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Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 Backpack Overview

The Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 is a multi-day ultralight-style backpack designed for thru-hiking with bigger masses, bushwhacking, and winter backpacking. It’s very completely different from Gossamer Gear’s common backpacks, the Mariposa 60 and Gorilla 50, in that it’s a pure roll prime with none exterior mesh with a pre-curved polycarbonate body as an alternative of a body keep. The Silverback is just not offered by Gossamer Gear (though the Mariposa and Gorilla nonetheless are) however is barely accessible from the corporate’s retail companions, like Storage Grown Gear in the US.

Specs at a Look

  • Weight: 37.6 oz – dimension medium (38.3 oz precise)
  • Quantity: 65L whole capability
  • Fundamental Pack Physique to Backside of Extension Collar: 46.5L
  • Dimensions: 10.7″ W x 7.28″ D x 21.5″ H
  • Pockets: 3 + most important
  • Load lifters: Sure
  • Hip belt pockets: 2
  • Hydration suitable: Sure
  • Bear canisters: Vertical (BV500, Garcia); Horizontal (BV475, BV450, BV425, Bear Boxer)
  • Supplies: Robic Nylon 100d and 200d (on excessive put on areas)
  • Advisable most load capability by producer40lbs
  • Advisable snug load by SectionHiker: 25-30lbs
  • For full specs, click on right here. 

Backpack Storage and Group

The Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 is a standard roll-top backpack with aspect water bottle pockets, hip belt pockets, and a entrance open pocket, with a most important compartment that has an inner hydration pocket, a reservoir cling loop, and hydration ports situated between the shoulder pads. The roll prime could be secured on the perimeters of the pack with webbing straps or the ends could be clipped collectively on prime. The extension collar has a stiffener which makes it simpler to roll closed, particularly when the pack could be very full.

The main packbag can hold a lot of gear!
The primary pack bag can maintain quite a lot of gear!

The primary pack bag has a 46.5L capability and may maintain quite a lot of gear, making this the Gossamer Gear pack of selection if it is advisable haul a giant bear canister like a BV500 round with you. In utilizing the pack, we discovered that it “likes” to be stuffed full and packed fastidiously. In any other case, the smooth material of the pack bag (100d Robic) tends to break down and grow to be shapeless and blob-like, even in case you use the compression system to shrink the quantity.

Smartwater and Nalgene bottles have a tendency to fall out of the side pockets
Smartwater and Nalgene bottles tend to fall out of the aspect pockets

The entrance stretch pocket and each aspect water bottle pockets are totally made with stable material, bettering sturdiness since mesh pockets are often the very first thing to get ripped up on backpacks once they encounter vegetation off-trail. Whereas the entrance stretch pocket is deep sufficient to maintain objects from falling out, water bottles, each Smartwater bottles, and 32 oz Nalgenes are simply stripped from the aspect pockets, off-trail or once you set the pack on the bottom: as a result of the pockets will not be very deep and don’t have a cordlock or sturdy elastic closure to carry contents in place. I’d advise utilizing a shoulder strap bottle sleeve or reservoir with this pack as an alternative. When bushwhacking off-trail, I’ve discovered it prudent to place every part that I usually retailer within the aspect pockets inside the principle compartment so it doesn’t fall out and get misplaced. Dropping your solely water bottle off-trail is just not good.

The hip belt pockets are made with 200d Robic for added durability.
The hip belt pockets are made with 200d Robic for added sturdiness.

The hip belt pockets are massive and may maintain loads of necessities together with a smartphone. The pockets are lined in additional sturdy 200d Robic as a result of pockets take a beating when you must push by way of waist-high brush and small timber off-trail. The aspect pockets and the underside of the principle pack bag are equally strengthened.

The earlier model of the Silverback 55L (see evaluation), which had 10L much less quantity, had a detachable prime lid with a giant pocket, along with a roll-top closure on the principle pack bag. A prime lid is actually helpful in winter once you need to have the ability to change gloves, hats, or wind layers, or seize snacks or navigation instruments shortly with out having to undo a roll prime pack and search round in a giant cavity for what you want. I discover it a bit of disheartening that the highest lid was faraway from Silverback 65 as a result of it actually reduces the pack’s performance for winter climbing and backpacking.  Granite Gear’s bigger backpacks, the Crown 3 60 and the Blaze 60 have detachable prime lids and roll-top closures in case you’re searching for a pack that helps each configurations.

Silverback 65 Polycarbonate Frame
Silverback 65 Polycarbonate Body

Backpack Body and Suspension

The Silverback 65 has a modular body and suspension system with a number of parts together with a polycarbonate body, a pad pocket, sit pad, shoulder straps, and a detachable hip belt. The polycarbonate body within the Silverback 65 seems equivalent to the one within the earlier Silverback 55. This body sheet is stiff and supportive but in addition flexes to adapt to your curves and anatomy. It is usually simpler to take away and reinsert, in comparison with the aluminum keep in Gossamer Gear’s Mariposa and Gorilla Backpacks, which slots into small sleeves within the hip belt and could be a herculean battle to reassemble.

Along with the body sheet, there’s a pad pocket behind the pack’s shoulder straps that holds a bit of froth embossed with the Gossamer gear emblem. This can be a multi-use sit pad that’s simple to take away and exchange once you need an insulated or dry place to sit down on throughout breaks or when cooking dinner. A sit pad and the pad pocket have all the time been a signature function of Gossamer Gear packs and it’s simple to grow to be hooked on utilizing one because it’s so handy to drag out and exchange.

The sit pad makes a good seat in camp.
The sit pad makes a superb seat in camp.

The Silverback 65 is a unisex backpack with huge J-shaped shoulder straps which may be uncomfortable for women and men with well-developed chests. Nonetheless, each the shoulder straps and the hip belt are lined with thick and cozy foam and mesh, making them higher suited to individuals with “curves.” The sternum strap runs up and down alongside a webbing strap sewn on the entrance of the shoulder straps making it simple to regulate its peak. The shoulder straps are optimized to be used with Gossamer Gear accent pockets and bottle sleeves however are tougher to make use of with third-party add-ons.

The sternum strap height is easy to adjust
The sternum strap peak is straightforward to regulate

The hip belt is detachable, so you possibly can theoretically exchange the hip belt in a dimension medium pack with one from a dimension small pack in case you had a smaller waist. I’m unsure that Gossamer Gear’s resellers, together with Storage Grown Gear, provide that as an choice. You could possibly ask although! It’s an choice Gossamer Gear nonetheless affords with their different backpacks.

The sit pad is easy to slot into a pad pocket
The sit pad is straightforward to fit into the pad pocket

The Silverback hip belt is a bit of uncommon in that it’s not immediately linked to the body however passes by way of a sleeve behind it. Whereas different producers use the identical design, most producers add a bit of velcro between the hip belt and the body or body pocket so there’s a really safe connection between the 2 for load switch.

I contacted Gossamer Gear assist and so they assured me that my hip belt was sewn accurately with the velcro patch on the again of the hip belt…the place it could actually’t presumably connect with the body. I feel that design could possibly be improved merely and fairly considerably by inserting a second velcro connection between the entrance of hip belt and the again of the body pocket for load switch. With out it, I discovered {that a} 25-30 lbs load felt sort of sloppy to hold once I would have anticipated it to really feel snappier.

However this concern, I haven’t been that impressed with the hip belt on this pack. It’s not adjustable in size or gender-specific. The hip belt’s webbing straps are additionally smooth and incessantly fold over contained in the buckles, jamming them, so you’ll be able to’t tighten the hip belt.

Exterior Attachments and Compression

One space the place the Silverback 65 performs nicely is in its exterior attachment and compression system.

The Silverback has two tiers of side compression straps
The Silverback has two tiers of aspect compression straps

The Silverback 65 has two tiers of aspect compression straps that make it simple to lash gear to the aspect of the backpack, together with snowshoes or a folded-up Thermarest Zlite pad, for the reason that straps are lengthy sufficient for this objective. Each compression straps shut with buckles, which is preferable if you wish to connect snowshoes to the perimeters of the pack. There’s additionally a prime strap that runs over the roll prime which can be utilized to safe a foam pad there as nicely.

There are additionally quite a few yellow-colored webbing loops sewn into the seams of the Silverback that you may run your individual cords by way of. Gossamer Gear sells some fantastic shock twine compression kits ($6) that embody 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, you possibly can tie two horizontal runs of compression twine throughout the entrance of the pack to carry your snowshoes.

Yellow loops along the side seams let you create custom attachment points
Yellow loops alongside the aspect seams allow you to create customized attachment factors

Within the spirit of modularity, you may as well take away pointless straps from the Silverback 65, so that you don’t have to chop them off. There are solely three of those straps on the Silverback, so the burden financial savings are minimal, however it could actually scale back unused strap litter, relying on the way you configure the pack.

Bushwhacking the NH500 with the Silverback 65
Bushwhacking the NH500 with the Silverback 65


The Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 is a roll prime backpack made with 100d and 200d Robic Nylon that weighs 2 lbs 5.6 oz and prices $309. Whereas it’s positioned as a general-purpose thru-hiking pack for bigger masses, off-trail climbing, and winter backpacking, there isn’t something actually compelling about it when it comes to efficiency or options that makes it stand out as a heavy hauler. We didn’t discover the load switch to the hip belt to dwell as much as expectations. It’s not constructed with the heavier-duty materials you’d count on for off-trail journey and it doesn’t have any of the winter-specific options that you just’d count on on a winter backpack. See our hyperlinks under for the backpacks in these classes that we do suggest. Internet, Internet, I’d give the Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 a move.

Disclosure: Gossamer Gear donated a backpack for this evaluation.

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