View Full Version : ULA Catalyst vs Osprey Aether 70

Cotton Terry
11-18-2015, 16:58
I'm trying to decide on a pack for my 2016 AT thruhike. I've been going back and forth between the Catalyst and Aether. I like the design of the Catalyst and the reviews have been great, but the closest stocking dealer is in Minneapolis, so I haven't had a chance to try one on or take a close look at it. The Aether is about a pound heavier than the Catalyst, but still two pounds lighter than the Lowe Alpine I'm replacing. The only cause for concern on the Catalyst is that I have a pack base weight of 23 pounds and the Catalyst maxes out at 40#. I think that puts me at the edge. Obviously, for the Aether, that's no problem. I pretty much have my gear selected, and I guess I could shave a pound or two, but nothing significant.

Suggestions? Thanks!

Uncle Joe
11-18-2015, 19:12
I bought an Aether 60 as my first pack and quickly replaced it with a ULA Ohm 2. Primary because I was new to backpacking and wanted something light. I decided to keep the Aether for Winter use or times I need to pack more gear. It's a great pack and rides very well. The Ospey's have the Air Gap frame that really helps them hold weight well. I'd say figure out what your pack weight is going to be and buy accordingly. That Catalyst will carry a lot but if you're at the top end of it's weight limit and think you might go over that limit then it will effect the way it carries. If you tend to pack heavy and want that freedom to carry more I'd say go with the Aether.

11-23-2015, 01:40
What jpolk said. Get your gear together and see if you're going to routinely be above 35lbs...if so, the aether might be a better choice. Love my circuit but I also thought highly of the aether when I tried it on.

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11-23-2015, 10:52
I've used both extensively. I can say that the aether is much more comfortable than the catalyst. I never could like the catalyst, one the most uncomfortable packs I have ever used, just carry the extra point if those are you choices. Or go with seekoutside (the unaweep) or element horizons both much more comfortable than ula and lighter than the aether but just as comfy.