Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) Circuit 2014 Short Term Review

packed up after a one night trip, here I have the
tarp tent in the front mesh pocket of my pack

We have taken our ULA circuit packs on 5-6 trips now for close to 200 miles and about a two dozen nights.  So far we have no complaints with these packs.  I have not yet cut off the water bottle straps or anything else for that matter.  I'm okay with the long straps on the load lifters and on the hip belt.

I have now used the water bottle holders on the shoulder straps and found them useful for freeing up room in the pockets.  I have a rather bulky 3 person tarp tent , so I like the extra space.

This pack will hold a Garcia bear can vertically. I wish I could take it horizontally, maybe the large size could?  Mine is an adult size small with a large hipbelt.  I hope to fit into a medium hipbelt by the time we are done with our PCT section hike.

It can hold my large bearcan, my tarptent and all my clothes at once.  When the bear can is empty then I can stuff all my clothes into the bear can and then my sleeping bag fits into the pack too.

This picture was taken at the end of our last trip:

The pack on the right it mine.  My original Garcia bearcan, my tarptent and my sleeping bag are all inside the pack.  Most of my clothes are stuffed into the bear can.  The side pockets can hold a large gatoraide bottle.  I don't drink the stuff, I just like the bottles.

The hip belt pockets can hold a GPS and a Delorme at the same time.  When I first got this pack I was worried that it might be a little bit too small, but not now that I have my daughter carry her half of the food bulk. 

On the left is my daughters kids sized circuit adjusted to the shortest setting.  It might be time to adjust her pack soon.  The pack will grow with her and I love that.  I'll never had to buy her another pack.

These are tough packs that carry the amount of weight we want well.  My base pack weight is about 15 pounds including a DSLR camera and a three person tarp tent.  I use a pop can stove a tarp tent and the best sleeping bag I could afford in order to save weight.  I have carried six days worth of food with this pack and the pack carried it well.

The only spot on my pack that I am wondering about is where the Y strap that goes over the top of the pack is sewn to the pack.  I've been trying not to cinch my sleeping bag down too tight when I have to carry it on top.  It might be a good strong seam, but the outside looks like a stitch might be getting a bit loose.  It's probably okay on the inside though.

I have not decided if I like having so many ways to close the top.  Roll it up or cinch it down?  I like to cinch it down to be on the safe side.  I don't want to lose any of my stuff.  In the picture my daughter's pack is rolled shut and mine is cinched shut.

One thing about this pack that I do not like is the gap in the side pockets where the hip belt goes it.  Small items can fall out of these pockets. 

If you're in doubt about this pack I say go ahead and buy it.  I have no regrets at all.  ULA packs come with excellent customer support. 


Richard said...

I enjoy reading your comments/descriptions! Keep it up :)

I have the large Circuit and have about 150 miles in it. Since I'm on the east coast don't carry a canister so it is more room than I need. Longest trip so far was 10 days at Philmont.

I'm considering a CDT for shorter/weekend trips.

Mossy Mom said...

I might get a smaller bear can, that will solve my problems. I'm also looking into getting a less bulky tent.