Editor's Note: Backpacking Light is including new products from small online businesses in our Outdoor Retailer coverage. Most can't afford a booth at OR, but their new products are just as important to our readers as those from the big companies.

Technically, Gossamer Gear has already introduced the Gorilla pack, but supplies have been limited, until now. The Gorilla pack has a removable frame, so it can be used either frameless or internal frame. It's sized for ultralight backpacking at 2800 cubic inches and is both durable and light. With the Gorilla, Gossamer Gear is introducing their new curved tubular aluminum frame (3.4 ounces), which can be retrofitted to the Mariposa Plus pack. Another nice feature is its removable hipbelt and sternum strap. The Gorilla pack is available in three sizes, and three hipbelt sizes are also available.

Overall, the Gorilla shows the outcome of a lot of evolution in ultralight backpacks. Earlier packs were constructed of much lighter fabrics and mesh and had a limited lifespan as a result. Pack manufacturers have found that going to heavier fabrics and mesh do not add that much to a pack's weight, but they add a huge increment of durability and longevity. The Gorilla is a refined pack, showing the outcome of this evolution. This could easily become my favorite backpack; look for an upcoming review in Backpacking Light.


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