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Stinging Fork Falls Cumberland Trail

Brian Green has sent me both a Gossamer Gear Gorilla backpack and Murmur Backpack to give me the chance to use and review them. I really appreciate the opportunity because every person has their own comfort levels and packing styles; I would go broke if I bought every item of gear that caught my eye! Brian actually gave his own review of this pack; I encourage you to check it out here.

The specs can be found on Brian’s review or Gossamer Gear’s website, so I will just spend time discussing my experience.

I had no trouble at all carrying my stuff in the Murmur, in fact it worked way better for me than using my North Face Borealis as a day pack. The Sitlight pad was well enough for padding while still allowing the pack for form to the shape of my back (which I really liked). Usually, I am constantly adjusting the straps on my packs, even on day hikes, but the two trips with the Murmur I didn’t have to readjust a single time.

Stinging Fork, Cumberland Trail

On our first hike through Stinging Fork of the Cumberland Trail, it was 0 F so in addition to my cold weather clothes I also brought an emergency shelter and my quilt just in case. I figured if anything happened I could wear all my clothes, setup the shelter, start a fire, and wrap myself in the quilt. My base weight was around 3.5 lbs, I carried .5 lb of food, and I had roughly 5 lbs of water, making my total weight 10 lbs.

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It was a short 2.2 mile hike round trip but it was beautiful! A lot of beauty is packed into those 2 miles and the trail has been maintained exceptionally well. For me, I know a backpack rides well when I don’t feel the need/desire to take the pack off whenever I have the chance. I really like the extra large side water bottle pockets because I can easily get bottles in and out without having to take the pack off.

Graysville Mtn., Cumberland Trail

On our second day hike, I brought the same amount of water, more food, and left the sleeping bag and shelter at home. The hike was roughly 7.6 miles total, for which I took out the quilt to change my pack weight by 1 lb. For the entire length of the hike I didn’t have to adjust any straps nor did I use a chest or hip belt.

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Thanks to Jacob from Bearded Backpackers for photo

Final Thoughts

This backpack made the perfect day pack, perhaps with the exception that it be too large. For a typical day hike, I don’t need 36 L of space! Even though there are lighter, smaller options for a daypack, If I were to pick just one smaller capacity pack to use for day hikes and SUL trips, I would choose the Murmer. Beside liking the water storage, outside mesh pocket, top closure system, outside place holder for sitlight/sleeping pad, I also like the backpacks look. Compared the the simpler design of Zpacks Zero or Gossamer Gear G6, I like the way the Murmur looks.

The only negatives I can speak of thus far would be that it is too large for a typical day hike and after I filled it with my regular 3 season gear it felt a little plumpy. I would like to see how it carries when loaded with 15 to 20 lbs.

I plan on giving a fuller review when the weather warms up enough for me to take the Murmur out for some overnight trips!

Disclaimer: Brian Green sent me the pack to review then I am sending it back to him. I am not receiving anything in exchange for this review and am in no way obligated to say anything in particular.

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