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Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

The Gorilla is a refined internal frame or frameless pack - the outcome of years of ultralight backpack evolution.

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by Will Rietveld | 2009-07-24 00:07:00-06

Editor's Note: Backpacking Light is including new products from small online businesses in our Outdoor Retailer coverage. Most can't afford a booth at OR, but their new products are just as important to our readers as those from the big companies.

Technically, Gossamer Gear has already introduced the Gorilla pack, but supplies have been limited, until now. The Gorilla pack has a removable frame, so it can be used either frameless or internal frame. It's sized for ultralight backpacking at 2800 cubic inches and is both durable and light. With the Gorilla, Gossamer Gear is introducing their new curved tubular aluminum frame (3.4 ounces), which can be retrofitted to the Mariposa Plus pack. Another nice feature is its removable hipbelt and sternum strap. The Gorilla pack is available in three sizes, and three hipbelt sizes are also available.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008) - 1
The Gossamer Gear Gorilla is a durable pack for ultralight backpacking (or day hiking). It has a removable aluminum frame, weighs just 23.2 ounces (size M), and costs $165.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 2
The pack body is made of durable 210 denier urethane-coated double wall ripstop nylon.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 3
Front and side pockets of power stretch nylon, which is much more durable than previous mesh used in Gossamer Gear packs.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 4
Gossamer Gear's new curved stay slips into two sleeves on the inside of the backpanel and makes a huge difference in the pack's fit compared to the old straight stays.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 7
There are two mesh compression straps on the sides of the pack, plus a top compression strap.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 6
The shoulder straps on the Gorilla (and other Gossamer Gear packs) are a full 3+ inches wide; the underside of the straps is padded with 3D mesh.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 5
A pad sleeve on the backpanel is made of 3D wicking mesh. Gossamer Gear supplies a SitLight pad for the sleeve, which pads the backpanel.

Overall, the Gorilla shows the outcome of a lot of evolution in ultralight backpacks. Earlier packs were constructed of much lighter fabrics and mesh and had a limited lifespan as a result. Pack manufacturers have found that going to heavier fabrics and mesh do not add that much to a pack's weight, but they add a huge increment of durability and longevity. The Gorilla is a very refined pack, showing the outcome of this evolution. This could easily become my favorite backpack; look for an upcoming review in Backpacking Light.

Specifications and Features


Gossamer Gear (


Gorilla Backpack


Removable stays allows use as a frameless or internal frame pack


2800 ci total, including pockets and extension collar


23.2 oz (size M)




210d PU-coated nylon ripstop body; power stretch nylon pockets
3D mesh shoulder straps, pad sleeve, and hipbelt, anatomically curved aluminum stay unit


Large mesh front pocket, two mesh side pockets, extension collar, drawcord and rolltop closure with top compression strap, two side compression straps, sleeping pad serves as padded backpanel, removable sternum strap with whistle, removable hipbelt, three hipbelt sizes available, removable foam inserts for shoulder straps and hip belts, hydration bladder pocket with dual drinking tube ports, haul loop, ice axe loop




"Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)," by Will Rietveld. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2009-07-24 00:07:00-06.


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Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)
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Richard Perlman
(montclair) - MLife

Locale: Metro NY
Re: Gorilla Backpack on 08/11/2009 11:41:08 MDT Print View

>>I thought about getting one, but as a hammocker I don't use pads.<<

Not even a "sit pad"?

I'm a hammocker and carry an ULA P-1 with a piece of blue foam as a frame sheet. It doubles as a sit pad and "stand pad" under my hammock.

It would be nice, however, to have it on the outside, like the GG packs, for easy accessibility on short breaks.