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Gossamer Gear Miniposa

in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
4.60 / 5 (5 reviews)

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Mark Larson
( mlarson )

Southeast USA
Gossamer Gear Miniposa on 05/14/2007 09:29:48 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've put about 1000 miles on this pack, and so far it has easily displaced my GoLite Jam as my go-to pack. And I really love my Jam.

I had the new Miniposa mailed to me in the middle of a long hike, so I never took the time to weigh it, but it feels like it's on-spec, and GG is pretty reliable for weight. I've been using it with all the features: shoulder & waist pads, carbon fiber stays, and bungee cord. I've never been over ~25lbs with it yet, but it has been wonderfully comfortable the whole time.

The right bottom pocket is large enough to fit my 1.8L Platy w/o removing the pack, which is perfect. (It's one of my fundamental requirements for a pack, I love the bottle so much.) I've really grown fond of the convenience of the large mesh pockets so I rarely have to open the main sack.

No durability or stitching issues yet. Everything looked and felt solid and professional when I opened the box. I trust the workmanship and my ability to care for it. The wrap-around mesh pockets and pad sleeves certainly make it easier to protect the silnylon.

Two small quibbles:
-The elastic on the long, deep side pocket is too tight. The opening is considerably more narrow than the girth of the pocket itself, and it's kind of a pain to get things in and out. I'd be willing to pay a few tenths of an ounce for a larger opening with a ULA-style drawcord to cinch it tight. With a pocket that deep, there's not really a need to keep the opening so small.
-I often like to do some running when I'm out hiking, just to mix things up. Unlike the GoLite Jam, the Miniposa doesn't "stick" well when I jog. This is entirely expected b/c of the design & usage of pad sleeves and stays (which I love too much to give up), but it is one downside to be aware of.

Awesome pack. I'll use this one until it dies. My GoLite Jam is now a second-stringer.

Edited by mlarson on 08/22/2007 05:24:25 MDT.

Gregory Doggett
( Gregory )

Occupies a nail close to the front of my gear closet. on 08/20/2007 17:09:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I had already been using an '06 Mariposa for about 6 months before I ordered this pack so I knew I could expect much the same performance in a smaller package.
The Mini has become one of my favorite UL packs. I usually use it without the carbon fiber stays, depending on a Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso Pad to do double duty as its frame. The external pad sleeves on the Mini make this easy and allow you to access your pad during the day.
I've used the carbon fiber stays on a couple occasions in concert with a BMW Torsolite Pad folded down small enough to fit in the lower pad sleeve only. I do this because the stays, being perfectly straight and not able to be bent to conform to the shape of your back, hold the pack further away from ones back at the shoulder area. Placing the Torsolite in the bottom pad sleeve helps to lever the top of the pack closer to the shoulders.
It also makes for one plush lumbar pad. I did not experience any discomfort from the unpadded section of the pack against my back.
I've found the silnylon to be durable enough for on trail use and the occasional bushwhack around a deadfall on eastern trails if youre careful.A cut above spinnaker but not of the caliber of dyneema grid.
Although there are times when I want little or no mesh pockets on a pack, when I do I find the Miniposa's configuration to be useful and versatile. The short bottom right pocket holds an AquaFina tap water bottle well and the long left side pocket will accomodate my 2L Platy.
Gossamer Gear is a company that always comes to mind when I think multi-use.
The hipbelt and shoulder straps on the Mini are hollow and accesable through velcroed openings. You can use the provided foam for padding or use extra articles of clothing instead, turning items you may have never thought of as dual use into such.This is a signature feature of all GG packs.
Speaking of the shoulder straps, they are about 3.5" wide and are among the most comfortable I've used. Even with thinner foam ( 1/4" evazote) and sleep socks stuffed in them.
My 4 rating comes from my experience trying out the Mini with heavier loads. I get the best performance with heavier loads using a pack whose hipbelt attaches at a central point in the lumbar region...say only 5" wide(i.e. SMD Comet)..and allows the hipbelt to more fully wrap around my pelvis. I find that packs whose hipbelts attach at the sides of the pack tend to slip down on my hips more when packweight goes up. And putting a pad in an outside pad pocket, especially a pretty thick one like the GG Nightlight Torso, increases this tendency. There is quite an area of no-contact between the hipbelt and my hips next to the hipbelt attachment points. This tendency to slip down lessens when using a pad inside the pack as a cylinder because it allows the pack to wrap itself around me better.
I don't particully see this as a flaw in the pack though. Certainly there are some really cool aspects of the Mini that exist because of how it is designed and I wouldn't change them. It just isn't my first choice for the heavier loads.
But when I want a light, comfortable pack with lots of mesh pockets and a pad I can access during the day, for loads that are within the ability of that pack using my sleep pad as sole frame member....the Mini more often than not gets the nod. Which is why it occupies a nail close to the front of my gear closet.

Shop Mariposa products at GearBuyer
Lawton Grinter
( disco )

Rocky Mountains
If You Liked the Mariposa, You´ll Love the Miniposa on 08/27/2007 17:04:19 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

In 2006, I hiked the Continental Divide Trail southbound from Canada to Mexico with a Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack. This was the most comfortable backpack I have ever used on a long distance hike, however; I found that the Mariposa's generous 2,900 cubic inch (main pack body) capacity was often too large to fill up. In comes the Miniposa at 2,320 cubic inches (main pack body), which is essentially the same pack as
the Mariposa but with 20% less volume. I was really excited to see the Miniposa's debut since I've been able not only to reduce my overall packweight over the years, but also the number of items I carry on a regular basis. If this sounds like you, consider giving the Miniposa a look.

I´ve put about 600 miles on my Miniposa to date and I´ve got a full review posted on the web here:

Hasta pronto,


Shop Continental, Mariposa products at GearBuyer
Kevin Egelhoff
( kegelhoff )

Southern Cal
6 months of use and still my favorite pack! on 07/10/2008 14:31:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have used the new GG Miniposa for the last 6 months now on several long distance hikes and this pack was everything I had hoped it would be. Super light, easy to use, very comfy, and lots of room for my 12 to 18 pounds of gear and food. I talked to Grant at GG before making this purchase as they have lots of different packs to choose from and this was the pack he talked me into getting. He was right on the mark for the pack that matched my needs. I must have about 5 UL packs now and I think this one is the go-to pack for most of my hikes now! Thanks GG.

Nathan Moody
( atomick )

San Francisco Bay Area
Best Small-Volume Pack I've Used on 07/11/2008 19:49:01 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

It's not without its issues: It permanently stained a nice Icebreaker wool shirt, its mesh pockets ripped a bit on the first trip (pretty minor), and sometimes it develops a backwards lean if you don't pack it right. It doesn't carry well with inordinately small loads.

But it does so much else right. As others have commented, the comfort level is phenomenal. The weight, well, forget it - optimized like crazy. The packing system and pockets are killer. Now it can be outfitted with shoulder pockets and hip pockets. Those super-wide shoulder straps seem funny at first but wow, they carry like magic.

If Gossamer Gear made a "Miniposa Plus" out of tougher fabrics for 5 more pounds of maximum suggested weight (now 20 lbs.) without increasing its volume, I'd consider retiring my other packs. A stellar design!

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