Gossamer Gear Gorilla (3,000 cu in) Backpack (Vermont Long Trail)
I carried this pack on a number of different hikes, but used it exclusively for my 2012 hike of the 173 miles of the Northern Long Trail. The design is slightly different from some other packs, in that the top of the pack flaps over and cinches down, instead of the more common roll top and strap. Another differentiation from other packs is that the shoulder straps are WIDE compared to most other companies. These wide shoulder straps are usually very comfortable or very uncomfortable for people, and often the only way to tell if you will like it, is to utilize the easy return policy and try one out for yourself.
- I enjoy using the wide shoulder straps, and find that they disperse some of the tension on my shoulders.
- The over-the-top (OTT) closure system is visually appealing and offers a similar feel to bag with a traditional top lid.
- The wire hoop stay allows for added weight transfer to the hips, and gives the pack some loose structure when packing.
- A comfortable hipbelt combined with wide shoulder straps and a hoop stay carries loads up to 30 lbs comfortably.
- Durable but lightweight material allows for some rough treatment without tearing the pack up.
- The price of $225 is well within the market norm for this type of pack.
- The wide shoulder straps are a love or hate item for most people, so trying the pack on is often very helpful since all hikers are different in their pack needs.
- This pack is heavier than some of the other ultra-light offerings, but at 26 oz. for a Medium this pack can also carry more weight than some of the other ultra-light packs.