After making the change to a lightweight style of backpacking, I started using my Gossamer Gear Gorilla all the time, even for day hikes. I liked it better than my old CamelBak hydration pack. Unfortunately, all of these day hikes started taking their toll. I needed less-expensive, lightweight daypack that could handle everyday use. Enter the Gossamer Gear QuikSak.
Day Hike Pack Requirements
Over the last few years, I have been invested a significant amount on lightweight compact gear for backpacking. One side effect is that I have started carrying more of this gear on day hikes. Hikers are more often caught off-guard on a day hike than when backpacking because they don’t expect to be out very long. Having the right gear to spend the night can be crucial. I had been using an old CamelBak hydration pack for day hikes, but it was too small for my day hiking gear. I also didn’t like the shape of the CamelBak. It was long and tubular, making it hard to find gear at the bottom.
The Gossamer Gear Quiksak
I began using my Gossamer Gear Gorilla for day hikes and backpacking trips, and really liked it. In fact, I really like Gossamer Gear as a company for their innovation and community involvement. When it was time to look for a designated daypack, I went straight to gossamergear.com.
In the early Summer of 2014, Gossamer Gear had 4 daypack options available. I had recently purchased a Minimalist Pack for my sister. The Minimalist is a nice simple pack, but has no side pockets. The RikSak and RikSak 2 were too small. I thought about purchasing one of the smaller backpacking packs, but they were too expensive for my intentions. That left the QuikSak.
The Gossamer Gear QuikSak is a few steps up from the Minimalist. With a main body capacity of 22 lliters, it is comparable in size to popular daypacks by REI and Osprey. Where it differs is that it weighs only 8.1 ounces and folds into its own fist sized pouch. Large mesh side pockets and a small stash pocket in the lid bring its total capacity to just over 25 liters. It also has many webbing loops and attachment points on the outside for stowing extra gear.
The shoulder straps on the QuikSak seem flimsy, but have proven durable over 9 months of continuous use. They are primarily made of “Air Mesh,” a branded form of 3D Spacer Mesh which was originally designed for military applications. The excess ends of the should straps have clips so that they can be fastened just below the rib cage. I haven’t found much use for this feature. There is also a sternum strap, which I do use. Fastening the sternum strap keeps the slick shoulder straps in place when wearing a slick outer layer (like a puffy). I was disappointed that Gossamer Gear did not include their customary whistle on the sternum strap.
The main body of the QuikSak holds 22 liters of gear. That is more than enough for my entire day hiking kit. There is a thin piece of nylon forming a separated hydration sleeve. I don’t use a hydration bladder, but I usually put a magazine or piece of foam into the sleeve to add form to the pack. The hydration sleeve is also a great place for my iPad when I use this pack for vacations. The main body is accessible from the top and closes with a draw string. The top opening is wide enough that you can rummage around looking for gear with both hands.
The Gossamer Gear QuikSak has the best side pockets I’ve ever seen on any backpack. They are each deep enough to swallow an entire 1.5 liter water. The pockets are made from a stretchy mesh fabric. They stretch enough to fit an entire wet beach towel on one side and bathing suit on the other. The mesh excels at breathing, so sopping wet objects don’t end up with that stinky smell at the end of the day.
Many of Gossamer Gear’s products come with a unique lid system that closes over the top of the main body and secures with a side release buckle. The lid on the QuikSak has a stash pocket where I store small items like my sunscreen, maps, compass, and flashlight. The pocket is large enough to hold my wallet and phone if I decide to jump in the water. Perhaps the coolest thing about this pocket is that the entire pack folds up and fits inside!
Uses for the Gossamer Gear QuikSak
For the last 9 months, I’ve been using the QuikSak for most outings which are expected to last less than a day. It excels as a day hiking pack, but serves equally well at the beach or the pool. I’ve loaned it out for use at amusement parks and gotten rave reviews. I carry it with me on vacations or work trips because disappears in a suit case and can be pulled out for a spur-of-the-moment side trip. The QuikSak is also great to pack along when car camping.
I would not recommend this pack for any kind of rugged activity, like bushwhacking or trail maintenance. The main body fabric is extremely thin, and I would be afraid it could wear down. The mesh side pockets may also snag on brush if used for bushwhackers.