Poll: Which pack is better for an AT thru with an 8-11lb base weight?

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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up GG Mariposa vs. ZPacks Arc Haul

    Looking to buy a new pack for my 2019 AT attempt. My base weight ranges from 8-11 depending on the season. Between the Mariposa and the Arc Haul, which do y'all think would be the better option and why?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2

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    The one that fits you best
    And that you like best

    Youve got to try gear out
    Its not a toaster

    People have carried laundry sacks, and 5 gal buckets.

  3. #3
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    For that base weight, either would be great. I have an Arc Haul, which replaced a Circuit, and it's a very comfortable pack on my back. I like the basic waterproof integrity of the main pack body, and the arc that keeps most of the pack away from my back for ventilation. But the Mariposa has been around a long time and has many fans among ULers.
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  4. #4
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    Check each companyís return policy.

    If possible, buy one from a place that allows you to return it should it not fit right (like ULA, for instance).

    I met a few guys last year that werenít overly fond of their zpacks packs, due to straps twisting and such, but thatís anecdotal at best.

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    I sold my mariposa (2016 model) because it was too big for my 12lb base weight. The pack just didn't compress well. Used a ULA Ohm 2.0 last year and loved it and now have an arc haul on the way since I'll need to carry a bear can on during a trip to the Sierra's this year.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pal.indrome View Post
    Looking to buy a new pack for my 2019 AT attempt. My base weight ranges from 8-11 depending on the season. Between the Mariposa and the Arc Haul, which do y'all think would be the better option and why?

    Many thanks!
    I have a Mariposa, though an older model. Also have other GG packs. The Mariposa is nice if you have a high-volume load (like winter gear, hammock under and over quilts, lots of food, bear canister, etc). With your baseweight I think a smaller pack like the GG Gorilla might suit you better. That's what I would bring on AT. For JMT or another hike with less frequent resupply, I would bring the Mariposa. YMMV. I have no experience with the Arc Haul, so can't help you there. If it holds as much as the Mariposa, it's probably too big.
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  7. #7

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    Does the lack of top-lifters on the Mariposa impact the weight carrying ability and the likeliness to get sore shoulders/back?
    Top lifter supposedly help carry weight out of the shoulders, so I am surprised that a high capacity backpack such as 60L one would not have them.
    Any insights?
    Minos

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minos View Post
    Does the lack of top-lifters on the Mariposa impact the weight carrying ability and the likeliness to get sore shoulders/back?
    Top lifter supposedly help carry weight out of the shoulders, so I am surprised that a high capacity backpack such as 60L one would not have them.
    Any insights?
    Minos
    My 2016 Mariposa had load lifters. Did they remove them from the newer packs?

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John M View Post
    My 2016 Mariposa had load lifters. Did they remove them from the newer packs?
    Photos at Gossamer Gear show load lifters on the Mariposa.
    Wayne

  10. #10

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    Ive put about 75 miles on my Arc Blast so far and have zero complaints although if I were to thru hike I would use my ULA circuit from Spring to Damascus due to the larger capacity, and at Damascus - Reevaluate and possibly get my arc blast sent to me so I can "blast" right thru VA lol
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
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  11. #11

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    As an Arc Haul owner I can say I have zero complaints regarding twisting straps. My only issue is a personal one since I am so skinny but I had to add my own lumbar pad (theirs works fine for everyone else).

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Photos at Gossamer Gear show load lifters on the Mariposa.
    Wayne
    Sorry, mis-communicated. I thought load lifters were supposed to shoot up over the shoulder in a roughly 20 to 40 degree angle. The way I see it on the website, the backpack is not tall enough for load-lifter to be attached higher than the top of the shoulders on the backpack. Hence my question

    At least this is the impression looking at the guy walking with a Mariposa on the GG website:
    https://www.gossamergear.com/product...eight-backpack

  13. #13
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    His pack looks like it may be too short for his torso. Mine didn't stick up very far above my shoulders but it was enough for the load lifters to make a difference. My pack was very comfortable up to about 30 pounds. Above that and the whole thing felt like it sagged down.

  14. #14
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Load Lifter is one of the worst misnomers of all time.
    Upper stabilizing straps would be better. But wordy.
    Their purpose is to hold the pack bag gently against your upper shoulders and back. They arenít lifting any weight.
    A 45 degree is the historic optimal angle. Iíve used them horizontal and didnít notice the difference.
    Wayne

  15. #15

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    I've been using the Mariposa since last summer and I do love it. But I consider the "load lifters" on it to be placebo. They seem to actually do nothing at all in terms of fit or comfort for me ;they are only attached to the fabric collar of the pack, there is nothing rigid or serving as an anchor behind them. But it could just be my body type /shape. It's one of the few negatives with the pack IMO.

  16. #16
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    Iíve had a arc haul for over a year now and absolutely love it. No issues as of yet.

  17. #17
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    I dont have the experience most of you guys have but with as an engineer I see a 45* strap coming off a rigid back frame as being able to exert a lifting force on the shoulder strap. At 45* half of any tension would lift and the other half would pull the pack forward/or strap backward depending on which point of view you use.

    I agree with Venchka that they mostly stabilize the back but at 45* or greater there will be a lift tendancy as well. When I compared a too small small sized Levity vs a medium, even with the weight all on the hip pad/strap the small pack wanted to weight my shoulder, which had the load lifters horizontal. With the medium, the lifters are at or above 45* and the shoulder straps keep the pack in place with much less tension downward. Basically the load lifter is acting as a continuation of the lower shoulder strap, think of it as a vertical sling.

  18. #18
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    Just got off a 6-day section hike in TN/NC today using my Arc Haul for the first time. For me, it was extremely comfortable and I never experienced any problems. Except for the past two lovely days, it rained...and then downpoured...followed by serious drenching. With lighting and wind tossed in for good measure. Pack performed and carried very nicely for me through it all.

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