View Full Version : ULA OHM 2.0 or Circuit?

12-03-2014, 23:39
I'll be section hiking the AT next summer and have narrowed down my pack choice between the OHM and Circuit. I'll be hiking alone so I won't be splitting up gear with anyone. Even though I'll be alone I'm still trying to keep my gear light and don't want to get to big of a pack. Any input or advice I can can on these packs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

12-04-2014, 00:41
It depends on which one all your stuff fits into better. If your only doing summer hikes the smaller one should be fine. If you want to also do spring and fall, go with the bigger one.

12-04-2014, 01:26
I bought both, and despite the slight difference in specs, the two packs are virtually identical in size. I loaded them both up with identical gear (and both sets fit nearly identically in both) and walked around a bunch with both before deciding the Ohm would do just fine, at which time I returned the Circuit.

The Circuit has a bit more support, but weighs 10-11 (or more) ounces more. I'd say the decision should be based on your base weight (not volume, since both packs are so close); if you're down in the 14 pound range or less, the Ohm should do you just fine. If you're 15+, I'd go with the circuit, something like that.

You could do exactly what I did: buy both, return one. Chris at ULA suggested this, even sent me a return mailing label, and immediately credited my account when I returned one (I did pay for both initially, of course).

12-04-2014, 08:14
If you are hiking in the summer and sweat as badly as I do, you may want to consider one of the hybrid packs that suspend the main body of the pack away from your back. The Osprey Exos series or a Zpacks Arc Blast are some examples. :)

12-04-2014, 08:56
I agree with Colorado Rob on sizes. I have a Circuit and my brother has the OHM (in my garage). I would weigh Your other gear and base it on your base weight. I can tell you the circuit is an awesome pack and the little extra room compresses nice with the roll top (semi waterproofing is a bonus).

12-04-2014, 09:59
I have around 1100 miles on my Circuit and it performs very well with loads into the high 20s and is still fine into the low 30s. I'm almost always in the mid 20s or lower when I've section hiked the AT. When I thru hike the AT eventually, I'm going to seriously consider the Ohm 2.0 or the zPacks ArcBlast to cut a bit of weight. But for my AT section hiking needs, the Circuit does just fine.

12-04-2014, 10:30
Earlier this year I too could not decide between the two packs.

I could only justify the purchase of one pack for all my needs (if that is possible) so with the help of the ULA folks we came to the decision of the Circuit.
It is a pretty big pack unless you are carrying a bunch of clothing, bear canister or the such. My last trip my gear did not get within 6 inches of the top of the hoop frame. Temps ranging from 40-60 and did not need much insulation.

Also, many prefer the stretchy front panel of the ohm but I like the more rigid mesh fabric used the Circuit. I also like the roll top closure of the Circuit over the ohm but loathe it. Ahh decisions.

For reference my typical pack weight for a 3 to 4 day trip is around 20lbs so I could have gone either way.
The JMT is calling my name so I went for the extra space for the bear canister.

12-04-2014, 10:36
The Circuit has been too big on many hikes. What I do is leave my sleeping bag mostly uncompressed at the bottom to take up space. Even then, much of the roll top closure is rolled down when I have only a day or two of food in the pack. Where the space is really useful is when I carry my bear canister. Then I really need the room.

12-06-2014, 10:51
you need to try both. They are totally different packs. Depends on your gear and your packing ability

the ohm is a frameless pack really. It will take the shape of what you put in it. Your back may or may not like that. It is best packed loose and fluffy like a pillow so it conforms. You need to pack it like a frameless pack. If you overstuff it, it will round out and be less comfortable. You can also feel hard items, and you may want additional CCF pad against your back to prevent that. Of course, shouldnt have a bunch of hard items, but thats what newbies do, they keep REI in business.

The circuit, has a rigid stay that you bend to match your back, and denser back panel pad. You can haphazardly throw bulky hard items in it, and not notice them.

Most newbies, would be better off with a conventional pack. Very light weight minded ones, with the Circuit. Intelligent ones willing to experiment and learn, and carrying very light gear without a bunch of crap, may be OK with the Ohm.

12-06-2014, 14:44
Circuit has better support for carrying more weight and the support stays are more durable. You need to consider your baseweight and what sort of total weight you may be carrying at times (how many days of resupply and how much water). The Ohm is designed for less weight then the Circuit and only you will know if it will work for you.

12-07-2014, 10:40
you need to try both. They are totally different packs.Agree and disagree, respectively. do try both, as said already, but really, they are very similar packs. Loaded identically, I could tell very little difference. Same excellent waist belt, very close in capacity, yes the Circuit has an extra support built in, but I sure didn't notice anything different in how both felt on my back. Of course, the Circuit is a roll-top and the Ohm a draw-string closure, but this feature choice is a personal preference; I like the draw-string myself as the roll top seems wasteful of material (AKA: weight) to me. Really, both fine packs, buy both, check 'em out and return one! I just bought a second OHM 2.0 for my wife, she said it was her favorite backpack ever, but she packs very light (10-12 base weight) as I do. I really think if you're above 15 base, you'd like the Circuit better.

11-10-2015, 10:53
I do use the Ohm 2.0... it is fine for up to 10 Kg with me. You DO have to pack very carefully as you do have less structural support.

11-10-2015, 14:46
I have the Circuit and my ex-bf had an Ohm. I'll just add that I love my Circuit, it has the room I need and carries wonderfully, even more comfortable than other full-suspension packs. However, at 30+ pounds this last trip, which included a lot of cold weather stuff and several days' food, I was at the high end of its capacity and comfort limits at around 31-32 pounds. I'd agree with what was said above, the Circuit would be my choice for 3-season use.

As always with ULA, call Chris with your questions and concerns. He'll help you find the solution for you.

11-10-2015, 18:15
+1 Colorado_rob. I also debated between both packs. Volumn is similar so the deciding factor was the weight being carried. I carry 16lbs. Summer and 18lbs winter, not including food/water. I went with the Ohm 2.0 and am glad with the choice. I think my only regret may occur if I ever need to carry a bear canister. However, many have mentioned that it is possible to carry one in the Ohm as well. Just that it rides standing up vs. laying on the round side. In the meantime, the Ohm has become a loved piece of equiptment that I don't even give a second thought about. Muddywaters is correct, it is more of a frameless pack and different than the more conventional Circuit. However, I surprise myself and have become a non traditionalist! Here is a link to my box opening You Tube Video of the ciruit: http://youtu.be/A63ol2qU5kY

11-18-2015, 03:13
Does someone uses the shoulder strap bags? The do give a Little extra space.
In the hipp pocket do have on the left side a camera and my compas, on the right die do normaly carry something to eat.
I would love this extra space where I can easely reach somethings.

11-18-2015, 19:00
Gunther, I currently do not use a Shoulder Pouch. I have found that I like my camera and glasses in one pocket along with some snack food. I carry a variety of items, such as pack cover/bugnet/headlamp/bugspray in the left pocket. I don't want a Shoulder Pounch on the right strap because that is were I carry a Smart Waterbottle for drinking while hiking. The left strap has hand sanitizer, a micro towel and occassionally bandana that needs drying.

That's the glory of pack choice... everyone can decide for themselves.