November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Reader Reviews

Add your own review

Gossamer Gear Gorilla

in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
4.89 / 5 (9 reviews)

Display Avatars Sort By:
Ed Barkowski
( edbarkowski )
Gossamer Gear Gorilla on 02/06/2009 20:09:52 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

After putting a few low-mileage days on this pack, I'm in love. As described, it hugs the back well and "athletically", granting the upper body full range of motion and eliminating bounce. The fabric is robust and burly without being heavy.

Though I haven't given it enough abuse to tell, I know already that I won't have to treat this pack like a lady. It can take it. Can't wait to take it out tomorrow for some bigger miles.

The Gorilla will, without a doubt, be on my back for this year's AT thru-hike.

Shop Gorilla products at GearBuyer
Adam Frizzell
( adamf )

Smart design and tough! on 12/21/2009 10:38:47 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My Gorilla was one of a few packs in this size range I ordered to try out. I have to say it is one of the smarter designs I've seen and is really well built. The fabric is tough, and I don't expect any issues when bushwacking or hiking through dense woods.
In my opinion, the Gorilla is a perfect example of a pack one should consider when just starting out with ultralight backpacking. It's not as light as some of it's contemporaries but is a great "starter" UL pack. I say this because it's very durable, fairly light (mine weighs 24.35 oz. in Large with Med hip belt) and has a minimal aluminum stay to act as pack frame. I'll continue to use it for when I need a more durable pack or when my pack weight will be higher than normal (i.e. - carrying extra water, etc.). I also really liked the fillable hip belt and shoulder straps. A pair of Smartwool hiking socks fit the hipbelt perfectly and a pair of Integral Designs Hotsocks fit the shoulder straps like they were made for them! Never had any issues with precip or sweat dampening the socks inside.
A fantastic pack!

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
SmartWool Hiking Socks - Women's priced at: $17.95
SmartWool Hiking Socks - Kid's priced at: $10.95 - $11.99
Mike Feldman
( MikeF )

Great pack on 02/03/2010 16:01:45 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Gorilla last year replaced a ULA Conduit( older model) which I liked. I really like the fit,the hipbelt, the mesh pockets, and the frameless or w/stay's option. So far have used it on 1-2-3 night trips in SE mountains during fall, and spring; and dead of winter in NW Florida.. Usually carry TT Rainbow, with either Marmot Hydrogen bag, or one of several Tim Marshall made 3/4 length quilts w/BMW synthetic pullover. Have used the Gorilla w/consumables and Kit at about 20-25 lbs. wht..

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Marmot Hydrogen priced at: $279.20 - $348.95
Shop Gorilla, Marshall products at GearBuyer
Colin Sproule
( cawlin )

The Rockies
The Awesome. on 03/12/2010 03:36:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I used the Gorilla for a 2 month backpacking trip and I am thoroughly impressed! Aside from trips between hostels I took it on hikes up to 5 days.

I love the wide shoulder straps and the size/fit was excellent for my slim body type. The hip belt is comfortable and the inner stay really makes a difference if you pack carefully.

My bag took an extreme beating when I wasn't in the bush. It was constantly thrown in and out of busses and filled to the brim a few times during grocery trips. I am amazed how well the stitching and especially the mesh has held up.

The mesh pockets are amazing and add a really great level of packing flexibility. The side pockets are just the right size for a 2 liter platy bottle and are very easy to reach while walking.

I hiked a few days in heavy rain without a rain cover and it kept water out pretty well.

Some minor nit-picks:

- The middle velcro strap that holds the stay in ripped clean from my bag where it had been glued. This let the stay wiggle a little causing the other straps to stretch a bit.

The little loop on the front that keeps the main compression strap in place is annoying. When full it makes it hard to get into the mesh pocket. When very empty you have to slip the buckle out just to get the strap tight enough. I will be replacing the loop with a velcro one ASAP.

The only other negative is that the back panel being closed cell breathes poorly. Having the removable butt pad/foot pad for sleeping made it worth it for me but if you hate an extra sweaty back you might not be happy. The size of the pad was also a little big for my pack and it did some funny folding/squishing until I cut it.

Overall this bag is the awesome. Super versatile and tough as nails.

Shop Gorilla products at GearBuyer
Mark Verber
( verber )

San Francisco Bay Area
comfortable and easy to use pack for moderate volume loads on 01/07/2011 17:51:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

A perfect size pack for most of my trips and handles my standard 15-25 lbs comfortably. The use of light weight stays and a foam sit pad provides excellent carry comfort. I mostly like the extra wide shoulder straps - just need to make sure my shirt is pulled up enough between the strap and my neck... some people will find the straps too wide. The pack is easy to use. Pockets are the right size, the light color makes it easy to find things inside (unlike the Vapor Trail). The material seems to strike a good balance between weight and durability... no noticeable wear after a year of use which included some light bushwacking. The foam back pad can do double duty as a sit pad. You can strip the pack down if you want something more minimal (I don't do this). I found the hip belt is a good match for the pack. I wondered if a more beefy waist strap would be better, but I found that the Vapor Trail belt (which I love) wasn't any more comfortable after 15 miles. I found Will's GG Gorilla review spot on.

Edited by verber on 01/07/2011 17:54:49 MST.

Serge Giachetti
( sgiachetti - M )

Boulder, CO
I've got a Gorilla on my Back on 06/28/2011 01:56:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

edit: double post

Edited by sgiachetti on 07/04/2011 03:52:30 MDT.

Serge Giachetti
( sgiachetti - M )

Boulder, CO
I've got a Gorilla on my Back on 06/28/2011 01:59:03 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm very impressed with this pack. I tried out a few packs for a planned AT thru hike (didn't pan out yet), and this was far and a away my favorite. With the stay and sitpad, the pack conforms perfectly to my back. I love the wide shoulder straps and the substantial hipbelt. I'm usually not carrying much weight anyway, but this pack spreads it out effectively so it often feels like the pack is not there at all. The narrow profile helps with your center of gravity. Perfect for fast hiking/running on mixed terrain and for rock scrambling. Also nice is that the hipbelt slides into the back of the pack in the center, so, although supportive, it pivots a little bit with the natural movement of your hips. This, along with the stay/sitpad combo are IMO a big advantage over most other UL packs. I recently started using a POE Peak Elite AC, so having an optional frame system with backpad makes a lot of sense.

I used a frameless golite jam (older model) last summer and before that Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone.
This pack is lighter than the Jam, but about as comfortable as the Nimbus up to about 25-30 lbs.
If you've tried the nimbus, then you know this is high praise.

Volume is a good and versatile size and the compression system with optional elastic chords is pretty effective. I take a very minimalist weekend setup, and I have found myself wishing I had an even lower volume pack for those trips, but thats probably just part of the endless (and obsessive) quest for UL gear perfection. That said, this is a great do it all UL pack.

The pockets have good capacity and nice stretch.
I grew to love hipbelt pockets on my jam, so I just ordered the accessory pockets from GG. I think with that addition this will pretty much be my dream pack.

Only criticism: one of the compression straps broke clear off the pack with hardly any use. This didn't inspire confidence for long-term use, but I sent the pack in to GG for a free repair. Because in every other respect this pack is pretty much perfectly dialed in, I gave it a 5 anyway.

Best pack I've owned or tried on.

Chris Lyne
( Sarum )

Nr Stonehenge
Falling in love with a Gorilla on 07/08/2011 12:55:04 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Following the detailed recommendations reviews, I bought a Gorilla for a 7 day trek in the GR10 (French Pyrenees) last Sept (2010). I've been doing this ocean to ocean trek a week at a time for several years and, with 1000m ascents and descents each days (and in my 50s), I was determined to re-equip to go as light as poss. Firstly the new, unfed Gorilla was half the weight of my Berghaus 65l pack. Bingo. The reduced litreage of the new pack led in turn to downsizing (in volume) just about every other bit, resulting in a pack of only 7kgs (not including water/food). On its Pyreneean debut the Gorilla behaved itself admirably: comfortable, practical and a joy to walk with. As this years trek approaches, the Gorilla is training hard in preparation: RAB survival/bivvy bag, PHD jacket and sleeping bag, one spare set of clothing, Montane Minimus rain jacket and Montane Atomic overtrousers, Mountain Equipment Microtherm mid layer, Thermarest Neoair mattress, Terra Nova laser Competition tent (strapped into the R/H side pocket.) And still room for trail food in the deep, central mesh pocket. Who needs a monkey on your back when you could have a Gorilla?

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Terra Nova Laser Competition Tent priced at: $380.00
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir priced at: $90.95 - $112.45
Therm-a-Rest Neoair Mattress priced at: $149.95 - $149.99
Seth Brewer
( Whistler )

Top Notch Performer with a few materials kinks to work out - All you need for your hiking! on 10/17/2012 19:16:42 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This review will be for a 2012 Gossamer Gear Gorilla in a size Medium with a Medium hipbelt.

Having tried a 2011 Mariposa backpack from GG for a 100 mile portion of the New England Trail, I wanted to try this pack for a 173 mile finish of the Northern Long Trail - Maine Jct. to Trail's End.

Base weight for the hike was 9 lbs. Overall pack weight averaged 22 lbs and under.

This pack would have received full marks except that right out of the box I had problems with the shoulder straps and waistbelt slipping. Sent the pack back to GG and they put on thicker webbing. Got it back after a month, and tested it out -- no more slipping with the heavier webbing. The whole pack has a lot to offer most hikers that enjoy a pack with slightly wider shoulder straps. Here is a quick summary of what I liked most about the pack:

1) Volume to hold all my gear and 6 days of food at a time and the compression system to still feel snug and compact on your back with only a day or two of food.

2) Easy to access sit pad

3) Zipper pocket on the top flap to store headlamp, map, med kit, water tx.

4) Durable / Rugged - no signs of wear after crashing around the root / rock infested northern long trail. Broke a few branches that I got snagged on - but no tears in the pack.

6) Very comfortable carry at 25 lbs. Good slim profile with a deceptively large volume.

Mid-September Vermont Northern Long Trail 2012 Gear List

Tent: (13.5 oz.)
• Zpacks Hexamid Tent w/ Extended Beak, Seam-Sealed, Guylines (10.4 oz.)
• Mountain Outfitter 6” Titanium Ti-Eye Stakes – (8 stakes /0.21 oz. each) (1.6 oz.)
• Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet (1.5 oz.)
Backpack: (26.5 oz.)
• Gossamer Gear Gorilla 2012 w/ Sitlight Pad (Med/Med) (25 oz.)
• Compactor Bag (1.5 oz.)
Mat: (16 oz.)
• Thermarest Xlite Large (16 oz.)
Sleeping Bag: (25 oz.)
• WM Megalite Long (25 oz.)
Stove/Cooking Set: (9.4 oz.)
• Snow Peak Ti Spoon (0.4 oz.)
• Jetboil Sol (stripped) (9 oz.)
Head Light: (3.1 oz.)
• Petzl Tikka XP (3.1 oz.)
Firestarting / Tools: (1 oz.)
• Mini Bic Lighter (1 oz.)
Bathroom: (4 oz.)
• Hand Sanitizer (2 oz.)
• Toilet Paper in Ziploc (2 oz.)
Bearproofing: (1.6 oz.)
• ZPacks Cuben Fiber Rock Bag
• BPL Aircore Pro "UrsaLite" Dyneema Bear Bag Cord – (1.3oz/50ft) w/ Nite-Ize #2 Biner
1. Outer Layer: (15 oz.)
• EMS Hooded Windshirt (4.5 oz.)
• Montbell Wind Pants (2.5 oz.)
• DriDucks Jacket (8 oz.) (warmth / rain / wind)
2. Pants/Shorts: (3 oz.)
• Mountain Hardwear Running Shorts (3 oz.)
3. Shirts/ Jackets: (6 oz.)
• RailRiders Eco-Mesh LS Shirt (6 oz.)
4. Hats: (5.1 oz.)
• Tilly AirFlo Mesh Hat (3.6 oz.)
• Buff Headband (1.5 oz.)
5. Gloves: (1.5 oz.)
• MLD eVent Mittens / Rainproof – (1.5 oz.)
6. Socks: (6 oz.)
• (2) Injini Micro Toe Socks (2 oz.) (1 hiking , 1 backup/sleeping)
• (1) EMS Synthetic Low Cut Running Socks (2 oz.) (hiking w/ toe socks as liner)

Emergency / First Aid / Gear Repair (6 oz.) – Tenacious Tape/Mat Repair Kit, Aleve, Bacitracin, Bandages/Gauze/ Closures, Nitrile Gloves, Tums, Blister Pads, Leatherman CS w/ tweezers, (2_Ear Plugs, (8 ft)Leukotape-P, Hydropel(repackaged), Zpacks Cuban Fiber Repair Tape,(4)Waterproof matches, Photon Freedom Microlight (1.5 oz.), BodyGlide Mini

Maps / Photo/Ditty Bag: (19 oz.)
• Sony DSC-TX10 WP/SP/FP (4.5 OZ. camera)
• STICKPIC MOUNT (0.5 oz.)
• Phone (3 oz.)
• Long Trail End-to-Enders Guide Book Pages / Long Trail Map (3 oz.)
• Nook Touch (8 oz.)
Water Storage / Purification: (7.6 oz.)
• Sawyer Squeeze Filter (3.1 oz.)
• Sawyer Squeeze 1 L & 2 L Bladders (2 oz.)
• (2) Gatorade 1L Water Bottles (1 oz.)
• Water Scoop (bottom third of 1L bottle (0.5 oz.)
Food: (2.5 oz. empty)
• Sea To Summit 20 L Dry Bag (2.5 oz.)
Footwear / Gaiters: (24 oz.)
• Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes (24 oz. Size 13.5)
• Dirty Girl Gaiters (2 oz.)
Trekking Poles: (13 oz.)
• Komperdell Carbon Fiber Adjustable Hiking Poles (13 oz. / Pair)

From Skin Out Weight = 13.05 LBS (208.8 OZ.)

Worn / Carried and NOT in Pack: (60.1 oz. = 3.76 lbs)
Footwear / Gaiters: (26 oz.)
• Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes (24 oz. Size 13.5)
• Dirty Girl Gaiters (2 oz.)
Trekking Poles: (13 oz.)
• Komperdell Carbon Fiber Adjustable Hiking Pole (13 oz. / Pair)

Clothing: (21.1 oz.)
• RailRiders Eco-Mesh LS Shirt (6 oz.)
• Marmot Hooded Windshirt (4.5 oz)
• Tilly AirFlo Mesh Hat (3.6 oz.)
• Injinji Toe Socks (2 oz.)
• EMS Synthetic Coolmax Low Cut Running Socks (2 oz.)
• Mountain Hardwear Running Shorts (3 oz.)

Overall Base Pack Weight Carried = 9.3 lbs (148.7 oz.)

Food: Dehydrated/ Freeze-Dried Dinners w/ Cold Breakfasts & Lunches
Fuel: 3.5 oz. Jetboil Canister (weighs 7 oz. full)
Water: Capacity for 4 L (carry to dry camp-spot if needed, 2 L day carry)

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Gatorade 3 priced at: $49.99
Gatorade 5 priced at: $59.99
Gatorade 7 priced at: $69.99

Add your own review