User Review: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus
Max. Load Carried: 35lbs
Height of Owner: 5'11
Price Paid: about $190
Extremely light and comfortable. I really like the mesh pockets because you can keep things that are wet outside of the pack body. So my tent (six moons luna solo) stays outside, as does fuel (either ethanol or whitegas). The fabric isn't overly waterproof, so it is important to use a waterproof liner (heavy duty trash bag or compacter bag).
Gossamer Gear suggests using socks as padding on the straps, I tried that and it wasn't as comfortable as the foam pads. Having padding pockets that can be opened serves as a good place to stash a little "safety cash".
I've tried using both an REI Thermarest knockoff (3/4 length, lightweight) and a Thermarest Z-pad as the frame (I cut the Z-pad down to 3/4 length - full length is too big). The foam is more comfortable than the semi-inflatable. I haven't tried Gossamer Gear's own pads, but probably will before long.
I've used the bear canister strap as holder for a extension bag for food. (I'm a scout leader and sometimes need to carry extra odds and ends like a serious first aid kit, or some treats, or sometimes don't have choice over how compact or light my food is).
Typically this is an outdoor research hydroseal sack. This extension bag easily fits an ursack which is most of what I need for bears in the south. I also like this approach because it helps separate food from sleeping gear and clothes. Even with this it still fits inside a small pack cover.
It serves as the foundation of my lightweight system. When I teach scouts about packing, I'll often throw it across the room completely loaded to one of the scouts. They understand what I mean by lightweight that way. I've also used this system for air travel - 2 weeks at a meeting in Italy using only carry on with it.