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HomeHikingULA Extremely 24 Circuit Backpack Assessment

ULA Extremely 24 Circuit Backpack Assessment


The ULA Extremely 24 Circuit (68L) is an ultralight-style roll-top backpack made utilizing a brand new ultralight waterproof cloth referred to as Extremely that’s considerably extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema DCF or the Robic Nylon utilized in different light-weight backpacks. If you happen to’ve already been evaluating a ULA Circuit backpack for buy, the one vital distinction between the Extremely 24 Circuit and the baseline ULA Circuit made with 400 denier Robic Nylon is that this new cloth, which is costlier and is simply out there in black and gray.

Specs at a Look

  • Weight: 34.7 oz (dimension medium)
  • Quantity:  68 Liters incl. extension collar and exterior pockets
  • Principal pack bag quantity: 47.5 Liters incl. extension collar
  • Material: Extremely 200 and Extremely 400 in excessive put on areas
  • Mfg. Rec’d Max Load: 30 lbs
  • Mfg. Rec’s Base Weight: 15 lbs
  • Torso Lengths: 15-18″, 18-21″, 21-24″, 24″+
  • Hip Belt Sizing: 26-30″, 30-34″, 34-38″, 38-40″, 42-47″, 47″+
  • Seam-taped: No
  • Hydration system compatibility: No
  • Load lifters: No
  • Bear canister compatibility: BV500 and Garcia match vertically, all different Bear Vault sizes together with the BV475, match horizontally.
  • Made within the USA
  • For full specs, go to ULA’s Extremely 24 Circuit Product Web page

About Extremely

If all this speak of latest ultralight materials and their technical deserves makes your head spin, you’re not alone, so I’ll boil it down. This new Extremely materials is taken into account an order of magnitude extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema Composite Materials and its hybrids in addition to Robic Nylon or the Excessive Tenacity Nylon, which is now utilized in packs made by Osprey, Gregory, Granite Gear, and others.

The black portion of the Ultra 24 Circuit is made with Ultra 400D and the grey is made with Ultra 200D.
The black portion of the Extremely 24 Circuit is made with Extremely 400D and the gray is made with Extremely 200D.

Backpack cloth experiences abrasion if you put your pack down on sand, gravel, scrape in opposition to rock partitions, or bushwhack by way of dense foliage. Over time this will skinny or gap the material so it leaks moisture, holes, or tears. The thinner the material (normally measured in denier, abbreviated D, as in 400D), the sooner it’s going to abrade. Extremely can also be extra environmentally pleasant to fabricate and recycle than DCF or conventional nylons together with Robic, though it’s nonetheless vulnerable to UV harm from daylight like Dyneema Composite Materials.

This elevated abrasion resistance is helpful for individuals who backpack regularly in mountains, deserts, or canyon nation, however is much less necessary for extra informal backpackers the place the usage of Dyneema Composite Materials or the excessive Denier 400D Robic Nylon present in ULAs different backpacks supplies greater than satisfactory sturdiness.

Backpack Storage and Group

The ULA Extremely 24 Circuit is laid out like a regular ultralight backpack with a rear mesh pocket, aspect water bottle pockets made with strong cloth, and a single tier of aspect compression straps. It’s a roll-top pack (with none prime snaps, velcro, or a stiffener) that may be secured to the perimeters of the pack with straps and buckles or clipped collectively on prime. If the latter, the additional straps may be looped across the backpack to supply rear compression or act as an attachment level to lash gear to the skin of the entrance mesh pocket, which may be very useful.

The pack has a long extension collar for added storage.
The pack has a protracted extension collar for added storage.

The aspect water bottle pockets are straightforward to succeed in whereas carrying the backpack and you may get bottles out and in of the pockets. There may be additionally elastic with a twine lock alongside the highest of the pocket to safe taller bottles. The pack’s shoulder straps are anchored inside these pockets to tug the pack nearer to your hips, however small gadgets can fall out if positioned inside them. The pockets are sized for tall bottles however you may simply barely safe a 32 oz Nalgene in a single with the elastic twine (I want milky white UL polyethylene Nalgenes over Smartwater bottles, which get scuzzy with use and are arduous to maintain clear.)

The side pockets have a front cutout
The aspect pockets have a entrance cutout.

The rear mesh pocket is nice for storing moist or unfastened layers you need quick access to, with out having to open up the roll prime. The Extremely 24 Circuit I assessment right here has a extra sturdy grade of Dyneema Mesh which is a $20 improve that’s properly definitely worth the added sturdiness should you plan to hike off-trail. The pack comes with an elastic twine that lays over the mesh and is nice for attaching moist gear to the skin of the backpack, though my choice is to take away it so it doesn’t snag on protruding vegetation.

More durable Dyneema mesh is a $20 upgrade
Extra sturdy Dyneema mesh is a $20 improve

There are two zippered pockets on the outside of the hip belt, massive sufficient to retailer a point-and-shoot digicam, snacks, Aquamira bottles, bug dope, and such. The fronts of each pockets are hard-faced with heavy-duty zippers for sturdiness. Hip belt pockets are a spot that always experiences excessive abrasion should you hike off-trail and the place the Extremely cloth shines. Additionally they include water resistant zippers which is a pleasant contact if it’s important to hike in rain.

The hip belt pockets are well sized and have water resistant zippers
The hip belt pockets are well-sized and have water resistant zippers

The within of the pack bag is one large house with none hydration ports or a spot to hold a hydration system, though there are two gear loops inside from which to hold a hydration pocket or smaller accent pocket (offered individually). Whereas all the pack can maintain 68L, the principle pack bag solely has a quantity of 39.3L of storage whereas the extension collar provides one other 8.2 Liters of closed storage.  The rest is unfold across the exterior of the pack.

The within of the pack bag can also be NOT seam-taped, even if the opposite producers together with Zpacks and LiteAF are seam-taping Extremely or provide it as a pack choice like Superior Wilderness Designs. That appears like a pulled punch to me, much more so given that the majority DCF packs are actually seam-taped as properly.

The interior waterproof coating is sewn but not seam-taped
The inside waterproof coating is sewn however not seam-taped

Regardless, we nonetheless all the time advocate utilizing a pack liner, even on packs which can be seam taped and made with waterproof cloth, as a result of a liner has extra makes use of past holding the within of your pack dry. (See: Do You want a Pack Liner for a Waterproof Backpack?)

Backpack Body and Suspension

The Extremely 24 Circuit has two body elements, a Delrin (fiberglass) hoop that runs across the perimeter of the again panel and a central aluminum body keep. The ring doesn’t present a structural operate when it comes to load switch though it supplies an anchor for the pack’s load lifters. The true work is finished by the body keep, which additionally prevents any barrelling, even when the pack is stuffed full. The body keep is pre-curved and helps drive the load into your lumbar area and not using a noticeable lumbar pad. Each the Delrin loop and the central body keep elements usually are not designed to be simply detachable.

By way of load distribution, it’s finest to position your heaviest gadgets, resembling meals, nearer to the middle of your again or simply above the hip belt. Weight positioned larger up on this pack, with its single body keep, tends to sway a bit and may throw you off stability.

Interior view of the delrin perimeter loop and center frame stay pocket
Inside view of the delrin perimeter loop and heart body keep pocket

The again of the pack is made with skinny foam which is roofed with mesh cloth that does a superb job of holding your torso snug even on scorching and humid days. It’s not ventilated like a suspended mesh pack, so that you’ll nonetheless sweat, however it’s additionally not clean like a again panel made with nylon, and subsequently a lot much less slippery if you’re slippery with perspiration.

Like ULA’s different backpacks, the Extremely 24 Circuit is obtainable with conventional male (J-shaped) or female-friendly and unisex (S-shaped) shoulder straps…though numerous males want these S-shaped straps as properly. I requested them on this pack to indicate you what they appear like. The S-Form is nice for folks with sloping shoulders or well-developed chests and may help make the sternum strap (which slides up and down on a webbing strap) extra snug. ULA packs are very talked-about with girls backpackers for that reason.

The pack is available with J-shaped S-shaped shoulder straps, shown here.
The pack is obtainable with J-shaped S-shaped shoulder straps, proven right here.

The hip belt is equally spectacular, if no more. It has prime and backside webbing straps so you may alter the strain to match the curves of your hips whereas preserving the simplicity of a central buckle. I feel the ULA Circuit backpack has the very best hip wager out there at present amongst ultralight pack makers on this weight class when it comes to match, consolation, and cargo switch. It rides securely and comfortably over your iliac crest and gained’t slip even if in case you have a closely loaded pack.

The hip belt can also be replaceable and out there in a formidable vary of sizes, so you may actually dial in a great match even should you’re on the ultra-slim or the outsized finish of the spectrum. It attaches to the pack with an enormous block of velcro behind the padded again panel. That velcro block is taller than it must be by about 2″, so if you could, you may increase the hip belt up and shorten the torso size or vice versa. In different phrases, you get the comfort of an adjustable torso size with out incurring the added weight and complexity that having one normally requires. This diploma of adjustability has all the time been a function of ULA bigger backpacks which have set them other than different mounted torso-length packs.

The hip belt is adjusted with a top and bottom strap
The hip belt is adjusted with a prime and backside strap

Exterior Attachment Factors/Compression

There’s one tier of compression straps on the Extremely 24 Circuit situated above both sides pocket. Along with serving to compress puffy gear saved contained in the pack, they may also be used to safe lengthy skinny gadgets to the aspect of the pack like a Tenkara fishing rod tube or a trekking umbrella. They do have restricted utility for winter mountain climbing and backpacking, nevertheless, when it’s far more handy to make use of a pack with two tiers of aspect compression straps for hauling snowshoes or skis.

The pack has trekking pole holders along the sides.
The pack has trekking pole holders alongside the perimeters

Like all ULA backpacks, the Extremely 24’s Circuit’shoulder straps present plastic rings to hold gear like GPS receivers or a Garmin mini 2. The sternum strap slides up and down a bit of webbing sewn to the entrance of the shoulder straps and is straightforward to regulate (because it’s not sewn like a daisy chain).

There are additionally seven gear loops sewn into the pack’s seams that circle its perimeter which maintain a crisscrossed adjustable elastic twine good for lashing gadgets to the pack, though you may simply rig up further cords any means you please or take away the elastic strap, which is my choice. The Extremely 24 Circuit additionally features a pair of trekking pole holders that run down the skin of the pockets, however they are often tough to make use of should you hold winter baskets in your poles year-round.

Suggestion

The ULA Extremely 24 Circuit is a 68L backpack designed for multi-day backpacking in harsh circumstances. It’s made with a pack materials referred to as Extremely that’s considerably extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema DCF or the 400D Robic Nylon used within the common Circuit backpack additionally offered by ULA. Apart from the fabric swap, each the Extremely 24 Circuit and the common 400D Robic Nylon Circuit are principally the identical.

The hip belt on the Ultra 24 Circuit fits and carries wonderfully.
The hip belt on the Extremely 24 Circuit suits and carries splendidly.

If you happen to’re contemplating buying a ULA Circuit the issues that set it other than different producers’ backpacks are sizing and match. If you happen to require particular sizing when it comes to peak or girth, otherwise you need S-shaped shoulder straps, the Circuit or any of ULA’s different larger quantity packs are actually arduous to beat.

If you happen to backpack in mountainous terrain, desert, or canyon management that are extremely abrasive terrain, investing within the extra sturdy Extremely 24 Circuit makes numerous sense in case your complete pack weight is 30 lbs or much less. The Extremely 24 Circuit is just a few ounces lighter than the common ULA Circuit, so switching primarily based on weight alone isn’t going to make an enormous distinction. As well as, the Extremely 24 isn’t seam-taped, so you actually don’t achieve a lot when it comes to water resistance although the pack is made with waterproof cloth.

However you additionally shouldn’t short-change the baseline 400D Robic Nylon Circuit. It’s an extremely powerful cloth and an amazing worth, which is why so many thru-hikers and long-distance backpackers swear by it. The Robic Circuit can also be out there in an enormous vary of colours and shade combos if you wish to let your freak flag fly.   Both means, you actually can’t go improper whichever ULA Circuit you decide.

Disclosure: ULA loaned us a backpack for this assessment.

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