The ULA Ohm 2.0 earned our second-highest overall score due to the ability to comfortably carry a variety of loads, very durable fabrics, and a good set of features.
How to Get It:
Ultralight Adventure Equipment packs are not widely available and are best ordered directly from the small manufacturer in Logan, UT. That said, ULA packs are available in some small backpacking outfitters. Sage to Summit in Bishop, CA, and Mountain Crossings on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia are a couple of examples we know of.
Get it online at: ULA-Equipment.com.
The Ohm is one of only two packs we judged 'Great' for both 15 and 30 pound loads. Here, Brandon is out and about in the Mummy Range of RMNP looking over the Continental Divide.
Most packs from smaller manufacturers are available with mix and match sizing options, and this is true for the Ohm 2.0. We tested the medium pack and belt with S-curve straps.
Weight Bottom Line:
Total Weight with all modular components = 2 lb 1.7 oz
Pack stripped of components = 1 lb 4.4 oz
Frame Rod = 1.4 oz
Foam Pad = 1.0 oz
Waist Belt= 8.6 oz
Hand Loops= .9 oz
Hydration Pocket= .7 oz
Wallet Pocket= .7 oz
The Ohm 2.0 has quite a few modular parts - more than other contenders. The waist belt is notably heavy, with large pockets and ample padding.
We Measured Volume:
Total Volume = 48 L
Main Bag = 41 L
Front Pocket = 2 L
Side Pockets = 5 L
Our total weight listed above is every single modular component included with this competitor. For weight-to-volume calculations, we used a total weight that does not include the hand loops or removable internal pockets. We believe most weight-conscious users will choose to leave these parts at home the majority of the time.
Load Carrying Comfort
This pack excels at 15 and 30 pound loads. Along with the Editors' Choice award-winning Mariposa, the Ohm is one of the few packs that received a "Great" in both load categories.
It was a little more difficult to fit our winter load into this pack compared to the Gossamer Gear Gorilla. The side pockets are larger, but the Ohm's main pocket doesn't stretch to hold as much clothing and gear.
ULA's designers seem to be torn on the feature set they want to provide. Aside from the permanently attached external pockets and hip pockets, the rest of the feature set, including the side compression cords, are removable. Some folks will be happy with all these removable features. They make it more customizable pack than one like the HMG with a permanent set of simple features.
This simple frame pack includes a removable internal foam back pad and a simple drawstring closure for the main bag. Unlike other models with a large central exterior pocket, the Ohm's is one of the smallest, and it's not stretchy. It also tapers in at the bottom where the huge pack fabric side pockets meet it. The hip belt pockets on this pack are huge, nearly twice the volume of others. Large enough, in fact, we found they could get in the way of our arms swing when filled to capacity.
Four buckles tighten the oversized waist belt at the sides adjacent to the pockets, which we found slightly over-complicated. Rather than compression webbing, this pack uses 2mm cord that zig-zags up the sides of the contender. Two loops with cord locks up top and on bottom center below the main exterior pocket provide options for stowing poles or an ice axe.
The Ohm also features an internal removable hydration bladder pocket and has left and right ports to route the drinking hose over either shoulder. There's also a small detachable zipper pocket can secure your valuables. Large D-rings up high on the shoulder strap provide attachment for the removable hand loops, and a set of two bungee loops with cord locks provide attachment points on both shoulder straps. The sternum strap buckle does not include a whistle.
Durable side pockets and huge hip belt pockets are featured on this pack. We found the hip belt pockets large enough to be in the way if fully loaded.
While we described the Ohm as one of the packs relatively easy to strip down to no frame and hip belt, you certainly wouldn't want to be adding and removing these components frequently.
We found the Ohm "just OK" for fitting a BV500 bear canister inside. If you commonly need to carry a bearproof canister, we suggest one of the larger ULA models.
The two adjustable loops up top are perfect for stowing trekking poles if you want to put them away for long stretches.
This pack earned one of the highest durability scores we awarded. Both the pack fabric and attention to detail in construction are top-notch. Ultralight Adventure Equipment is a small company that hand-makes their packs in the U.S., and they seem to pay attention to detail at every stage. We do have one primary durability concern, and that is the carbon rod frame. You don't want to sit on this pack when loaded or haphazardly toss it around when traveling. When we removed the frame for stripped-down testing, we noticed one end of the carbon rod had some splintering, and the other was missing its sealing plug.
The ends of the carbon frame rod after removal from the Ohm. One is missing the reinforcing plug and the other shows some splintering of the carbon. While overall this pack is very durable, we would love to see a more durable simple frame.
This pack is one of the more affordable top scorers in our review. As long as you don't break the carbon frame rod, this pack will last for many thousands of miles.
The ULA Ohm 2.0 is a high scoring pack. It does an excellent job carrying a variety of loads and is built with very durable fabric.
Taking in the view down to the Colorado River near Fruita, Colorado. This is a great pack, but we prefer the Gossamer Gear Gorilla's feature set.
Sizing, Accessories, & Other Versions
There are several options when purchasing the Ohm 2.0: four main bag sizes depending on your torso length, five waist belt sizes, and a choice of three colors for the 210D pack fabric, or two colors in a burlier Cordura 500 fabric. In addition, you have the choice of two different styles of shoulder straps. Guidance for sizing and options can be found here.
The Ultralight Adventure Equipment Circuit is a larger volume cousin with a very similar design
. It both carries heavier loads in more comfort and more easily accepts a bear canister.