User Review: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus
Design: Top loading with outside mesh pockets
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 28 lb
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $165
So far, a good, sensible pack for the lightweight backpacker.
One of the things you always buy with a piece of gear is a piece of the manufacturer and quality in that department can be as important as the gear itself. Gossamer Gear is a small company that appears to care deeply about customer satisfaction which is exactly the kind of company I want to buy my equipment from.
The pack is exactly what the company says it is. Delicate and extremely light. It has 4 large outside see-through mesh pockets which are wonderful for those of us who are forever losing gear in multiple compartment packs. The pack's two stiffening rods give it enough form to make it easy to load.
Padding and frame come from either the supplied foam pad or your own sleeping pad that you fit into a pocket on the front of the pack. I used my 3/4 length inflatable Therm-a-rest which I partially inflated and folded to fit. It's the softest padding I've ever had on a pack. There were no pressure points whatsoever from the pack body.
My previous pack, a Marmot 35 liter 3 pounder had me in serious pain by the second day on the trail. The Mariposa was still very comfortable in that time frame with an average load in the mid 20 lbs.
I'm really happy with this pack owing to the weight savings, the comfort and the convenience, but as the manufacturer says, it may not be for you. Here are some things to consider.
Gossamer gear says it's delicate. I haven't had it long enough to cause any wear, but the material is clearly thinner than what you'd find on the heavier packs. The closing strap would be more aptly called a ribbon which easily twists and bunches so care must be taken to keep it flat. My wife (she has a medium) complained that the stitching on the velcro that closes the pad pockets on the straps chafes. It looks like a little more care in the sewing could have avoided this problem for her. I haven't had any problems with mine.
I think I read a complaint that the hydration tube port was hard to thread the tube through. I had no problem nor could I see any way there could be a problem with it.
The pack arrived missing a sternum strap which was immediately mailed out by the Manufacturer and arrived in a couple of days.
Price per pound is high, but if I get a couple of seasons out of it, it will be worth it for the features it affords.