This yr, Gossamer Gear massively overhauled their hottest packs, together with the Gorilla. Designed with the extra minimalist hiker in thoughts, the Gorilla 50 has a number of up to date options to make it a extra versatile ultralight pack.

Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50 At a Look

MSRP: $275
Capability: 50L
Weight: 33.5 oz
Provided Sizes: Small, Medium & Giant
Supplies: 70D and 100D Recycled Robic Nylon

Circumstances of Assessment

I took this pack out on a number of day hikes and a bit hike of the Appalachian Path via Connecticut. I hiked via a wide range of spring situations, from day-long rain to blue-sky sunny climate. I examined the pack totally loaded to its weight restrict of 30 kilos, then dropped again beneath the consolation restrict. 

The pack is sufficiently small that I used to be ready to make use of it as my carry-on when flying, preserving all my gear safely with me. I’m 5’5” and wore the medium pack with the small straight match belt. 

Supposed Use

The Gorilla 50 is flexible sufficient to go from day hike to thru-hike. Its light-weight design and smaller capability caters to minimalist and ultralight thru-hikers. 

Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50 Options

Detachable Sit Pad

The redesigned again panel of the Gorilla 50 doubles as a sit pad. It’s surprisingly straightforward to take away and put again in, even with the pack totally loaded.

The pad that comes with the pack will be changed with the marginally cushier Air Circulation SitLight Camp Seat (offered individually). Alternately, thru-hikers can change the again panel of the medium and huge packs with a slim closed-cell foam sleeping pad just like the Therm-a-Relaxation Z-Lite.  

PVT Body & Belt System

Essentially the most hanging replace to the Gorilla 50 is the brand new body and belt system. The system makes use of an aluminum body that slips via the within of the pack and right into a pocket on the again heart of the hipbelt.

The aluminum body is shoulder-wide on the high and tapers to a rounded finish on the backside. It additionally has a slight S-curve, following the contour of the again. As you stroll, the decrease finish of the body can gently rotate and transfer backwards and forwards within the hipbelt pocket, preserving the pack firmly centered in your again.

Hipbelt Choices

Gossamer Gear’s different large replace to the Gorilla 50 is an entire redesign of the hipbelt, which is now included with the pack (earlier fashions required you to buy the hipbelt individually). The earlier model’s hipbelt has been described as mainly a rectangle with rounded corners.

The brand new hipbelts embrace two completely different form designs: Straight and Curved, that are based mostly on completely different waist-to-hip ratios. Don’t be misled by the “straight” description, although. This hipbelt nonetheless features a slight upward curve to higher wrap round and relaxation in your hips. The Curved belt, in the meantime, follows a mild S-curve for higher weight switch to wider hips.

The straight belt is obtainable in sizes Small (26” – 53.5”), Medium (30” – 57.5”), and Giant (34” – 61.5”), whereas the Curved belt is obtainable in S/M (28.5” – 56”) and M/L (32.5” – 60”).

As an much more minimalist possibility, Gossamer Gear sells the Quick Belt, which clips to webbing loops and has lighter padding and mesh pockets. 

S-Curve Harness

The S-curve harness model has lengthy been related to girls’s packs, however Gossamer Gear has opted to make it normal on the brand new Gorilla 50. The shoulder straps have a extra curved design which follows the pure contour of the shoulders and chest, benefiting all genders. 

Load Lifters

One other new function of the Gorilla 50 is the addition of load lifters to the body. These assist you to higher stability the load, shifting weight off the shoulders and onto the hips. Load lifters are notably useful when loading the pack to its weight restrict.

Minimalist Design

This can be a light-weight, no-fuss pack, with the naked minimal of options to maintain issues easy. The brand new design options smaller straps and clips to additional scale back pack weight and add to the minimalist aesthetic. The fold-over lid supplies tremendous fast entry to the inside. 

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Execs

Match and Consolation

I’ve a tough time discovering packs that match completely. I usually find yourself between sizes and discover myself having to compromise on sure facets of the match.

My torso size is 17.5 inches, however on this pack, I made a decision to dimension as much as a medium (designed to suit 1- to 20-inch torsos, based on Gossamer Gear). Equally, my hip-to-waist ratio was precisely halfway between the advisable sizing for the straight or curved hipbelt. Attributable to my slim hips, I opted for the Small Straight hipbelt, which might cinch down smaller than the S/M possibility for the Curved belt.

Fortunately, Gossamer Gear actually prioritized match and luxury within the redesign of the Gorilla 50. The S-curve straps contour to my physique rather well. The hipbelt retains the pack squarely on my hips, and the load lifters give me a little bit of management over the stability of the pack. The froth padding on the shoulder straps and the hips feels stable and cozy. That is the primary pack I’ve had that didn’t give me hotspots and bruising on my shoulders and hips. 

The newly designed aluminum body supplies distinctive contoured help via the again. I actually like the texture of the pivot design. I can clamber up and down the steep granite slopes of the Appalachian mountains, twisting and bending, and the pack stays firmly balanced on my again.

I additionally like this pack’s smaller dimensions, which preserve me extra nimble and forestall me from overloading it.

Customization & Versatility

Having a flexible and adaptable pack is a big profit. The Gorilla 50 is nice as a trimmed-down uberlight daypack, however it will also be pushed to its higher weight restrict for an extended meals haul.

Because of the three torso sizes and the 5 hipbelt dimension and form choices, a customized match is sort of assured. Even the again panel will be swapped out for one that gives higher airflow and moisture wicking. 

The Gorilla 50 has an higher and decrease compression strap alongside each side for higher load administration. There are additionally a variety of webbing loops so as to add extra compression to the entrance of the pack, increasing your gear-loading choices. 


The principle physique of the Gorilla 50 is fabricated from 70D Robic nylon, which is reasonably tear- and abrasion-resistant. The bottom, facet pockets, and hipbelt pockets use 100D Robic nylon for extra energy and sturdiness. The mesh on the again pocket is a tighter weave than I’ve had on different backpacks, which additionally makes it extra sturdy.

All the materials have held up to this point to some scrapes alongside granite and below downed timber. I wouldn’t suggest any intense bushwhacking with this pack, however it’s designed to final for hundreds of miles on common trails.

Moreover, the froth used within the shoulder straps and hipbelt feels actually stable and sturdy. It has molded to me however retains a firmness. The froth again panel flexes properly for a extra comfy match however already exhibits slightly put on. I could change it with the extra solid-looking Air Circulation SitLight provided by Gossamer Gear.


The pockets on the Gorilla 50 have actually stunned me by simply how a lot they will maintain. I apprehensive at first that the facet pockets have been too low, however they’re angled and formed in such a solution to preserve objects like sunscreen and bug spray safe. They’re not as best for holding a one-liter Smartwater bottle, however the smaller 700 mL model suits high quality. I actually like that they’re fabricated from heavier-duty material as properly. 

The mesh outer pocket is the actual star of this pack. It’s deep, large and stretchy and one way or the other sized completely to suit Gossamer Gear’s The One shelter within the backside, plus any variety of further objects.

The hip belt pockets are additionally properly designed. I’m preserving my sun shades and snacks in a single pocket and my wi-fi earbud case and extra snacks within the different. My iPhone 13 suits OK, however the newer bigger telephones might not match as properly. 

Good Worth

There aren’t many ultralight, ultra-comfortable in a single day packs obtainable for below $300. The value level of the Gorilla 50 has fluctuated lots over time, however is presently offered on the similar value because it was in 2015!

Gender Impartial

Whereas different well-known manufacturers proceed to designate their packs as males’s and ladies’s, Gossamer Gear has eliminated gendered language from their descriptions. S-curve straps are typically related to girls’s packs however come normal on the Gorilla 50. The 2 hip belt choices are based mostly on hip-to-waist ratio and don’t particularly designate one as higher for males or girls. 

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Cons

Bear Canister

Due to its smaller quantity and dimensions, a standard-size bear canister can solely match vertically within the Gorilla 50, utilizing up lots of the interior quantity. Some hikers might discover this pack a bit small for weeks-long early-season forays into the Sierra, the place the extra versatile and light-weight Ursack isn’t accepted.

Not Waterproof

The Gorilla 50 doesn’t declare to be water-repellant, not to mention waterproof. Gossamer Gear has chosen to make use of PFAS-free materials which implies the material doesn’t have any further waterproof coating. Whereas this reduces the general water repellency of the material, it’s approach higher for the surroundings.

The Gorilla 50 can be made with a decrease denier material and wets via faster than thicker materials. I used a pack liner to maintain my gear dry via the wet days. Helpfully, the pockets have drainage holes, although the massive again pocket nonetheless held some further water on the finish of the day. 

Lid Pocket

Just like the Mariposa, the Gorilla 50 incorporates a fold-over high with a flat zippered “map pocket.” This pocket is minimally purposeful. I’ve been preserving my spork and one or two different objects on this pocket, and I’m discovering that the unfastened objects find yourself towards my neck quite than down the entrance of the pack like I’d favor.

Who Ought to Purchase This Pack? 

The Gorilla 50 is a good pack for thru-hikers seeking to push additional into the realm of ultralight with out breaking the financial institution and whereas nonetheless having fun with a snug harness and hipbelt system.

The pack is extremely comfy whereas weighing simply over two kilos, which will be considerably decreased by eradicating the aluminum stays (4 oz), the backpanel (2.7 oz) and the hipbelt (6 oz). The marginally smaller quantity can pressure you to suppose extra minimally and scale back your general base weight.

There are not any bells and whistles to this pack, simply good design. 

Store the Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50

Comparable Packs 

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

  • MSRP: $315
  • Weight: 19.8 – 37.7 oz (relying on dimension and hipbelt selection)

Six Moon Designs Swift V Mountain climbing Backpack

ULA Ohm 

  • MSRP: $279.99
  • Weight: 34 oz

The Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50 was donated for function of overview



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