Long-term Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 Review

Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 Review; A woman wearing the backpack next to a river in the woods

Overall Score:8.9

After covering more than 700 miles of varied and challenging terrain, we can confidently affirm that the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 has rightfully earned its title as the “Best Overall Ultralight Hiking Backpack.” This isn’t a mere anecdotal accolade; it’s a result of countless hours of rigorous real-world testing.

Durability: 8.5
Functionality: 9.5
Performance: 9.0
Aesthetics: 8.0
Value: 9.5

Capacity: 36L

Weight: 576 g (size medium)

Main Material: 70D Robic Nylon

Hardware: YKK Zippers

Manufacturing Country: Vietnam

Warranty: 1 Year

Acquisition: Gossamer Gear sent us the Kumo 36 for testing purposes – all opinions are our 100% own.

Countries Used: Thailand

Climate(s): Tropical Savanna

The Kumo 36 is designed for:

  • Minimalist, ultralight backpacking.

It’s not designed for:

  • Heavy and/or bulky camping gear.

Table of Contents


Kumo's Build Quality

After extensive use of the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36, I can confidently say that this backpack is a reliable companion for outdoor adventures. The build quality is evident in the choice of high-quality ripstop nylon, the use of robust YKK zippers, and the overall durability. Despite the wear and tear that comes with extended use, the pack has held up remarkably well. 

However, after countless hikes, I did notice an issue – one of the small buckles that attaches the top lid has become partially broken. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it’s a testament to the rigorous use the bag has seen. Additionally, some of the mesh on the front and back has started to fray, and there are a few small rips here and there. Despite these minor cosmetic blemishes, the bag’s structural integrity remains intact, and the sewing is still in great condition.


Kumo's Feature Set

Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the Kumo 36’s well-thought-out design and a range of notable features that enhance its functionality. One standout feature is the large stretchy front pocket, which provides ample storage space for gear that you want to access quickly, like rain gear or a map. It’s incredibly convenient and versatile.

The top quick access pocket is another handy addition, allowing for easy organization of smaller essentials such as a headlamp, first-aid kit, or snacks. It saves you the trouble of rummaging through the main compartment for these items.

The removable back panel, which also doubles as a seat pad, is a game-changer. It not only offers a comfortable resting spot during breaks but also serves as a back support, adding to the pack’s comfort on long hikes.

The Kumo 36 also excels in its water bottle pocket design – they’re generously sized and easily accommodate different bottle shapes and sizes, ensuring you stay well-hydrated on the trail.

Lastly, the front stretchy pockets on the straps are a nifty addition, providing quick and convenient access to items like your phone or energy snacks while on the move. 


Kumo's Practical Utility

As a minimalist ultralight backpacker, the Kumo 36 is nothing short of a revelation. Its size strikes the perfect balance between compactness and capacity. I can easily fit all my essential gear and provisions inside while still keeping the overall weight down. The main compartment provides ample room for my shelter, sleep system, clothing, and cooking gear, while the exterior pockets keeps my small essentials organized and within reach.

It’s also worth mentioning how remarkably comfortable the backpack is, especially during prolonged use. The padded hip belt and wide shoulder straps are designed to distribute the load evenly, and the back panel offers adequate cushioning. This backpack is a true workhorse, making long hikes feel like a breeze. 

While its not perfect, the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 has become my trusted companion for ultralight adventures, offering the perfect blend of size and comfort for minimalist backpacking.


Kumo's Design Elements

The aesthetics of the Kumo 36 are best described as utilitarian, and that’s precisely what makes this backpack so appealing. It embodies a no-nonsense, minimalist design that’s focused on functionality and performance. 

The simplicity of its appearance doesn’t detract from its charm. In fact, it exudes a rugged and dependable quality that aligns perfectly with the backpack’s purpose – to be a reliable companion on your outdoor adventures. There’s an understated elegance to its utilitarian design, a kind of beauty that arises from its straightforwardness and focus on what truly matters: comfort, weight reduction, and efficient organization.

So, while it may not be adorned with unnecessary frills, the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36’s aesthetics are a testament to the ethos of minimalist backpacking, where form follows function and every element serves a purpose.

Kumo 36 Value

Primary Alternatives

From our perspective, the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 stands out as the best backpack in its league, and it’s not just a matter of personal preference; it’s a fact backed by its impressive performance and value. When compared to the competition, it’s evident that there’s no other ultralight backpack on the market that can quite match what the Kumo 36 offers at its price point.

Did you know that… when you purchase something through one of our links, we earn a small fee. However, you still pay the exact same amount. It’s a win-win that keeps our lights on. 

Pack Main Fabric Vol. Weight Hip Belt WR?
GG Kumo 36 70D Robic Nylon 36L 576 g Padded No
Outdoor Vitals Skyline 100D Robic Nylon 31L 680 g Padded Yes
HMG Unbound 40 DCH50 (Dyneema) 49L 853 g Padded Yes
GG Fast Kumo 70D Robic Nylon 36L 593 g Padded No
SMD Wy'East 210D Robic Nylon 34L 710 g Webbing Yes

8.9/10 Rating

Our Overall Verdict

Throughout 700+ miles of use, the Kumo 36 consistently demonstrated an exceptional combination of features and comfort that set it apart in the ultralight backpacking world.

All in all, after thorough evaluation, the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 has proven time and time again that it deserves its title as the “Best Overall Ultralight Hiking Backpack.” Its impressive performance and affordability make it a top choice for minimalist backpackers like myself who seek a reliable, durable, and efficient pack for their outdoor adventures.

Kumo 36 Longevity

Usage Timeline


Initial Usage

The craftsmanship of the Kumo 36 is noteworthy. The construction is precise, and the materials used appear to be of good quality.



700+ Miles of Usage

After extensive use, I’ve noticed that the Kumo 36 is displaying some signs of wear and tear. Specifically, a small buckle used to attach the top lid is partially broken, and there are minor rips and fraying in the mesh on the front and back. However, it’s important to note that the bag’s primary material remains intact with no major tears, and the overall sewing and stitching are still solid.

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