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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Gossamer Gear Riksak Day Pack > Owner Review by Frances Penn

August 15, 2012


NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net
AGE: 56
LOCATION: Costa Mesa, California, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 135 lb (61.20 kg)

I have been backpacking for five years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with one or two 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight is usually 28-30 lb (13-14 kg). I am a tent camper and have experienced all night rain, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


Manufacturer: Gossamer Gear
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $30.00
Listed Weight: 2.2 oz (62 g)
Measured Weight: 2 oz (57 g)
Measurements: 13 x 20 in (33 x 51 cm)
Volume: 900 ci (15 L)
Sizes available: One size
Colors available: Royal Blue and Black
Lightly padded straps measuring 18 in (46 m) long and 3 in (8 m) wide

The RikSak is a dual use Ultralight daypack made of 30 denier 1.3 oz per square yard silicone coated ripstop nylon called silnylon. The pack compresses down to a sandwich size Ziploc bag for easy packing. According to the website, the pack can be used as a stuff sack, a pillow, a water carrier, a daypack, and a backcountry shower. It is also handy to carry in a pocket or purse on a multi-stop shopping trip around town. The pack is an ultralightweight bag with no padding except in the shoulder straps, which are adjustable with snaps on the ends that fit together around the body. Once the shoulder straps are adjusted, the remaining portion of the straps can be snapped together or they can just hang loose. Mine fit around my ribcage, so they are neither sternum straps nor waist straps. The shoulder straps are amazingly comfortable considering the total weight of the pack. The pack is comfortable to wear whether the straps are snapped together or not. I have had no problem keeping the shoulder straps on my shoulders when the ends of the straps were not snapped together. The pack is comfortable to wear in either configuration.

courtesy Gossamer Gear website


I have used this daypack for the past year which I estimate to be about 20 days of use as a summit pack on every backpacking trip. My dayhikes are usually on dirt trails with rocky portions that become off trail bushwhacking adventures to reach the peak or other destination. My backpack trips are usually at elevations of 8,000 to 11,000 ft (2400 to 3300 m) and the dayhikes are either to peaks or to explore other nearby destinations.

The pack holds everything I need for a full day hike from camp to the destination with the return to camp later that same day. There is no extra room once I fill it for the day with 2-3 liters of water, a light lunch, first aid kit, 10 essentials, map, and a small bathroom kit. As I consume my water and food, a little extra room is available. Since the pack has no internal pockets, I place my sitting pad against the inside back area of the pack for a little support against my back and then place my water bladder against that pad. I then pack the rest of the contents around the bladder where they fit best. This packing method maximizes the available space inside the pack. The bladder tends to slump as the water is consumed but it has not been a problem. I have found the pack comfortable to carry whether full or half full of gear.

I was tired of carrying my full backpack cinched down as a daypack or carrying another small pack in my full backpack for use as a summit pack. I found this little gem and have been happy and comfortable on summit hikes during backpack trips ever since. I have carried this pack on and off trail and have stuffed my hiking poles inside with the points sticking out of the top for short rock scrambling portions to off-trail peaks. The pack is tall enough to hold the poles in the straight up position until they are needed again.

I wouldn't use this pack as a daypack without being on a backpack trip. On my usual dayhike, I carry 3-4 liters of water, a full bag of food and an extra shirt or jacket in addition to my first aid kit, 10 essentials, map, and a small bathroom kit.

For me, the whole point of using this pack is so that I have a summit pack to use on backpack trips with a weight and size that I don't notice in my fully loaded backpack.

compressed in a sandwich bag

strap width

fully loaded

I have used the pack to carry my empty water containers and water filter to the stream to fill up with water for the next day. The pack works well when the water containers are empty and is just as comfortable to carry back to camp once the water containers are full. I haven't figured out how to use it as a solar shower because the top closes with a drawstring. I am not sure how to keep the water from coming out the top of the pack once turned upside down when full of water.


This is the best little summit pack considering its minimal weight. It is the perfect size for a day hike during a backpack trip. I also appreciate the small size when compressed and packed in my backpack. The pack is comfortable to wear when fully packed, versatile, and ultra light weight.


The 2 oz weight and small compressed size
The fully loaded pack holds everything I need for a summit hike on a backpack trip
The fun blue color
The material is durable
The pack is comfortable against my back
The shoulder straps are comfortable when fully loaded


There are times when I would prefer the pack to be a little larger so I could use it on dayhikes, not just summit hikes on backpack trips. Overall the pack has worked well.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Gossamer Gear Riksak Day Pack > Owner Review by Frances Penn

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