Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack Review

Ultralight but tough, Gossamer Gear's high-capacity backpacking pack stands out for its great organization and durability

Table of Contents

2 lbs. 0.6 oz. (large pack w/ medium hipbelt)

Robic nylon (100D & 200D)


Functional organization and great durability in an ultralight package.

Backpanel is prone to bunching (although the SitLight pad is removable).

I usually buy equipment with an eye towards speedpacking, and I had I used to think of high-capacity backpacks as only suitable for slow thru-hikes, or longer excursions in the backcountry. This Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack has changed my perspective. Although it is large in size at 60 liters it comes with sturdy suspension, tough materials, and plenty of pockets that are well-designed for organization and storage, the Mariposa weighs just 2 pounds and is easily able to attain ultralight status. In reality, it became my primary backpacking bag, whatever the length or length of days. Below, I’ll break down the Mariposa’s capabilities. To find out how it compares, read our guides on the most efficient backpacking bags along with Ultralight backpacks.


Carrying Comfort

Despite its ultralight construction that weighs less than 2 pounds it is surprisingly comfortable. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 is quite comfortable, even fully loaded. A large part of the credit goes to its suspension system that utilizes an internal aluminum stay that is inserted into the hip belt. The frame is lightweight, which makes the pack more rigid and helps to distribute the weight from the shoulders to the hips. The stays is able to be removed to cut down on the weight by 3.5 tons, but I would rather leave it in. Without it, I am of the opinion that the pack is less sturdy and forces the hipbelt to ride over my waist.

Additionally, with a maximum load of 35lbs and a maximum weight of 35 pounds, the Mariposa has a decent capacity for carrying loads in Ultralight categories. When I went on my trip to the Canadian Rockies, I packed everything needed to speedpack along with an abundance of camera equipment which pushed the bag just a bit over its limit of load. In spite of multiple eightto 10 hours out on the trails and back, the Mariposa was able to remain balanced and comfortable. By making the proper adjustments to the load-lifter straps as well as the hip belt, it didn’t feel like it was hanging from my back or pulling my shoulders.

The Mariposa includes a variety of pieces that can be taken out to save the weight, and make a sleek and compact bag. As I’ve mentioned I like to keep the stay in place to provide comfort, however I usually remove the “SitLight” back panel. This piece of foam slides into two sleeves, and can double as a back support and sitting pad, but I’ve found that it tends to get tangled and cause pressure points. If I don’t want to cut down on the weight by removing an sleep pad behind , or have equipment that has sharp edges, I’ll keep the backpanel at home.


The Mariposa is an ultralight backpack which can weigh as low as 1 pounds 1.2 grams when reduced. Since it is so flexible with regards to features as well as sizing the body type you have and personal preferences will determine the weight. For instance, a small pack with a hipbelt that is small weighs in at 1 pound 12 ounces, whereas a large carrying a hipbelt that is large weighs less than 2 pounds (a full list of the weights is available at Gossamer Gear’s site). There’s also the option of removing the hipbelt altogether that will save approximately 10 ounces for $45, but you’ll have to give the benefit of convenience when carrying. As a reference, I have an extremely large backpack with an average hipbelt that weighs in at 2 pounds 0.6 grams. It is in line with other popular UL packs models, such as those from the Hyperlite 3400 Southwest (2 pounds. 0.6 oz. ), Granite Gear Crown2 60 (2 lbs. 5.8 oz. ) as well as ULA Circuit 68 (2 pounds. 4.6 oz.). It is possible to go lighter by using Zpacks’ Arc Blast 55 with a surprisingly tiny 1 one-pound 4.6 pounds, however the pack is significantly limited in storage capacity and overall quality of.


A key feature I discovered regarding the Mariposa is the number of pockets that are external. It doesn’t only include a huge main compartment, but it also includes an individual zip pocket on each hip and one at the upper flap. It also has there are two pockets for dumps on one side, and one on the other side, as well as a very useful rear mesh dump pocket. While I’ve never had an backpacking bag with this many pockets on the outside I was an instant change of heart. These dump pockets are useful for storing things independently of one another, even large objects like sleeping pads and shelters, as well as making gear accessible. In addition, each of these dump pockets has an opening for drainage and the ventilated design of the back mesh pocket makes it suitable for storing wet equipment

The main compartment is a deep cylinder with a large, bear-canister-friendly opening. I love the idea of having a zipper that runs along the top of the compartment, allowing me to access my bulky camera equipment at the bottom of the pack, however unfortunately, the Mariposa isn’t equipped with this option for the sake of weight savings. If you don’t own expensive equipment that they like to store inside their primary compartment the lack of an entry side will likely not pose an issue (the exterior dump pockets can be extremely useful in arranging). To complete the set of features the Mariposa is packed with standard items for a pack, including an hydration sleeve, an exit hole and straps to hold the hydration tube secure. Although I haven’t yet tried them out yet, on the back of the pack are a variety of places to attach trekking poles and an ice axe, as well with loops to make a custom hook-and-loop system for bungees.

High Quality of Construction and Durability

Gossamer Gear overhauled their backpack range a few years ago one of the biggest changes was switching away from Dyneema fabric to a 100 and 200-denier nylon known as Robic. They claim that Robic is more durable than Dyneema. Robic utilized on Mariposa 60 is more durable. Mariposa 60 is more durable and puncture-resistant. We are now able to confirm this. Even with the rigors of excursions through The Canadian Rockies and Coast Mountains The fabric hasn’t been stretched, torn or worn out in any way. This is a significant improvement over our earlier test of Dyneema packs. Both those, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Windrider and Zpacks Arc Blast have developed tiny punctures fairly quickly. Even the huge mesh pocket on the exterior of the Mariposa one, which we’ve packed up to the gills, have performed admirably.

But, the main advantage of Dyneema fabric is its water-proofing properties. Robic is a waterproof fabric. Robic Fabric isn’t water-proof,, however it is quite effective in removing water. We experienced several torrential storms during backpacking. During this time, I was concerned about the contents inside the bag. However, I was amazed that my gear was dry. However, even though this Gossamer Gear Mariposa can handle short showers I would suggest an additional cover in the event that the forecast is for severe rain.

Sizing and Fit

We talked about this in the section on weight earlier, but one of the greatest advantages in Mariposa Mariposa (and smaller Gorilla) is that it can be an extremely custom-fit. The first step is to select from three sizes for torsos that are unisex, ranging in size from tiny to huge. The hipbelt, then, is sold separately, and is available in medium, small and large sizes. Furthermore, the unisex design is applicable onto the shoulder straps the design that is extremely comfortable for each of us, my wife (narrow shoulders) as well as my own (a fairly big frame). With features like an aluminium stay which is bendable to enhance the perfect fit as well as the sternum strap can be adjusted and load-lifter straps that are above those shoulders. This backpack can be adjusted to different body kinds. For your convenience, Gossamer Gear provides an extensive fitting chart on their site. To further help my large backpack and medium hipbelt easily will fit my waist of 33 inches as well as my 42 inch chest.

What We Like About

  • Robic nylon fabric delivers as is claimed: it’s lightweight, longer-lasting than Dyneema and also sheds water in a light way.
  • The outside organization is one of the most distinctive within the Ultralight Class.
  • The backpack is comfortable until the weight limit of 35 pounds.

“What We Never Do”

  • The accessible “SitLight” pad on the backpanel was susceptible to bunching and as the result, we frequently put it back.
  • A couple of additional Cinch straps are great for tightening the pack even when not fully full.
  • Some more vibrant color options would be great.

Comparative Table

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60$2702 lb. 0.6 oz.Nylon (100D and 200D)60LTop7 exterior
Hyperlite 3400 southwest$3552 lb. 0.6 oz.Dyneema (50D and 150D)40, 55, 70LTop3 exterior
Zpacks Arc Blast 55$3491 lb. 4.6 oz.Dyneema (2.92 oz/sqyd)55LTop3 exterior
ULA Circuit 68$2552 lb. 4.6 oz.Nylon (400D)68LTop5 exterior
Osprey Levity 60$2701 lb. 15.2 oz.Nylon (30D and 300D &)45, 60LTop4 exterior
REI Co-op Flash 55$1992 lb. 10 oz.Nylon (100D and Nylon (100D &)45, 55LTop9 exterior

The Contest

Gossamer Gear’s Mariposa is our most favored ultralight backpacking backpack model due to its impressively light weight design that doesn’t compromise anything in terms of storage and comfort or endurance. In the same category are the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest that is the same in weight (2 pounds. 0.6 oz.) and the same level of comfort, however it comes with smaller organizational features and has a much more expensive price ($355). The Southwest also makes use of Dyneema Composite Fabric in place of Robic nylon which is waterproof, as well as being light. But, Dyneema is prone to cutting through sharp rocks or other objects and is not as durable as the Mariposa’s Robic construction. Overall that, The Gossamer Gear wins out in the categories of organization and durability However, the Hyperlite’s waterproof design is appealing to those who trek in damp areas.

Its Zpacks Blast 55L ($349) is a good UL choice that utilizes an assortment of Dyneema and polyester fabric which gives it the additional advantage of waterproofing. This combination of materials is impressively lightweight, keeping the pack at 1 pound 4.6 ounces–significantly less than the medium version of the Mariposa with a hipbelt. However, with just three pockets outside (none of that zip) it’s clear that the Arc Blast is limited in its capacity to organize and, as we’ve discovered, it’s not able to hold a lot equally. If weight of your pack is the most important factor it’s not hard to argue with this Arc Blast. We prefer that of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa for its additional comfort while carrying, its efficiency, and longevity.

ULA Equipment is based in Utah. ULA Equipment is another standout in the world of ultralight gear as the Circuit backpack is a comprehensive option that is durable and streamlined pack. It’s the first thing to mention it is important to note it’s Circuit weighs more than other packs with a weight of 2 pounds 4.6 grams (for medium-sized backpacks with an average hipbelt) however, it offers a great combination of comfort and organization. As with the Mariposa ULA, the ULA has a strong Robic nylon material (400D) that is extremely robust and tear-resistant. However, we’ve observed it to be a bit more durable than the Gossamer Gear to be plenty durable, and we recommend it over the ULA due to its lighter weight.

The Osprey Levity 60 is a different attractive optionthat is like the Mariposa in its light nylon makeup and huge exterior dump pockets. However, at just 1 pounds 15.2 pounds the Levity is also lighter and has better ventilation. The backpanel is made of a fine mesh that allows the air to flow continuously across your body and pack. The issue of breathability is often isn’t considered when packing ultralight bags however it is a huge difference when hiking hard and in warmer temperatures. This means that the Levity must cut weight somewhere. Its extremely thin 30 denier nylon on the sides demands special attention and sacrifices a lot regarding durability contrasted with the other packs. We prefer those who choose the Gossamer Gear based on its superior carrying capabilities and stronger fabric, however the Osprey is worthy of consideration if you value the weight and ventilation.

And lastly, REI isn’t known for their ultralight equipment–maybe quite contrary, but we’ve been very impressed by the most recent flash 55. It’s a highly flexible design that is able to be transformed from a full-featured traditional bag that weighs 2 pounds and 10 ounces, to an ultralight ultralight model that weighs just 2 pounds and 3 2 ounces. In addition it comes with a Flash has a unique (in the world of ultralights) backpanel vents and an incredibly thick 420-denier bottom material (for more details, check out our comprehensive Flash 55 test). Like the Mariposa The Flash is a great choice for the comfort of and supports, even when carrying more weight, however REI isn’t able to provide the same ease of adjusting torso lengths or hipbelt sizes. It weighs 2 pounds and 3 pounds and ounces for the simplest version (i.e. there is no top lid and pockets for the hip belt) It’s true that the Flash 55 is still heavier than the full-featured Mariposa. Although it isn’t as impressive in an exact comparison It’s thrilling to observe REI moving into the ultralight market and we love the sturdy construction, affordable cost ($199) as well as the attractive features offered by the Flash.