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Ultralight Adventure Equipment Ohm 2.0 Review

One of our favorite packs with its comfortable waist belt, large side pockets, and a volume that is just right for ultralight backpacking
Ultralight Adventure Equipment Ohm 2.0
Photo: ULA
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Price:  $225 List
Pros:  Carries both light and heavier loads in comfort, large side pockets, very durable construction
Cons:  Relatively heavy, delicate carbon frame rods
Manufacturer:   ULA
By Jane Jackson & Brandon Lampley  ⋅  Apr 30, 2020
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 15
  • Weight-to-Volume Ratio - 35% 7
  • Comfort to Carry - 25% 9
  • Features - 20% 8
  • Adaptability - 10% 7
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Ultralight Adventure Equipment produces a number of the top backpacks used by hikers on the Appalachian Trail. We were thoroughly impressed by the performance of the ULA Ohm 2.0. The Ohm is one of the company's lower volume packs and is perfectly sized for experienced ultralight backpackers. This high-performing back is ideal for 15 and 30-pound loads. It also has a great set of features, including larger-than-average side pockets and hip belt pockets. The ULA Ohm 2.0 is a top-notch pack suited for experienced thru-hikers and weekend warriors, alike.

New Colors

This green we tested (shown above) is still available, but this pack also has customizable color options.

April 2020

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
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Pros Carries both light and heavier loads in comfort, large side pockets, very durable constructionDurable, comfortable, well-designed pockets, carries light and heavy loads wellSimple design, inexpensive, durableVery light, large volume, versatile compression systemGreat for medium loads, inexpensive, thoughtful set of features, external storage and lashing options
Cons Relatively heavy, delicate carbon frame rodsLarge capacity makes it less versatileFoam pad falls out easily, shoulder straps lack supportNo frame, poor comfort for medium loadsHeavy, less durable than others
Bottom Line One of our favorite packs with its comfortable waist belt, large side pockets, and a volume that is just right for ultralight backpackingThis pack wowed us with its perfect set of features, comfortable design, and carrying capacityA lightweight, simplified version of our favorite pack from this same company, making a durable, well-designed optionFor the ultimate lightweight pack, this pack steals the show with its entirely frameless design and streamlined set of featuresThis incredible pack has tons of features, carries medium-sized loads well, and is comfortable to boot
Rating Categories Adventure Equipment... Gossamer Gear Mariposa Adventure Equipment... Granite Gear Virga 2 Osprey Exos 48
Weight To Volume Ratio (35%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
4.0
Comfort To Carry (25%)
9.0
10.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
Features (20%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
Adaptability (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Adventure Equipment... Gossamer Gear Mariposa Adventure Equipment... Granite Gear Virga 2 Osprey Exos 48
Measured Weight 31.4 oz 30.5 oz 24 oz 18.5 oz 37.6 oz
Stripped Weight 20.4 oz 30.5 oz 23 oz 18.5 oz 33.9 oz
Claimed Volume 63 L 60 L 54 L 50-58 L 48 L
Measured Main Pack Volume 41 L 48 L 45 L 41 L 40 L
Measured Volume Total (minus hip belt and shoulder strap pockets) 48 L 64 L 53 L 49 L 59 L
Measured Volume Stripped (minus hip belt, shoulder pockets, and removable lids) 48 L 59 L 53 L 49 L 53 L
Average Weight-to-Volume Ratio (grams/Liter) 14.5 g/L 14 g/L 12.8 g/L 10 g/L 18.9 g/L
Carrying Comfort 15 pounds Great Great Great Good Good
Carrying Comfort 30 pounds Great Great Poor Poor Great
Frame Type Simple Frame - 1.2 oz carbon fiber / Delrin active suspension hoop Foam pad/ removable stay Removable foam pad None (foam pad) Tensioned Frame - AirSpeed SL Suspension
Fabric ULA 210 Robic nylon 70 & 100 denier Robic nylon 210 Robic nylon, 400d Robic Bottom Panel Cordura 100D high tenacity nylon, 100D high tenacity ripstop nylon
Main Pack Pockets 3 4 3 3 3
Hip Belt Pockets Two 2 2 None None
Single Hip Belt Pocket Capacity 8 Clif Bars 4 2 cliff bars N/a N/a
Shoulder Strap Pockets No No No No No
Whistle on Sternum Strap No No No None Yes
Internal Hydration Sleeve Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bag Sizes/Torso Lengths Available S, M, L, XL S, M, L S, M, L, XL Long, short, regular S, M, L
Mix and Match Hip Belt Sizes S, M, L, XL S, M, L S, M, L, XL No No
Can Easily Strip Off Frame and Hip Belt Yes Good No No No
BearVault BV500 Compatibility Just OK Good Ok Ok Just OK
Lid (aka Brain) No No No No Yes, Removable

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


The Ohm is one of only two packs we judged 'Great' for both 15 and...
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.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

Weight-to-Volume Ratio


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.

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.

Photo: Brandon Lampley

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...
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.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

Features


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...
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.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

Adaptability


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...
The two adjustable loops up top are perfect for stowing trekking poles if you want to put them away for long stretches.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

Durability


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...
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.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

Value


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.

Conclusion


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...
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.
Photo: Brandon Lampley

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.

Jane Jackson & Brandon Lampley

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