Home / Gear Reviews / The Minimalist – Ultralight Day Pack from Gossamer Gear

The Minimalist – Ultralight Day Pack from Gossamer Gear

Backpack:
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
50

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On November 30, 2011
Last modified:September 25, 2016

Summary:

The Minimalist features a rakishly cut outer mesh pocket that's big enough for stuffing a jacket and water bottle into, as well as a new shoulder strap system with curved unisex padding, front daisy chains, hydration hose keepers and a sternum strap.

Gossamer Gear - The Minimalist Day Pack from Gossamer Gear
The Minimalist Day Pack from Gossamer Gear

Ultralight backpack manufacturer, Gossamer Gear, has a new day pack called The Minimalist which is sure to turn heads. This is the second day pack made by the company and builds on the success of the smaller Riksak 2 ($35), which received accolades from Wired Magazine earlier this year.

The Minimalist with 1,100 cubic inches of storage capacity is about 25% larger than the 900 cubic inch silnylon Riksak, but comes with a slew of additional features that make the pack more comfortable and functional. The Minimalist features a rakishly cut outer mesh pocket that’s big enough for stuffing a jacket and water bottle into, as well as a new shoulder strap system with curved unisex padding, front daisy chains, hydration hose keepers and a sternum strap.

Gossamer Gear - The Minimalist and The Riksak
The Minimalist and The Riksak

Unlike the Riksak, the Minimalist also comes with a thin piece of foam padding between the main compartment and the back of the pack. The foam, which is removable, slides into a pocket with a top hydration loop that can be used to hang a camelback reservoir system. It’s a nice additional feature that makes this pack quite usable for day hikes or peak bagging, letting you leave the bulk of your gear in camp.

Gossamer Gear - Inner Pocket, Foam Pad, Hydration Loop and Haul Loop
Inner Pocket, Foam Pad, Hydration Loop and Haul Loop

I’ve been using The Minimalist for a few weeks now and it is a great urban hauler that’s perfectly sized for taking my laptop to the Bohemian Coffeehouse to write in the morning or to carry my swim gear to the pool for a workout. I also use it for short walks in the woods with my wife when I want to go very light and just bring a few things along instead of an entire pack.

For you gram weanies, the pre-production version of the Minimalist I’ve been using weighs 9.9 ounces, but I know Gossamer Gear is making a few last minute modifications to it, so the final weight may turn out to be slightly different.

Gossamer Gear - A Perfect Pair
A Well Matched Pair

Disclosure: Section Hiker (Philip Werner) received complementary Minimalist and Riksak packs from Gossamer Gear for testing and review purposes.

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11 comments

  1. Ooooh, nice. That mesh pocket's slant is very interesting. I wonder if they'll use that on any of their larger packs. Either way, I'm very excited to see the new lineup of packs when they arrive. My wallet is not excited, though :)

    Thanks for pointing out that Wired article, too. Don't know how I missed that.

  2. Dyneema? On a Gossamer Gear Pack?? WOW!

    The size is a bit small for full SUL pack, but is quite interesting since it is a massive departure from the UL/SUL packs GG is so famous for. It looks like they are breaking into the mainstream market with the small heavy, well built pack. This would also make a nice bike pack even at the extra weight. The heavier fabric would be required for everyday use.

    Generally, the trend has been away from UL packs and their limited durability, so maybe I should not be surprised that GG is doing this.

    Thanks for the update, Phil!

  3. Gossamer Gear has been very busy this year on pack design and several of their trail ambassadors have been heavily involved in the process providing customer and product feedback. Besides being a long time customer, it's one of the main reasons I participate in their trail ambassador program.

    You will see a lot more Dyneema in GG packs this year as well as many other innovations. They've also been very careful to keep pack weight low or at their old levels despite a move to using thicker or more durable fabrics. I am very rough on their gear and I haven't been able to destroy some of their newer products, like the Gorilla, after a full season of use. That's made a big impression on me.

    This would make a great bike pack – hadn't thought of that – especially how it's soft enough to curve over your back. Anyway, The Minimalist is very pleasant to carry as a day-to-day stuff hauler. I use mine now all the time (when I can liberate it from my wife.)

  4. I got something very similar: REI Flash 18 (been using one for a few months now.) I removed waist straps and inserted a piece of blue foam padding into the hydration pouch inside. Weighs 10 ounces, volume is 1,100 cubic inches and it works great for day hikes. Cost $30.

  5. I've got one too. The torso is too short for me though – 18.5 inches, but otherwise I really like it. Especially in black.

  6. Are the shoulder straps of the same design as the G4.. able to be stuffed with socks if you wish?

  7. That's odd.. I hoped they would be open, to give this bag a "unique" feature..

  8. The problem with the sock pocket is that it closed with velcro and irritates people necks when they wear the pack. I'm glad GG got rid of it. I think I heard that no one really uses it anymore.

  9. I think it's just me and one other person left that uses that feature…

  10. Hi Glen,

    I too love the sock pocket and utilize it on my Maraposa Plus. Hope to have this feature on any additional packs I order?

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