Gossamer Gear QuikSak: Long Term Review

A Minimalist (left) and QuikSak (right.)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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
My brand new QuikSak, right out of the box.


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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
The QuikSak folds up into it’s own lid, convenient for storing in luggage.


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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
The QuikSak shoulder straps have hydration tube keepers and D-rings for attaching gadgets.

Main Body

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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
The main boy of the QuikSak is large and can easily hold most day-use loads.  Here I have it loaded up to go to the pool.

Side Pockets

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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
Each side pocket will swallow an entire 1.5 liter water bottle

Over-The-Top Lid

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.

Gossamer Gear QuikSak
The QuikSak packed up for a day hike in Abram Hewitt State Forest.

2 thoughts on “Gossamer Gear QuikSak: Long Term Review”

  1. Have you every considered a panel loader? I find them a little easier to get to my stuff than digging through it. Great review and I hope it gives you years of enjoyment!

  2. Thanks for your question Andreas. My first backpacking pack was a Gregory V65, which had a U shaped zipper around the front. I enjoyed the pack, but ultimately decided I wanted something lighter, smaller, and simpler.

    I have a few problems with panel loaders. The first is that I always line my pack with a trash compactor bag in order to ensure my gear stays dry. Unfortunately, the bag gets in the way of the access flap of a panel loading backpacking.

    My second concern is that the zipper is an extra hole in the pack where water can get in. That’s a problem if you don’t line the inside, but could be rectified with a pack cover. I don’t carry a pack cover, as it’s just one extra thing to add weigh, take up space, and potentially lose. I could line the outside of the pack with plastic bag, but I would be concerned about it snagging branches.

    Finally, zippers frequently fail. I prefer to have as few of them as I can.

    I do believe that there is an application for front loaders, but it isn’t backpacking. When backpacking, I almost never open my main compartment during the day. I load my camp gear in the morning and don’t remove it again until night. Things that might be needed during the day are kept in outside pockets or lashed to the outside of the pack.

    I think things might be different if I were going on a multi-day adventure by train, plane, or bus. In such a situation, there might be items, like a big camera, that I would want access to during the day. Conversely, it would be nice to open the pack and stash away souvenirs during the day. I’ve always liked this pack for such an application: http://www.granitegear.com/outdoor/closeout/aji-50-packbody-only.html

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