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Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

This is an image of a hiker in the woods using the Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack in gray color.

If you’re heading out on a long hiking trip, then you’ll probably be taking a lot of gear with you. All this stuff is heavy, and adding a backpack to the mix usually brings a lot of unnecessary weight. Luckily for us, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack presents a solution.

This backpack manages to combine impressive volume with an ultralight weight. This takes loads of strain off your shoulders and can make any hiking trip way more enjoyable.

In this article, we’re going to give you a comprehensive overview of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa, showing you all of its great features and clever designs. Hopefully, this will mean you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the perfect backpack for you.

Product Overview

Close-up image of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack, gray color.

The Gossamer Gear Mariposa is packed with innovative features and clever design choices. The first part of this review will take you through some of those key features and explain how they can improve your hiking trips.

After that, we’ll delve into the technical specifications of the Mariposa pack, which will deal with things like the materials and weatherproofing. Finally, we’ll offer up our final thoughts about the Gosaamer Gear Mariposa pack, telling you what the pros and cons are and giving our overall verdict.

Key Features:


The first thing to note about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 is its volume. This pack comes in at 60 liters, which is where the backpack gets its name from. 60 liters is definitely on the high end when it comes to pack volume. This kind of volume gives you plenty of room to work with and you’ll have more than enough space for all your gear and equipment.

Usually, a pack of this size would be extremely heavy, but Gossamer Gear gets away with it thanks to the lightweight materials used in the construction of the pack. We’ll talk more about the ultralight nature of this Mariposa pack later on in this section.

Maximum Weight

The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack has a maximum recommended load of 35 pounds. Again, this is quite high, especially for an ultralight backpack. If you choose your gear efficiently, 35 pounds is more than enough for all the essentials.

Many people seem to think that they need 50-60 pounds of gear when they’re heading out on a hiking trip, but this is really not the case. Limiting yourself to 35 pounds will show you that you don’t need all the extra stuff, and you’ll be thankful that you saved some weight when you’re out on the trail.

Backpack weight

A pretty common mistake that people make when they are planning a hiking trip is that they forget about the weight of the pack itself when working out how much they can carry. A heavy pack can add loads of unnecessary weight, so it’s always best to look out for the lightest backpacks possible.

This Mariposa 60 pack weighs in at around 2 pounds, which can be taken down been lower if you don’t need some of the removable features like the hip belt. This is an extremely competitive weight in this backpack category and you’ll struggle to find a lighter pack with the same great features.

The best part about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack is that it doesn’t sacrifice any durability in order to achieve this low weight. This is a problem we see quite a lot with ultralight backpacks that manage to shed a lot of weight but at the cost of reliability.

This durability is most likely down to the high-quality materials that have clearly been used throughout the construction of this pack. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 has some of the best materials we’ve seen on similar backpacks in its category.

Pockets and Organization

One thing you notice pretty quickly when you start using the Mariposa 60 backpack is how well you can organize your gear. There’s nothing worse than having to dig through the main compartment to find the one thing you need and being able to easily access your most important gear from a side pocket is a big advantage.

For example, the include hip belt is a great place to store some items that you need to access whilst your walking, and the mesh pocket is ideal for holding a water bottle. The hip belt is particularly well designed and also provides stability and comfort around the waist. This hip belt is also removable if you want to shed even more weight.

The side pockets are only the start and the drinking tube keeper loops and trekking poles holders are yet more features that make this pack even more user friendly.


One of our favorite things about the Mariposa 60 backpack is just how easy it is to customize the size and fit. The adjustability here is pretty unrivaled and you can change everything from the shoulder strap length to the side compression width.

Making sure you have a backpack that fits well is absolutely essential when it comes to choosing which one is right for you. An ill-fitting backpack will quickly start to present some discomfort which will only grow as you add more weight to the pack.

However, the customizable aspect of this Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 pack means that it can be adjusted to fit every body type and height, which in turn means that you are much more likely to be comfortable whilst you’re using the pack.

Removable Internal Frame

Another unique and interesting feature that the Mariposa 60 offers is a removable internal frame. You might be wondering when you’d want to take the frame out, and we’d suggest that the best time to use this feature is when you’re going out on a short walk or hike, and don’t require the full strength and support that the frame offers.

This will save you quite a bit of weight and probably be more comfortable on a short walk. However, if you’re starting to fill the main compartment up towards that 35-pound limit, then we’d always recommend keeping the frame in place. This will ensure that your back is well supported and that you won’t be risking any damage to the Mariposa 60 pack.

Load Lifters

The Mariposa 60 backpack also makes use of load lifters to make the pack even more user friendly. Strain lifters are a feature commonly seen on high volume backpacks since the large loads can sometimes start to get too heavy to comfortably carry.

A load lifter rebalances the weight so that it is evenly spread across the shoulder straps and back. This means you’ll be able to carry much heavier loads without feeling a negative impact.

Like the alloy frame, the load lifters can be removed if you want to save some extra weight. Again, we’d only recommend doing this if you’re going on a shorter day hike. For longer trips, the strain lifters are an essential feature and something that you’ll undoubtedly come to love.

Technical Specifications:

In this section, we’ll go through some of the most important technical specifications of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. This will focus on things like materials and weatherproofing, as well as taking a more in-depth look at the sizing options that are on offer.


The main compartment is constructed out of a Robic high tensil strength nylon fabric. Robic is a 200 dernier fabric that is said to be one of the strongest materials around when it comes to backpacks. We’d agree with this, and you can tell just by picking up the Mariposa 60 backpack just how durable and reliable it is going to be.

The Robic nylon fabric is thick enough to prevent punctures and tears, which can occur if a knife or piece of equipment is pressing up again the side of the main compartment. Stopping punctures is important since you don’t want to risk moisture being able to leak in through any holes.

This Robic nylon also won’t stretch when it is put under a heavy load. This is quite a common problem with backpacks and they can easily get out of shape if you carry around some heavy gear. There is no chance of that happening with the Mariposa 60 backpack and you can be sure the backpack will look the same on its tenth use as its first.


When it comes to weatherproofing, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 has a couple of features that are specifically designed to protect your gear from the elements.

Firstly, although the nylon backpack material used isn’t completely waterproof, it does offer an impressive amount of water resistance. In light showers, you’re probably pretty safe, and it’s highly unlikely that any moisture will manage to leak through the nylon.

In heavier rain showers, we’d always recommend using the Mariposa rain cover if you want to be fully watertight. The Mariposa rain cover is specifically designed to fit the pack perfectly and can be unfurled and placed around your Mariposa 60 backpack in a matter of seconds. This is perfect if you end up running into an unexpected rainstorm and need to keep your items bone dry.


Like most high-quality backpacks, the Mariposa 60 comes in a number of different sizes. This means that there is an option for nearly every person and every body shape and height. Specifically, there are small, medium, large options.

Lots of people think that pack sizes are determined by your full body height, but in fact, sizing is usually measured by torso length. Torso length is the distance from the base of your spine to the bottom of your neck. The Gossamer Gear website will then be able to help you transfer the torso length into one of their sizes.

Sizing is one of the most important aspects when it comes to backpack comfort that a lot of people tend to overlook. A pack that isn’t suited to your body will undoubtedly start to cause you pain and discomfort after you’ve used it for a while. This is because the shoulder straps and other functions are designed to be in a specific position in order to stay comfortable.

Overall Comfort

Overall, the Mariposa 60 backpack is extremely comfortable and is one of the most comfortable packs of its kind. It’s very difficult to find a 60-liter pack that still manages not to be uncomfortable when it is filled to the brim.

The reason the Mariposa 60 backpack is so comfortable is mainly down to the different sizing options on offer. We talked above about how the backpack itself comes in different sizes, but you can also get different sizes of the hip belt as well. This means you can mix and match the sizes of different components to ensure that the Mariposa pack fits perfectly with your body.

The comfort is also helped by the top quality materials and design choices throughout the Mariposa 60 backpack. The shoulder straps are particularly well-designed. They are soft and comfortable whilst still providing enough firmness for long hikes. This cushioning balance is one that is very hard to achieve, so the fact that Gossamer Gear has managed it with the Mariposa 60 is pretty impressive.


Here are a few of our absolute favorite features that really make the Mariposa 60 backpack stand out for us. Of course, this is just a taster of the great features on offer from this pack, so be sure to read through the rest of the review above for more information.


External Storage

  • The external storage options available with the Mariposa 60 backpack is one of the biggest reasons why we’ve fallen in love with it. External storage is so useful on the trail and being able to access the things you need without having to delve into the main compartment is a big advantage. The main mesh pocket is the ideal place to store a water bottle and the other external pockets are great locations for snacks. There’s also a pocket on the top of the pack which is good for storing things you need during the night whilst your camping – a flashlight for instance.
  • The Mariposa hip belt brings even more organizational space to the table. It features two useful hip belt pockets that can be accessed without having to take the backpack off at all. This can save you loads of time on the trail and the Mariposa hip belt is one of our favorite features.

Build Quality

  • Another of our favorite things about the Mariposa 60 backpack is its incredibly high build quality. You can feel this quality throughout every aspect of the pack – from the water-resistant exterior to the inside linings of the many external pockets.
  • The main contributor to this quality is the choice of materials. The thick nylon that makes up the majority of the pack is incredibly durable and reliable. There is pretty much no chance that the material is ever going to tear or pick up damage, which means you don’t have to worry about being gentle with it on the trail.
  • As well as the materials used, every moving part on the Mariposa 60 works perfectly. The belt buckles, shoulder straps, and pocket fastenings all feel extremely solid and you just know that they are going to last for years to come. It’s a nice feeling investing in an item like this knowing that you’re going to be able to get so much use out of it.


  • The final thing that impresses us the most about the Mariposa 60 backpack is the level of comfort it offers. As we’ve already mentioned a few times in this review, to have a pack that has a 60-liter volume and still manages to remain comfortable is a huge feat.
  • There are a lot of factors that make up this comfort, and they all work in harmony to produce this Mariposa 60 backpack that you’ll be able to wear for hours on end.

Color Options

  • The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack comes in two different colors – grey and green. Although these colors are pretty nice, it would be nice to have a few extra options to suit those who prefer a backpack that stands out a bit more.
  • Perhaps having one extra vibrant color would iron out the only complaint we could possibly have with this excellent Mariposa backpack.

Final Verdict:

As you have probably guessed, we love this Mariposa 60 backpack. It truly is one of the most impressive packs we’ve seen within its category of high-volume/lightweight backpacks. Its innovative feature and clever design choices help it stand out from the competition and cement its place as one of the top options if you’re after a new hiking backpack.

If you love going out with plenty of gear but want to start cutting the weight of your pack down, then the Mariposa 60 backpack is absolutely an option you should be seriously considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

When we do our gear reviews, there are a few questions that we are commonly asked. We’ve answered a couple of them below, which should hopefully help you out a little.

What should I look for in a backpacking pack?

When you start looking for a new backpack, you’ll quickly start to realize that there are hundreds of products to choose from. What makes it even harder is that they all have excellent reviews and lots of recommendations.

To make this buying process easier, there are a few key things you should always consider. Coming up with some answers to these considerations will allow you to immediately narrow down your search and start focussing just on the products that are right for you.


The first thing you should be thinking about is the volume of the pack. The volume refers to how much space there is inside the main section of the pack but doesn’t take into account any side bottle pockets or similar storage space. Volume is measured in liters and you can find backpacks ranging from around 20 liters all the way to 70.

The size you choose basically just depends on how much gear you need to be carrying around. If you’re going on day hikes then a smaller pack is probably best for you. If you’re going on a month-long backpacking adventure, then you’ll most likely need something a bit bigger.

The Mariposa 60 backpack that we reviewed at the start of this article is a 60-liter pack, which is on the high end when it comes to volume. If you are going for a large backpack it’s important you choose one that is still going to be comfortable even with the extra weight. The Mariposa 60 manages this very well and we’d recommend reading through the review to find out more.


As with any purchase, it’s always important to think about your budget before you start seriously looking for the perfect backpack. There are backpacks at nearly every price point so deciding on your budget is the best way to narrow down your choices and make the buying process more simple.

Don’t worry if you feel like you are working with a low budget, there are bound to be some great options available to you. The Mariposa 60 backpack that we reviewed earlier in the article is a product that we highly recommend and that won’t break the bank.

Is Gossamer Gear the best backpack brand

There are a lot of fantastic brands out there when it comes to manufacturing backpacks, so it’s hard to say which is the best one. They also all specialize in slightly different things so a company that is great for day packs might not be the best for 60-liter packs.

What we can say though is that Gossamer Gear is definitely up there with the best in the business at the moment. All their products are very well built and you can feel the quality as soon as you pick one up.

Be sure to check out our review of the Mariposa 60 backpack from Gossamer Gear. The Mariposa 60 is a great backpack and is definitely one to consider.

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