Gossamer Gear Gorilla, and a modification.

During 2009, I used a Gossamer Gear Gorilla for a number walks and was impressed with it, and wrote briefly about it here .


However, with trips requiring bigger loads planned I moved away from the Gorilla to bigger tougher packs, ultimately preferring the Hyperlight Mountain Gear Porter packs.


Life has changed and in 2016 I have been seeking out a light 1 to 3 day pack as the Porter is overkill for my needs, and my Lowepro Photo Sport pack is a bit small for overnights. Throughout the years I have continued to follow the development of Gossamer Gear packs and with the older 2015 model of the Gorilla being updated the 2016 Version 2, I decided to obtain a 2015 Gorilla at a discounted price.


Upon receiving the pack my first observation was the evolution in the carrying harness and feature set since 2009, whilst the basic design remained the same including;

  • a big meshfront packet,
  • side pockets,
  • the inverted U frame inside the main bag,
  • as well as the foam pad pocket fr the.

It was also noticeable that the shoulder strap and hip belts were narrower and thicker.

The inverted U frame which was an innovation in 2009 is still being used in 2015&16 packs incorporating similar methods of attachment as the 2009 model. However, the connection method to the hip belt has changed significantly for the 2016 Version 2 hip belt. The 2016 model has the “2 legs” of the inverted U frame exiting the back panel of the pack just above the hip belt attachment point and inserting into the hipbelt stay coupler on the stiffened hip belt.

Perhaps the downside to the 2016 design, in my view,  is the removable top lid (aka Brain) which is something I would prefer not to have, but the new shaped and stiffened hip belt is a desirable feature especially if you are carrying maximum loads (13 kg). I soon set about wondering how the the u frame connection could be used on the pre 2016 Gorilla packs. (Note the new 2016 hip-belt will fit all Gorilla and Mariposa packs from 2011 to 2016.) A quick search on the internet soon solved the problem of retro fitting the 2016 hip belt to the 2015 Gorilla.

Modifying older Gossamer Gorilla’s to take the 2016 hip belt.

Backpackers are an innovative lot and it does not take long to find ways to modify gear and the 2016 Gorilla hip belt retro fit is no exception.
A comprehensive series of photos of undertaking the modification.

The steps I took are similar to this in the photos and are described below.

  1. Removed the sit light pad, but left the frame inserted.
  2. Marked a spot 1/2” up from the stitching.
  3. Using an electric hot knife cut a cross at the marking.
  4. Punched a hole into a piece of self adhesive velcro (this is what I had) but some form of sealing will be required to stop the tearing of the fabric  on the back panel around where the frame exits the inner tube.
  5. Carefully secured the velcro onto the back of the pack
  6. Then passed the frame through the holes and into the help belt, a 15 minute job max.

The finished result is shown below.


All that remains is to reassemble everything , here I recommend watching Bob Cartwright’s excellent video on inserting the frame into the 2016 hip belts.

Comparative weights
According to the GG website the average Weight Fully Configured Medium (pack, belt, frame, lid and pad) for the 2016 Version 2 of the Gorilla is 33.6 oz / 954 g

Whereas my modified (see below for detail) Medium 2015 Gorilla with a large 2016 hip belt is 840 grams.

I have not carried sufficient weight in the gorilla yet to test the load transfer but overall it fits well and feels snug. I can see me using this pack for many future trips.

Other commentaries on the 2015 and 2016 Gossamer Gear Gorilla

For a detailed review of the 2016 version 1 of the Gorilla see here (note that this pack was removed from the market and replaced with the “floating lid” version).

Barefoot Jake provides a review of the 2015 version of the GG Gorilla  as well as describing how to update the pack hipbelt to with the 2016 version which can be found here.






Gear Gossamer Gear Modifying Packs

Why I prefer Klymit mattresses, updated.

In early 2015 I wrote of my appreciation for Klymit mats, which has been the most visited gear post on this blog.

At that time of writing the features of the Klymit mat which appealed to me were

  • The mat is rectangular in shape so I am not forever trying to keep my legs on the mat.
  • The body mapped baffles make it one of the most comfortable mats I have slept on
  • There is no tendency to “roll off” as there is with the Xlite range from Therm-a-Rest

The main disadvantage of the Klymit mats is they tend to be heavier than the equivalent offerings from Therm-a-Rest but weight is not everything, especially when a good nights sleep is required.

I felt it was time to update my views and usage of Klymit mats.

Nowadays, I use the Insulated Static V lite all year round, which has the same dimensions as the Regular Insulated Mat, but weighs 560 grams on my scales, a saving of 144 grams, whilst retaining the same US R value of 4.4.


The weight saving is achieved through the use of 30 denier Polyester fabric as opposed to 75 denier Polyester on the regular mattress.

In use, as I always carry a short CCF sit mat and place it under the hip area of the mattress to provide a little extra insulation and cushioning when I am side sleeping. The CCF pad also helps to limit the  sliding of the mattress on the tent floor.

Klymit Sleeping What works for me.

Camønoen: Møns Geo Centre to Klintholm Havn

Summer had finally arrived in Denmark and with a visitor from Australia it seemed like the ideal time for a short overnighter along the coast. Coincidently I had recently been made aware of Camønoen, a collection of trails around the three islands of Møns (famous for its UNESCO World Heritage recognised White Cliffs), Nyord and Bogø. Given there was so many sections along the coastline, it seemed like the ideal location for a short overnighter.

After 2 hours on public transport we arrived, with many others, on the bus at Møns Geo Centre  a place worth spending time at, but as it was peak season it was rocking with many day tourists taking the opportunity to explore the area and visit the displays.

We quietly slipped around the back of the centre and onto the board walk which would take us westwards towards Klintholm Havn.



Camønoen CampingnotHiking Coastal Walking Denmark Tarptent Notch

Camping not Hiking

Many of my regular readers will have noticed that I have been inactive with regards to trail reports over the past few months, initially this was because of an injury to my knee. However, once that had recovered, another more serious health issue arose resulting in a series of treatments and less activity. But now I am beginning to look outdoors again.

For the time being the focus will be on camping as opposed to long distance hiking, that is, trips of short distance to nice camping locations here in Denmark or further afield. As I began to think about camping spots in Denmark I began to scroll through my many photos looking at locations which I have enjoyed over the years. It is these campsites that have kept me going outdoors, no matter the weather or the location.

With the multitude of beaches in Denmark there is never a shortage of sand to camp on. At this location perhaps the most entertaining aspect was the fishing trawler, fully loaded with duck hunters, criss crossing its path trying to shoot sitting ducks. My impression was that no ducks were harmed, but much alcohol was consumed.


Black Diamond Shelter CampingnotHiking Coastal Walking Denmark GoLIte Tarptent Tarptent Moment DW Tarptent Notch Uncategorized