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