User Review: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight
Design: Top loading internal frame pack
Size: 2800 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 30 pounds
Height of Owner: 6 feet three inches
Price Paid: $150
I just completed 372 miles on the Oregon PCT using my Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight Backpack, which I bought last month. This is, hands down, the best ultra-light pack I have ever used.
My last pack was one of the last Golite Breeze packs, which I loved. When I lost that pack in a burglary, and needed a new pack with less than a week's notice, I went for the Gorilla because it seemed like the most simple, light, durable pack on the market at the time. I was not disappointed.
Although this pack would not pass muster with the ultra-light purist, weighing in at more than a pound with an aluminum internal stay, it more than makes up for this in comfort on the trail. On its maiden voyage, I hiked an average of 33 miles per day on the Oregon PCT, between Siskiyou Summit and Mount Hood, carrying an average load of 25 pounds (base weight 10 pounds). I did not use a hip belt. On no more than three occasions did I suffer from shoulder fatigue or rashes, which I frequently experienced with the Golite Breeze (also without a hip belt) over the course of 1200 PCT miles south of Oregon.
The real innovation of the Gorilla (and other internal frame Gossamer Gear packs) is the shoulder straps, which are thin, long, and wide, and somehow very ergonomic. Combined with a well-ventilated back panel (two foam pads with mesh covering), this yields a very superior carry. It's like you are not even carrying a pack.
If you are looking for a worthy replacement for your blown-out, used-up, or rodent-chewed Golite Breeze (no longer made unless you buy the Ray Way kit) then the Gorilla is a superior choice, as it combines very light weight, large capacity, simplicity of design, and potential for belt-less use, a combination not found in any other pack that is currently available, as far as I know.
The only design flaw I am aware of is the long strap that is used to lash items to the top of the pack. This strap blocks that large external pocket, so I might move the strap above the pocket.
Overall, the Gossamer Gear Gorilla rocks my world, and I look forward to many more miles using this tough, elegantly simple, and comfortable pack. Get one and have a look for yourself before Gossamer Gear stops making it, or ruins it through "improvements, " as I have seen happen to so many other awesome products by other companies. Happy packing.