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Gossamer Gear Murmur Hip Belt Padding Modification

Gossamer Gear Murmur Hip Belt Padding Mod
Gossamer Gear Murmur Hip Belt Padding Mod

The Gossamer Gear Murmur is an 8.0 oz frameless ultralight backpack designed for carrying very lightweight backpacking loads. It comes with an hip belt made out of webbing that’s 3/4 of an inch wide (shown above) and doesn’t have any padding. That’s not normally a problem with a 10-15 lb pack, but if you want an easy ultralight way to add some padding, you can use foam pipe insulation. This comes in handy if you need to carry a bit more weight, say 20 lbs, including water and fuel, or if you’re like me and have some extra padding over your hip bones and need a slightly grippier UL hip belt.

To implement this modification, go to a Home Depot or some other hardware store, and buy foam insulation for 1/2 inch copper or 3/8″ inch iron pipe. The best kind has a self-sealing adhesive running the length of the foam seam that wraps around the hip belt and glues shut. It takes seconds to do and the adhesive holds the foam closed really well.

This mod only adds 0.2 oz to the pack and costs under $3. Just another example of how you can use everyday materials for customizing your backpacking gear.

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  1. I love this kind of commentary. I'm all for making personal items "our own" by adding and subtracting what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I regret my modifications but usually I don't because there is a learning curve that comes with everything I alter. Doing this kind of thing also juices my own creative engines so I take on actually making things which is a basic fucntion of being human as far as I am concerned!

    So thanks! Wow! and Yay! (once again!)

  2. Great Minds!!! I received my Murmur yesterday and used the same pipe insulation in the shoulder straps, I have small shoulders this makes a much better fit for me. Then decided to try a piece of the insulation on the belt just as you did. Went out early this morning for a hike, great comfort on shoulders and hips. Just got back and found your post.

  3. Cool! – I like the grippiness of the foam on hip ridge.

    This is not exactly relevant to you, but…

    I also find it useful to cut out more flat foam and push it above the foam area covered by the cutouts that GG sends you. This prevents the shoulder straps from twisting around on themselves a bit which can be a little annoying when putting on the pack.

  4. Philip,

    That's a great idea. In fact, I'm thinking of using your idea for foam plumbing insulation as a bumper on my Ospry EXOS 58 pack. The narrow-gauge aluminum tube frame, which acts like an excellent lightweight exoskeleton for the pack (hence its name), tends to dig into my tail bone. Your idea can relieve that stress point when the weight of the pack rests against the bottom of my back.

    R, Dan

  5. Fantastic – I had the same issue with the Exos. This should work great.

    I actually stumbled on this idea looking for cheap hand grips to make wooden hiking poles using wooden dowels….

    It amazing how much backpacking gear Home Depot sells and they don't even know it!

  6. I know what you mean about the space in the shoulder straps, I extended the length of the round foam to fill this gap and prevented any rubbing on my neck.

    I can't use the sternum strap in it present location, I'll need to move it up a few inches just below the two water tube keepers. Then I'll probably add a stitch to prevent the padding in the shoulder straps from sliding down. Other than that I think this pack will be perfect for me.

    I have a 3-day trip in TN next week, 12-13 pound pack weight plus H2O, can't wait.

  7. That sounds great – I am smitten too. This pack is perfect for my 48 hour overnights in the White Mountains. Cheers!

  8. Also, the pipe insulation will be a multi-use item for me, I've always carried two small sections to position under my knees and lower back when I sleep. So now all I have to do is remove the shoulder pads.

  9. update on the pipe insulation used to pad the hop belt…the strap started chewing up the pad on the inside eventually cutting through. This started at around 10-12 miles of wear. So, I cut a couple pieces of the cheap blue pad like sold at Walmart and weaved the strap in and out of the pad, it didn't last as long as the pipe insul.

    I had some 1/4" foam left over for another project, it's similar to the foam that comes with the Murmur. Anyway, I made two pads last night and a different way to attach to the strap. I leave in the morning to hike in TN, will update you with how this version works out or not.

  10. I had the same experience. I fixed mine by wrapping a piece of duct tape around the backpack end, which seems to be holding up.

  11. and it would make a great multi-purpose item for when the guy in the tent besides yours is snoring all night long – giggle

    (yes, I snore lol)

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