As avid outdoor athletes, adventure racers, and peak baggers we know the true meaning of “ultralight” and the equipment it takes to do so. We’re always searching for the next lightest piece of gear to help us obtain our goals. We’ve had the opportunity to put some of these products to the test and report back to you and when ounces count Gossamer Gear has what it takes. They are craftsmen of some of the most innovative products on the market and help ultralight athletes go even lighter. Make way for the the featherlight era. We are super excited to bring you the Type II Utility Backpack.
The Type II Utility Backpack is a roomy 20″ x 10″ versatile pack that weighs in at only 15.65 ounces, which really defines the term “ultralight”. However this does not take away from the durability. Gossamer Gear has designed this pack with the extremely durable Custom 100 Denier Robic ripstop nylon and custom nylon webbing. We put the Type II through some very rigorous testing in a variety of different elements and were very happy with the outcome.
As far as the storage space goes the main body of the Type II is separated into two sections for a combined total of 1400 cubic inches or 22.94 liters, which ever way you’d like to look at it. One of the unique features in this pack is the removable inner 3/16″ foam back pad weighs 0.8 oz. It’s so light it’s hardly even noticeable but adds a significant amount of padding for extra comfort.
The second section in the main compartment is the inner hydration sleeve which has a couple of webbing loops to secure your reservoir. You can also hold any size laptop if using as a day pack, however it is NOT padded. We found that the overall size of the main compartment was plenty of space for a variety of different adventures, both long and short.
The Type II features the all new, unisex, air- mesh, ergonomic harness. The supreme air mesh fabric on the shoulder straps and hip belt creates less friction, more cushion and more comfort, not to mention extreme breathability. The temps during our test reached the 80’s during the day and the low 50’s at night, the air-mesh fabric kept us well ventilated in both conditions making it ideal for multiple seasons and activities. Not to mention the custom nylon webbing is amazing. It’s very smooth and moves easily through the buckles. It’s also very durable and didn’t fray when rubbed over coarse objects.
Considering we’ve spent countless hours on end wearing the same packs during adventure races we are very particular about fit and storage options. The all new hip belt system includes two built-in pockets. If you’re going to make your pack with only two small hip pockets you better have gotten them right, and Gossamer Gear really hit the nail on the head with the placement on the belt and the fabric they used. The stretch mesh fabric expanded at least 3 x what we had expected and fit an unbelievable amount of snacks, gear, and other products. Note that this is very breathable mesh so if you choose to store your electronics here you might want to consider a waterproof bag to pair with it.
As you know, we are crazy about versatility here at the Gear Nuts. That is exactly why we thought the 3.40 oz detachable hip belt system with integrated pockets was the best thing since sliced bread, we found that this feature really set the Type II Utility Backpack apart from packs. It’s all done with a single buckle system that makes on the fly removal very fast and easy. At first we were a little skeptical and though this may compromise the integrity of the design but it turns out it was quite the opposite.
Since we had the option to come off the trail and unload, being able to detach the waist belts and take to the town was a very cool option. All of our testers loved this aspect of the pack and look forward to seeing more designs like this one.
One of the things we like most about this pack is its convenience and simplicity. Part of this is due to Gossamer Gear’s new OTT™ (Over-the-Top) single point attachment lid. It is a great addition to the pack and made finding gear on the move simple all while feeling like our load and gear were all very secure. During testing we did some serious bushwhacking and the lid was never compromised.
The most obvious feature of the Type II‘s OTT™ lid is the zippered top (lid) pocket, it was very easy to access and holds a ton of stuff. We found the shape of the lid made it hard to store larger items so we mostly kept small personal items in it.
As far as extra features and additions go, Gossamer Gear has added a simple but effective daisy chain to the bottom of the closure system for more attachment points. They’ve also added multiple side seam lash loops for adding some compression or accessorizing. We love options! The more places to customize our load the better. We really like these options. In addition, the Type II features a side mounted lash loop for an ice axe or trekking pole.
Another thing we really liked about Gossamer Gear’s design is the two side pockets made from the super durable mesh. These two pockets really gave us the opportunity to choose our hydration options and carry two bottles instead of or in addition to a reservoir. Also the location on the pack made the water bottles and other items extremely accessible even without taking off the pack and evenly distributed the weight and maintained comfort for hours.
Not to mention if you’re using the Type II for backpacking like a lot of overnight ultralight backpackers do, the side water bottle holders double as pad holder pockets and create additional support for your backpack. We found so many uses for these pockets it was hard to name them all. These two pockets were the feature we used the majority of the time when testing this pack.
Gossamer Gear has designed the Type II with a lot of built in pockets to allow for plenty of storage options. There are three major pockets that when combined offer 162 cubic inches of storage. During our testing we found that we favored the zippered vertical “Napoleon” pocket pictured below, mostly because of the size and shape of objects we could store in that pocket. We love it for our maps, trail journal, and other flat pieces of gear that molded well to the shape of the pack.
The Type II features the “Grosgrain” drinking tube holes that you see pictured below. There is a hole on either on either side of the pack to give you plenty of options and the keeper loops on the shoulder straps keep everything in place.
We found that the Type II Utility Backpack is a perfect pack for a variety of adventures. During our review we used it for trail running, fast packing, day and overnight hiking. We actually felt that it fit better the more weight we had in it. This pack is a great addition for people who are counting ounces and moving fast. We really like how simple this pack is and that it still felt good no matter how heavy the load.
If ultralight, durable, and versatile are what you’re looking for, head on over to gossamergear.com and check out all of their amazing products.
See you on the trails!