If you read the post about my recent trip to Mt Whitney, you may recall that I had a few problems with the width of the shoulder straps on my Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight backpack. Even though I've used my Gorilla pack for numerous other multi-day backpacking trips, this time the straps really rubbed me the wrong way, no matter how I adjusted them or how I repacked my pack.
If you're not familiar with the Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack you may not know or be able to appreciate what I mean, so let me show you. The photograph below shows a close up of the top section of the Gorilla's shoulder straps with a ruler for scale. As you can see the width of the straps at roughly the point where they begin to go under your armpit is almost 4 inches (3.75 inches) from seam edge to seam edge. I'm willing to bet that these are wider than any of the other backpacks out there and challenge you all to measure yours and leave a comment below so that we can compare.
As I had expected, Dave and Grant from Gossamer Gear noticed my comments about the width of the straps and reached out to me to get some additional feedback. It seems that they have received several other requests over the years to make narrower shoulder straps on the Gorilla pack and were already in the process of making a prototype with thinner straps to test.
Dave very kindly offered to make the same prototype shoulder strap alterations to my existing Gorilla pack for free so that I could test it out before they committed to the change in their production version. I don't know if Gossamer Gear intend to offer only the new narrower shoulder straps on the Gorilla pack if the go forward with it or whether there will be the option of an original and "narrow" version, I also don't have any details as to when the changes will be available as part of production.
Last week I shipped my Gorilla pack to Grant so that he could make the alterations to my shoulder straps. I'm really excited about getting it back and seeing how narrow they were able to make the straps without drastically changing the load bearing properties of the pack. In fact I'm more excited about getting back my altered old pack than I would be about waiting for a new pack to arrive!
It will take a week or two at least for them to make the changes and probably a little longer by the time it gets shipped back to me, but I'll post an update as soon as I receive it.
Are there any other GG Gorilla backpack owners out there that have experienced the same issue with the rather wide shoulder straps?
Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.