When you need a mid-sized backpack with a little more room, Gossamer Gear delivers with their Silverback. The Silverback has many of the features that have made the Gorilla backpack so popular with hikers and campers, but adds room for more gear.
One of the major changes with the Silverback over Gossamer’s best-selling Gorilla, is the fact that the Silverback features an additional ten liters of space in the main pocket. This additional space allows you to pack a few more things you normally have to leave at home on longer trips. For us, it was the ability to add extra pads in my pack for sleeping on rougher ground, a larger tent, and its footprint (I have never been able to bring it before).
Those extra 10 liters also proved to be extremely helpful when going on an extended hike with family. My sister-in-law started getting tired and was really struggling with her pack. I was able to take most of the contents from her pack and put it in mine with with ease. As with the Gorilla, the Silverback also features a removable top lid with pouch. I typically use the pouch to store my camera and other small photography gear.
In addition to the add added space, the Silverback also features Gossamer’s trademark trekking Pole holders. These make carrying your trekking poles a breeze and keep them out of the way. That way they don’t get caught or damaged while hiking without them. While the Silverback does come with an ice axe loop in the back as well, I used it for for hanging other tools. It also features a hydration pocket that can be used with most popular water reservoirs. I used a three liter reservoir on my trips. It has an opening at the top of the pack for the drinking tube to pass through. Note that it accommodates attaching to both the left or the right shoulder straps.
The Silverback is extremely light even with an aluminum support frame. The frame is internal and is also removable. The hipbelt (optional) is also removable. If I don’t need it or if I’m going to be doing a short day trip, I can leave it at home. Another advantage of having a removable hipbelt is that I can really customize the fit of the Silverback and the belt.
If you have a longer torso but a narrow waist you can have a large pack and a medium hipbelt. It’s a really nice feature to be able to customize your fit. I also found the hipbelt to be very generous in size and very comfortable to wear. It rests very nicely on my hips. The pockets on the hipbelt are also large enough to fit energy bars, utility knives, lighters, and smaller flashlights.
As I mentioned above, the pack itself is surprisingly light at 38 ounces. It is also extremely comfortable to wear even when fully packed. The hipbelt does a great job of distributing weight to my hips and getting it off of my back. I also really appreciate that the shoulder straps have easy-to-grab loops for cinching a down and creating a nice comfortable fit. It also has a removable soft pad that looks kind of like an egg carton. This allows air to slip between my back and the pad to keep my back cool when hiking.
One of the other big differences between the Silverback and the Gorilla is a Silverback’s outer pocket. Not only is it larger than on the Gorilla, but it’s also made of a different material called Extrema. This fabric makes it less likely to snag on branches or other hazards. The outer pocket also has a drain hole at the bottom. It makes it easy to separate wet clothes that need to dry from the main pocket. We took advantage of that feature by putting our bathing suits and towels in it after playing in a waterfall during one of our hikes with the Silverback.
The side pockets are also really roomy. They can easily fit 24oz water bottles, personal first aid kits, windbreakers, clothing, cooking gear, even my water socks without a problem. Another nice thing that Gossamer does on their backpacks, is they add a lot of loops for attaching D-rings or other gear.
While the Silverback has great features, some people may not really like that it only has one large, top load main compartment and three pockets. I found that I needed to be extra organized when packing. First, I have to remember to put less frequently used items at the bottom and more frequently ones on top. Then I use bags and pouches so that the Silverback is more compartmentalized. Hikers who are used to having a very compartmentalized pack with lots of little specialized pouches and pockets might find themselves frustrated with this type of backpack.
Overall, I can’t recommend this backpack enough. This is great mid-sized pack that can be used for day trips as well as longer multi-day outings.
For more information on the Silverback: https://www.gossamergear.com/
A huge thank you to Gossamer Gear for providing the Silverback for this review.