2012 Gorilla UL Backpack | Updating a Classic

Gossamer Gear Gorillas Compared

It’s hard to improve something when you hit a homerun on your first attempt, and as impossible as it sounds, that was exactly the goal that the guys at Gossamer Gear set for themselves; update and improve the award-winning Gorilla ultralight backpack while staying true (as much as possible) to the original.

The Gorilla ultralight backpack has been my personal ‘go-to’ pack for a long time now. It has just about every feature that I need and none that I don’t. It’s simple, lightweight, easy to use, and comfortable to wear – so if it’s not broke, why change it you might be asking?

Gossamer Gear Gorillas Compared

The most obvious reason to update a product is to stay competitive in the market place, but for a company like Gossamer Gear it’s also an opportunity to take advantage of newer materials and manufacturing processes to innovate and improve. GG has recently introduced some new packs to their line up like the Kumo, Minimalist, and the BigBag. They’ve also already updated some of the old favorites like the Murmor Hyperlight, so tackling the highly popular Gorilla ultralight pack was the logical next step.

Gossamer Gear Gorillas Compared

Old vs. New

For the purpose of this review I’m going to compare my old, well-used 2010 Gorilla backpack to it’s sucessor the 2012 version. My torso size is 20 inches, which puts me at the top end of the size chart for the ‘medium’ size Gorilla pack (medium = 16″ – 20″ torso) and both the old and new packs are mediums. However, before I jump right into the side-by-side comparison, let’s take a look at what’s changed in the 2012 version:

What’s New on the 2012 Gorilla

  • Materials: 140 denier Dyneema GGridstop coated ripstop nylon for the main body. Select use of 1680, 210, 30 denier ripstop nylon. XTC fabric for harness lining, and power mesh fabric for large back pocket and pad holder
  • An entirely new more ergonomical harness with multiple attachment points
  • OTT™ (Over-the-top) lid closure system with magnetic fastener
  • Top lid zippered pocket
  • More comfortable (taller) hip belt system with built-in pockets
  • Side shock-cord compression system that also allows for lashing items on top
  • Reinforced ripstop panels on bottom of large front mesh pocket
  • Side GGridstop pockets
  • Updated aluminum internal stay system

Features That Stayed Mostly the Same

  • Simple design
  • Signature rear sit-pad holder
  • Internal hydration bladder pocket with dual side tube ports
  • Heavy duty top haul loop
  • Side shock-cord compression and storage system
  • Central lashing loop/ice axe holder

What Has Gone

  • Draw string main closure system
  • Top Y-strap closure, useful for attaching items like bear canisters
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Webbing side compression straps
  • Removable shoulder (harness) and hip padding

Closer Look at the 2012 Gorilla

The new 2012 Gossamer Gear Gorilla backpack is still a durable, ultralight, mid-sized backpack capable of carrying loads of up to 35 lbs (30lbs comfortably) and just like the original the updated version is a dream to carry. Below are some product specs for quick comparison purposes. You’ll see that not very much has changed on the surface, slightly increased storage and a tiny bump up in weight, but otherwise very true to the original.

New OTT Lid Closure

Probably the most noticeable change on the 2012 Gorilla after the new material is the entirely new Over-the-Top (OTT) closure system. I first saw this on the Murmur prototype that I tested last year and liked the way it had been designed to make the corners each cinch down the lid.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The new Gorilla has a vastly improved version of the OTT lid from the one I saw on the Murmur. Firstly it comes with a new zippered lid pocket that is perfect for storing small items that need to be easily accessible, like maps or even first aid items. The pocket opening is 8 inches wide, making it plenty wide  enough to store maps and comfortably get your hand in and out.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

Staying on the topic of the lid, the next noticeable difference from the original Gorilla is the enormous (loose) opening that the new version has. I’m so use to the draw string version on the original Gorilla that this seems slightly bizarre to me. I used the term ‘loose’ because the new pack does not have the draw string closure to support the top edge of the pack, so it just seems to flap around all over the place.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the original Gorilla backpack, below are two photos that will hopefully illustrate what I am talking about. Here is the old draw string closure…

Gossamer Gear Original Gorilla

…and below is the old Y-strap, perfect for holding a bear canister or sleeping bag, that the original Gorilla had but which is no longer a part of the new OTT design.

Gossamer Gear Original Gorilla

Replacing the old draw string and Y-strap system is a clever magnetic clasp and two corner cord tensioning buckles. After using the new Gorilla on a recent short trip, I noticed that I had to remember to tuck each of the sides of the top lid in neatly toward the center before cinching down the top.

When I didn’t tuck the sides in, there would be a mass of lid material hanging out the sides. If you’ve ever learned to properly tuck in the corners of a non-fitted bed sheet (hospital corners) you’ll know exactly what I am talking about.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The small black magnetic clasps help keep the lid firmly ‘snapped’ shut. I can only assume from their small size that these are using the very strong rare earth (neodymium) magnets because they work very well. Note to self: Do not carry my baseplate compass in the zippered lid pocket, right next to those powerful magnetic clasps!

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The final detail of the new lid that I want to point out are the two corner cord tensioners. Each corner of the lid has a snap buckle for cinching it down tight. I first saw this type of side-release buckle used on the Murmur last year. They look like your typical side-release buckle upper, married with line lock lower and Gossamer Gear’s own EZC high-viz cord.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

These are an amazing, lightweight solution to the old webbing tensioners. They unsnap quickly just like any other buckle, but instead of using flat nylon webbing they use narrow cord. Not only do they work great, I love the tiny splash of orange that they introduce to the otherwise gray and black pack.

Improved Materials

After the radically new OTT lid, the next most noticeable new feature would be the updated materials that Gossamer Gear have used. The new Gorilla is constructed almost entirely using a gray 140 denier Dyneema GGridstop material. I have to admit that I’ve never personally been a fan of Dyneema gridstop, mostly because the 210 denier version that other manufacturers use always seemed way too stiff and over the top for an ultralight pack.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

However, the new 140d Dyneema ‘GGridstop’ that Gossamer Gear has had made to order is almost as flexible as Silnylon, but much more durable. It also looks pretty darn cool, if aesthetics are a consideration for you?

Power Mesh Rear Pocket

The large rear single pocket is made using a lightweight, highly snag-resistant ‘power’ mesh. This is a huge improvement over the original Gorilla pack that used, what looked like, a very similar mesh but which snagged on just about everything it touched. This new mesh has no problems with leaves, branches, or the tall dry grass that we have a lot of in North Carolina.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

You can see in the photo above that a much more significant portion of the bottom of the mesh pocket is now reinforced using a more durable urethane-coated double-rip ripstop nylon.

The GG signature back ‘pad holder’ is also constructed using the newer power mesh material. The new Gorilla came with Gossamer Gear’s SitLight sit pad installed, whereas on my original Gorilla I tend to carry my full Thinlight sleeping pad folded up.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

New Shoulder Harness

If you saw my earlier post about the modified harness on my GG Gorilla backpack, then you’d know that Gossamer Gear has heard, loud and clear, that the straps on their packs needed to be improved. The Murmur was the first of their backpack line up to get the new harness and it’s very comfortable.

The shoulder straps have a much more ergonomic contoured form that wrap smoothly around the shoulders and narrow slightly as they go under your arms. I’ve had issues in the past with the straps on my original Gorilla rubbing the inside of my arms and have heard from other GG backpack owners that have experienced similar issues.

Gossamer Gear Gorillas Compared

The photo above shows my original Gorilla (left) and the new 2012 Gorilla. I should point out that this is probably a bit misleading, because my ‘original’ Gorilla backpack is a one of a kind. Last year Grant at GG offered to use my Gorilla pack as a guinea pig for their new prototype shoulder harness. As you can see, and for those of you familiar with the old Gorilla pack, the new harness is much more contoured than the original.

The 2012 Gorilla has an updated and improved version of the new harness that you’ll be seeing introduced to other Gossamer Gear packs as they upgrade their line up. Below is a photo of the original shoulder straps on my old Gorilla pack, before the one-off upgrade. See those 4-inch wide shoulder straps!

Gorilla Backpack Shoulder Straps

Getting back to the 2012 Gorilla, you’ll see that there are a lot more lashing and attachment options on the new shoulder straps. Each strap has a horizontal hydration hose retainer, a small plastic D-ring, and a short length of daisy-chain webbing with three sets of loops.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The daisy-chain webbing cleverly hides Gossamer Gear’s new detachable and adjustable EZClip sternum strap system. It consists of a series of small vertical plastic clips that attach to the corresponding clip on either end of the sternum strap, providing three fixed-height adjustment options.

The chain webbing itself is stitched very taught making it lay flat against the EZClip attachments underneath. This can make attaching items to the webbing loops a little more tricky.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The EZClips work by sliding up and off of the ‘rail’ section that is permanently attached to the shoulder strap. There is a very pleasing and firm ‘click’ when the clip has been slid completely back into place. These are not going anywhere.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

More Comfortable Hip Belt

The new Gorilla comes with a removable hip belt system, just like the original, but this one has some cool new features. Unlike most mainstream commercial packs, the Gorilla offers three different size hip belt options allowing the wearer to choose the best size hip belt for their build, independently of their torso size. The hip belt size options available are: Small (25″ – 30″ waist), medium (30″ – 36″ waist), large (36″ – 50″ waist). I take a medium hip belt and medium pack size.

Just like the original Gorilla, the hip belt slides in behind the bottom of the sit pad mesh pocket and attaches to a square of Velcro in the center to stop it from moving.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The new hip belt is also a little taller and better padded than the original. The extra height definitely improves the transfer of weight to the hips. My old Gorilla was a dream to carry (my average pack weight being 20-22lbs), but this updated hip belt is significantly more comfortable and supportive.

The extra padding on the sides is also useful to stop any items being stored in the new hip pockets from constantly banging into your sides as you hike. There are two new zippered hip belt pockets, one on each side and up front for easy access to your small stuff while moving. Gossamer Gear says these pockets are easy to open and close one-handed and I’ve found that to be true with a little practice. The curved ends of the zipper can be a little tricky to pull open at first, but I found that if I gave a slightly stronger yank on the zipper pull it worked okay. Two hands just makes it so much easier if you have both free.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

Gossamer Gear sells separate hip belt pockets, of varying sizes, that you could attach if desired. They were are additional cost, but the new Gorilla has them as standard. Side note: the old GG detachable hip belt pockets are one of my favorite little ditty bags for carrying gear and I use them on other packs not just the Gorilla, I might have to snag some more if they ever announce that they are going to stop producing them – I wish I could learn to make these myself.

Compression Options

The old side webbing compression straps have been removed from the new Gorilla. Replacing them on the new version is an updated shock cord compression system. There are half as many shock cord attachment points (3 instead of 6) on each side of the new Gorilla.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

What would have been the fourth attachment point on each side is actually missing and the cord continues around to the back of the pack to a point where both sides meet in the middle via a small black plastic clip (see photo below). The extended section of shock cord that stretches around to the back provides a new  top lashing option for strapping a pad or jacket to the top of the pack and holding it securely.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The new Gorilla came with the side compression shock cord threaded from the top down, ending with the  cord lock and excess cord being at the bottom, close to the side pockets. That seems a very odd way to thread the sides, so I’m going to remove it and thread it back starting from the bottom and ending up with the cord lock and extra cordage at the top where it does not interfere with the side pockets.

New Side Pockets

The side pockets have had a makeover too. The old, black mesh pockets are gone and a matching pair of 140d Dyneema GGridstop pockets have been added. Particular attention has been given to improving the accessibility of the pockets without the need to remove the pack. Each pocket is cut at a steep angle, lower toward the front and higher at the back.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

This makes it much easier and far more natural to reach backward and put you hand into the pocket or grab something out of them. Something as simple as an angular cut pocket can vastly improve usability. The change of material also provides a more rugged set of side pockets.  As deep as ever, I have no problem carrying a water bottle on either side with no risk of it ‘popping’ out.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The combination of large elasticated pockets and side compression shock cord provide numerous lashing and strapping options for gear on the sides of the pack. Each pocket has a small drainage hole at the bottom, reinforced with a metal grommet.

Redesigned Internal Frame Stay

Lastly I’d like to mention the changes GG have made to the internal stay system. I happen to like the added structure and support that the internal aluminum stay provides and for the extra weight of 3.4oz I’m happy to leave it in all the time. For those of you that want to remove it you still can, in fact it’s easier than ever.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

The original Gorilla had an almost identical internal frame stay, but the way it was help in place was quite different. I know several people (Martin Rye mentioned this in his review of the Gorilla pack) that had asked Gossamer Gear to change the way the old stay was help in place with a series of small Velcro loops – and now they have.

The frame stay is now held in place using an elasticated top cover that retains the entire top edge of the stay. To remove it simply pull the cover over and pull out the aluminum stay – one quick and easy move.

In addition to the improvements in the stay holding system, the shape of the stay has been slightly modified too. It’s not easy to see in the photo above, but the top edge of the stay has been bent backward away from the carrier’s neck to improve comfort. I had never had an issue with this on my old Gorilla pack, but can see how this would make it better for anyone that had a problem.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

When I hold the two aluminum stays next to one another you can see the difference. The top stay is the new 2012 version with the visibly different bent top section. The overall shape of the lower two legs of the sta are pretty much the same as the original as far as I could tell and conforms to the shape of the lower back nicely.

Conclusion

It’s hard to believe that Gossamer Gear could improve on such a well designed and manufactured ultralight pack as the original Gorilla, but they have. Some of the changes, like the new OTT lid and updated materials, are drastically different than the old version. Some of the features have been tweaked, updated, or improved based on years of feedback from owners I’m sure.

Gossamer Gear has also managed to stay true to the spirit of the original Gorilla while upgrading almost every aspect of the design. As an owner and self-proclaimed ‘fanboy’ of the orignal Gorilla, I really like that they kept the feel of the original.

Gossamer Gear 2012 Gorilla Pack

Personally, I’m not entirely sold on the new OTT lid system just yet. That may simply be because I liked the old Gorilla draw string and Y-strap just fine, or that I’m a bit of a luddite who hates change. The new lid is not bad by any means, it’s just a new way of doing things. As someone who preaches familiarity and practicing with your gear, the new lid means I’ll need to spend a little extra time seeing how best to use it. The powerful magnetic clasps do worry me though, making that nice big lid pocket less than ideal for carrying a compass – but then again the hip belt pockets are probably much better and more accessible for that anyway.

I have many, many more miles to put on the new Gorilla backpack before I’ll be completely comfortable with it to the extent that I am with the original, but I find myself looking forward to the challenge. My son Jack (soon to be eight years old) has had his eye on my old Gorilla pack for some time now even though it’s probably a little too big for him. Maybe I’ll tighten up all the compression options and let him try it on for size, unless Gossamer Gear is planning on making some serious ultralight backpacks for kids any time soon?

Disclosure: The author is a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador and received a sample of the new Gorilla ultralight backpack from Gossamer Gear for testing and review purposes The author owns the original Gorilla pack and paid for it using his own funds.

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  • http://www.hikelighter.com/ John Abela

    Truly awesome article on this backpack Brian! Huge thanks for posting photos of the internal stay. I was wondering what they were using (which I talked about in my own article about this backpack at redwoodoutdoors) and your photos helped big time.

    I very much agree that a magnet on a backpack is something that will have to stay in the back of a hikers mind. As a long distance hiker, I sometimes (rarely, but, sometimes) I just end up throwing gear into my backpack if the weather is really bad or if I have to hit the trail really early, and the idea of having to think about not just throwing my Suunto MC-2G compass into the backpack is kind of an odd thing.

    And yeah, the OTT change away from the y-strap really kills the ability to throw a bearikade onto the top of it. Seems like most of the backpack makers are moving away from y-straps, sadly.

    Again, great write up!

  • Paul

    magnets vs compass…… not sure thats a great idea for me. 

  • http://www.backpackingnorth.com/ Mark Roberts

    Excellent, lengthy review, Brian! It looks liek it has a lot of improvements. I’m not sure about the magnets – it’s a nice idea but seems a bit gimmicky, and something simpler would have sufficed.

    Looks good though. I hope to get my hands on a Kumo soon. GG are knocking them out this year :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Thanks John. I know it was a lot of photos and at first I didn’t expect to need anywhere near as many as I included, but the more I talked and tried to describe each change I realized that the photos were needed. Great to hear they helped clear up some points for you.

    When things go to plan it’s a beautiful thing, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who has been on a long distance trip, or even short hike, that has gone exactly to plan. Knowing that there is a magnetic clasp in the lid would make me always use the convenient hip belt pockets to store my compass (if I’m not carrying it on my person), but what tends to happen after day one or two is that I start stuffing things in the most convenient place, which is turning out to be the pocket on the lid of the new Gorilla – it’s just right there. So I hear you, and that’s why I called it out.

    As I said above, I liked (and still do) the draw string closure and Y-strap system. It worked great and was reliable, but I understand that things change and I’m willing to change and adapt with them – it’s just new to me.

    Great pack all the same. The really sad part about having this new pack is that I’m pretty sure my old Gorilla is going to be getting less and less use, which is a crying shame.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Paul, knowing that there is a magnet in the lid means you can plan around it quite easily. The hip belt pockets or better yet the side pockets on your shorts or pants for example. It’s certainly not a show stopper by any means.

    I just wanted to let folks know it was there so that they can avoid any issues. In fact the magnetic clasps work great and I like them. Just not compass friendly :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Thanks Mark, I appreciate the thumbs up coming from you. The new Gorilla really is a great improvement on what is already a very impressive ultralight backpack.

    I’m sort of ‘meh’ on the magnetic clasps. They work great, but may cause an issue if you don’t plan accordingly. GG like to innovate rather than follow, and sometimes they may take a risk by being the first. Time will tell and one of the benefits of being first and niche is that you can always change if a better way of doing things comes along. I’d like to hear what others have to say on the magnets as the new Gorilla get’s used by more backpackers.

    I agree that GG has really stepped up their game in not only introducing new packs, but in updating their classics. Their line up has something for everyone.

  • Bill

    I would think that with a little judicial removal/addition the magnetic closure could be transformed back into a drawstring.

  • http://sectionhiker.com/ Philip Werner

    Gosh – didn’t know you were going to publish a Gorilla review on the same day as me. Small world. I’ll add your link to my post so people can compare out perspectives.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Ditto! I had no idea you were testing it out too, makes sense. I’ll add a link to your review. Two heads (and opinions) are better than one, as they say…

  • http://sectionhiker.com/ Philip Werner

    Just got back from teaching LNT and added the link to your post.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    It is a very small world :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Bill, removing or replacing the magnetic clasps would be a relatively easy hack job, that’s true. However, converting the opening into a draw string closure would fundamentally change the shape of the lid and negate the two cord tensioners that hold the lid closed.

    Last year I tested Gossamer Gear’s early Murmur prototype backpack on which they were experimenting with the new lid and closure system (see attached photo). That Murmur had a combination draw string AND flat lid system that was interesting, but which didn’t quite work.

    The new lid will just take some getting used to is all. I’m not quite at the point where I feel the need to start hacking up this new Gorilla just yet…

  • Taedawood

    Brian,I just received my new Gorilla.  Overall I like it.  But like my older Gorilla, I find that the shoulder straps dig into my neck.  Am I the only person to experience this issue?  With my old Gorilla I had Grant custom alter the straps with semicircular cuts of the straps around my neck area which did the trick.  I am afraid I am going to have to do the same thing with the new pack as well.   Once that is done, I am sure it will be as comfy as my old Gorilla. 

    The quality of workmanship seems better than the older pack and like the older pack, it is the perfect size for the vast majority of my hikes.  If the shoulder straps were an inch further apart at the top, I would consider it a home run.  As it is, the 2012 Gorilla is an easy “triple” for me!

  • Rob

    Brian – great review! I have given my 2010 Gorilla a great workout – It proved a dream on the JMT.
    Here in NZ we need a tougher pack as we do a lot of bush bashing so I am please to see the side pockets and the overall pack in Dyneema. I was expecting a more traditional shoulder straps though. Having said that, I am ready to update.
    Like you, I am just on 20 torso size – my current Gorilla in Medium and I am just on 6ft, but have a long waste (shorter back). How high are you and do you feel the “M” is ideal for you being as you (and I) sit on the cusp of Medium/Large?
    PS: I have added you to my blog at http://www.lightweighttramping.blogspot.com

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Hi Rob, thanks for the link on your blog. I saw you post about getting excited on upgrading (and the sneaky use of my photo) and think you’ll love the new version.

    With regard to size and fit: I am 5′ 10″ and 170lbs so the M size Gorilla is just about as perfect for me as I can get. I have a 20″ torso measurement.

    You are much taller than me, but you say that your torso section is not that long, so my guess would be that you would be fine with a M pack if that’s what you were already using. The feel of the new pack is very similar to the old one, another great feature in my book!

    That said, you can always reach out to Grant and Dave at Gossamer Gear directly to ask them what they think. They’re both taller than me and may have additional advice to offer. They also have a great return policy as long as you don’t beat up on the gear trying it on.

    I’d love to hear what you think about it when you get your new pack. If you blog about it let me know and I’ll share a link here on this post. Cheers Rob! ^BG

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I don’t have this issue and didn’t experience that with my old Gorilla pack either. I can visualize what you are saying and without being overly personal about it I’d have to ask, do you have a wide neck?

    I’ve experienced issues with the old Gorilla shoulders straps rubbing under my arms because of their width (4 inches), but the new harness has fixed that for me. That’s the most common complaint I’ve heard about regarding the fit of the Gorilla and other GG packs to be honest.

    Do you have any photos of your altered Gorilla that you could share? I’m very curious to see how much it was altered. Other than that I agree that the new version is a significant upgrade on a pack that I didn’t think had much room for improvements :)

  • Rob McKAy

    Hi BG – Re “sneaky use” – Your photos had a “share” link that I used – I don’t wish to violate your copy write – I did credit your review and site on my previous blog post and permanently on my blog. I hope I haven’t violated any protocols?

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Rob, you are 100% correct in how I like my photos to be used and I thank you sincerely for that. Most people don’t bother to even try and I’m not really asking very much of them. Not only dd you follow my terms of use, you used the photo and link in the way that I had intended – your golden :)

    Have you reached out to Grant or Dave at Gossamer Gear about your sizing questions? If I can help there let me know.

  • Rob

    Yes, I did reach out and decided as I was on the “boarder” size wise, to go with medium as this was the size of my 2010 model and it was perfect. Anyhow the pack arrived in good old NZ today.
    Did you know they have dropped the magnet closure? It now has a 50% bungy draw enclosure across the front section- I like it!
    Also the Dyneema seems different that on my other packs (MLD Burn). It is not so course and has a shinny finish – seem more water repellant – smoother surface and nice feel.
    It’s a long w/e here next week so I am off for 3 days to get to Gorilla dirty :-)

  • Rob

    Yes, I did reach out and decided as I was on the “boarder” size wise, to go with medium as this was the size of my 2010 model and it was perfect. Anyhow the pack arrived in good old NZ today.
    Did you know they have dropped the magnet closure? It now has a 50% bungy draw enclosure across the front section- I like it!
    Also the Dyneema seems different that on my other packs (MLD Burn). It is not so course and has a shinny finish – seem more water repellant – smoother surface and nice feel.
    It’s a long w/e here next week so I am off for 3 days to get to Gorilla dirty :-)

  • Rob

    Yes, I did reach out and decided as I was on the “boarder” size wise, to go with medium as this was the size of my 2010 model and it was perfect. Anyhow the pack arrived in good old NZ today.
    Did you know they have dropped the magnet closure? It now has a 50% bungy draw enclosure across the front section- I like it!
    Also the Dyneema seems different that on my other packs (MLD Burn). It is not so course and has a shinny finish – seem more water repellant – smoother surface and nice feel.
    It’s a long w/e here next week so I am off for 3 days to get to Gorilla dirty :-)

  • Robin McKay

    Brian – Back from initial 3 day w/e test in the NZ bush – Fabulous pack – love the shoulder straps. One comment, I had my daughter sew in two extra holding loops on the new bungy closure as the bungy cords kept falling into the opening and got in that way of “stuffing” (packing) the pack. I will post some photos on my blog this week.