How to Choose Which Backpack Is Right For You – Gossamer Gear


All of our ultralight backpacks hit that candy spot the place capability, sturdiness, and light-weight come collectively. They’re designed with custom-made materials which might be whisper-thin however hardwearing. Each begins with a dedication to a cushty carry. 

So, then, how on the planet do you select which one to get—particularly if you happen to’re torn between two of our hottest packs: the Gorilla and the Mariposa?

Below, we evaluate these two fan favorites so you possibly can resolve which specs and options greatest suit your wants. We additionally share some ideas on one of the best use situations for every to see how these suit your backpacking model. Our hope is that this Gorilla vs. Mariposa backpack evaluation will result in joyful trails forward for you very quickly!

Photo credit score: @becauseicecreamhasnobones

Gorilla vs. Mariposa: By the Specs

The specs we share on this part are primarily based on the medium-sized 2022 mannequin of every pack. You can all the time test the Gorilla and Mariposa product pages for the newest and best, together with the specs for various sizes.


As you’ll see beneath, the scale of the Gorilla and Mariposa are pretty related, however the Mariposa has a barely better depth.

Gorilla 50:

  • Height: 22 in / 55.9 cm to extension collar seam
  • Width: 11 in / 27.9 cm
  • Depth: 6.5 in / 16.5 cm
  • Extension collar provides one other 11.5 in / 29.2 cm of top

Mariposa 60:

  • Height: 22 in / 55.9 cm to the extension collar solely
  • Width: 11 in / 27.9 cm
  • Depth: 7 in / 18 cm
  • Extension collar provides one other 11.5 in / 29.2 cm of top

Average Weight

As it’s a barely bigger pack, the Mariposa weighs about 1.1 ounces greater than the Gorilla when all parts, together with the belt and sitlight pad, are thought-about.

Gorilla 50:

  • Pack physique: 16.9 oz / 480 g
  • Pack body: 3.0 oz / 86 g
  • Sitlight pad: 3.0 oz / 84 g
  • Medium belt: 7.5 oz / 213 g
  • Total: 30.4 oz / 863 g

Mariposa 60:

  • Pack physique: 18.0 oz / 509 g
  • Pack body: 3.0 oz / 86 g
  • Sitlight pad: 2.9 oz / 84 g
  • Total with no belt: 20.9 oz / 593 g
  • Total with medium belt: 31.5 oz / 892 g


When it involves capability, the Mariposa is barely bigger than the Gorilla by 10 liters. It can even carry about 5 kilos greater than the Gorilla.

Gorilla 50:

  • Total: 50 L
  • Main pack physique to extension collar seam: 32 L
  • Max carry capability: 30 lbs
  • For consolation: 25 lbs

Mariposa 60:

  • Total: 60 L
  • Main pack physique to extension collar seam: 36 L
  • Spread throughout 7 exterior pockets: 24 L
  • Max carry capability: 35 lbs
  • For consolation: 30 lbs

Photo credit score: @thathikergirl

Gorilla vs. Mariposa: By the Features

The Gorilla and Mariposa boast lots of the identical options, together with:

  • Belt with added stiffener and keep integration for superior load switch and luxury
  • Unisex ergonomic belt form and harness
  • Larger extra practical built-in hipbelt pockets
  • Lashing loop that doubles as ice axe holder
  • SitLight pad and a detachable keep
  • Rear mesh pocket nice for drying gear and different gear storage
  • Custom air mesh material on shoulder straps and hipbelt for much less friction and extra consolation
  • Trekking pole {hardware} for storing them outdoors the pack
  • Drinking tube keeper loops on each shoulder straps
  • Over-the-Top (OTT) closure system that gives a straightforward safe closure

The key variations come right down to exterior pockets and compression straps

The Mariposa has one pack-length exterior pocket on the left facet of the pack and two water bottle sized pockets on the proper facet of the pack (one on the backside and one on the prime). The Gorilla, alternatively, simply has one water bottle sized pocket on either side. The Mariposa additionally has a barely bigger exterior mesh pocket on the again of the pack, although this function performs roughly the identical on every pack.

Additionally, the Gorilla has full facet and prime compression, with buckles on the facet compression. The Mariposa doesn’t have facet compression straps.

Therefore, the Mariposa is nice for if you need the power to retailer loads of gear outdoors the primary compartment of your pack. The Gorilla is nice if you happen to choose a extra condensed, compressed pack.

Finally, each packs are provided within the well-known Gossamer Gear grey. The Mariposa can be provided in a beautiful inexperienced and the Gorilla is obtainable in a vivacious yellow.

So, Gorilla or Mariposa—Which Is Right for You?

The variations between the Gorilla and Mariposa backpacks are delicate. It’s no marvel they’re each fan favorites and likewise laborious to decide on between. Here are some ideas for selecting which is best for you.

The Mariposa is especially good for:

  • Winter or shoulder season backpacking the place you would possibly want to hold extra or bulkier gear
  • Travel in wilderness areas that require use of a bear canister
  • If you need a pack that gives somewhat extra flexibility when it comes to load to cowl a variety of various journey varieties and lengths
  • If you’re newer to light-weight backpacking and on the lookout for a neater transition out of your earlier heavier, bigger pack
  • If you completely love exterior pockets and need to have the ability to retailer all the issues inside straightforward arm’s attain

The Gorilla is particularly good for:

  • Flexing your light-weight cred
  • Reducing exterior storage and protecting a compact load
  • More frequent, shorter journeys which might be the bread and butter of weekend warriors
  • Warmer climate climbing the place you gained’t want to hold as a lot gear or as many additional layers
  • Looking tremendous fly with the yellow possibility as a result of it does look fairly nice if we do say so ourselves

But, on the finish of the day, to cite Reddit person Adventure_Trevor from a thread on this actual matter, “I doubt you’ll regret either option.”

We know the selection is tough, however now we have complete religion that you just’ll discover one of the best one for you! And, as all the time, if in case you have extra questions, please attain out to our staff at and we’ll be joyful that will help you meet your new favourite pack.

Hungry for extra backpacking gear and planning data? Check out a few of our different articles on the Light Feet weblog:


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