you never have to worry with it again if you don't want to.

Furthermore, the weight savings of eliminating the velcro closures is approximately one ounce. Hardly a weight penalty for the flexibility they provide. There are no manufacturing costs for this feature. Removing them wouldn't affect the manufacturing cost at all.

As an aside, foam does compress and flatten out over time. Again, we provide flexibility by allowing the foam to be replaced when it does wear out, rather than the pack becoming using useless or uncomfortable to wear.

Regarding the “Small map/permit/sundries pocket (right side)”, does a reader of the review really need to know how one person interprets that feature? Nowhere on our website does it state that this pocket is internal. However, in the Specifications grid in the review, this pocket is listed as "map pocket inside", as one of the Features. Wishful thinking, I presume.

The shoulder strap pocket in development that is mentioned in the review is just that; a shoulder strap pocket. It won't be a sternum strap pocket, nor do I foresee us making one in the near future.

As a clarification to your forum post, Will, we have not tested with curved round stays nor have we found that a headrail was needed. They are still in development. There seems to be some misunderstanding on this point, which was clarified in the companion forum to the recent Mariposa Plus review.

The mesh we use on our pad holder on the back panel is colorfast. The manufacturer has stood by their claims of it being colorfast and by their wash tests showing no excess dye running off of the mesh. We are at a loss to explain why this seems to happen to less than 1% of our packs. I have personally worn at least 8 to 10 different Gossamer Gear packs and have never experienced this issue. We are looking at other fabrics and other pad pocket designs.

The mesh pocket stitching issue has been resolved and is no longer a problem.

Mitchell,
This is from our website: "Gossamer Gear exists to make the lightest backpacking equipment solutions on the planet available to like-minded hikers." "Our goal is to be "lightest in class" in the equipment we carry, and to preserve the "ultra" in "ultralight"."

The "true ultralight geek" is our core customer. We are, however, starting to meet the needs of the "transitional" hiker by adding options and/or producing gear that is a little heavier. It's been stated on BPL forums before that we have been testing with various removable stay options that are curved and bendable but we haven't found the correct solution yet. When that happens, they will be available to geeks and transitionals alike. In the future, if you have a question regarding our motives, decisions and/or future direction, please email us directly and we'll gladly respond. That is much better than speculating and generating assumptions, IMHO. ;-)

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Clarifications on 11/28/2007 17:44:25 MST Print View

Wow! did someone have too much coffee today!
Jeff, my comment about the stays was and is nothing more than an observation about the stays you do use and the creative ingenuity which most of us bring to owning and using lightweight and ultra-lightweight gear. Most of us have adapted and modified at least one piece of gear we currently own to meet a perceived need or vision. We also do a lot of speculating both good and bad about gear. Read any review on this site and the forum posts are uniformly of this type. We tell others of our use of the reviewed item, and we tell others of the changes we anticipate making or have made to the gear on review.

Most of Will's subjective comments are clearly and obviously subjective. He does not hide what he likes and dislikes not does he waffle about design improvements he would like to see. That is by its very nature a subjective issue. A review is a personal reaction to something framed by experience and knowledge and presented as such. You may not agree that some of the features of your pack are "old school" but someone else and maybe more than just a few may feel otherwise. If you disagree with that point then a forum post stating you don't think it is "out moded" would have been appropriate. But asking Will or any of us to not make that kind of comment is out of bounds.

Back to the stays issue. It has been observed that more than a few see the carbon rods as a problem. Glad to see that you are looking at options that may include a flexible stay. Some of us are clearly not going to wait for your solution and will create their own adaptations, including bamboo. Someone is going to find a way to address this issue successfully and that person will share it with the rest of us and many will then adopt that solution. And you may learn a thing or two in the process from these adaptations. Would you want to stop that evolutionary process?

You make great products. They can be improved and sometimes that comes from outside your company.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Clarifications on 11/28/2007 19:26:34 MST Print View

Jeff - Speaking as a happy Mariposa owner and long term Gossamer Gear customer, you need to lighten up. The review wasn't out of bounds and as a paid subscriber to BPL I look for subjective assessments from experienced reviewers as well as purely factual data.

Edited by dillonr on 11/28/2007 19:27:34 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Clarifications on 11/28/2007 19:30:18 MST Print View

It's always a bad idea for the manufacturer to come on a board and get defensive about their gear.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Clarifications on 11/28/2007 21:09:15 MST Print View

Yep,

doesnt look good like that.

Jeff, I would see the comments as positives rather than negatives. Everyone on BPL knows and respects the GG gear for what its worth. But nothing is perfect. I've yet to see a gear review yet that doesn't point out something that the reviewer would like to see ommitted/changed/reviewed/altered/added in some way. And while alot of these things are personal preferences...the reviewers on BPL are trying to make a subjective interpretation that they feel will be useful to the BPL community.

Probably would have been better if you acknowledged the problems and mentioned; like you did with the stays, that you are working on them. Everyone respects that.

Shahrin Bin Shariff
(zzmelayu) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Table Mountain
Re: Clarifications on 11/28/2007 22:53:30 MST Print View

If you don't like using clothing or other articles in the shoulder strap and hip belt, then simply place the foam in them and you never have to open the velcro closures if you don't wish to. The closures are not outdated, as they provide flexibility to the user by allowing the practice of "multi-use gear", which is a tenet of Ultralight Backpacking.

I agree. I bought 2 packs and love the option. My wife prefers the GG foam. I prefer to insert my heavy-duty Smartwool (skiing) sleep socks. I wrap the socks in light-duty garbage bags to keep them dry and to avoid being annoyed by the velcro.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Clarifications on 11/29/2007 06:34:46 MST Print View

While I'm not trying to stir the pot here, I think Jeff's comments are a welcome addition to the thread for someone (like me) who has never used this pack. Perhaps, to some, the comments could have been worded differently. I think the post shows that he takes pride in his work - I'm assuming he owns/works GG?
Pushing the padding pocket issue aside (minor issue IMO), a concern I have would be the pack staining my clothes. Given the nature of how most of us treat our gear (like newborns), and the price of some of it, this would be unacceptable to "me".

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/29/2007 06:35:30 MST.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
stains on 11/29/2007 07:18:32 MST Print View

I love my Miniposa; it was a great pack for a hot, hot week in Hells Canyon, Oregon when I carried 25 pounds (much of it water). The pack did stain my brand new $65 Railriders shirt badly in only a couple of hours; I was not too happy about that. I am wearing the shirt in my avatar picture, and the back of the white shirt is really bad. Other than the staining, the pack is fantastic.

Edited by gungadin on 11/29/2007 07:20:36 MST.

Dave Heiss
(DaveHeiss) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Fabric staining on 11/29/2007 16:25:27 MST Print View

I don't think the Mariposa line is the only pack out there that's responsible for staining a hiker's shirt or pants. I for one have a Granite Gear pack with the Vapor suspension and the shoulder straps have really stained my nylon shirt and pants. Perhaps I'm one of the lucky few with odd body chemistry (hmmm, I feel normal), but trust me - it's not just Gossamer Gear's problem.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Fabric staining on 11/29/2007 17:45:23 MST Print View

I have a red Patagonia Friction belt that stained my pants in the back. The fact that I sweat a lot probably didn't help at all. Fortunately I always wear the belt when I wear the pants so its not noticeable until I pull the belt out to wash them. But yea, its definitely not just a GG problem.

Adam

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
Don't change your style Will on 11/29/2007 19:43:54 MST Print View

Will is the best reviewer on this site. His articles were a major reason I renewed my subscription.

Jeff Sharp
(tsjeffery) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge
clarifying the clarifications on 11/30/2007 11:36:44 MST Print View

I was attempting to bring to light an issue that has been discussed on these forums before. The pad pocket issue itself was not the point of the post. Thanx to those who got that. I, for one, pay a membership fee to read unbiased, factually accurate reviews and articles, filled with lots of technical data, about ultralight gear. Or so I thought. I was voicing my frustration and wondered if others shared in that. The only reason I chose this particular review/forum to do that, which may look suspect to some, was because I am intimately familiar with this product since I helped produce and test it and I could see both sides of the coin. I would expect to see certain types of comments in this review in the other sections of this site, such as the Gear Forums (i.e. Ron Bell's wish-list post a few weeks ago) or Reader Reviews section or maybe on retailer websites that allows customers to post reviews about products they've purchased, but not here. I guess I hold the BPL review staff to a higher standard and maybe that's wrong.

The other point to my post was to correct some inaccuracies and provide further information so that people reading this would be better informed. That's the reason this site exists, right? I don't need to defend this or any other piece of gear that we or anyone else makes. Gear speaks for itself and says different things to different people. To some it says, "I'm your new best friend" and to others it says, "We're not a good match. You should look elsewhere". But that ultimately comes from the gear itself and not from anyone's comments.

(Disclaimer: I don't drink coffee nor do I condone its excessive use while sitting behind a keyboard or while operating heavy machinery.)