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gossamer murmur

in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
4.33 / 5 (6 reviews)

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shon mcganty
( smcganty )
gossamer murmur on 04/11/2011 13:04:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I loved this pack the first two times I used it. It is so light and fits well. However, the straps are very weak. While taking in a simple breath the sternal strap broke. Latter, the waist belt broke while picking up the back and standing on the belt. yes, that was my fault, but the belt broke off with little give, it just released. Very weak. However, I still like the pack, and will still use it.

chris kersten
( xanadu )

Great pack with flaws on 04/16/2011 13:11:32 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I am not going to hype up the good points. The GG website does a good job of showing the features. It is light and well made. I will point out the flaws that could be better.
First the compression straps and sternum straps are total junk. They are pretty much women's hair ribbens and do not stay one bit in one place for more than about 200 yards. I would much rather see loops for shock cord to adjust the compression. Next the padding that they include in the shoulder straps stops long before it goes over my shoulders. Next, the feature of having removable pads does not work well because the shoulder straps just roll up as you are putting on the pack. They need the foam to hold them flat. I have the 2011 version and it carries well and feels great. None of the bad points kill it, they should just be improved. I Really love it and could see myself buying another when I need a new one.

Michael Reagan
( MichaelReagan )

Southern California
A great pack with limitations on 06/08/2011 23:33:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I think the previous two reviews were honest and fair, but if I had read them before owning the GG Murmur myself, I might have been put off buying it.

My experience with the Murmur has been very positive. I have mostly used it for over-nighters and with loads under 10 pounds. It feels great and has not let me down. I use a Z-rest pad cut to 6 sections for my sleeping pad, which when folded and tucked into the pad pouch to do double duty as a packframe supports the pack very well. I have also inserted the optional foam pads into the shoulder straps for extra rigidity. I did have to replace the stock waist strap with a longer one, since I am not as svelte as some hikers.

Prior to this pack I used the GG Whisper quite a bit and consider the Murmur to be a great improvement, if only for the addition of the pad pouch and two side pockets for a water bottle and other gear. If you respect the limitations of this pack and carry a very light load, you should be happy with it. I know I am!

Edited by MichaelReagan on 06/08/2011 23:33:38 MDT.

Scott Haddon
( rebeldawg63 )

Ultra lighter's dream! With modifications! on 06/28/2011 20:40:40 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Was very unsure about ordering this pack that only costs $90. The 1st 2 reviews didn't seem to convince me either. Boy am I glad I ordered it anyway. This pack is perfect for the price you pay for. I replaced the sternum strap and did some other necessary trimming to only add .5oz of weight to the pack. The new design of the mesh pad pocket acts as a vapor barrier to allow your sweat to evaporate better. In the humidity that I hike in, this is an awesome feature. I've recently read Mike Clelland's "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips" & this pack fits the bill perfectly. This pack cut off 11oz over my other pack to get me to 8lb 3 season base weight. I use a GG SitLight Sit Pad ($7) (1.6oz) as my pad support. I also line the bag with GG pack liner bag (1.50ea) (1.2oz). Using Mike's book has helped me to organize my gear and simplify and lose weight to be able to use this pack for hiking. Should be able to hold 5-6 days of food comfortably with my base. There's plenty of room in the extension collar for it. By the way, I don't use the compression straps because if you read Mike's book, you don't need them. "Easily Nixed." Sound familiar.
Would likely rate this a 5 but its not been field tested yet. Will report back at a later time. Happy Trails! Oh, by the way, I do carry TP! Sorry Mike!!

Copied a pm to Bryce F. (bster13)

I "did" order the Blast 26, but after I did more research I went with the Murmur. Emailed Joe and changed my order to the Hexamid Twin which luckily arrived in the mail today. 16.5oz out of the wrapper!!(without stakes but with recommended ground sheet{cuben fiber also})

About the Murmur, I have done a few modifications that improve the design in my opinion.
I read many customer comments to get a feel for what was good and what was bad.
1) replace the sternum strap, it slips and is a waste of time.( I ordered 1 from GG, found under their ETC heading and accesories). It weighs .7 oz. Sewed a piece of spare waist belt material on both shoulder pads to allow for an adjustable sternum strap. MLD has a similar sternum strap at .5oz but I included this in my order with GG, so no extra shipping!
2)trim off side compression straps and store in your spare parts, they don't hold anyway.
3)I ordered 80lb polyester cord, along with minicord locks and also 1/16 shock cord with my order from Zpacks and replaced the draw string cord on the pack cover with the 80lb cord as it seemed lightest of the 2.
4)don't know how to put in the correct words for it but.. took 1 of the side compression straps remains(clip and ribbon like material) and sewed(male end) on to packcover near where the bag cinches. There is a small square that they sew at the top to reinforce the seam on the pack cover, this is where I attached the male clip. Next,
sewed the female end clip to the netting on the front(?) of pack where the netting ends and the material is extra thick. This way, you don't have to role the extended collar anymore, it just snaps into place with light loads and it also serves as a functional compression strap.
5)since #4 worked so good, clipped velcro off the collar(not very functional anyway) and unthreaded velcro off side of bag(to be seam sealed tomorrow with my new tent!).
6)attached Zpacks shoulder pouch(special order)to shoulder strap. This sounds easy but after many efforts to unthread the straps to the "shoulder pad", I had to cut the strap just to get it out of the plastic binder thingy?! It went back on with ease and with a lighter, seared the edge again so it won't come off again... gee whiz.
7)I use the SitLight pad from GG 1.65oz in the provided pad sleeve.This pad will also pull duty in my winter setup as I have cut my Lg Neo Air pad down to 44" to save weight. I also put my freezer bag cozy all the way down to the bottom behind the pad to push out the pad to kinda conform to my back more, its very comfortable this way and it seems to push the pack off my shoulders a little bit more.(Aahhh!)
The total weight of modification w/out pad: 8.2oz(includes shoulder strap pouch) 7.8oz without pouch. This lower weight actually beats the original pack by.1oz but with a very sturdy/adjustable sternum strap and functional extended collar closure/compression system in place, it was worth it.

I haven't made any adjustments to the waist strap, will get it's test next weekend as I'm going to Mt Mitchell in NC for 20-25 mile hike for 2.5 days.

My pack weight as of right now with food and water is 11lbs!!>>UNCHARTED TERRITORY FOR ME!!

Edited by rebeldawg63 on 07/18/2011 22:36:16 MDT.

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James Marco
( jamesdmarco )

Finger Lakes
Well Built Pack, initial and long term review on 12/25/2011 18:06:17 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have used the old GG G5 pack for well beyond a servicable lifetime. Patching, reinforcing, and finaly died and I replaced it with a 2012 Murmur, one of the first off the production line. The heavier Dynema fabric was everything the old spinaker was not. The straps are a bit narrower, but better built. The overall quality of the sewing was near perfect. This extended to inside seams which were double stiched WITH ribbon to prevent premature wearing. The pad pockets were well put together and "will" fit my normal, longer sitlite/thin pad...5 sections at a total thickness of just over 2-1/4".
This nearly maxes out the shoulder harness but, not works.
The torso strap is much improved, albeit, still lacks the virsatility of a full elastic thoughts of perfection and I cannot hold that against a pack.

Unlike the G5, the bottom of the shoulder harnes is sewn through both layers and the core.

The detachable belt looks average. Since it will always be used, I will remove this complexity and replace it with a sewn in one. Again, personal preferance.

Overall, this pack should last 3-7 years without 1/4 as much effort as I put into the old G5.

A big well done.

Long Term review

I took the pack on a two week trip up the NPT. It carried well with the 23# starting weight...well over the design spec.

A couple quibles:
1) Front Mesh Pouch: This worked pretty well, but note that it was a bit loose. While the size is good when I placed my fuel bottle in it it sagged below the pack body. A bit awkward picking the pack up or setting it down. I had the feeling it should have been tighter.
2) The mesh workes well, I guess. I would prefer the old style silnylon on the front pouch. It caught on scrub and I put two small holes in it.
3) The bottom shoulder harness and torso strap was not well thought out. A longer strap fastened at the bottom and extending up to the top dynemaX shoulder reinforcement would be better by reinforcing the shoulder harness. This would prevent the stretching of the silnylon in this area. But, I WAS overloaded with food...
4) The shoulder harness slipped after a couple miles. The ribbon used for the bottom needs to be heavier to prevent the slipping. This continued throughout the trip and was NOT a product of overloading. After the first week I was withing carry-spec, but it still slipped. This did not really bother me, since I drop the pack on downhills(cooler, lower center of gravity) and lift it on uphills. Annoying on road hikes, however.
(edit, March, 2013: Gossamer Gear replaced the entire pack. This has poly straps. Better because of the water repellancy, and, the increased thickness. This solved the problem of the straps slipping.)

5) I used a 3 section nightlite pad as a frame that worked well. But I was within a couple inches of maxing the waist belt. Also, the wast belt was a bit narrow for 20#+ loads. After the first week it was fine.
6) The sternum strap (wrapped around the shoulder strap) caused some wrinkling of the foam/shoulder strap. Better would have been to only use the mounting strap rather than the whole shoulder strap.
7) I carry a SVEA 123, and where the pouch/OTT lid mounted caused some fraying of the silnylon. I place the 123 in the pouch (along with the cup and windscreen.) Easily repaired and probably a product of overloading with food, but, it did not get worse once it frayed. I believe the seam was a bit tight.

Mostly minor quibles and nothing to change my opinion generally. It carried the 23# easily and I often left the pack on for rest stops. 1 resupply at Blue Mountain pushed the weight over the 15# limit again (~18#.)

June 2, 2015
The redesigned the pack again in 2014. I was given one to test for a few weeks.
I had it out for two weeks, one for hiking and one while canoeing. This version was nearly perfect with most of the old problems solved.
1) There is a real hip belt with pockets. It is adjustable for two positions. A rather novel way of changing pack sizes. It actually fit my daughter (5’0”!) However one problem with the hip belt was noted. It detaches when setting the pack down. A couple drops of super glue were used to remedy this.
2) The Over The Top panel was changed out for a roll top on the extension collar. Since Gossamer Gear does not count this, this easily extends the volume for cold trips where extra clothing is needed.
3) The pockets are taller! This fits the old SVEA! Since the cord locks were removed from the pack, it also removes the source of any fraying.
4) Using mesh and thin padding for the shoulder harness and hip belt. It seems someone recognized the need for a real hip belt on this pack, even at 10 pounds.
5) They added a fabric panels to the large front pouch. This easily keeps it from sagging.
6) However, GG also included a hydration port with no internal sleeve. They included tube keepers on the shoulder harness. They included two pole keepers as well as an ice axe keeper. For me, all this could be eliminated.
7) The improved the external attachment points and compression system.
8) They added a strap OVER your shoulders for overload strength. Yeah! I am always overloaded at the start of my two week jaunts, usually 21-23pounds.
9) The Fabric is VERY water resistant. Always a good thing when cannoing.
10) The sternum strap is clipped on, not a simple split buckle. It does NOT come off when setting the pack down like the old model did.
11) The Pad Keeper is much tighter. I used a three layer pad (NightLite) in it, but I am getting a bit old. I brought my NeoAir anyway.
12) The SitLight corners now need to be rounded slightly to fit into the pad keepers.
This is a nice pack compared to the first versions. Even adding weight (from about 5oz to 12.5oz) from the first Spinnaker packs, it has gone into durability. A serious SUL pack for most, with trimming extra strapping, plastic bits, etc, you can get this pack down to 11.3oz. Well less than the needed 1pound for SUL camping. I wish I could give this pack more stars.
It carried really well, even overloaded. It took the trail abuse of the Adirondacks with only one small hole. It easily expands to fit my overload at the start of the trail. It even went through rain with the majority of my gear, bone dry. Only when I opened the pack, did it get some wetness inside, you can hardly fault the pack for my bad decision. This is perhaps the best of the SUL packs available.

Edited by jamesdmarco on 06/02/2015 20:03:52 MDT.

Art Tyszka
( arttyszka )

2012 Murmur - Great pack on 04/09/2012 19:20:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I would have liked to give the 2012 Murmur a 4.5 if I could have. My only criticism is that the stitching is not as well done as I would have expected. There were a few loose threads in some of the outside stitching, but that was an easy fix and I'm very happy with the pack. The design is very well thought out, I can grab my water bottle w/o having to remove the pack. I've carried 12 pounds and it was extremely comfortable at that weight, so much so that I barely noticed it was there and didn't use the hip belt nor sternum strap. It's a very light pack and the thinness of the silnylon will be an issue if you don't take care of it, but that's true of a lot of ultralight equipment. It's plenty big for my 3 season kit and 3-4 days of food. The design is truly ultralight and well executed. Highly recommended.

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