Not quite two years ago Gossamer Gear sent me several daypack prototypes for use and feedback. The largest was a copy of what became the Quiksak, which I really liked. It was big but not too big, light but not too light, had great shoulder straps, and was just the right shape to hold quite a lot but not be floppy and annoying when barely loaded. But feedback amounted to “this pack is almost perfect; make it a little taller and add a removable belt and it will be the ideal all purpose day and light overnight pack.”
About a year later the Type 2 came into existence.
The main body (light grey) of the Type 2 is 100 denier robic nylon, which has a slick outer face that has, over the past year of use, shrugged off brush and rock impressively well. The bottom (dark grey) is a slightly thicker nylon of the same general type. This isn’t a canyon or rock climbing pack, but it can hold up to occasional forays into those realms just fine.
The main body of the Type 2 is tapered and contoured in several dimensions. The back panel flares out in the lower third, allowing the upper part to stay clear of your arms, and the lower part to keep weight close to the back. This, combined with the upwardly tapering bottom panel, is why the Type 2 rides well when only 1/4 full.
Gossamer Gear added a side zippered pocket to the front panel, which I at first thought odd, but have come regard as one of my favorite features. Except when the main body is absolutely stuffed this pocket is fast and easy to access, and is a nice place to put smaller, heavier things like wallet and phone. Unlike the lid pocket, the contents do not flop around.
The stretch mesh side pockets err on the side of big, rather than on the side of easily accessed. I can get bottles in and out with the pack on, but smaller items are more challenging. Don’t expect this mesh to last forever, but do expect it to provide a service life at least as long as the rest of the pack.
The hipbelt (see top photo) attaches to one inch buckles, and features a bit of padding and reasonably sized pockets. I hardly ever use it, but on a pack of this size it’s a good option to have, and one Gossamer Gear executed well.
The stock shoulder straps are really good, but I couldn’t help but replace them with straps from the old Gorilla. It is possible to load the Type 2 with enough weight to overwhelm the stock straps, and the 2012-3 Gorilla straps really suit my shoulders. Lots of folks found them too wide, and I think Gossamer Gear did the right thing in making the stock straps middle of the road for most body types and most probable loads.
The upper circumference of the Type 2 is 29 inches (at the drawstring), the lower circumference (a few inches above the base) is 32.5 inches. The vertical distance from shoulder straps to the bottom of the backpanel is a hair over 19 inches. For a pack which comes in one size this is a good middle ground, but very short torsos will probably find it bumping their butt in an annoying manner when totally full.
Inside the Type 2 is a full length pad sleeve with a velcro closure, a water bladder sleeve, and three webbing loops. The loops are handy for hanging a water bladder, but the not-baffled sleeve causes an awkward bulge with anything but a small water pouch. It is useful for a laptop, however, or paper files. Stock the Type 2 comes with a very thing, very flexible foam pad in the sleeve. I replaced it with a much more rigid pad, which I prefer as it gives the pack structure and keeps lumpy items at bay.
There are a handful of things I’d change about the Type 2. First is the lid pocket, which is designed to flip inside out and serve as a stuff sack for the pack. I’ve never seen the need for such things, and would prefer the lid pocket were built to hold stuff in a more secure manner which is less prone to falling out when unzipped. Second, the “custom” webbing used for the lid strap is just a hair bigger than the buckle, which means it doesn’t feed smoothly. I like the purple and grey color scheme, but the buckle and webbing should actually match each other. Similar things could be said of the stock sternum strap.
Overall, the Type 2 is the most useful daypack I’ve ever owned. It rides the middle ground and does many, many things well. It’s big enough, and can carry enough weight tight to the body, for a 12 hour day of backcountry skiing in frigid temperatures. The side pockets are big enough to fit two grouse each. It’s slim enough to fit in an overhead bin, and big enough for several days of travel. It’s “technical” enough to shed snow and rain, while still blending in to civilization. It’s a pack that I use almost every week for all kinds of stuff, and one I would not want to be without.
Good job Gossamer Gear.