Chris Townsend reviews the Gossamer Gear’s 60L Mariposa.
This version of the review was first published in the October 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.
With a bigger capacity and a more supportive harness than the other packs reviewed, the Mariposa is more suitable for heavier loads. Indeed, it’s comfortable with twice the weight. For trips where many days’ worth of food has to be carried or you have extra gear for severe weather or other reason (camera stuff in my case) the extra space and comfort is welcome.
The support comes from a U-shaped wire frame that locks into the wide, stiffened, and well-padded hipbelt. This provides excellent weight transfer to the belt. There’s also a thick foam backpad with an eggbox shape to reduce condensation. This pad fits into two stretch mesh sleeves and is easy to remove and replace when the pack is full, making it an excellent sitmat. The shoulder straps are quite wide and firm too.
The Mariposa has an unusual combined roll-top and buckled lid. It took me a little while to get used to this but once it was familiar I really liked it. The zipped pocket on the lid holds a surprising amount. The other pockets carry everything you might need during the day. I like having a long pocket on one side – it’s big enough for a tarp or light solo tent – and two smaller ones on the other. There are plenty of attachment points for other gear, including loops for compression cords and D rings on the harness for clipping on items like sunglasses.
The pack is made from two different weights of Robic nylon and should last well.
With loads of 10-15kg I’ve found the Mariposa comfortable and stable. It is available without a hipbelt for £200 but I can’t imagine anyone buying it without one. Three sizes of hipbelt are available. The Mariposa is available from backpackinglight.co.uk.
Original review first published: March 2014
Pros: low weight, pockets, tough fabric, three back lengths
Cons: hipbelt could be more supportive
- Price: £229
- Weight: 935g
- Capacity: 60 litres
- Closures: fold-over lid
- Compartments: 1
- Back: wire frame, removable foam pad
- Sizes: 3
- Hipbelt: padded, stiffened
- Pockets: stretch mesh front, 3 side, zipped top, 2 zipped hipbelt, inner hydration sleeve
- Features: ice axe trekking pole loops, multiple attachment points
- Volume to weight ratio: 32
- Max. recommended load: 16kg