View Full Version : Help picking between ULA Curcuit andGolite Jam 70

02-09-2013, 15:59
I am stuck trying to decide between the ULA Curciut (total 4200 ci) and the Jam 70 (4270 ci) Does anyone have experience with both or comparison info? I know everybody who has either seem to love the one they have. They both seem to recommend carry weight of 30 - 35 lbs which should not be a problem. Any concerns or issues with the Jam I am leaning that way right now. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank. Solobip

02-09-2013, 17:19
Why are you leaning toward the jam?
Have you ever used one?
What is your gear style, your packing style, how do you use your pack?

The circuit is twice the pack the jam is. It will legitimately carry 40 lbs
The jam is a sack with a floppy foam backpanel.

There is a reason the circuit is so popular
You get what you pay for.

02-09-2013, 17:28
I own three packs with some similarities.
I have the ULA you own. Good pack. Bulky, holds a lot. durable. Best customer service in the business. Accessorize easy.
I own the GL Jam 50. Similar pack just smaller. I see no real craftsmanship weakness. Priced right. I use it on long trips.
I prefer the outer pocket better than the mesh design of the ULA.
I use the GoLite Dawn more than those two. It's 13z and I can carry 3 days with me in spring summer and fall.

02-09-2013, 18:14
Thanks Muddy, Yeah, price was the first thought. No, I have never used a GL, or really checked one out. My base weight is under 7 lb for the big three, I usually go out for a couple nights. Not thru hiking. I like packing in groups, I used an external for many years and liked the compartments of my old Kelty, have just started using internal packs, have gotten used to the stuff in one main compartment type. I like what I have seen from the ULA, I can do the cost, it is about what my tent cost. I just see the two and wonder about their similarities and wanted to hear from people who have and use both. You made good sense with you comment.

02-09-2013, 18:20
Thanks Takethisbread, GL seem to be quality, just a different style. Everyone who has one (GL) seems to like it, but I wondered if they had experience with the ULA. Glad to hear from you on this. Is your ULA an older model or are all the models' outer pockets' mesh? I think the front mesh pocket would be good for storing wet gear.

02-09-2013, 19:00
I own a Circuit, and my hiking partner had a Jam. The Circuit has an internal frame, the Jam really doesn't. For me, a frameless pack is comfortable up to 20 pounds, then it's not anymore. That's total weight with food and water and everything. Given your big 3 are 7 pounds, I expect your base weight is 15-20 with clothing and all the other stuff, and probably 25-30 fully loaded for a long weekend. Does that sound about right? Some folks can handle that with a frameless pack, but I can't.

Both are well made packs.

02-09-2013, 19:04
My experience is pretty similar to MuddyWaters: The circuit is a solid pack, the Jam is a sack with floppy foam backpanel. However, I have only tried out an older version of the Jam so maybe the newer ones are different, I don't know.

Being a "sack with floppy backpanel" is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if a floppy sack is what you want, you can find them for half the weight elsewhere.

The way I see it is this: You absolutely can't go wrong with the Circuit. Even if you end up hating it for some reason or it's just not the right pack for you, they are in high demand so you'll easily be able to sell it at a pretty small loss.

The Jam carries basically like a frameless pack, but it weighs twice as much. The Circuit is pretty heavy (by UL standards) at ~2lbs. If your baseweight is actually ~7 pounds, you might benefit a lot from a frameless pack. However, the Jam also weighs 2lbs.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're going to go frameless, there are many options that could save you a full pound over the Jam. If you're going to have a 2lb pack, why not take advantage of the better carrying ability of the Circuit?

Again I've only tried on a Jam once and I believe it was an older model, so maybe things have changed for the new models.

02-09-2013, 19:06
Given your big 3 are 7 pounds

Ohhhhh I misread that... Thought his total base weight was ~7 pounds.

If that's the case... Seems to me that the Circuit is the obvious choice. Just IMO.

02-09-2013, 19:19
You all make great sense. My entire pack weight runs 22 -32 lbs (winter) that's food water everything, the pack alone is 4.5 lbs. I wish my base weight was 7 lb. The jam is out for the reasons stated, and now I see a thread on the Osprey Expos 58! Does this ever stop. It is amazing the knowledge here.

02-09-2013, 19:50
You all make great sense. My entire pack weight runs 22 -32 lbs (winter) that's food water everything, the pack alone is 4.5 lbs. I wish my base weight was 7 lb. The jam is out for the reasons stated, and now I see a thread on the Osprey Expos 58! Does this ever stop. It is amazing the knowledge here.

Seems like the Circuit would be a great choice for you.

A friend of mine has that Osprey pack and will defend it to the death against the hordes of ULA fanboys. I've never tried it on so I have no idea, but I'm sure it's a good pack.

One thing about it I'm jealous of is that he's figured out a way to store his poles horizontally on the side of the pack - this lets him stow them away or take them out while hiking without needing to take the pack off. Very handy for hiking in the mountains where there's a lot of scrambling that requires both hands.

02-09-2013, 20:02
The Exos is a nice pack and I really wanted to like it. But it seems to be designed for thin people - the external frame dug into my hips pretty hard.