In case you missed it, several of our beloved packs got a spring glow up. You’ll find our new patent-pending PVT Frame + Belt and upgraded load lifters on the Mariposa 60 and Gorilla 50. You’ll also notice new colorways and design choices on the Kumo 36, G4-20, Loris 25, and Minimalist 19. Our team has worked hard to craft these packs to be as light and as functional as possible. As a result, some of the fun features these packs boast end up a little hidden without taking a closer look.

Just like a discussion board analyzing the latest Taylor Swift album, below, we’ll help you uncover all the design Easter eggs on your Gossamer Gear pack. Some are new to the latest models, and others are lasting favorites you might have wondered about over the years. If you’ve ever stopped to ask, “What do these things on my Gossamer Gear pack do?” then this is the blog for you.

1. Thumb Loops 

Trekking poles are one way to keep your arms moving while hiking, but if you’re on trail without them, you may still want an option for effortlessly switching up your arm positions. Doing so can improve circulation to your hands and reduce the chance of getting “sausage fingers” while on trail. 

As part of the latest updates, Gossamer Gear packs now have thumb loops at the ends of the shoulder straps adjustment webbing. Just slide your thumbs into the loops and voila! Your arms can now rest with a bend at the elbow and easily swing back and forth with your forward motion.

You’ll find this feature on all new packs except the Minimalist 19.

2. Trekking Poles Attachment

Older models of our packs also have this feature, but our latest design updates have streamlined the system. Previously, you could attach trekking poles to the outside of your backpack when not in use by putting their tips into two plastic D-rings at the bottom of the pack and then tucking the tops under the pack’s lid or a compression cord—or by using a Lightrek Bungee Attachment to secure them.

To reduce pack weight, the plastic D-rings have been replaced with an elastic holder on new backpack models. Simply put the bottoms of your trekking poles into the two stretchy slots at the bottom of your pack, cinch the bungee tight, and then secure the top grips of your poles as you would before.

You’ll find this feature on all new packs except the Minimalist 19 and Vagabond Jet.

3. Ice Axe Loop

Ever wonder what that loop of webbing is at the bottom of your backpack? It’s for carrying an ice axe when not in use. We could try to detail here how to go about securing an ice axe to your pack using the loop, but watching this video will do a much better job if you’re curious.

You’ll find this feature on the Mariposa 60, Gorilla 50, Kumo 36, G4-20 42, Fast Kumo 36, and Loris 25.

4. Webbing Loops & Attachment Points

You may notice that there are tiny webbing loops purposefully distributed around the perimeter and top of all of our packs. Some packs, especially older models, may also have some plastic D-rings in similar positions. These let you create your own compression cords system on the exterior of the pack or attach different objects to the outside of your pack using a lightweight carabiner or some cord and a cord lock.

While their exact positions may vary slightly, you’ll find this feature on every Gossamer Gear pack for easy customization.

5. Headphone Cord Routing

In case you haven’t heard, corded headphones are making a comeback. Especially while on trail, they come in handy, as you don’t have to worry about them losing a charge. Plus, with our new headphone cord routing system, you can keep your portable MP3 player secure while still having easy access to your tunes. You can also use this feature for charging phones while in trail towns.

You’ll find this feature on the Mariposa 60, Gorilla 50, Kumo 36, and Vagabond Jet.

For the three backpacking packs, place your phone, Walkman, first-gen iPod, or other audio device in the zippered lid of your backpack. Your headphone cords can then slip through the small opening at the top of the lid. 

On the Vagabond Jet, this opening is found on the side of the pack.

6. Air Tag Holder

The Vagabond Jet has become a favorite pack for city adventurers and international travel. These activities provide many opportunities for losing your pack at the bustling farmers’ market after getting wrapped up in a prolonged game of hacky sack or in the overhead compartment of your delayed flight.

To help keep better track of your Vagabond Jet, we’ve added a tiny pocket that can hold an air tag to track its location. You’ll find the air tag holder in the inner, mesh, zippered pocket for ultimate secrecy.

Note that this feature is only available on the newer, recycled fabric version of the Vagabond Jet.

7. Fastbelt Loops

All Gossamer Gear packs have a small webbing loop on each side near the backside bottom. These are for attaching a Fastbelt to your pack. You may prefer a Fastbelt to a traditional hipbelt or want to try one out for cutting extra weight. You may also find that you want to add a hipbelt to some of our daypacks that don’t come with one, such as the Minimalist 19 or Loris 25. In these cases, you can use the Fastbelt loops to attach one.

You’ll find this feature on all Gossamer Gear packs.

8. Hydration Reservoir Loops & Tube Routing

Older pack models included a sleeve inside the pack for storing a hydration bladder and then routing the drinking tube out of the pack. New pack models have removed that internal reservoir sleeve to save weight—especially since we heard from many customers that they were already using a waterproof pack liner to hold their reservoir.

The new hydration system includes one loop inside the pack to hang your reservoir from. There is also a covered opening that allows your hydration tube to pass through the pack. The tube and bite valve are then held in place by a cross-webbing on the strap. There is also an elastic portion on the sternum strap that gives a little bit of stretch where the bite valve can be held.

You’ll find this updated feature on all new packs except the Vagabond Jet. Additionally, the Minimalist 19 does not have the tube routing aspect due to its cinch top design.

9. Emergency Whistle

Having a whistle is crucial for any backcountry trip. If you find yourself in a bind, it can help search and rescue teams find you. That’s why we’ve incorporated one directly onto our backcountry packs.

You’ll find this feature on the Mariposa 60, Gorilla 50, Kumo 36, and G4-20 on the sternum strap buckle.

On the Fast Kumo 36, you’ll find it attached to the shoulder strap.

10. Removable SitLight Pads

You may have noticed that our packs come with a removable foam pad in the back. This isn’t just for comfort while hiking. When at camp or taking a break on trail, you can take the pad out of your pack to use as a camp seat, reinforcement for your sleeping pad, or a super minimal pillow.

You’ll find this feature on all packs except the Vagabond Jet.

Get to Know Your Pack’s Special Features to Take Less, Do More

Our design team is always thinking of ways to reduce weight while adding greater functionality to our packs. When you get to know the many features of your Gossamer Gear pack, you can find more ease on trail and streamline your backcountry system. We hope you’ve discovered something new about your pack while reading this blog and have fun using it on trail!

We’d love to see how you put these hidden pack features to use in the great outdoors! Share your creativity and adventures with us by tagging Gossamer Gear on social media (@gossamergear) and using the hashtag #takelessdomore.

Hungry for more backpacking gear and planning knowledge? Check out some of our other articles on the Light Feet blog:

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April 11, 2024 — Korrin Bishop