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Thread: ULA Circuit

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    Default ULA Circuit

    Does anyone have any experience with this pack? How robust is the fabric? I like the overall design of the pack however I would like a pack that is capable of surviving multiple thru hikes of long backpacking trips.
    -Thanks

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    After a complete AT hike and many other shorter outings over three years, my ULA OHM 2.0 has practically zero signs of wear, except a small hole in the mesh pocket I put there, tearing it on a sharp rock.

    I believe the fabric for the Circuit and OHM are identical. I owned both briefly so as to decide between the two. I chose the ohm.

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    Thanks! What made you choose the ohm over the circuit?

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    Well I was hoping to get a more in depth response about what the fabric is like.

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    I have the Circuit. It is designed to hold a max of 30lbs. I had mine stuffed at 35, truly overloaded. I hiked 3 weeks 143 miles thru VA. I loved it! It fit well, everything I needed fit perfectly in it, the pockets in the hip belt are a generous size but not bulky. The mesh pocket held my tent, poles, cover and footprint nicely. There are elastic loops in the shoulder straps for 1L smart water bottles to fit and the two side pockets are ample space for anything you need to have quick access to. I liked that it has no zippers to break or snag. The fabric is durable med/heavy rip stop, mine is orange.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyMan89701 View Post
    Thanks! What made you choose the ohm over the circuit?
    I like the top closure better, a cinch cord vs. the roll top, plus it's 10-11 ounces lighter. The circuit has a better suspension though. I would only recommend the Ohm if your base weight is in the 10 pound or so base weight (or less). the circuit is probably good to about 30 pounds total, the Ohm about 25. Hopefully the last post answered your fabric question better.

    BTW: both the circuit and Ohm have virtually the same volume capacity; when I briefly owned both, I loaded both with an identical kit of gear, which fit into both packs essentially identically.

  8. #8

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    I love the the circuit can be customized when ordering (shorter/wider). Its really big and light weight. Def not meant for loads bigger than 30lbs but rides great underneath that threshold. As mentioned the hip belt pockets, along with various loops and straps are helpful. I have the orange and two thumbs up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I like the top closure better, a cinch cord vs. the roll top, plus it's 10-11 ounces lighter. The circuit has a better suspension though. I would only recommend the Ohm if your base weight is in the 10 pound or so base weight (or less). the circuit is probably good to about 30 pounds total, the Ohm about 25. Hopefully the last post answered your fabric question better.

    BTW: both the circuit and Ohm have virtually the same volume capacity; when I briefly owned both, I loaded both with an identical kit of gear, which fit into both packs essentially identically.
    Alright thanks for all the input everyone. So does the pack have a definite feel of durability? Will I have to baby it?

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    It is a durable pack. Used mine for years.
    Lonehiker (MRT '22)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyMan89701 View Post
    Alright thanks for all the input everyone. So does the pack have a definite feel of durability? Will I have to baby it?
    bottom is cordura. Most is the robic. The black nylon is the wimpy stuff that you could rub a hole thru with sharp edge. You dont need to baby it, you do need to take care of it and treat it with a little respect. With respect, it will last thousands of miles with no problems. Ive owned 3 circuits and an original Ohm. The nylon on the original Ohm was very very thin, it rubbed a few small holes in the side panels with hard objects. This is why the original was lighter than todays. Todays is thicker
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 07-01-2016 at 19:24.

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    I had a Circuit, my hiking partner borrowed it and I didn't get it back. Got another one and abused the &*^ out of it for five years. Talked my wife out of her 4.5 pound Osprey and into a Circuit for a Long Trail thru - she loved it, and both Circuits did fine. Mine finally fell apart after all those years of use, but I would happily recommend the Circuit if it fits your gear. It's a pretty conservative choice for an AT hike -- there are a lot of them on the trail, it holds up well, and has the capacity to carry a standard long distance hiker's load.

    If you have lighter gear, the Ohm might be better, but that maxed out for me at under 25 pounds. The Circuit easily carried 30 and even a bit more on occasion.

    I replaced my Circuit with a Zpacks Arc Haul.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

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    I just got an Ohm, and it's a lot bigger than I expected based on Shug's videos and pictures I have seen online. It's much bigger than my SMD Fusion 65, which starts just above my butt, and tops out at the bottom of my neck. I am not sure I will be able to fill it. When I got it, I just threw in some handy gear so I could try it on...In the pic below it has inside: 2 tarps, a top quilt and under quilt, 3 hammocks, and a BV450 bear can. In the side pockets, it has a tarp on one side, and a jetboil on the other. I have nothing in the stretchy front pocket. It also appears to be made entirely of robic now. I have seen some that look like they have silnylon for side panels, but mine is all robic.
    .IMG_0415.JPG
    Last edited by Namtrag; 07-07-2016 at 20:47.

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    Well, I bought a Catalyst recently and I think it is a lot smaller than advertised. The Catalyst might benefit from the cinch cords up the sides IF they were strong enough to work.
    The Catalyst isn't even close to all Robic.
    The so called stretchy front pocket doesn't stretch much. The shock cord is too flimsy to be effective.
    Worst of all: If you fill the main bag the pockets are useless. If you fill the pockets, the main bag suffers.
    In summary, my 1974 Rivendell Mountain Works Jensen pack is listed as several liters smaller but holds more stuff better then the Catalyst. The two removable pockets actually work and don't intrude on the body of the main pack. It is also the same empty weight as the Catalyst.
    Once again, new isn't always better.

    Wayne
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Well, I bought a Catalyst recently and I think it is a lot smaller than advertised. The Catalyst might benefit from the cinch cords up the sides IF they were strong enough to work.
    The Catalyst isn't even close to all Robic.
    The so called stretchy front pocket doesn't stretch much. The shock cord is too flimsy to be effective.
    Worst of all: If you fill the main bag the pockets are useless. If you fill the pockets, the main bag suffers.
    In summary, my 1974 Rivendell Mountain Works Jensen pack is listed as several liters smaller but holds more stuff better then the Catalyst. The two removable pockets actually work and don't intrude on the body of the main pack. It is also the same empty weight as the Catalyst.
    Once again, new isn't always better.

    Wayne
    In fairness to ULA, I need to update my opinion of the ULA Catalyst after actually using it instead of just trying to figure out how to load it.
    4.67 miles / 1:42 / 569' Elev. Gain / 31+ pounds / 95 degrees / 40% humidity.
    The Catalyst carries 32-33 pounds very well. Assuming you can figure out how to get your stuff in the Catalyst.
    Too soon to tell about durability.
    Wayne



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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    In fairness to ULA, I need to update my opinion of the ULA Catalyst after actually using it instead of just trying to figure out how to load it.
    4.67 miles / 1:42 / 569' Elev. Gain / 31+ pounds / 95 degrees / 40% humidity.
    The Catalyst carries 32-33 pounds very well. Assuming you can figure out how to get your stuff in the Catalyst.
    Too soon to tell about durability.
    Wayne



    Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."
    Dont understand your pocket comments.
    Side pockets are water bottle pockets, should hold a liter bottle with bag packed. Thats what they are intended for, not stuffing tents and things in. If you are trying to put larger items in, yeah, you might lose ability as you pack the pack, but again, not what its really intended for. But ive seen cook kits, sleep pads, tarps, tents, you name it. Really, those items belong in pack, people should get a pack they can fit their gear....INSIDE of.

    If you overstuff main bag, you wont get much in mesh pocket, very true. And vice versa. That was great thing about the stretch pocket ohm used to have, it was fragile, but could stuff an 8" dia tent in it with bag fully packed . they lost access to that stretch fabric I recall, dont know if got it back.

    First thing I do is take off shock cord. Just in way. Really really in way.
    If someone cant figure out how to get stuff in, they got too much stuff Id say. At least for a lightweight class pack.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 07-07-2016 at 00:27.

  17. #17
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Thanks. It's always a pleasure.
    Wayne


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    The Ohm is back to stretchy mesh, not quite as stretchy as the older ones, but plenty stretchy. I have never understood why they don't use stretchy mesh on all their packs. The side pockets on the Ohm hold a lot of gear, so I think they are the exception to the 1 liter bottle thing. I believe you could easily put 2 1-liter Nalgene bottles in each pocket. I can't speak to the Circuit or the Catalyst as I have never really looked at one closely.

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    A lot ask for the stretchy mesh custom, its just prone to snag and get holes if bushwhack. My ohm has a few small snags. Was never a big deal.

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    this guy just did a review of the catalyst vs the ohm...the mesh in the catalyst looks stretchy and the pockets look pretty large to me

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwdQyxapMl0

    I am doing a good job of hijacking this thread, aren't I? lol
    Last edited by Namtrag; 07-07-2016 at 12:05.

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