Gorilla Ultralight Backpack
- Product Review (submitted on March 29, 2013):
- I just received my Gorilla last week, and wasted no time getting it on the trail. For some background, I have been lightening my load in incremental steps over the last six months, and was waiting for the Gorilla to become available. My last pack was a Gregory Z55, which has proven to be a comfortable workhorse, and a pretty hard act to follow from that perspective. It's only drawback is the 4.5 lb empty weight...Ughhhh! After loading my hammock, underquilt, and gear into the Gorilla, I held both packs, one in each hand. The Gorilla weighed about the same loaded, as the Gregory empty! Very nice! Now for the trail. My first hike was a twelve miler with a 3000 ft climb in the first six miles. The Gorilla performed flawlessly. The hip belt was surprisingly comfy. The belt pockets hold faaar more than the little ones on the Gregory too. The one area of weakness (I have a home modification for that) is the lack of load straps behind the shoulders. I took some lightweight strap material, and ran it from the upper eyelet on the shoulder strap, through the waterhose entry points atop the pack, around the frame, and back out onto an adjusting buckle. This gives about 1" of adjustment, pulling the pack closer to your shoulders. I also added some shock cord outside the pack, forming a Z across the mesh pocket for easy access to gloves, arm warmers, or anything else I need to access during my treks. I like the attachment points on the pack, and will politely ask for even more. It could use a couple on the bottom for lashing pads, and pulling in the bag when smaller loads are carried. Speaking of smaller loads, the removable hip belt can be used as a day hike/ peak bag by adding on a large hip belt pocket across the back. I ran into a fellow on the trail who lamented that he purchased an UL pack that fell apart in short order, and that I should be wary of "Going Light" with UL gear. The Gorilla feels like a far heavier pack from a toughness standpoint. Other packs I have looked at seemed too flimsy for me. The Gorilla is not flimsy. The materials used, and the quality of workmanship are both excellent! I expect many years of service from this beast! So there you have it. Ultralight, customizable, convertible, and tough! My new go-to bag! Glad to have this monkey on my back!