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Re: Long Term Report: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack

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  • André Corterier
    Wow- the Appalachians reach 7648 km in height? And I though Everest at almost 10 km was steep... ;-) André ... that will not show here, but can be viewed in
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Wow- the Appalachians reach 7648 km in height? And I though Everest
      at almost 10 km was steep...
      ;-)

      André
      --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Rosaleen Sullivan"
      <rosaleen43@m...> wrote:
      > Hi, Gang and Alex (Monitor),
      >
      > Here is my LTR for the Mariposa pack. I have a couple of pictures
      that will not show here, but can be viewed in the test folder at
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/ltr%20mariposa%
      20pack-rhs/<http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/ltr%
      20mariposa%20pack-rhs/>. From my end, the links all seem to work.
      >
      > Alex, thanks, in advance for your efforts.
      >
      > Rosaleen
      >
      > Long Term Report: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack
      >
      > Tester: Rosaleen Sullivan
      >
      > Age: 55 years
      >
      > Gender: Female
      >
      > Height: 5' 9'' / 1.75 m
      >
      > Weight: 180 lb / 82 kg
      >
      > E-mail: rosaleen43 (at) msn (dot) com
      >
      > Home: Eastern Massachusetts, USA
      >
      > Date: May 31, 2005
      >
      > Manufacturer: Gossamer Gear
      >
      > URL: http://gossamergear.com/<http://gossamergear.com/>
      >
      > Size: Medium
      >
      > Color: Royal blue and black
      >
      > Year of Manufacture: 2004
      >
      > MSRP: $129.95 US
      >
      > Product Specifications are listed in my Initial
      Report<http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Packs/Internal%20and%
      20External%20Framed%20Backpacks/Gossamer%20Gear%20Mariposa/Rosaleen%
      20Sullivan/Initial%20Report/>.
      >
      > Interim information is in my Field
      Report<http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Packs/Internal%20and%
      20External%20Framed%20Backpacks/Gossamer%20Gear%20Mariposa/Rosaleen%
      20Sullivan/Field%20Report>.
      >
      > General Description (from previous reports)
      >
      > The Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack is a very light backpack that
      employs carbon fiber arrow shafts as internal support stays, and the
      user's own sleeping pad for back padding. If all the (supplied)
      removable options are in place, the pack weighs 17.08 oz / 484 g.
      Appropriately shaped pieces of closed cell foam are supplied and can
      be inserted into hook and loop fastened pockets within the shoulder
      straps and hip belt. Alternatively, the user may stuff spare
      clothing, such as socks, into these silnylon-lined pockets as
      padding, avoiding the slight extra weight of the foam. Four mesh
      outer pockets allow quick access to the user's water bottle and other
      small items, or a place for wet or smelly gear to have some exposure
      to air. The mostly silnylon pack has a more wear resistant fabric on
      the bottom, a piece of shock cording and several strategically placed
      loops for some compression, as desired, and an interior pocket for a
      water bladder. There is no "lid top pocket," but the drawstring top
      can be folded down, and then secured with a "Y" shaped strap. The
      juncture of the "Y" has a slide adjustment and is intended to provide
      secure lashing for items such as bulky sleeping pads, bear canisters,
      etc. The shoulder straps do have a connecting sternum strap, which
      features a whistle integrated into the connecting buckle.
      >
      > Results of Long Term Testing
      >
      > For this test period, I carried the Mariposa on one 7 mile (< 11
      km) "shakedown" hike in preparation for an extended hike, a 56.7 mile
      (91 km) section hike of the North Carolina/Tennessee Appalachian
      Trail, and as carry on luggage for one flight. Temperatures for the
      trips ranged between mid 30's F and low 80's F (>2 C to >28 C). The
      terrain ranged from the rolling hills of New England's coastal plains
      to mountains following Appalachian ridges to a height of about 4750
      ft (7648 km).
      >
      > Near the end of the Field Test period, I replaced the closed cell
      foam in the shoulder and hip belts with socks, hats, or gloves, and
      the Z-Rest section in the back pad pockets with a Therm-a-Rest
      Prolite 4 short. I was very pleased with the comfort level with the
      alternate fill and have not gone back to the closed cell padding.
      Wooly items did need some plastic bag protection to prevent the hook
      and loop closures from abrading them as I stuffed and removed each.
      We had a nasty cold snap on the east coast of the USA before my long
      hike in April. Night time temperatures were at or near freezing both
      here in Massachusetts, as well as in the southern Appalachians. In
      my anxiety over the cold and knowledge of snow conditions in the
      Tennessee mountains, I added clothing and food to my pack beyond what
      I'd so carefully planned. I think the pack I carried for most of the
      long section hike reached close to 30 lb (~14 kg) with
      the "extras." (Yes, I was sorry, especially during some ascents.)
      The Mariposa carried comfortably even at my estimated 30 lb (~14 kg),
      although I did find that I had to occasionally readjust straps that
      would loosen as my steps shook my gear. This was, of course, more
      pronounced when I slung my pack loose to allow for some air
      circulation to my back.
      >
      > Some small experiments I tried included hanging a fanny pack from
      the front in hopes of counterbalancing some weight. I couldn't tell
      if the fanny pack slung from the haul loop across a shoulder to the
      front of a shoulder strap, or just slung between shoulder straps in
      the front was of any help. It did put some small items in reach
      during the day, so, in that regard it was helpful. I was very glad
      for the long pocket on the pack's left side when my hydration bladed
      decided to leak. I first noticed it as I picked up my well-stuffed
      pack from a dining room chair, on my way to loading my truck for "The
      Big Hike." As one might imagine, I was NOT pleased to find the chair
      seat wet. I couldn't determine the source of the leak and moved the
      refilled bladder to the outside pocket for the duration of the hike.
      (The hole grew large enough to find it near the end of the trip.) I
      was able to load my hammock on the inside opposite of the water
      bladder and place a filled quart sized bottle in the outer right
      pocket, so the pack felt reasonably well balanced as I hiked. I
      never needed to lash anything to the outside of the pack, but the "Y"
      strap did help restrain bulky semi-hard items at the top inside of
      the pack.
      >
      > For my section hike, I used a Hennessy hammock. My hats and gloves
      and spare socks took turns "riding" in the pad pockets and doing dual
      duty. (Just before the hike, I made some micro fleece and a water
      repellant fabric hats and mittens to layer, as needed.) At night,
      once my food and other "smellables" were hung, I found the option of
      removing the pack's stays and padding to be a boon. Instead of
      worrying about where to stash my pack, I removed the stays and tucked
      them into the gathered Snakeskins on the hammock's hanging ropes, and
      popped my Therm-a-Rest into the hammock. Once I was inside, holding
      the pack on my lap as I laid back, it was very easy to deploy my
      sleeping bag as a blanket right out of the pack. Then, I'd take out
      my inflatable pillow and anything else I might need for the night,
      and slip the pack under my legs. It became part of my insulation and
      sleep comfort system. With the stays removed, the now soft bag
      couldn't poke any holes through the hammock bottom, or have any hard
      spots pressing into my legs. I think I've found a very workable
      solution for what I should do with my pack at night, and how to
      insulate my legs below my short air mattress. I just love multiple
      uses of anything I have to lug around all day!
      >
      > Under good and bad news, I encountered one problem in this time.
      Somehow I must have inadvertently allowed the pack to rub against an
      object, scraping a hole in the upper left side. I was horrified to
      find it after the day long shake down hike.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Not wanting to have a too obvious scar, I contacted Glen Van Peski
      at Gossamer Gear and procured a matching piece of silnylon to sew
      over the hole. I think the repair looks like a small pocket, as long
      as one doesn't inspect it too closely.
      >
      > I have been very happy with the customer service that Glen
      provides. He was prompt with sending out the silnylon for the repair
      patch, and very patient with questions about accessory gear that I
      bought or considered buying. Imagine how glad I was that I had
      bought the clear plastic (perfect fit) pack liner that saved my gear
      from getting soaked when my water bladder leaked! He also has sent
      me a sample of the mesh used for the back pad pockets. My long
      sleeved Supplex shirt that I wear for sun protection has some large
      black stains on the back. I think the color in the pad sleeves
      transferred to my shirt back while I was sweating profusely. Wicking
      polyester knit shirts with a slick finish did not have the same
      problem as the less smooth Supplex nylon. I've been told that nylon
      picks up color very easily. If the black stain on the nylon and not
      polyester is an indication, that's a valid premise. It is too bad
      that nylon doesn't give up color as easily.
      >
      > One other point that I find useful about backpacks is whether or
      not they fit in an overhead bin for air travel. I carried my
      Mariposa, minus any fuel, knives, or hiking poles, on board a flight
      from Washington, DC, to Boston, MA, with no problems. The less than
      filled to capacity pack, pockets empty, easily fit into the bin over
      my seat. I felt that I could have filled it more, should I have
      wished to do so. Since I like being able to fly with key trekking
      gear in hand, I was pleased to know that I can carry my pack, some
      food and clothing, sleeping gear, etc., and have it fit overhead.
      Food, fuel, some sort of a staff, and even a razor knife can be
      purchased after landing, as needed. I would find it a major
      inconvenience to arrive at a destination and discover that my pack,
      shelter, and sleeping gear were among the airline's missing bags.
      >
      > Likes (Nearly unchanged from the test start!)
      >
      > a.. Light enough to pick up and hold with one finger when empty
      > b.. Elegant simplicity
      > c.. Multiple options for comfort/cutting weight (Allows for
      multiple uses of clothing/gear.)
      > d.. Comfortable with loads tested, to about 30 lb (~14 kg)
      > e.. Easy removal and replacement of back padding (Yields a handy
      option for using pad during rest breaks.)
      > f.. No sign of wear at the end of 6 months, except for one repair
      > g.. Options for carrying water bladder inside or outside of the
      pack
      > h.. Great customer service!
      >
      >
      > Dislikes, So Far
      >
      > a.. Cumbersome stuffing of clothing into pad pockets (Smaller or
      less fuzzy items and plastic bags help. Larger openings might be
      useful here.)
      > b.. Back mesh for pad pocket seems to bleed onto nylon clothing
      under pressure and sweaty conditions.
      > c.. Lack of ventilation between the user's back and the pack can
      make it extra hot to carry.
      > d.. Water bottle side pocket worked well for me to get the bottle
      out, but not in, as the pack was worn. (Possibly a function of my
      own stiffness or the size of my wrapped water bottle.)
      > Conclusion:
      >
      > I found the Mariposa to be a nice, simple, light pack to use. As
      with any top loader, I had to be mindful of how I packed items to be
      able to access them when needed. It shrugged off light showers, but
      is not completely waterproof. (Otherwise, the leaking water bladder
      wouldn't have soaked my chair.) I think I would have liked load
      lifters, but I was able to keep the pack in a comfortable position
      without them. The concept of multiple uses for gear carried and the
      elimination of unneeded pack parts is carried to a high degree with
      this pack.
      >
      > Tester Background
      >
      > I'm an aspiring Ultralighter. I do most of my backpacking over
      weekends in New England. Additionally, I have been lucky enough to
      experience hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and a 110 mile
      (177 km) stretch of the Appalachian Trail from Pennsylvania to
      northern Virginia. My preferred gear at this time includes a
      hammock, alcohol or tablet stove, mini or no-cook home-dehydrated
      foods, and the least clothing and gear that I can feel comfortable
      carrying for that trip.
      >
      > Respectfully submitted with appreciation for the opportunity to
      test the Mariposa Pack,
      >
      > Rosaleen Sullivan
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Alex Tweedly
      Hi Rosaleen - here s your official edit on the LTR of the GG Mariposa Pack. not much to say ..... ... edit: bladed - bladder ... nitpick: since this is the
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 6, 2005
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        Hi Rosaleen - here's your official edit on the LTR of the GG Mariposa Pack.
        not much to say .....

        Rosaleen Sullivan wrote:

        > Long Term Report: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack
        >
        > Tester: Rosaleen Sullivan
        >
        > Some small experiments I tried included hanging a fanny pack from the
        > front in hopes of counterbalancing some weight. I couldn't tell if
        > the fanny pack slung from the haul loop across a shoulder to the front
        > of a shoulder strap, or just slung between shoulder straps in the
        > front was of any help. It did put some small items in reach during
        > the day, so, in that regard it was helpful. I was very glad for the
        > long pocket on the pack's left side when my hydration bladed decided
        > to leak. I first noticed it as I picked up my

        edit: bladed -> bladder

        > Dislikes, So Far
        >
        nitpick: since this is the final report in the series, do you still want
        to say "so far" ?

        > b.. Back mesh for pad pocket seems to bleed onto nylon clothing
        > under pressure and sweaty conditions.

        edit: might be helpful to say "... bleed color onto..." for those who
        just read the summary


        --
        Alex Tweedly http://www.tweedly.net



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      • Rosaleen Sullivan
        Alex- Good catches! I will fix and upload later tonight. Thanks! Rosaleen Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 12:20:52 +0100 From: Alex Tweedly
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 6, 2005
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          Alex-

          Good catches! I will fix and upload later tonight.

          Thanks!

          Rosaleen




          Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 12:20:52 +0100
          From: Alex Tweedly <alex@...<mailto:alex@...>>
          Subject: EDIT: LTR : Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack: Rosaleen

          Hi Rosaleen - here's your official edit on the LTR of the GG Mariposa Pack.
          not much to say .....

          Rosaleen Sullivan wrote:

          > Long Term Report: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack
          >
          > Tester: Rosaleen Sullivan
          >
          > Some small experiments I tried included hanging a fanny pack from the
          > front in hopes of counterbalancing some weight. I couldn't tell if
          > the fanny pack slung from the haul loop across a shoulder to the front
          > of a shoulder strap, or just slung between shoulder straps in the
          > front was of any help. It did put some small items in reach during
          > the day, so, in that regard it was helpful. I was very glad for the
          > long pocket on the pack's left side when my hydration bladed decided
          > to leak. I first noticed it as I picked up my

          edit: bladed -> bladder

          > Dislikes, So Far
          >
          nitpick: since this is the final report in the series, do you still want
          to say "so far" ?

          > b.. Back mesh for pad pocket seems to bleed onto nylon clothing
          > under pressure and sweaty conditions.

          edit: might be helpful to say "... bleed color onto..." for those who
          just read the summary


          --
          Alex Tweedly http://www.tweedly.net<http://www.tweedly.net/>


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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