After a few weeks of deliberation I have finally put in an order for a Catalyst pack from ULA Equipment. I have been searching for a pack that strikes a balance between my ancient bombproof Berghaus Antaeus and my Golite Pinnacle. I have been using the Pinnacle solidly for over a year now and it performs superbly with weights of under 10kg. This makes it perfect for backpacks of one or two nights but any longer than that and the extra fuel and food makes it a bit uncomfortable for the first day or so. On my recent Scottish Coast to Coast route I was out for 6 days at the tail end of winter carrying all my food and equipment. The weight was simply too much for the Pinnacle even though I could fit everything into the sack. I resorted to my old faithful heavyweight Berghaus which handled the 16kg carried well but it added over 2kg to the weight! Only to find a lightweight pack that has a full internal frame, the search was on.
It was a comment from Martin at Summit and Valley that got me looking at ULA Equipment. Lots of reading blogs etc and there is hardly a bad word said about their packs, they all get rave reviews. A real low key cottage industry all made in the owner Brian’s garage in Utah, I much prefer supporting smaller produces. After weighting the pros and cons I settled for the Catalyst which appears to be the perfect pack for me. Although not really lightweight it still comes in at a respectable 1200gr for a full framed pack. So last night was spent measuring my back and waist (which depressingly has increased a few inches over the past couple of year!). An order was placed for a medium length, medium waist pack.
Unfortunately my order confirmation email contained the following:
On Saturday July 11th, Brian broke his leg and pending full recovery shipping and production will slow down. If you are purchasing a Catalyst after July 12th we will unfortunately not be able to promise fulfilling your order. All orders will be fulfilled as able, but turn around may be at a lag because of Brian’s bum leg.
It looks like it may be a while until I receive it. Also a shame as Brian was closing shop at the beginning of August for a 3 month hike.