The ULA Extremely 24 Circuit (68L) is an ultralight-style roll-top backpack made utilizing a brand new ultralight waterproof material referred to as Extremely that’s considerably extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema DCF or the Robic Nylon utilized in different light-weight backpacks. In case you’ve already been evaluating a ULA Circuit backpack for buy, the one different distinction between the Extremely 24 Circuit and the baseline ULA Circuit made with 400 denier Robic Nylon is that this new material which is dearer and is just out there in a black and gray shade.
Specs at a Look
- Weight: 34.7 oz (measurement medium)
- Quantity: 68 Liters incl. extension collar and exterior pockets
- Primary pack bag quantity: 47.5 Liters incl. extension collar
- Cloth: 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
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.
Backpack material experiences abrasion if you put your pack down on sand, gravel, scrape towards rock partitions, or bushwhack by means of dense foliage. Over time this will skinny or gap the material so it leaks moisture, holes, or tears. The thinner the material (often measured in denier, abbreviated D, as in 400D), the sooner it would 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 injury from daylight like Dyneema Composite Materials.
This elevated abrasion resistance is beneficial for individuals who backpack steadily in mountains, deserts, or canyon nation, however is much less vital for extra informal backpackers the place using Dyneema Composite Materials or the excessive Denier 400D Robic Nylon present in ULAs different backpacks supplies greater than ample sturdiness.
Backpack Storage and Group
The ULA Extremely 24 Circuit is laid out like a normal ultralight backpack with a rear mesh pocket, aspect water bottle pockets made with strong material, and a single tier of aspect compression straps. It’s a roll-top pack (with none high snaps, velcro, or a stiffener) that may be secured to the perimeters of the pack with straps and buckles or clipped collectively on high. If the latter, the additional straps might 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 might be very useful.
The aspect water bottle pockets are simple to achieve whereas sporting the backpack and you will get bottles out and in of the pockets. There may be additionally elastic with a wire lock alongside the highest of the pocket to safe taller bottles. The pack’s shoulder straps are anchored inside these pockets to drag 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 wire (I favor milky white UL polyethylene Nalgenes over Smartwater bottles, which get scuzzy with use and are exhausting to maintain clear.)
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 high. The Extremely 24 Circuit I assessment right here has a extra sturdy grade of Dyneema Mesh which is a $20 improve that’s effectively well worth the added sturdiness in case you plan to hike off-trail. The pack comes with an elastic wire that lays over the mesh and is sweet 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.
There are two zippered pockets on the outside of the hip belt, giant sufficient to retailer a point-and-shoot digital camera, 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 in case you hike off-trail and the place the Extremely material shines. Additionally they include water resistant zippers which is a pleasant contact if it’s a must to hike in rain.
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 the whole pack can maintain 68L, the principle pack bag solely has a quantity of 39.3L of storage whereas the extension shade 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, although the opposite producers together with Zpacks and LiteAF are seam-taping Extremely or supply 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 at the moment are seam-taped as effectively.
Regardless, we nonetheless all the time suggest utilizing a pack liner, even on packs which are seam taped and made with waterproof material, as a result of a liner has extra makes use of past conserving 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 parts, 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 perform by way of 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 parts aren’t designed to be simply detachable.
When it comes to load distribution, it’s finest to position your heaviest gadgets, akin to meals, nearer to the middle of your again or simply above the hip belt. Weight positioned increased up on this pack, with its single body keep, tends to sway a bit and may throw you off steadiness.
The again of the pack is made with skinny foam which is roofed with mesh material that does a superb job of conserving your torso snug even on sizzling 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 out there with conventional male (J-shaped) or female-friendly and unisex (S-shaped) shoulder straps…though loads of males favor these S-shaped straps as effectively. I requested them on this pack to indicate you what they appear to be. The S-Form is sweet for folks with sloping shoulders or well-developed chests and will help make the sternum strap (which slides up and down on a webbing strap) extra snug. ULA packs are very fashionable with ladies backpackers for that reason.
The hip belt is equally spectacular, if no more. It has high and backside webbing straps so you may regulate the stress to match the curves of your hips whereas preserving the simplicity of a central buckle. I believe the ULA Circuit backpack has the most effective hip guess out there at present amongst ultralight pack makers on this weight class by way of match, consolation, and cargo switch. It rides securely and comfortably over your iliac crest and gained’t slip even when you’ve got 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 in case you’re on the ultra-slim or the outsized finish of the spectrum. It attaches to the pack with a giant block of velcro behind the padded again panel. That velcro block is taller than it needs to be by about 2″, so if it is advisable, 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 often 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.
Exterior Attachment Factors/Compression
There’s one tier of compression straps on the Extremely 24 Circuit situated above either side 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 climbing and backpacking, nonetheless, when it’s far more handy to make use of a pack with two tiers of aspect compression straps for hauling snowshoes or skis.
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 chunk of webbing sewn to the entrance of the shoulder straps and is simple 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 wire good for lashing gadgets to the pack, though you may simply rig up additional cords any approach 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 that may be tough to make use of in case you preserve winter baskets in your poles 12 months spherical.
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 change, each the Extremely 24 Circuit and the common 400D Robic Nylon Circuit are principally the identical.
In case you’re contemplating buying a ULA Circuit the issues that set it other than different producers’ backpacks are sizing and match. In case you require particular sizing by way of peak or girth, otherwise you need S-shaped shoulder straps, the Circuit or any of ULA’s different increased quantity packs are actually exhausting to beat.
In case you backpack in mountainous terrain, desert, or canyon management that are extremely abrasive terrain, investing within the extra sturdy Extremely 24 Circuit makes loads of sense in case your whole 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 based mostly 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 acquire a lot by way of water resistance though the pack is made with waterproof material.
However you additionally shouldn’t short-change the baseline 400D Robic Nylon Circuit. It’s an extremely robust material and an important 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 approach, you actually can’t go mistaken whichever ULA Circuit you choose.
Disclosure: ULA loaned us a backpack for this assessment.
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