The Gossamer Gear Mariposa is a classic among the lightweight yet large backpacks. On the long trails in the USA he likes to travel a lot and is quite mainstream, but in this country you can mainly see real heavyweights from the well-known brands. The light and ultralight packs of small cottages and backpack smiths are rarely seen in the Alps. As the last reviews I'm already working on optimizing and simplifying my equipment. It just hikes easier - and easier!
My old, big one Berghaus backpack, who also has "only" 2 kilograms curb weight, I send in the well-deserved retirement. I bought the Berghaus mainly because of its flexibly mounted hipbelt. Rigid hip straps, in combination with high backpack weight and uneven trails, always brought me long-lasting hip pain. This problem was actually solved by the articulated, rotatable construction on the Berghaus!
By now achieved weight savings of my entire equipment of about 5 kilograms, I have no more problems with the hip. Lower total weight is here, from a health point of view, an advantage. So I ventured the switch to a new, also lighter backpack: the Mariposa. Two longer tours of about 100 kilometers and some smaller tours, the backpack is now on its back and can easily guess what I like and what I do not like.
Construction: bags and carrying system
The backpack is designed as a toploader with a 36 liter chamber. Instead of a conventional lid compartment, it has an overlapping construction (OTT, over-the-top lid) with plug closures. There is a flat zipper pocket in the lid, but it is not really usable except for flat little things like maps or the key.
Directly striking and super practical are the outer pockets: at the front of a huge Meshtasche is attached. Everything is possible here: rain clothes, the complete food for the day, water filters and bottles, first aid kit ... and more. The mesh of the bag is elastic and robust.
On the left side is a long outer pocket over almost the entire length of the backpack. Here you will find tent Space. Practical is that at the bottom of the bag has a drainage opening, so here is the water drain from the wet tent.
Opposite on the other side are two smaller pockets one above the other. At the bottom, fit easily two bottles of water, which are also accessible while walking well and without major dislocations of the shoulder. The upper bag is in something the same size, here is more small stuff - or as with me Cooking set - his place. These bags also have drainage, so they do not run full even when it rains.
The carrying system of the Mariposa has a modular design, and you can save even more weight by omitting it if necessary:
- The hip belt, which can / must be purchased additionally in the appropriate size, with two other pockets, is threaded through at the lower end of the backpack and held by Velcro. Attached are two sturdy loops for the stay (metal struts)
- A U-shaped metal strut (“Stay”) serves as a carrying frame, which is inserted inside the optional hip belt and thus ensures a load transfer to the hip. You can of course leave the stay at home and pack like a frameless pack.
- The removable back pad, which also serves as a cushion (here is an upgrade to the Air Flow SitLight Pad, which ventilated significantly better, see Conclusion)
- Very wide and well padded unisex shoulder straps with load control
Pack and use
With its many pockets, the Mariposa can be packaged well organized. First I pack the main compartment, at the bottom of the sleeping bag, mattress and clothes. It all comes in a Packliner. Although the material itself is already tight, I'm playing it safe. Then the food comes in an extra bag.
Outside, in the long bag, finds my tent or tarp along with odds and ends his place. In the upper, small bag is the kitchen, including one to two bottles of water. I have not been using hydration systems for a long time, because it's too much work for me to keep things clean. On the way you never know exactly how much content is still in it, and to "refuel" you always have to empty the backpack to get to the Bladder. This is too much effort for me.
In the front pocket I keep everything that I need during the day: toilet paper and spade, water filter, rain clothes or poncho, snacks, flashlight. Damp clothes dry through the mesh.
Camera and smartphone, pocket knife, sunscreen, mosquito spray and other small items can be found in the two pockets on the hip belt.
As described above, the compartment on the lid is not so useful, so I put flat things there like map and compass, purse, keys and so on.
Comfort and Conclusion
Fully equipped as described here weighs the complete backpack not even a kilo, slimmed down not 600 grams. With 12 kilograms it is easy to carry when loaded, nothing presses, rubs and cuts. I first tried the backpack in size L for a height of 180 cm, it was a bit too long and pressed hard on the lower back. Size M now fits perfectly. If you fluctuate between two sizes, you should take the shorter back length. The hip belt in size S fits me wonderfully.
Just a shortcoming has the construction: the EVA pad is soft on the back, but of course it is also a steam and sweat trap. You sweat much more and more extensive than under the usual mesh designs. Here, however, there is a recent remedy: the Air Flow SitLight, a well-ventilated pad, fits exactly in the recess on the back. A really useful addon for the otherwise mature backpack. It may well be that the new models are already supplied with the new pad.
Even loops for trekking poles and ice axes are available, also two passages for the hose of the hydration system and attachment inside for the backpack are available. Only the compression The backpack is prepared only by loops - the string, however, you have to get and thread yourself. But this is not so easy to do, as the compression cords restrict access to the practical side pockets and / or the front pocket.