2024 Catalyst

(1 customer review)
What Size Pack Do I Need? View Size Chart.
Q
ULA Torso Measurement Guide
ULA Hipbelt Measurement Guide
ULA Hipbelt Measurement Guide
S v J Strap Comparison

1. TORSO FIT

  • Standing upright, tilt your chin to your chest.
  • Locate your C7 Vertabra—the large lump at the base of your neck.
  • With flexible tape, measure down the length and natural curvature of your spine to your iliac crest/ the top of your hipbone.
  • This measurement in inches is your torso length.

TIP: If you're between 2 sizes, order the smaller size. Still not sure? Contact us.

2. TORSO CHART

We've found most people in these height ranges fall into these torso/pack sizes. That being said, it is always best to measure your torso using the guide above.

If you're between sizes and you are getting a FRAMED pack, we recommend you size DOWN!

If you're between sizes and you are getting a FRAMELESS pack, we recommend you size UP!

If you have questions, or your torso size doesn’t seem to make sense for your height, please contact us.

3. HIPBELT FIT

Use the following method to determine your hipbelt inches, then head to Step 4 to see the hipbelt size you need.

MEN

Pant Waist Size + 2".

WOMEN

CURVY HIPS: Smallest part of your waist + 5".
STRAIGHT HIPS: Smallest part of your waist + 3".

KIDS

Smallest Part of waist + 2".

4. HIPBELT SIZE CHART

Find the hipbelt measurement you calculated in Step 3 on the chart. That will be your hipbelt size.

TIP: If you are on the outer edge of a size, order the larger size. [ Ex: If you are 38", you will notice 38" is the last number of the Medium Hipbelt and the first number of the Large Hipbelt. You would want to order a Large.]

5. SHOULDER STRAPS

The downward slope of your shoulder profile usually determines strap preference. You can assess your shoulder slope profile by looking in a mirror or having a friend look at the angle of your shoulder from the base of your neck to your shoulder point. 

If there is relatively little or no downward slope, you have what is referred to as flat or squared shoulders.

If there is a noticeable downward slope, you have what is referred to as standard or sloping shoulders.

J STRAPS

J-straps are the traditional straight straps. They are best suited for people with flat or square shoulders, as their flat shape provides better surface contact and less rub.

S STRAPS

S-straps contour body curves. They are best suited for people with standard or sloping shoulders, as their contoured shape better hugs your shoulder slope.

TIP: If you have a short torso but a larger upper body, you may need a slightly longer strap. If you are very large in the upper body, you might need XL shoulder straps. Contact us, and we would be happy to make these customizations so your pack is comfortable and fits well.

$319.99

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MADE IN THE U.S.A.


FREE U.S. DELIVERY

LIFETIME WARRANTY*

TUNE-UPS & REPAIRS*

DESCRIPTION

NEW FOR 2024: At ULA, we understand every trip is different, and your pack and gear needs can change with each trip, so we've updated the ULA pack line to be more versatile than ever to keep up with how you adventure. What's new? We've replaced the regular mesh front pocket with an UltraStretch™ mesh for added abrasion resistance and durability. Combination ice axe/trekking pole loops are now a standard feature; the weather is unpredictable, and we believe your pack should be able to adapt as fast as you can. We've also added low-profile loops to the top and bottom of these packs to accommodate removable top Y-strap and/or bottom straps. Purchase an ultra-light strap kit for your pack and be able to instantly add the capacity to strap larger items (tent, food storage, or sleeping pads) to the top or bottom of your pack as your gear needs change. And while we were at it, we made them prettier.

The ULA Catalyst is the tried and true workhorse of the ULA pack line. No matter where the adventure takes you, the Catalyst is there - ready to carry loads of up to 40 pounds. If you're looking for a pack that will haul a bear canister horizontally or carry your fishing, climbing, or photo gear with ease, the Catalyst is an excellent choice. Not only will it hold a good-sized load, but it can also be checked as baggage on a plane. The ULA Catalyst has consistently been among the top 5 most popular packs on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails.

Internal frame with a twin stay framesheet, comfy padded hipbelt, and contoured shoulder straps make for all-day comfort even when you're loaded down. Front UltraStretch™ mesh pocket, dual hipbelt pockets, and Robic adjustable side pockets make it easy to stay organized whether you're on a thru or just out for the weekend. Weighing only 44.4 oz, this pack will lighten you up but still handle the toughest duties.

The Catalyst is a tough and light pack built for traditional backpackers.

AT A GLANCE

WEIGHT: 44.4 OZ | 1,259 GM
Q

CATALYST [WEIGHT BY SIZE | OZ]

Catalyst Weight Chart

VOLUME: 4,700 CU IN | 75 L
MAX LOAD:  40 LBS | 18 KG

The Catalyst remains the tried and true workhorse of the ULA pack line. No matter where the adventure takes you, the Catalyst will be there – ready to carry loads of up to 40 pounds.

FEATURES

  • NEW! UltraStretch™ Mesh Front Pocket
  • NEW! Ice Axe/Trekking Pole Loops
  • NEW! Low Profile Loops for Removable External Straps
  • NEW! Colored Bottom Panels & Shoulder Strap Inserts!
  • Standard Top Strap
  • Internal Frame
  • Twin Stay Framesheet
  • Contoured Shoulder Straps
  • Front Shock Cord
  • Rolltop Closure
  • Side Compression Straps
  • Dual Hipbelt Pockets
  • Removable & Height Adjustable Pass-through Hipbelt
  • Sternum Strap
  • 400 Robic Bottom Panel
  • 400 Robic Adjustable Side Pockets
  • Hydration Port
Hiker taking things out of their Red 2024 Catalyst

CAPACITY

REC. MAX LOAD: SUB 40 LBS

PACK VOLUME

TOTAL VOLUME: 4,700 CI | 75 L

BREAKDOWN:

  • Main Body: 2,600 CI | 42.6 L
  • Front Mesh Pocket: 600 CI | 9.8 L
  • Left Side Pocket: 350 CI | 5.7 L
  • Right Side Pocket: 350 CI | 5.7 L
  • Extension Collar: 600 CI | 9.8 L
  • Left Hipbelt Pocket: 100 CI | 1.6 L
  • Right Hipbelt Pocket: 100 CI | 1.6 L
ULA Catalyst Backpack: Front
Backpacker setting up camp with his red Catalyst backpack in the foreground

FAQ’S

Q: WHAT IS THE ‘TWIN STAY’ FRAMESHEET?

A: The standard framesheet is comprised of a very dense piece of foam and two ½ aluminum stays which are positioned in a ‘V’ shape. The stays can be bent to give the framesheet a specific contour to your spinal curve. The standard, twin stay framesheet is ideal for loads between 32-40 lbs. It offers plenty of stability and load control within that load range and is well suited for on or off trail hiking.

Q: CAN A BEAR CANISTER FIT IN THE CATALYST?

A: Yes. Every bear canister on the market other than the Bearikade Expedition will fit into the Catalyst horizontally. Keep in mind it is best to pack something between the hard sided canister and the bottom of the pack.

To see a chart showing what bear cans fit in what ULA packs (and how),  visit our blog post “Bears! Everything You Need to Know About Backpacking in Bear Country.

Q: WHERE DO I STRAP MY SLEEPING PAD?

A: A foam pad can easily be secured to the top of the pack by adding a Top Y-strap Kit to your order, to the bottom of the pack by adding a Bottom Strap Kit, or get Both and keep your options open! 

If you’re using an inflatable pad, we recommend storing it in the pack’s interior to avoid punctures.

Q: CAN A WATER BOTTLE FIT IN THE SIDE POCKETS?

A: Each side pocket can accommodate two 1-Liter ‘Big Slam’ style bottles. A Nalgene-style bottle will also fit, but in your quest to lighten up, that should have been replaced a long time ago! In general most people can reach back and retrieve a bottle, drink, and return the bottle to the pocket without removing the pack. The top of the side pockets are angled for easier access, and adjust singlehandedly with a cord lock and internal bungee to open and close.

Q: HOW DOES THE TOP OF THE PACK STAY CLOSED?

A: The top of the Catalyst closes like a dry bag (also known as a rolltop) very similar to what river runners use to create a water resistant seal for their gear bags. The back of the collar is slightly taller than the front. Once you are packed, the collar can be rolled down upon itself to effectively create a barrier to water penetration. Once rolled, each side of the collar can be buckled to the sides of the pack or the two yellow buckles on the top can also be fastened to each other.

As for access, once the collar is rolled and fastened shut, you would need to unbuckle the compression straps and unroll the collar to access the inside of the pack. However, the roll-top only needs to be rolled shut when the weather dictates. If the sky is dry, the collar can simply be folded forward. Vertical compression can still be achieved by buckling the collar to the sides of the pack.

TECHNICAL FABRICS

ULA 400 ROBIC
…the toughest standard fabric we’ve ever seen. Highly tear and abbrassion resistant, reinforced with a ripstop weave to increase tear strength and stitch holding capabilities. 100% Robic Nylon fabric with three-pass Teflon DWR and a three-pass PU Coating, making it highly water resistant.

ULTRASTRETCH™  MESH

UltraStretch™ is an advanced 4-way stretch mesh woven with the highest quality fibers for performance and longevity. Made from a woven blend of Nylon 6-6, Lycra®, and Ultra-PE and coated with C6 DWR.

Backpacker clipping top compression straps of a red Catalyst backpack

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…

1 review for 2024 Catalyst

  1. Michael Turner (verified owner)

    I ordered the 2024 Catalyst for my upcoming PCT hike this year. I don’t necessarily need the volume but it’s rated for heavier loads. There’s enough adjustment via straps to be able to condense the size of the main compartment. Not a stitch is out of place. I originally ordered the previous model not knowing the upgraded straps weren’t originally compatible, Peter reached out to me in minutes on a Saturday afternoon to not only bring it to my attention but with 2 different options to make it work. Top notch customer service!! Will be happily recommending this company and buying from them again.

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