May 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm #1273394
I am having a real tough time figuring out my next pack purchase. I want a pack that can carrying a bear can internally and carry at least 25 lbs. comfortably. I am a big fan of dyneema packs, I have an MLD Prophet. I am considering a number of packs and am considering the Mariposa Plus, but heard that there are some durability issues, especially in the mesh used in the pockets and the stitching use to attach the pockets to the pack. I also am considering the Gorilla, but volume wise might be to small to carry a BV solo, and might be to similar to the Prophet. Need some feedback. Thanks.May 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm #1733547
@tothetrailLocale: So. Cal.
My friend and I used these packs on the JMT last year, with a Bearikade Weekender inside. I wrapped a GG ThinLight pad around the can before placing it in the pack, which doubled as protection and insulation under the NeoAir at night. Wrapping the can in the pad protected it from rubbing through if the pack was leaned against a rock.
The packs fared well. Mine did come with some unfinished stitching on one of the pockets. This was fixed when they were sent back to have the shoulder straps modified. The straps were originally rubbing on my neck and inner arms, they came back perfect.
They could still both pass for new. I must admit that I'm super careful with my gear. Someone who is less careful, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with the rough granite, might have trouble with durability. I had no issues with the mesh, but if you plan to hike on brushy trails that are not frequently used, it may be tougher to keep the mesh in tact. Really, the only durability issues I can think of with this pack, or any, for that matter, can be avoided by just paying attention to where the pack is set down and steering clear of brush or other contacts. The weight we both carried was around 13-20 lbs, depending on availability of water and relation to resupply. I suppose if you were to overload this pack, the stitching on the straps could suffer, but if you are planning on 25 lbs, you shouldn't have issues in this regard.May 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm #1733552
Thanks for your insight on the Mariposa Plus, the more info I gather, the better choice I will make when I finally purchase a new pack.May 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm #1733556
Dan, I have carried one for awhile and unless you are using your pack as haul bag on a regular basis for climbing I don't think you would ever wear it out, or any of the other well known cottage industry pack for that matter. It is a light weight pack for light loads. What can wear it out? … durability shouldn't be an issue unless you have an extra-ordinary use.May 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm #1733562
Yeah I would be using the Mariposa Plus for my trips into the sierras where a bear can is required. I don't think I will be doing much bush wacking and will be sticking to the trails mostly. I don't see myself caring more that 25 lbs. max and not using the pack more than a few times a year for trips between 4-6 days. I will be using my MLD Prophet for my overnighters and weekends. Thanks.May 6, 2011 at 8:38 am #1733736
Bump. Need some more feedback. Thanks.May 6, 2011 at 10:49 am #1733804
I bought a Mariposa Plus a few months ago, took it on one trip and LOVED the pack as far as comfort goes. However, the Y strap, where it connects to the pack, both sides had a hole about the size of your fingertip by the end of the 2 day trip.
I contacted GG and they were more than happy to work with me. Me (and the other 3 people on the trip) seemed to think it might be from being underfilled and the stay wore a hole in that spot. The stay put a lot of pressure on the pack right there when it was not filled up in to the extension collar. GG thought it was from me tightening the Y strap too tight. Either way, I think it was a fluke with manufacturing, and was handled well by GG. Another person on the trip had a M-Plus from 2008 and it had no issues.
I did, however, buy a Gorilla for piece of mind.May 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm #1733843
I've used a Mariposa Plus for many years, carrying 35 lbs (!) for most trips (this includes a guitar and fishing gear). Many times I've put a Bearikade Expedition in it. Because of that weight, the stitching on the hip belt tore a bit; I paid GG to repair it. I also had them repair a section of netting that I tore while climbing over a log. Anyway, I find it to be very comfortable pack and reasonably durable.
– JVMay 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm #1733845
Mine has been fine. I dream of wearing it out with normal use though.May 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm #1733859
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
rob, did you find the gorilla to be a big improvement over the mariposa?
surprised to hear some of these comments…May 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm #1733881
I use mine in the Sierras and Socal mountains and I haven't had any durability isses with the mesh, stitching, or y-strap.May 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm #1733972
Hi guys and girls,
Anyway I have been doing a lot of research and am leaning towards a Gorilla, because it seems to have enough volume for what I am looking for, is durable, and can carry a BV Solo.May 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm #1733975
They have them on sale right now. $35 off regular price.May 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm #1733987
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
Could you expand on some reasons why you made that choice and how your research led you in that direction?
Ben-May 7, 2011 at 8:44 am #1734176
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
My wife and I both had fairly new GG Mariposa Plus packs when I took mine to thru-hike the PCT in 2008. The load going in to the Sierras strained the straps somewhat alarmingly, I was seeing loose thread where the pack straps met the pack body at the shoulders, so at Sonora Pass I swapped for my wife's pack and used that for the rest of the trip. Doing the AT last year I started with my now-repaired Mariposa plus and carried that for several hundred miles, but by then the waist belt was getting wonky. Some repairs to mesh and a duct tape reinforcement in the upper pack fabric, that sort of thing didn't bother me but the waist belt itself was looking pretty worn and just wasn't holding things right. My wife mailed the 'other' Mariposa plus pack out, but on examination I decided it didn't have that many miles left on it either, and again, my recollection was of some sort of issue(s) in the waist belt area.
My hiking partner at the time had recently replaced his ULA pack (with another ULA) after about 5000 trail miles, so I opted for a ULA as replacement. The Mariposa Plus is a great trade-off in a lot of ways, I certainly don't mean to put it down (!). My sense, however, is that a ULA pack can do more than one sort of 'standard' thru-hike and so offered me a bit better overall value, and in general ULA packs do a good balance of comfort, features/functionality, and weight. For less intense use where weight is prime consideration, GG makes excellent products.May 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm #1734422
"rob, did you find the gorilla to be a big improvement over the mariposa?"
Yes. The fabric on the Gorilla is excellent. Not to mention the size of the pack fit my needs a little better. The Gorilla is a narrower pack, carries closer to the body, and in my opinion, this makes it even more comfortable. That is hard to do as the Mariposa Plus is already a very comfortable pack.
I just figured if I was able to wear 2 holes in the pack on one outing (even if it was user error which is up for debate) I was bound to wear it out too soon under normal use. I could have very well been a fluke, but the piece of mind the Gorilla gives me is worth it. And when it was all said and done the Gorilla I received was only 0.48 ounces heavier than my MP.May 9, 2011 at 10:04 am #1734474
I ordered a medium Gorilla with one medium hip belt pocket this mourning. I really liked the reviews the Gorilla got, and the volume seams good for me with my 8-9 lb base for up to 6 days. The important thing is that it will fit a BV solo or Bearikade weekender. I have a MLD Prophet, but need something that has an internal frame to carry over 20 lbs. comfortably. Personally I've found that the Prophet is not comfortable for me above 20 lbs. but is a great pack for overnighters and weekends were total pack weight with food, fuel, and water is below 16 pounds.May 9, 2011 at 10:26 am #1734487
I think you will like the Gorilla. The good thing about the stays is that they are curved to fit your back so they provide a very close-to-back ride which keeps the pack stable when you carry a heavier load.
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