Gossamer Gear Murmur 36l pack

I’ve got an old blue Murmur (2012?) but took the chance on buying the new 2016 Murmur when a friend visited the States and offered to bring it back for me thus avoiding the horrendous shipping costs to the UK.

The U.K. has a temperate maritime climate so we don’t have deserts to deal with. Nor bears or other large predator animals. Bear cans are something I have no experience with. However, we do have very variable weather and rain/winds are normal. Some form of insulation is usually needed in the evenings outside of Summer and rain gear is mandatory. My min weight for an overnighter is 4.4lbs (not counting food, water or fuel) in Summer but usually about 6.5lbs in three seasons. 

The Murmur simply cannot carry the volume for winter backing needs in the UK but for the rest of the time it’s ok volume-wise if you pack light and follow UL practices. I normally carry 1L of water while hiking and pick up any more near camp (no deserts) for which I use the platypus foldable containers. My hiking style is walk for 50-60 mins then stop and have a drink, eat a few calories then continue so I don’t access water on the go so I can’t comment about accessibility of water while walking. I always stop, remove the pack, have a few minutes break then continue. My style works for me, it might not for you.

To the 2016 version of the pack. Greatly improved top closure system over my “blue” Murmur” the hip belt pockets are very useful and welcome addition, the hip belt adds to carrying comfort and stability, the material used in the pack feels thin and weak but isn’t, the shoulder straps feel thin but are very comfortable in use, load bearing to 15lbs is absolutely fine and 20lbs is ok. Probably more but I haven’t tried to go heavier. NB: GG say 20lbs is the max weight. I don’t use the ice axe loop but my hiking poles fit perfectly in the dedicated loops. 

The mesh side pockets and the mesh pocket at the front seem tighter than on old version of the pack. As does the pocket nearest your back which hold the sleeping pad/sitlite. I’ve had to change the bottle I used for water to a supermarket lemonade bottle with the right dimensions. I gather the pockets are designed to fit SmartWater” bottles but anything will do that that’s a radius of roughly the end of the thumb to its first knuckle.

What does surprise me about both versions of the Murmur I own is how capacious it is. It helps that my full length neoair pad and the sitlite pad can fit in the external pocket nearest to my back but the Murmur seems to swallow a lot of gear. I always use a trash bag as a pack liner and the combination of the the pack and the trash liner make a very waterproof combination. There’s also the option of several lashing points using shockcord to carry other gear outside the pack.

To summarise: a very light, deceptively tough pack capable of carrying three season backpacking loads. Really well made and comfortable in use. If I were to improve it I’d make the elastic on the mesh pockets more stretchy and add shockcord and locs to close the pockets as needed as in the OMM 32 litre classic. But that’s a minor niggle; the Murmur is a great UL pack for three season conditions. I’m glad I purchased the 2016 version and I’d recommend it for UK (or anywhere else) hiking provided you can keep the weight down to 15-20lbs.


About ReidIvinsMedia

After working for many years in Higher Education I've decided to drop out and join the real world. Here I blog about my interests which include education, politics, backpacking, poker, photography and real ale.
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