Gossamer Gear Air Beam Pack Frame

ImageThe Gossamer Gear Air Beam Pack Frame, a joint venture between Gossamer Gear and Klymit, is an inflatable pad sized specifically for use with Gossamer Gear packs. After some measuring, I purchased the size “Medium” for use with my Murmur Hyperlight pack. The sizes for the Air Frame correspond to the GG pack sizes, but since the Murmur is one size only, I had to guess which one was best. 

The medium frame weighs in at 3.5oz on my scale (including the pump). This is almost double the weight of the SitLight pad that was included with the pack, but I think the Air Frame is much more functional. The SitLight works just fine, but isn’t very rigid. Sometimes it gets scrunched up if the pack isn’t completely full. The Air Frame can be inflated with a fair amount of pressure and helps hold the shape of the pack much better.

ImageJust like the SitLight pad, the Air Frame can double as a sit pad, and I’m fairly sure that this could also be rigged into a pillow . So, despite the weight penalty I think you can make up for it by leaving a pillow at home. You could also use this for additional hip or lumbar padding when you sleep. 

The shell material seems sturdy, so I’m not terribly worried about punctures. This also seems like it will hold a fair amount of pressure without a blowout. The bulb-style pump works well enough, but it does require nearly 100 squeezes to fill the Air Frame to maximum pressure. 

At first glance, there is only one thing that could use improvement. There is no way to seal the pad and remove the pump. I’m sure something could be rigged up with a little ingenuity, so that you can leave the pump at home without the pad going flat. 

I will report back once I’ve carried my Murmur with the Air Frame for a few miles. 

*Disclaimer: I am a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador and received this item at a discount. However, GG did not ask me to review this item. The review above has been written with no bias and contains my honest opinion.

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2 thoughts on “Gossamer Gear Air Beam Pack Frame

  1. Steve Murphy says:

    Hi – I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now – really enjoy it. I was looking for some info on the GG Air Beam backpack frame and saw your post on using it with your Murmur. This is the same pack I am interested in using it with. Unfortunately, I could not find any follow up posts by you regarding your experiences with the Air Beam. But I see more recent photos of your Murmur where you seem to have the Sitlight pad instead. Can you give me your take on the airbeam? Did you abandon it? If so, why? I am curious which would be better with partial loads, i.e for day hikes.

    Are you still happy with the Murmur? Are any of the newer GG designs a better fit for your typical uses?

    BTW I live in Boston area, but grew up outside of Philly. Started backpacking as a teen in the early 70’s , driving almost every weekend to the Appalachian trail – best was to get out of the house. Would love to know your favorite 2-3 day hikes down your way, as I might try to squeeze one in next time I visit family.

    Thanks

    Steve Murphy

    • dcbortz says:

      I honestly kind of gave up on the Air Beam. It was nice for the one trip I wrote about, but I decided that it didn’t fit my style. To me, having a CCF pad is both lighter and more versatile than the Air Beam. I only carried it that one time. Any other pics where you see yellow in my pad sleeve, that’s actually my Exped SynMat UL. The Air Beam is a nice piece of gear, and it was comfortable to use. It just didn’t fit my style (especially since I started using a hammock). The AirBeam should work well for partial loads because it can be tightly inflated and it will maintain its shape when a CCF pad might suffer a bit of torso collapse. Honestly I can’t give you too much info, since I more or less abandoned it. I should pull it out and give it another try.

      As for 2-3 day hikes, I just posted about a few of them 2 days ago. West Rim Trail and Black Forest Trail would fit your time frame. The Allegheny Front Trail is nice, too. I’ve written about that a couple times.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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