The Gossamer Gear Mariposa is a 60-liter internal frame pack that falls somewhere between an ultralight pack and a medium-weight pack capable of carrying heavier loads. It is considered a high volume ultralight backpack. Gossamer Gear recently re-designed the hipbelt with the purpose of improving load distribution and increasing pocket size.
I’ve recently begun enjoying treks with my children. For this reason, I’m carrying a little more weight than I once did. I tested the Mariposa 60 with this use in mind.
I was impressed by the features, functionality, and comfort of this pack—especially as the design itself is simple. The pack is spacious and has seven pockets. It met my needs while trekking and kept my gear accessible and organized.
Features and Specifications
- Updated hipbelt design
- Internal stay system
- Increased pocket size
- Rated for 35 lbs (15.87 kg)
- Built-in SitLight pad doubles as a removable stay
- Optional Air Flow SitLight Camp Seat instead of the SitLight pad
- Rear mesh pocket
- Air mesh fabric on shoulder straps and hipbelt
- External trekking pole storage
- Accessible water bottle pocket
- Internal hydration system
- Over-the-top closure
(from Gossamer Gear’s Website)
Average Weight With all Components
- Small: 30.7 oz (870 g)
- Medium: 32.7 oz (927 g)
- Large: 34.8 oz (986 g)
Average Weight Medium Components
- Pack body: 19.7 oz (560 g)
- Pack frame: 3.0 oz (84 g)
- SitLight pad: 2.1 oz (60 g)
- Hipbelt: 7.7 oz (218 g)
Average Weight Hipbelt
- Small: 7.1 oz (200 g)
- Medium: 7.7 oz (218 g)
- Large: 8.4 oz (236 g)
- Total Capacity: 60 L (3487 CI)
- 36 L (2,200 CI) in main pack compartment to extension collar seam
- 35 lb (15.87 kg) maximum carry capacity
- Height: 23 in (58.42 cm) to the extension collar only
- Extension collar adds another 9 in (22.86 cm) of height
- Width: 11 in (27.94 cm)
- Depth: 7.5 in (19.05 cm)
- 100 denier Robic high-tensile strength nylon
- Select use of 200 denier Robic high tensile strength nylon
- Select use of 70 denier double-rip ripstop nylon
- Select use of Darlington Mesh
- Select use of Supreme Air Mesh
Description of Field Testing
I tested the Mariposa 60 on a multiple-day hike in Montana’s Beartooth Range in mid-July. My base weight for the trip was twenty-two pounds. I hiked and camped at around nine thousand feet elevation. The weather was typical of the area and season: sunshine with a few overnight showers and one large storm with rain and hail.
My performance assessment of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 will address the following items:
- Finish Quality and Design
- Fit and Comfort
Finish Quality and Design
The Mariposa 60 is a simply designed lightweight backpack with well-thought-out features. The fabric used in the Mariposa 60 is heavy in high-abrasion areas and lighter where possible to save weight. The quality of stitching and seams are on par with any other high-end backpacking manufacturer. The pack is aesthetically pleasing and seems designed to last.
Fit and Comfort
Gossamer Gear offers both the pack and hipbelt in multiple sizes so you can get the fit dialed in with precision. The result was a pack that felt just right on my six foot one, one hundred and seventy-pound frame. It hugged my body and felt secure.
When I first tried on the pack I felt like the shoulder straps were too close together. I felt some pressure on the outside of my neck. But once I loaded the pack the feeling vanished and never returned.
A lack of breathability is a common complaint about this pack. Gossamer Gear has created a combo internal pack frame/sitting pad designed to increase airflow. The pad, called the Air Flow SitLight Camp Seat, is designed to slide into the pad pocket of the Mariposa 60. Ostensibly this adds structure to the pack and increases breathability. I didn’t notice my back being less sweaty while testing the pack with the SitLight seat inserted. However, it did seem to increase air flow slightly.
Gear accessibility is the main strength of this pack. I’m used to a very simple pack design: one main compartment and two pockets. So it was a novel experience to use a sub-two pound pack with seven outside pockets. The quantity and location of the pockets is a plus for a backpacker who enjoys organized gear systems.
The water bottle pocket (right-hand side of pack) is technically accessible without removing the pack. However, I’m flexible and use soft-sided water bottles, and I still struggled to reach it at times.
The large hip belts are ideal for gear storage and organization. I kept my map, Garmin Foretrex 301, headnet, and snacks all in one hip belt pouch. In the other, I stored my lunch, allowing me to eat as I hiked.
The mesh pouch on the back of the pack is spacious and lets you expose wet gear to the air for quicker drying.
The Mariposa 60 is more pack than many ultralight backpackers want or need. On trips that necessitate more gear or volume than usual (like when hiking with children), this pack excels. The large and numerous external pockets make for gear that is easily stored and quickly accessible. The recently re-designed and enlarged hipbelt pockets were a winning feature in my book.
Where to Buy
- Get the Mariposa 60 Backpack at the Gossamer Gear website.
- Community discussion about the pros/cons of the Mariposa and where it fits in the pantheon of ultralight packs.
Product Review Disclosure
Updated September 15, 2018
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