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Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 Backpack Review

Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 Backpack Review

The Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 is a refined and extremely useful multi-day backpack that may simply configured in several methods for various sorts of journeys, from lengthy distance thru-hiking to multi-day backpacks, on and off-trail. That is the second iteration of the Silverback and it’s undergone some main modifications, on stability for the higher, though the earlier model was fairly spectacular in its personal proper. For instance, Gossamer Gear modified the body, changing the tubular stick with a brand new inner framesheet, added one other 5L of storage, and made the Silverback a roll prime backpack with an elective prime lid.

On the flip aspect, the Silverback 55 gained near 7 ouncesof weight over the earlier model, absolutely configured, making it the heaviest backpack in Gossamer Gear product line, topping out at 43.four oz. Which will nicely disqualify it for backpackers looking for solely the lightest attainable gear, however the Silverback 55 can also be a modular backpack, so you’ll be able to take away some elements and decrease its weight. It’s additionally Gossamer Gear’s costliest backpack at $325. But when sturdiness is necessary to you, particularly for off path use and winter mountaineering, in addition to perform and luxury, then the Silverback 55 is certainly value a better look.

Specs at a Look

  • Complete Weight: 43.four oz  (42.7 ouncesmedium, precise examined)
    • Prime lid (elective): three.1 oz
    • Framesheet: 6.7 oz
    • Sit pad: four.three oz
    • Pack w/ medium hipbelt: 28.6 oz
  • Sort: Roll prime with optionally available prime lid
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Pockets: eight complete, together with principal: 5 closed, three open
  • Shade: Darkish Gray
  • Body: Inner framesheet
  • Ventilated: No
  • Adjustable: No
  • Torso Measurement Vary: 15.5″-23.5″
  • Hip Belt Measurement Vary: 30-40″
  • Supplies: 200d and 70d Robic Nylon
  • Max Advisable Load: 35 lbs

Click on for full specs and sizing

Backpack Storage and Group

The Silverback is a roll prime backpack with an non-compulsory prime lid that can be utilized if you’d like the additional storage and group it supplies. Roll prime packs present wonderful prime compression and allow you to shrink the primary compartment quantity when it’s not wanted. Additionally they present immediate entry to the contents of the primary compartment with out having to maneuver a pocket out of the best way, undo a drawstring closure and webbing straps. The Silverback roll prime clips to itself when used with the non-compulsory prime lid, or to aspect straps on the primary compartment if the highest lid is eliminated.

The Silverback 55 Configured with the top lid pocketThe Silverback 55 configured with the highest lid pocket.

The highest lid has single zippered pocket and is properly sized for storing additional gloves, snacks, and navigation gear, however doesn’t have a key fob. The highest lid is configured as a floating lid, so it may be raised or lowered relying on peak of the primary compartment. You can too sandwich additional gear beneath it like a foam sleeping pad or jacket in the event that they gained’t match inside the remainder of the pack. When you select so as to add the highest lid, you do nonetheless should undergo the roll prime to entry the primary compartment. The highest lid is related to the primary pack utilizing gatekeeper clips, which pop open whenever you squeeze them. These are surprisingly sturdy, regardless of the wire hinge, and a variety of backpack makers have began utilizing them.

The top lid is connected to the pack using gatekeeper buckles and is easy to removeThe highest lid is related to the pack utilizing gatekeeper buckles and is straightforward to take away.

The highest lid matches neatly over the roll prime when it’s pretty empty, however tends to fall down the entrance aspect of the pack should you overload it with heavy gadgets and additional clothes. This can be a widespread drawback with most packs with prime lid pockets. It’s one of many explanation why I want utilizing a roll prime more often than not.

The primary compartment has a hydration sleeve with a central grasp loop if you wish to use a hydration reservoir, with a centrally situated hydration port between the shoulder pads. There’s additionally an inner pocket that holds the brand new Silverback framesheet, which is detachable. There’s no different group or entry to the primary compartment besides via the roll prime.

The Silverback 55 has a brand new entrance map pocket that closes with a water-proof zipper and can be utilized for quite a lot of functions. It’s completely situated should you’re on a visit that requires loads of map studying and navigation stops, however may also be used to retailer smaller gadgets like a GPS or smartphone when you selected to discard the highest lid.

The map pocket is convenient for trips that require a lot of navigation stopsThe map pocket is handy for journeys that require a variety of navigation stops

The Silverback has a big open stretch pocket on the entrance of the pack which you could stuff jackets or a moist tent into, full with a drain gap on the backside. This pocket is hard-faced for higher sturdiness, in contrast to a mesh pocket than is definitely shredded by surrounding vegetation in the event you step off-trail. There are additionally open water bottle pockets on the edges of the pack which are simply reachable when you’re sporting the backpack. They will every maintain two 1L Nalgene bottles and have elastic borders to assist hold the bottles safe, together with backside cutouts for drainage.

The side water bottle pockets can hold two 1L bottlesThe aspect water bottle pockets can maintain two 1L bottles.

Lastly, the hip belt consists of two giant sewn-on, zippered pockets. There are each hard-faced with strong material and are giant sufficient to retailer a number of meals bars, a smartphone, or a pair of bunched up fleece gloves. There aren’t some other gear loops on the hip belt that you might connect a carabiner or maintain a software with, which limits the hip belt’s utility in winter. The hip belt is detachable and replaceable so you possibly can swap out totally different sized hip belts, though a medium size hip belt is simply out there on the Gossamer Gear retailer presently (extra on this under). It’d be good if Gossamer Gear provided an alternate hip belt with gear loops as an alternative of pockets, so winter hikers and climbers might rack gear on them.

Backpack Body and Suspension

The Silverback 55 has a framesheet which replaces the U-shaped aluminum keep which continues to be used within the Gossamer Gear’s different backpacks, together with the Mariposa 60 and the Gorilla 40. As somebody who’s been utilizing Gossamer Gear packs for over a decade, again within the previous days when the corporate used arrows as body stays, I by no means thought I’d see the day once they made a backpack with an inner framesheet. It’s detachable, though doing so will vital scale back the load carrying capability of the Silverback from 35 lbs right down to 20 lbs.

Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 Frame SheetGossamer Gear Silverback 55 Body Sheet

The Silverback 55 framesheet is stiff and supportive, but in addition flexes to adapt to your curves and anatomy. Whereas it’s non-adjustable, it’s a lot simpler to take away and reinsert, in comparison with the aluminum keep in Gossamer Gear’s Mariposa and Gorilla backpacks, which slots into pockets within the hip belt and is usually a wrestle to configure correctly. I wouldn’t be stunned if Gossamer Gear changed the aluminum stays these packs, if solely to make them much less intimidating for brand spanking new clients who’re unfamiliar with the body stays utilized by ultralight gear producers.

Along with the framesheet, the again of the Silverback is padded with a bit of mesh-covered convoluted foam to assist channel sweat away out of your again. It makes an amazing sit pad and is straightforward to take away and substitute whenever you need an insulated or dry place to take a seat on throughout breaks or when cooking dinner. A sit pad and pad sleeves has all the time been a signature function of Gossamer Gear packs and it’s straightforward to turn into hooked on utilizing one because it’s so handy to tug out.

The back padding is removable and makes a nice sit padThe again padding is detachable and makes a pleasant sit pad for relaxation breaks.

Whereas the framesheet is new, the Silverback continues to be primarily a unisex backpack with vast J-shaped shoulder straps that could be uncomfortable for women and men with well-developed chests. Nevertheless, each the shoulder straps and the hip belt are coated with thick and cozy foam and mesh, making them higher fitted to individuals with “curves.” The hip belt additionally supplies a pleasant wrap, round and over the iliac crest, offering wonderful load switch, in case you get the correct hip belt size.

The mesh covered sit pad provides some back ventilationThe mesh coated sit pad supplies some again air flow.

Silverback Hip Belt Sizing

Certainly one of Gossamer Gear’s key differentiators has all the time been the power to decide on a hip belt size that’s a special measurement than a pack’s torso size measurement. For instance, you might purchase a big size torso with a medium size hip belt should you have been tall and skinny or to match no matter physique form you have got. You possibly can nonetheless purchase a unique sized hip belt with the Mariposa 60 and a Gorilla 40, however that choice has been eliminated (or not carried out of their retailer) for the Silverback 55.

For the Silverback, there’s just one hip belt measurement provided, a medium. Interval. Whereas it’s documented to suit individuals with 30″-40″ waist, it’s truly too brief for individuals on the excessive finish of that vary. Hopefully that is a listing situation and never a design determination. However be forewarned. I’ve contacted Gossamer Gear to ask concerning the availability of hip belts in several sizes, and can replace this submit once they get again to me.

Two tiers of compression straps make it easy to carry snowshoesTwo tiers of compression straps make it straightforward to hold snowshoes.

Backpack Compression and Exterior Attachment System

The Silverback 55 has two tiers of aspect compression straps that make it straightforward to lash gear to the aspect of the backpack, together with snowshoes or a folded up Thermarest Zlite pad, because the straps are lengthy sufficient for this objective. Each compression straps shut with buckles, making them straightforward to make use of for this objective.

Roll top configuration clipped on top. You can also clip the buckles to side straps.Roll prime configuration clipped on prime. It’s also possible to clip the buckles to aspect straps.

There are additionally quite a few gold-colored webbing loops sewn into the seams of the Silverback which you could run your personal cords by means of. There are 4 of those on the highest lid, eight on the entrance of the pack, and two above the shoulder pads on the pack’s rear. Gossamer Gear sells some fantastic shock twine compression kits ($6) that embrace 4 cordlocks for simply this objective. They work with any backpack and I stockpile them myself.

For instance, in case you needed to connect snowshoes to the entrance of your pack, so you can use the aspect water bottle pockets to hold insulated bottles for winter climbing (the place you possibly can attain them), you would tie two horizontal runs of compression twine throughout the entrance of the pack to carry your snowshoes. Of in case you needed to hold a foam pad on prime of the primary compartment, you would create a Y-strap configuration to run excessive of the pack. The chances are countless.

It’s easy to remove some straps without having to cut them offIt’s straightforward to take away some straps with out having to chop them off.

Within the spirit of modularity, you can even take away pointless straps from the Silverback 55, so that you don’t have to chop them off. There are solely three of those straps on the Silverback, so the load financial savings are minimal, however it will probably scale back unused strap muddle, relying on the way you configure the pack.

Comparable Backpacks

Suggestion

The Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 is a cushty and modular light-weight backpack that may be configured for all kinds of various backpacking journeys. Whereas the Silverback 55 (43.four oz) weighs considerably greater than Gossamer Gear’s different backpacks, the Mariposa 60 (30.5 oz) and the Gorilla 40 (30.5 oz), it’s extra sturdy, particularly off path, as a result of it doesn’t have a entrance mesh pocket and makes use of heavier obligation materials. It’s additionally much more modular and useful with an optionally available floating lid, a roll prime, and a brand new map pocket, all options that aren’t obtainable on the corporate’s different packs. In the event you’ve been in search of a multi-day or thru-hiking backpack with the options and carry that make Gossamer Gear packs so fascinating, however have held again since you choose a pack with roll prime or a prime lid, the brand new Silverback 55 must be in your brief record. Whereas the Silverback isn’t the lightest weight ultralight-style backpack out there as we speak, it’s onerous to beat the polish and ease of utilizing a Gossamer Gear backpack.

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Disclosure: Gossamer Gear offered the writer with a backpack for this assessment.

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