Ok, get ready for a lot of photos of the G4 (you like photos right?)
Stuffed with my huge heavy synthetic winter bag:
Here are some photos showing the pack stuffed with my Golite Adrenaline 40 bag which is a bit smaller, and with a GG SitLight in the pad holder.
I even managed to fit my Exped Downmat 7 as a frame which I think is pretty cool.
And here it is again filled with my winter bag to show capacity:
Some photos of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus (2009 model) for comparison:
A comparison of the straps and waist belt. Look how much wider the shoulder straps of the Mariposa Plus are - that will probably be more comfortable with heavy loads. The Mariposa straps are filled with the supplied foam and the G4 ones are filled with two of my socks. The G4 lacks the sternum strap with whistle, and the hipbelt pockets (optional accessory), but it has thumb loops which I like.
Some positives and negatives that spring to mind about the G4 pack and the kit from Quest Outfitters. I will of course do a thorough review when I've actually tried it in the field:
- huge pockets on the outside with very durable mesh
- relatively easy, fun and quick construction process
- printed pattern supplied (huge)
- kit contained everything needed, even Gutermann thread
- i love the bartacks and the xbox stiches (fun to do and strong, I just like them a lot more than the multiple parallell stiching on the Ray-way)
- loops for compression
- extra wide at the bottom for a sleeping bag
- enough space in the pad holder for my exped downmat 7
- kind of hard to stuff the shoulder straps and waist belt because of little space. If I was to do it again I would make them as wide as on the Mariposa Plus, and maybe extend the velcro opening
- my custom water bottle pocket is a bit to high for easy reach (MY fault entirely)
- should have described the silnylon color as light blue, not "silver" :), but the color grew on me
- instructions could need some more illustrations (photos) and more indepth explanation of some key points.
- should be a step in the instructions for constructing an edge for the micro mesh pieces (pad holder)
- I think the fabric used on the Mariposa is nicer than the Cordura on the G4, but I have a feeling that the Cordura will be more durable
- not sure if I will need the drawstring closure
- would have been nice to be able to tighten the pockets like on my water bottle pocket
Well, that's about it. Please leave comments if you feel like it. Take care.
Oh, I forgot to mention the weight: 402 grams, or 14.2 ounces. Will be less when I cut down the straps a bit etc.