Gossamer Gear backpacks didn’t start off with snazzy names. They started off with the founder, Glen Van Peski, fiddling around with some homegrown models, searching for the perfect balance of light and functional.
“I would hike along with my buddy, Read Miller, talking about packs and how to make them lighter and more functional,” Glen explains. “I named the first one I made the ‘G1.’ It was kind of a joke. We had no idea anything would come of my homemade contraptions. The ‘G’ was just the initial of my first name.”
As Glen continued his attempts, the names followed — G2, G3, and so on.
“Finally by the fourth version, word was getting out on the early internet,” Glen continues. The G4 was the model that launched the company he called “GVP Gear” at the time. “As my personal pack weight continued to decrease, I created the G5. And, when Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Light thought that was too heavy, I created the G6.”
The G6 was so light that Glen said it “seemed like a mere whisper of a pack.” Thus, the G6 was quickly renamed the Whisper. But, how did we get to the names of today’s fleet of packs? And, what happened to the Whisper? Read on for all of this goodness — and more!
Murmur 36 Hyperlight Backpack
The Murmur backpack is 8.2 ounces of barely-there badassness. But, why is it called the Murmur? Well, the Murmur was Glen’s Whisper model, but with side pockets added. The side pockets made the Whisper just a little “louder,” so, reasonably, the Whisper became the Murmur.
Mariposa 60 Backpack
When Glen undertook a re-design of the venerable G4, the working model name was NextGen, as it was supposed to be the next generation of pack. As Glen began looking for a production name, he turned to good ole Google to search for light-related names. “Mariposa” popped up in his searches, Spanish for “butterfly.” With the Mariposa backpack feeling light enough to take flight while you’re on the trail, the name fit.
Photo credit: @cody.mathison
Gorilla 40 Ultralight Backpack
Grant Sible joined Gossamer Gear as its President in 2005 when Glen decided to bring in an equity partner so he could move out of having such an active role in the company. In 2002, Grant had thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with a 40-liter backpack. Grant’s trail name? You guessed it — Gorilla! Lightweight, but surprisingly durable, the Gorilla backpack is suitable for shorter trips, or hikers who know how to crush it in the minimalism department.
Silverback 50 Backpack
When rough terrain calls, the Silverback backpack answers. Crafted from resilient Extreema fabric and free of exposed mesh, the burly Silverback lets you slip through dense brush snag-free. It’s essentially a beefier, load-hauling version of the Gorilla, a more mature, distinguished member of its tribe.
***Teaser! The Silverback is moving even further up in its ranks with a radical set of updates coming to you in mid-November. Keep your eyes out for this wild one.
Kumo 36 Superlight Backpack
Gossamer Gear is honored to have positive business partnerships in Asia and a strong fan base for our gear in Japan. “Kumo” is Japanese for “cloud” and also shares a kanji with “spider.” The word “gossamer” is often used to refer to spider-web-like materials, those that are both light and strong. The name “Kumo” captures the essence of the Kumo backpack, while giving a nod to our great friendships across the Pacific Ocean.
Brand Ambassador, Ryan Sylva, has a knack for wandering his own paths. One of these paths connected the Arizona Trail, Hayduke Trail, Grand Enchantment Trail, and Moab-ABQ connection. He called this the Vagabond Loop, and to him, hiking this loop was about more than getting additional trails under his belt — it was about a way of life. The Vagabond daypack can hack it on the trail, but the secure zippered top closure, inner stash pockets, and tote handles make it urban/office ready, too. It can travel with you anywhere your soul decides to move you. It’s an everyday bag with a nod to the dirtbag lifestyle.
More to come!
Read this far and are still wondering what ever happened to the Whisper? Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret — it’s coming back later this year! We’re also getting excited about our upcoming Texas collection, a nod to our Austin home that will launch with the Lonestar and the Ranger. Oh, and there might be a camo Kumo and maybe even a “murse” (what?) coming down the line, so make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to be in the know as all of this goodness becomes available!