Gossamer Gear Murmur Review
Cons: Designed for a specific use, lacks versatility, lacks durability
Manufacturer: Gossamer Gear
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gossamer Gear Murmur is the lightest pack in this review. It is also one of the smallest we've reviewed.
This highly specific, technical pack is designed for the experienced ultralight backpacker. The quote that we come across time and time again among ultralight companies is you are unsure if this pack is for you, then it probably isn't. This applies to the Murmur as well, as the pack requires a meager base weight, which typically can only be achieved after plenty of experience and trail time to refine one's kit.
It is in this category that the Murmur shines. The pack is by far the lightest we have reviewed, weighing in at 12.5 ounces or a mere 9 ounces stripped.
The main body of the Murmur has about a 30-liter capacity. This makes it a small pack overall, and only useful for expert backpackers when used as a multi-day backpacking pack. There are three external storage pockets on the outside made of stretchy mesh material, which are great for layers and snacks that you may want access to throughout the day. Other packs have this design while providing more storage and support.
Load Carrying Comfort
The Murmur is designed in a similar style to the Mariposa. Both Gossamer Gear packs have a foam back pad that is removable as well as very lightly padded shoulder straps. The Murmur also has a removable, lightly padded waist belt that provides a bit of extra support. The removable foam pad is the best part of this suspension system; we found it easy to take off as a seat to avoid sitting on the pack itself. It's not comfortable when carrying loads over 20 pounds, which is fairly obvious when looking at the minimalist suspension system and lightweight materials used in its construction.
When it comes to features, the Murmur is a very simple pack. It has a waist belt, with pockets, a sternum strap, and as we mentioned above, a foam back pad to provide some structure. As far as storage goes, the Murmur follows the same template as many packs in this review with its three external storage pockets. Unlike the majority of packs we have reviewed, the Murmur does not come with side compression straps, though these can be added later.
The water bottle holders on the sides are tall and narrow, a shape we preferred since it easily held our bottles in place. This pack lacks a lid and instead has a roll-top closure system. The top is reinforced with plastic to make it stiffer and thus easier to roll, which is a nice feature. Though opening and closing a roll-top pack can be a pain, we preferred this seal to a drawstring closure that some of the packs we've reviewed tote.
Some features that can be removed to reduce the weight of this pack even more (the foam back panel and the waist belt). This makes the pack extremely light and reduces the minimal support even more. That said, this makes the Murmur a great daypack for short hikes from a base camp. The Murmur scored low in this metric because its use is so specific; it's not designed for base weights over 10 pounds, which requires specific, compressible ultralight gear.
The Murmur falls short in this metric, as the material is very lightweight and easily damaged by wear and tear on the trail. The pack is made up of a combination of 30 and 70 denier Robic nylon and the pockets are made of an ultralight micro-mesh material. The Murmur should be treated lightly since it is designed with weight efficiency, as opposed to durability in mind.
The Murmur is relatively inexpensive at first glance. Compared to larger-capacity options from other ultralight-specific brands, the Murmur comes at a fair price. That said, the pack is so specific and small (and not particularly designed with longevity in mind), that it ends up being a fairly expensive product. If you are certain that this pack is for you, the price is manageable, but otherwise, could seem like a lot of money for a specific piece of gear.
The Gossamer Gear Murmur is a niche pack designed for expert ultralighters willing to cut down their base weight to the bare minimum. The pack is made of very light nylon and mesh and has a fairly simple design. The main body has a capacity of only 30 liters, making it one of the smallest packs we have tested in this review. If you are looking for a very lightweight, small capacity pack, then this is a good option. But, if you are not sure, there are many other options out there that are more versatile and designed with a wider range of uses in mind.
— Jane Jackson