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  1. #1
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    Default Backpack advice needed

    I have a ULA circuit - but I need better load transfer to my hips (because of a back problem).

    At the same time - trying to keep the actual weight down.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    The best load transfer packs are typically the big heavy heavy-haulers like the Gregory Baltoro, which truly rocks for this!!
    For lighter backpacks, it will probably take some time experimenting with available packs to see what works best for you. It may be you need a slightly different sized circuit instead of a different model?
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #3
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Default

    What is your base weight like?

  4. #4
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    If the ULA Circuit is not working and you desire a more traditional riding pack, your best bet (IMHO) is the Osprey Exos 58. Easy to find and try out at Brick and Morter Stores like REI. I actually tried it on to get sizing and see how it felt before I went to my ULA Ohm 2.0.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  5. #5

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    Go to a well stocked outfitter, it may take some driving. Try on a variety of packs and wear them, loaded, around the store for as long as you can. Make a day of it. You should find a few choices at around 3 pounds. Buy from a store with a generous return policy and take a hike. Repeat until you are happy.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  6. #6
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    Default

    Look at the Seek Outside Gila or Divide. They are external framed and do a great job at weight transfer for me. Right around 3 pounds.

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PR Man View Post
    I have a ULA circuit - but I need better load transfer to my hips (because of a back problem).

    At the same time - trying to keep the actual weight down.

    Any suggestions?
    Iíve used a ULA Catalyst in Colorado with somewhere between 30 & 40 pounds. I honestly donít know the exact weight because I didnít carry a scale in the car. The load included a WM Alpinlite Long, MSR HUBBA HUBBA NX, a weekís worth of food and up to 3 liters of water. Elevations ranged from 10,000í to 12,200í.
    The Catalyst was just as comfortable as my Dana Design Terraplane and weighed less than half as much. Weight was transferred to my hips. I could slip a finger under the shoulder straps.
    We really canít help because we donít know how you are loading the Circuit. We donít know if you have the right size or how you have the hip belt positioned.
    I canít stress enough that you need at least a long weekend trip to know if a backpack is right for you. Buy from a source that will let you get the pack hot and sweaty to know if it is right for you.
    Good luck.
    Wayne

  8. #8
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    Iíd also suggest you email ULA. Theyíll have some ideas for you and also probably refund you if it doesnít work out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    As Maineiac64 asked, what's the base weight??

    To which I would add, what's the most food and water weight you will be carrying? There's not nearly enough data to respond properly.

    With a fully-UL kit, I find that food is quite often the heaviest single item on the list. For people who hike in the desert, water is usually #1.

    It makes a huge difference if your total pack weight almost never exceeds 20-25 lbs or is frequently heavier than that.

  10. #10
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    If you are happy with ULA overall, check out the Catalyst. I owned it briefly before selling it and moving to the Circuit. My recollection is that it transferred weight better but I didn't feel like I needed it with a total pack weight that rarely exceeds 30 pounds. Give ULA a call and I'm sure they will provide input on the choices available.

  11. #11
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    In 9 out 10 online photos & videos I see of people wearing backpacks the hip belts are around their waists. In other words, about 6-8 inches too high.
    The hip belts on ULA packs are secured by Velcro. The belts are adjustable vertically over a range of approximately 4Ē. Cinching the belt tight matters too. In fact, cinch it tight. Walk 50-100 yards. Then cinch it really tight.
    If the belt is in the right place and tight, the shoulder straps are there to keep the pack body close to your back. Without putting any weight on your shoulders.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  12. #12
    Registered User backtrack213's Avatar
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    When i use my zpacks arc haul it has good weight distribution at the hips and weighs about 22 ounces i believe. Might cost a little more then the ULA's but its a good durable pack in my opinion.

  13. #13

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    It seems obvious that you are simply carrying to much weight (This is an ultralight hiking forum after all, so if you are carrying enough weight to hurt your back then you shouldn't really be on here!)...So how to lighten your load? First you should start with the backpack: Most backpacks are only "water resistant", not "waterproof"...A lightweight waterproof backpack of a given empty weight will actually work out lighter than a lightweight water resistant backpack of the same empty weight, because with the latter you have to cover it with a rain cover when it rains, which adds extra weight, and many don't trust the rain cover alone and also use dry bags inside as well, which adds even more weight. So to save weight, look for backpack that is guaranteed to be waterproof. Personally, I went for the Mountain Hardware Scrambler RT35 Outdry...Under 800g empty, 100% waterproof...You can even go swimming whilst wearing it and everything inside will stay perfectly dry!
    Backpack size: It is not essential to carry all your items inside your backpack...Most backpacks have "daisy chain" webbing provided on their back to allow the user to tie bulky items on the outside, saving space on the inside for smaller, easier to pack items. This can also enable you to downsize your backpack, which in turn can reduce the empty weight...You do not need carry a huge 50 plus litre backpack when a 35 litre backpack, with some items stored externally, would suffice.
    Items you carry: Needless to say, the less items you carry, the lighter your backpack will be, so sit down and think really hard at what items are actually essential for your hike and what can be left at home.
    Swap for lighter kit: Simply replacing heavier items you normally carry with lighter equivalents that do the same job, can save a lot of weight and can often save a lot of space in your backpack too. For instance, replace your sleeping bag with an ultralight Down filled version, and you can save hundreds of grams and they can be packed down really small in an ultralight compression sack. Of course replacing all or most of your kit can be expensive to do, but what is more important?...Much more comfort and having no back pain, or a lighter wallet? You will have to decide that one.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Also if you can check out the Gregory Optic/Octal

  15. #15
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I second the Catalyst suggestion. Reasonably light, frame is stiff enough for good load transfer. I just happen to have one for sale, too!

  16. #16

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    Take a look at the Granite Gear Crown2....60L. Excellent pack!!
    2lbs 5oz with the brain. Just under 2lbs without it. Rated to 35lbs.
    Last edited by DownYonder; 08-10-2018 at 12:08.
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    Travel not for the destination, but for the joy of the journey.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarmbler35 View Post
    First you should start with the backpack:
    I beg to differ. The conventional wisdom is to change out your pack last, after you have finalized what you will carry. The reason is because your pack needs to efficiently handle the load you carry. The Circuit is aimed at a total load of under 30 lbs. If the hiker's base weight is 25 lbs, and that amt is firm, well, they may need heavier pack with a stronger frame (or different frame), because once you add food, water, and fuel - you are likely to exceed 30 lbs.

    With respect, I'd reverse the priorities listed by Scarbmler35. Lighter kit, then minimize the weight of items you carry, and only THEN choose size of pack - and finally, weight/type of pack (taking into account frame needs).

    JMO.

  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    PR MAN asks a question on March 3. Provides insufficient information for meaningful answers. Then disappears.
    A Zombie thread in the making.
    Wayne

  19. #19
    Registered User TMathers's Avatar
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    Look at the Seek Outside Gila or Divide. They are external framed and do a great job at weight transfer for me. Right around 3 pounds.
    +1 on the seek outside stuff.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by backtrack213 View Post
    When i use my zpacks arc haul it has good weight distribution at the hips and weighs about 22 ounces i believe. Might cost a little more then the ULA's but its a good durable pack in my opinion.
    I've owned a ULA OHM 2.0, a Circuit (briefly) and the Zpacks Arc Haul. The Arc Haul is the most comfortable when fairly heavily loaded (like big water carries on dry trails) because it has by far the best suspension of the three.

    I've also used numerous Osprey over the decades, including the Exos, and the Arc Haul blows the Exos away for load carrying comfort. To be fair, my Exos is 5-ish years old, perhaps newer Exos models are better, but basically my Exos hip belt is a joke compared to the Zpacks Arc Haul.

    The Arc Haul is my favorite all-time pack.

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