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ULA Catalyst

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:12 pm
by oldhikerQ
Hello, all.
Does anyone out there carry a ULA Catalyst?
If so, what are your thoughts about it?

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:04 pm
by bobby49
A friend has one. I guess it is OK if you want a backpack that heavy. It weighs three times as much as what I use.

Otherwise, it seems well-built.

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:59 am
by oldhikerQ
Thanks. I'm old enough that my back needs some kind of frame to support my load. Plus, the Catalyst is about 2.5 pounds lighter than my current Osprey. Curious now, what pack do you use that weighs just 1 pound?

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:50 am
by robow8
I have one. I like it; I think it carries well. There isn't any back ventilation, so it gets warm, but I'm okay with that. I'm usually out with my wife, so I carry more of the gear and the bigger bearcan. She has a Circuit and she likes it.

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:36 am
by oldhikerQ
Thanks robow8.
How much weight do you normally carry? Do you carry a bear can? If so, what kind and does it fit horizontally or vertically?

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:31 am
by robow8
Too much weight. I've had 45 pounds in it and it was okay. I have a Bearikade Weekender that I carry horizontally.

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:57 am
by Flamingo
Hey @oldhikerQ -- I carried a ULA Catalyst on my 2015 Continental Divide Thru-Hike, and I LOVED it. I cannot say enough good things about this pack... the frame is very comfortable, the pocket placement is thoughtful, and the pack is surprisingly durable.

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:42 pm
by TurboHike
I've been using a Circuit. I like it now, but not at first. The Circuit has one aluminum stay, the Catalyst has two I believe. You might need to bend the stays to get the pack to fit. For the Circuit it took me quite a few iterations to get the stay bent to fit my back. I would load the pack with 25 lbs, walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes, detect a hot spot on my back where a blister was forming, stop, unload the pack, bend the stay, rinse, repeat. I did this on and off for two weeks before I dialed in a comfortable fit. I almost returned the pack, but I kept at it and got it to fit. Now I love the pack, but it was frustrating. The good folks at ULA were helpful, but there is only so much that can be done over the phone or via e-mail, even with photos that I sent.

If the Catalyst doesn't fit right out of the box, you'd need to bend both stays. Just mentioning this. Good luck.

Re: ULA Catalyst

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:27 pm
by oldhikerQ
Thank you for the feedback, everyone.
If i can't work out some issues with my Osprey, the ULA is on my short list.