User Review: Gossamer Gear Mariposa
Design: Top loading ultralight backpack
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 38 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $100
I bought a Mariposa in 2006 to use for my backpacking trip across the Grand Canyon. Since then, I have used it many times, including trips on the Appalachian Trail and my week-long backpack in Rocky Mountain National Park, which included an attempted summit of Long's Peak (weather turned me back).
I have learned by experience how to load the Mariposa, and when it's loaded properly, it's unbeatable as an ultralight backpack in terms of its combination of lightness and comfort. I have regularly exceeded the 30 lb. load limit with no problems at all.
For a 7 day trip, I usually carry my REI 10 degree synthetic sleeping bag, foam sleeping pad, my Six Moon Design ultralight solo backpacking tent, food, 2 liters of water, rain gear, down sweater and synthetic long johns, stove, fuel and cooking utensils and camera. With those items, I usually weigh in at around 28 lbs.
The Mariposa has never ripped or come apart. I have dropped it fully loaded, and it never burst. I used to wish it had load levelers until I learned how to load it. Now I see it doesn't need any. I now plan to upgrade to the Mariposa Plus or Gorilla.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I had to add on my own straps to load it properly - not a big deal. It's a great pack!