Oct 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm #1240211
Companion forum thread to:Oct 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm #1535977
Very nice review – thanks!Oct 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm #1535986
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
Great article and well written. Though I am not compelled to go out and buy this pack. Maybe because the author is slanted as he uses a G4 already (not trying to offend)?
I would like to see this pack compared to some of the other new packs on the market. Maybe the BPL staff could have a contest and everyone could take a turn with a different pack. Decide the over all favorite and give us pros and cons.
Has anyone looked at the new light Osprey packs? I was suprised by the well thought out features of those. Heavier than anything I have anymore. But I like them. They are on clearance at REI.Oct 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm #1535995
I've used my Gorilla with loads up to 26lbs and it carry's like a dream. I have it outfitted with dual shoulder strap and hip-belt pockets. I'd did have the hip-belt pockets coming loose from where they anchor with the Velcro tabs, but I plan to put a few stitches in, attaching the tabs to the hip-belt to alleviate this problem.Oct 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm #1536069
>Has anyone looked at the new light Osprey packs?
BPL has tested the Exos series packs.Oct 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm #1536070
+1 Gorilla so far. I have used it for less than 200 miles… but so far it looks like it's going to retire my GGVT which has been my goto pack for the last six years. I pretty much agree with everything Will said.
The one thing I would add is that the stays aren't connected directly into the hip belt which can limit weight transfer. If a bit of care is taken when packing this isn't an issue though the pack has a bit of side-to-side motion around the center where the pack fabric and he belt connect. I actually find this slight pivot makes the pack more comfortable for me with <25lb loads.
As to the Osprey Exos line… there was a review of the Exos also by Will here earlier. For my purposes I found the Gorilla just the right size where the Exos 46 was the wrong shape to take a bear canister and the 58 was too big. For me, the Gorilla is more comfortable carrying up to 25lbs. I thing that from a feature standpoint they are most pretty nice. The only thing that the Exos is notably better at is back ventilation. The Gorilla is worse than average, the Exos is better than average.
–MarkOct 13, 2009 at 7:21 pm #1536074
Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM? What am I missing?
In any event, I think a comparison test is due by BPL with competing packs are in order (including frameless ones).Oct 13, 2009 at 7:28 pm #1536076
> Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM?
Nope. Those were the two packs I tried this summer. I tried the Ohm the first half of summer and then switched to the Gorilla. I think the Ohm is visually more attractive, likely more durable… and I might have slightly preferred the Ohm's usability (type/location of pockets, closure system, etc). But when it came to carry comfort I much preferred the the Gorilla. I think the combination of the shaped stays and the encircling hip belt of the Gorilla are an improve over the the wing attached hipbelt and strait stays on the Ohm. The Ohm carry reminded me of the GVP Miniposa with the strait stays. Ok, but not great.
–MarkOct 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm #1536077
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Am I the only one that sees this pack as direct competition to the ULA OHM? What am I missing?"
Nope. There are at least two of us. :)Oct 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm #1536100
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
An annoying feature of packs like this, is that the sleeping pad can become soaked when it rains. More an annoyance than a major problem, but enough to put me off. My Starlite suffers from the same issue.Oct 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm #1536111
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
Mark, I'm also a long-term user of the Vapor Trail but have been tempted to try the Gorilla for the weight savings. How would you compare the volume of the main body of the Gorilla? Is it more, less, or about the same as the VT?Oct 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm #1536122
I thought the sleeping pads were closed cell.Oct 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm #1536123
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
"I thought the sleeping pads were closed cell"
Depends what pad you use. :)
CCF mats will not absorb water, but they still become wet. My Thermarest outside fabric did soak up water.Oct 13, 2009 at 11:30 pm #1536131
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
I was very close to getting a Gorilla, but in the end I felt the capacity was a bit too small to make the most of its weight carrying ability. Instead I decided to try the frame less route with an MLD Exodus. For a few years now I have been using a frameless sack I made myself by modifying an existing sack and have been quite pleased. However if the Exodus doesn't work out for me I will going back to the GGG.Oct 14, 2009 at 3:30 am #1536150
I'd like to see a review from a woman about the fit. Those shoulder straps do look wide.Oct 14, 2009 at 6:20 am #1536169
@dirtyhikerLocale: NC mountains
Deadbear here!! Just finished the 130 mile 100 mile wilderness… Monson to Katadhin… 6 pound base and 8 pounds food and water, HOOOOOORRRRAAYYYYYY for the gorilla!! A very cold and mostly wet hike the Gorilla responded superbly.. Even working as a foot box cover to protect my down on the worst of nights… Large shoulder straps no problem for me although you need lots of poofy down , or a bear canister, to fill it up to the point you can tighten down the center strap… The pockets are perfect…. did i say perfect? I mean absofreakinglutley perfect… Wet tarp, water bottle, rain jacket, camp shoes, any thing you can imagine… Greatest pack ever!!!
Quick edit- After reading the rest of the posts I just wanted to say that 5 days/ nights of intermediate to heavy rain/ snow on white top/ ice on Katadin, my gorilla happily kept everything dry without rain cover… The only stuff that got wet was because of me being s moron!!!
Thanks Grant for your help and absolute amazing customer service!!!!!
P.S> the G.G. Lightrek 4 poles— I have never touched anything as cool as these before… I love my ninja stix!!!!Oct 14, 2009 at 6:30 am #1536170
@herman666Locale: Northern Virginia
I believe the statement that the stay is made from aluminum tubing is incorrect. The stay in my Mariposa Plus is made from solid aluminum. I had a discussion with Grant at GG about it. He said they tried aluminum tubing but ran into manufacturing and durability problems. The discussion was for the Mariposa, but since they list the same stay weight (3.4 oz.) for both packs, I assume the same rod material in the Gorilla.
I wouldn't characterize this as nitpicking because in a backpacking genre in which label removal as a means of weight reduction is considered rational, so too then would a quest for a workable means of forming high strength tubing to shave of a few ounces.
I would also like to add another facet to this review. The company behind the gear is almost as important as the gear itself, and in this respect, I find Gossamer Gear in the very top tier of the industry. They are responsive to inquiries and stand staunchly behind their products. They go to great lengths to assure long term customer satisfaction.Oct 14, 2009 at 6:36 am #1536171
My Ohm in medium with no accessories weighs 20.1 ounces so the statement about the Gorilla being the 2nd lightest internal frame pack available is incorrect. At 3000 cubes it's also a direct competitor with the Gorilla as mentioned above.Oct 14, 2009 at 6:54 am #1536175
@darinbuLocale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks, Will. Some questions:
1. Are you saying that the NeoAir can, or cannot, be used in the pad sleeve? Would the NeoAir size matter (I have a Large), and would you have any NeoAir durability concerns when doing so?
2. What size of bear canister is usable with this pack? I have both the BV450 and the BV500; will they both work?Oct 14, 2009 at 7:00 am #1536177
> How would you compare the volume of the main body of the Gorilla?
I would say that it is less. The Gorilla lists the main bag and collar to be 2400ci. The GGVT main section (without the ridiculous collar) is somewhere between 2600-2800ci. The packs are similar width, the GGVT main body is a tiny bit taller, and the real difference is that GGVT is deeper.
–MarkOct 14, 2009 at 7:23 am #1536182
The bear cans are wider (and taller) than the pack is deep. Never the less I found that the bear vault 350 (same size as the 450) could be comfortably carried inside the pack though I ended up carrying it with the bottom against my back rather than my more typically vertical position.
The bearikade weekender II (and I assume the larger bear vault) can be placed inside the main body but it's an awkward fit. It took a several tries packing until I had things arranges so I didn't feel the canister against my back. Doable but not ideal. I think the recommended method for carrying larger canisters is to strap it to the outside using the V straps. I haven't actually carried a can like this since all my use has been with the bearvault solo except a short test hike with a fullsize can inside. Hmmm…. I wonder if that gossamer ribbon which I found annoying helps when attaching a bearcan to the outside.
–MarkOct 14, 2009 at 8:57 am #1536212
@jaywilks18Locale: Tetons (via Idaho)
I must agree with Will. Although I have only taken it out on a few weekend trips, I have found the Gorilla to be spot on. It is the perfect size for an ultralight kit, and the tougher fabric is a huge plus in my opinion, as that previously turned me away from Gossamer Gear packs. The wider shoulder straps really do a nice job of spreading the load and alleviating shoulder pain. It's also great to see some that the original features that set GG apart, like socks in the shoulder straps, are still available. I think this is also a great example of product development and iteration from the folks at GG – way to go!
I cant wait to get out on some longer excursions and really push this thing to its capacity and weight limits in order to further evaluate the aluminum stay's ability to distribute weight.
As far as I am concerned, this will be my go-to pack for trips ranging from 2-8 days.Oct 14, 2009 at 9:27 am #1536227
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
I want to like this pack but find myself time and again turning to my trusted MLD Prophet for trips requiring a pack of this volume/size.
I found the Gorrila's materials and workmanship to be of high quality and the design to be well thought out (and likely highly functional for most users, just not me). I do not like the Y strap closure or the pad sleeve.
I want to like this pack, honest. But having said that do not be surpised to see a slightly modified and dyed black Gorrilla, in size medium, for sale on BPL very soon.Oct 14, 2009 at 10:45 am #1536262
> I want to like this pack, honest
Packs are very personal. Over the years there have been a number of packs that other people adored… that I really wanted to like, but in the end, they didn't do it for me. So I keep returned to the GGVT even though I wasn't 100% thrilled with it. As the saying goes, we all need to hike our own hike. For some number of folks, the Gorilla will be the end of the quest, for others a step along the way.
–MarkOct 14, 2009 at 11:02 am #1536270
I would also like to know why the Ohm was not included in the comparisons as an equivalent size pack with internal frame and yet lighter yet… Anybody have any thoughts since this wasn't included??
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