ULA Catalyst ordered

by backpackingbongos

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.

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12 Comments to “ULA Catalyst ordered”

  1. Good things come to those that wait.

  2. Really looking forward to receiving it even if it may take some time.

  3. I know of one or two other people who have bought ULA packs and they swear by them.

    I have never tried them personally but seeing as I have 7 rucksacks currently I think I may have to wait a wee while longer!

  4. Its much better to swear by something than swear at it!

  5. um….this is true.

    I dont normally swear at my rucksacks, that pleasure is normally reserved for my tent or tarp when I cant pitch it quick enough or taut enough

  6. Looking forward to your review when you get it. I made a list of possible contenders for a new backpack, and two ULAs are on it – the Catalyst and the Ohm. I like the simplicity of the Ohm, but it might be a wee bit too small for longer walks. More pondering to come =)

  7. Hendrik, cant wait to get the pack, although I fear the wait may be a long one. I went for the Catalyst as it seemed a good pack for those longer walks and it had a frame which should make those heavier loads more comfy.

  8. I’ve been looking at ULA packs recently but at the other end of the spectrum. The Conduit looks like what I need for bivy & tarp over-nighters in the summer and day hikes later in the year. All the ULA packs look really well made and I’m sure it will worth waiting for.

  9. The Conduit does look like a great sack, well made and very very light. You would need to get in an order soon as they shut shop on the 1st Aug until Dec!

  10. Well, I am now seriously thinking of getting the Ohm. Its 57l + a bit, and it weights 595g. I am confident that with a bit careful planning I could fit in there the supplies for a 14 day walk… The Catalyst is just “too heavy” for my taste, and also has a lot of size. Hmmm… I should get that order in soon if I want one, I guess.

  11. James, I blame thee! Just ordered the Ohm. I hope I get it before Brian goes hiking…

  12. Good choice Hendrik! Just received mine today which is a really fast turn around. I am sure you will get it in time, they appear to be a great company.

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