Gossamer Gear Kumo Review
Weight Medium Size 13.4oz
Allgood’s Recommendation-My new favorite pack, if you are looking to go next level and slip into the world of Super Ultra Light, this pack is the winner in my opinon. Bewteen it's wide shoulder straps and light weight hipbelt, it will feel comfortable and secure all day long while on trail
After using my Mariposa for last year's backpacking season and the beginning of winter season, I came to the conclusion that I was ready for a smaller pack for my day/weekend trips. After talking with Grant of Gossamer Gear and many of fellow Trail Ambassadors (TA) I decided the Kumo would fit the bill well. I had a medium size pack sent out to me in January and I started using it mainly as my day pack. Truth be told unless we were out in the snow carrying lots of extra puffy layers this pack was still a little big for my standard day hike.
In February, ALDHA-West, which I am the president of, held a Ruck in Cascade Locks. The day was spent preparing this years PCT and CDT Thru-Hikers to get ready to hit the trail in the spring. While I was there my good friend and fellow TA "Lint" challened me to start using the Kumo for all my adventures, we talked about my gear and what else I could ditch to hit the SUL category this year. I explained my concern that I wouldn't have enough room for everything, given the extra's I have to carry for Karluk, but as he explaind, "The Kumo was too big for me", so the challenge was presented and it was time to give it a shot.
A month later we had a wonderful weekend of weather in the PNW, I joined fellow TA "Wired" Erin Saver, of Walking With Wired for a 38 mile two day trip along the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT). I figured this was the perfect trip to try the Kumo on for a weekend jaunt. The OCT passes through a few town in the section we were on so I knew my food load would be light.
I loaded up all my gear, Karluk's sleeping jacket the Ruffwear Quinzee, and was shocked when I still had room-wow what a great pack, it's small size is deceptive as it really holds a ton of gear. I then proceeded to hike in comfort all weekend with this tidy little pack.
Personally I like a small pack that doesn't come anywhere near my head in height, I hate not being able to see easily when I turn my head to look behind me, and with the Kumo it was like not wearing a pack at all. The pack really excelled when having to squeeze through, under or around some big blowdowns, with such a small pack I could easily go under large blow downs with ease, and walking through the tightest of spaces was a treat.
The second weekend out with this pack was to the famous Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge, this is by far one of the most popular hikes by Portland, with that said in 14 years this was only my second time going there. Karluk and I were joined by my long time hiking partner Cindy Ryals, who is by far one of the strongest hikers male or female I have ever had the joy to hike with. Cindy carries a Gregory pack and opts to cary fleece garments instead of down because of our moisture here in Oregon. Her pack while slightly heavier than mine, looks about 3 times bigger. All day we passed groups out backpacking with GIANT Packs, everything from old school Kelty frame packs to Osprey's and other brands big enough and loaded enough for a Himalayan Expedition. I received more than one dirty look as we passed a group, with that look on people's faces implying I was mean for making the small girl carry all the heavy gear, while I breezed on up with my tiny pack.
All in all I have logged a little over 150 miles with my Kumo, and I am in love with it! so enough with the commentary lets get down to what you really want to hear.
Like my Mariposa I have switched out the sit light pad that comes with the pack I use the GG Nightlight Sleeping Pad (torso length) that is Karluk’s sleeping pad, alothough these days we are sharing my NeoAir.
The Hip Belt
The standar hip belt comes without pockets on it, this because most SUL hikers do not use a hipbelt, I however love a hip belt, so I ordered myself the optional hipbelt with pockets from Gossamer Gear. It has two nice pockets where I keep things like snacks, sunblook and othjer sundries that access throughout the day
The two standard side pockets and the front mesh packet are ample enough to carry my Trail Design K-Keg stove system, fuel, a trowel, and other items such as a wet tarp in the morning. They will also easily fit a wter bottle or other items you need to get to without getting in your pack.
The dynema fabric is the same as my Mariposa as I know this fabric is tough and resists abrassions well. The front mesh is really strong and streches well, as I know from my Mariposa even being mesh this stuff is tough and I have yet to put a hole in it.
Just like my Mariposa this pack has nice wide shouler straps, I find these really help distribute weight and prevent your straps from digging into you all day while you hike.
Light weight-I saved nearly 1/2lb just be switching packs
Back pad doubles as a sleeping pad
Small Size-I love a tidy pack, not some big hurking thing with stuff strapped all over the outside
Low Height, I canot tell you how much I love the low profile
Ample Volume-Why I doubt I could fit my bear can in this pack, for a weeklong trip or a through hike this pack would fit the bill well
Built in ports on either side of the top allows you to use a hydartion bladder system with ease
Lack of hip belt pockets standard
Not sure if I can fit my bear canister and my gear
If you try to carry too much weight, beyond the reccomended 25lbs, it's too much weight on your shoulders
Lack of a stay or frame sheet will make it harder for novices to learn how to pack it comfortably
Full disclosure, I am a Trail Ambassador for Gossamer Gear, Ruffwear Dog Gear and TurboPUP Dog Bars. I do however try to keep these reviews as no-biased as possible. As far as backing gear goes, I have been using GG products for the past 4 years. Their products are well enginereerd, super durable, and have been a joy to use in the feild.