Monday, June 26, 2023

Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 Fastpack Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 ($190.00)


When it comes to fastpacking, a lightweight and efficient backpack is essential for tackling long-distance trails and multi-day adventures. The Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 has earned a reputation as a reliable companion for those seeking a balance between minimalism and functionality. 

Gossamer Gear now introduced a new edition to the Kumo line. The Kumo 36 Fast. With its streamlined design and an impressive array of features, the Fast Kumo 36 aims to meet the needs of fast packers and ultralight backpackers alike. In this review, we will explore the strengths and capabilities of the Fast Kumo 36, highlighting its features, performance, sizing and fit. Whether you're a seasoned fastpacker or someone venturing into the world of ultralight backpacking, join us as we delve into the details of the Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 to see if it lives up to its reputation as an ideal choice for lightweight, fast-and-light adventures.

Tech Specs

Official Weight: 610 g (with all removables)

Sample Weight: 597 g (with all removables)

Height: 18” / 45.7 cm to the extension collar only

Width: 10.6” / 27 cm

Depth: 4.5" / 11.4 cm

Sitlight Pad Height: 16.9” / 43 cm

Sitlight Pad Width: 10.6” / 27 cm

Volume: 36L (Main pack + front- and mesh-pockets)


Top: Custom 70D Robic Nylon

Boot: Custom 100D Robic Nylon


The Fast Kumo 36 backpack is a versatile and highly functional companion for outdoor enthusiasts seeking convenience, efficiency and ultra light weight. It boasts a wide range of features designed to enhance your outdoor experience. Let's explore the notable features that make the Fast Kumo 36 stand out.

The Over-the-Top Closure system is a unique GG feature. You clip first the buckle in the middle and then fold it over and attach the other two buckles. It provides easy and quick access to the main compartment, allowing you to pack and unpack your gear effortlessly. Whether you're on the move or in a rush, this closure system keeps your belongings secure while ensuring accessibility.

The Side Cording Compression system is another valuable feature. It enables you to adjust the pack's volume based on your load, keeping your gear compact and secure during your outdoor adventures. It also functions to secure gear such as  trekking poles when they are stored in the side pockets. This system helps maintain balance and stability, particularly on uneven terrain.

The backpack includes a Removable Sitlight Pad, adding to its versatility. This pad provides additional comfort and support when you need to take a break or relax. It can be easily detached and used as a seat or cushion, offering convenience and functionality during your outdoor activities. Otherwise it acts as a back panel for more comfort on the go and adds structure to the otherwise frameless pack. 

Fast Kumo 36 features Easy Access Side Pockets that can be conveniently reached from the top or the side while wearing the backpack. The pockets also have openings pointing to the front, which allows you to remove water bottles easily. 

For added storage options, the backpack offers a Large External Mesh Pocket. This pocket is perfect for stowing items that you want to keep separate from the main compartment, such as wet clothes or a rain jacket. It provides quick access to frequently used gear or items you may need in a hurry.

The back of the pack incorporates a Trekking Pole Attachment System and an Ice Axe Loop. These features cater to hikers and mountaineers, allowing them to securely carry their essential tools. 

The Detachable hip belt with Stretch Mesh Zippered Pockets further enhances the backpack's organizational capabilities. This belt provides additional support and stability while featuring convenient pockets for storing small essentials like energy bars, keys, or a compact camera. 

For optimal comfort, the Fast Kumo 36 incorporates an Ergonomic Air Mesh Running Vest Style Harness. This harness system ensures breathability and distributes the backpack's weight evenly, reducing strain on your shoulders and back. 

The backpack's left strap features an Elastic Loop designed to hold gloves, a hat, or a bandana.

On the right strap, you'll find a Webbing Attachment Loop specifically designed for a satellite phone. This loop ensures that your satellite phone is easily accessible during emergencies, providing peace of mind when venturing into remote areas.

Fast Kumo 36 also includes a Small Mesh Pocket for storing small items like hydration tablets. This pocket keeps these essential items separate from the rest of your gear, ensuring easy access when it's time to replenish your hydration.

For quick and convenient access to bottles and nutrition, the backpack features Layered Shoulder Strap Pockets. These pockets are strategically placed on the shoulder straps, allowing you to easily grab and replace items without having to stop or remove the backpack.

For safety, the backpack is equipped with an Emergency Whistle on the right strap.

To achieve a secure fit, the Fast Kumo 36 includes Dual Sternum Straps, which provide additional stability and comfort, preventing the backpack from shifting or bouncing.

The backpack also incorporates a Zippered Phone Pocket on the shoulder strap, allowing for secure storage and quick access to your phone.

Additionally, the Hydration Tube Routing System enables convenient hydration on the go. You can route the hydration tube to your desired position.

The inclusion of a Trash Stash Pocket offers a convenient solution for carrying and containing waste during your outdoor adventures.

Lastly, the Fast Kumo 36 features a Movable Bungee Hook that can be used for trekking pole attachment or securing a hydration tube. .

Overall, the Fast Kumo 36 backpack excels in its thoughtful design and functionality, offering a wide array of features that enhance convenience, organization, and comfort during your outdoor excursions.

Sizing and Fit

GG recommends the following sizing:


Torso (in/cm)


14 - 20 / 35.6 - 50.8


16 - 23 / 40.6 - 58.4

I went with a size M/L which fits perfectly for my 19 inch / 48cm torso. I would recommend sticking to GG’s recommendation above. 


The backpack carries great, even fully loaded with a load of around 22 lbs / 10 kg. The padded and broad running vest style shoulder straps do a great job spreading the load and are still comfortable after an 8h+ day on the trail.

The Sitlight pad doubles as extra cushion for your back and as a sit-pad during breaks. Being a frameless pack it also gives the pack a bit of structure and helps to transfer the load on the hips. This also is a reason for its comfort mentioned above. 

The side pockets are easily accessible and can comfortably accommodate up to a 1-liter bottle. The front facing openings are a nice touch as you can access the bottles on the go more easily. 

The front pockets offer ample storage space, allowing for easy organization of your essentials. I particularly appreciated the flask holding mechanism, which securely holds the flask in place with an overlapping band. On first impression, I thought the flasks would bounce around too much, without a bungee cord attachment. But the overlapping band does a good job to keep the flask in place. I used 500 ml Salomon flasks with a tapered and 500 ml Hydrapak flasks with a flat bottom. Both fit without a problem.

However, I found the little hydration pill pocket to be disappointingly small. It is hard to get stuff in and out with the pack on. One minor drawback I noticed is that the trash pocket tends to lose small bits when a bottle is removed. It would be more practical to have a side access design for this pocket. 

On the positive side, the backpack features a great phone pocket that provides convenient and secure storage for your device. Even bigger phones like an iPhone 14 Plus fit.

This is personal preference, but I would prefer a roll-top closure instead of the fold over design. The roll-top system would do a better job of compressing the pack when it is not fully loaded.

To note, the backpack is not that water-resistant. In my opinion this is no problem, since almost all backpacks aren’t. Either you use drybags inside or a waterproof pack liner. I usually go with option two.

Lastly, the pole attachment in the front could be improved. As you can see above there is only one attachment point. While it is enough to secure the poles for walking, during running it bounces around too much. As a workaround I secured one side of the poles under the lower sternum strap. The pole attachment on the back only works for non Z-style poles. My Z-style poles fully collapsed are too short in order to be secured under the fold over strap.


It comes to no surprise that the pack does great in all things fast packing related. Gossamer Gear comes from an ultralight backpacking background and knows what a good pack needs. I was very impressed how GG implemented the running vest style straps and front storage. Here and there the pack could be refined a bit  to make it even more suitable for running. The  elements  to improve on are all minor points. The pack, as is, already is a great option for fast and long adventures.

Fast Kumo 36 Fastpack is available at Gossamer Gear here:  Fast Kumo 36 

The products that are the basis of this test were provided to us free of charge by Gossamer Gear. The opinions presented are our own.

Tester Profile

Markus Zinkl: I’m 33 years old and live in a small village in Bavaria, Germany. I started hiking and backpacking 5-6 years ago. Coming from trail running and with light and fast in mind, I started with ultralight gear. Over the years I tried and tested a lot of gear, always in search of weight savings. Although still trying to stay out of the ultralight rabbit hole. I spend most of my days off from work on the trail, with at least one 2-3 week thru-hike. Among the more well known trails I have hiked over the last two years are the GR221, WHR (Walker’s Haute Route), TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) and TC (Tour du Cervin-Matterhorn). As you probably notice by now, I’m at home in the mountains. So if I’m not running or thru-hiking a bigger trail, I’m probably somewhere in the Alps checking out some shorter trails.

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1 comment:

Nic said...

I don't understand why more backpack manufacturers are not using a similar design to that of the harness/chest straps of most trail running packs. It is so useful to have immediate access to snacks or gear you often require. Kudos to G/G for seeing the value and incorporating it in your product!