Opinion on pack fit Gossamer Gear Silverback

1:54 p.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
3,173 reviewer rep
2,261 forum posts

Hey gang,

(and JRinGeorgia specifically) 

I'm trying out a Gossamer Gear Silverback. The straps fit weird. I have an 18.5 inch torso which puts me pretty squarely in the middle range of their medium size (listed as fitting 15.5 to 19 inch torso). However the shoulder straps barely touch the back of my shoulder. Looking in the mirror it doesn't look right at all. I sent a picture to them and they said it looked like a good fit. I'm being careful to not get it dirty or sweat in it yet in case i return it but I did take it out for a short day hike on some local trails. And I must say it carries very well. 

So maybe it's not an issue but it seems really weird. 

I found JRs review of the Gossamer Gear Gorilla (the smaller version of this pack) and he noted almost the exact same thing.

Anyone else have any experience with this brand or these models?




6:29 p.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,437 forum posts

Put more weight in that sack - that'll eliminate the gap!)

Generally speaking...

If it feels like it fits, it fits, don't worry about the gap.

The primary purpose of shoulder straps is to keep the pack up against the back, while the hip belt carries the weight.  If the gap you address extended further down your back then I would say you need to tighten the shoulder straps.  But since your pack appears to otherwise be positioned against your back I'd say you are good to go.

Internal frame packs often have several means to adjust the fit of shoulder straps; however, the Silverback appears to make do without them.  If you want to tinker with it, you may be able to reform the frame stays of the pack, putting more bend in the top portion; that should eliminate the gap, but too much bend will also create a pressure point on the hump at the base of your neck.



8:26 p.m. on August 4, 2017 (EDT)
123 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

I've carried 30-40 lbs in the Silverback on 16-ish 5-milers with no fit issues.  

Like all packs for me, changing up all the settings every hike then adjusting on trail lets me dial in what feels best that particular day.  I have noticed on this pack using the sternum stamp is a must (for me).

10:29 a.m. on August 5, 2017 (EDT)
2,017 reviewer rep
393 forum posts

Hey Pat, sorry I'm just now seeing your post. BTW I have about the same torso size, so maybe that particular torso against their particular idea of a "medium" is just not a great fit?

First I assume you're trying it on with a realistic load of your actual gear. I agree with Ed to let how it feels/rides determine if it "fits" well or not. Still, many people fanatically love their GG packs so when something doesn't seem right on you it makes you wonder.

Ultimately I switched away from and sold my GG pack because the fit wasn't quite right for me. While I did like much about the way it fit, ultimately I felt that the weight wasn't transferring to the hip belt as much as I would like and was relying too much on the shoulder straps to bear some of the weight (rather than just stabilize the load against your back/body, as Ed points out is more accepted as "correct"). And yes I fiddled every which way on the straps and buckles but always felt the load pulling down and away from my back, which put pressure on the shoulder straps.

This then became an issue because the wider shoulder straps on that pack ran over the top of my acromioclavicular joints (the bony bumps at the tops of each shoulder) and putting pressure there (most other shoulder straps ride inside the AC joints for me and pretty much everybody else). Because of the wider shoulder straps I was actually getting bruises over the AC joints from it, ultimately not the most comfortable for me. I felt that the "gaps" were due to this pulling away feeling. After a couple of days on the trail this would go away as my body got used to the pressure points, but I was using the pack mostly for weekenders.

At the time I got the Gorilla, not many people were complaining about the straps resting on their AC joints, I guess I need to wear the straps wider than others. But while I was having a problem on the outer edge of the shoulder straps, the opposite was a common complaint at that time, on the inner edge of the shoulder straps -- that the straps rode up on their neck and caused friction/chafing. In your pictures #2 and 3 it looks like the shoulder straps are inside your AC joints but may be riding up the sides of your neck a bit? Just something you may want to watch out for.

December 6, 2019
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