CDT packs are Made to Order and may take 1-2 weeks for shipment.



(22 customer reviews)

WEIGHT: 26 OZ | 737 GM
VOLUME: 3,370 CU IN | 54 L
MAX LOAD: 18 LBS | 8.2 KG

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Our backpacks no longer include hydration sleeve, internal stash pocket, hand loops or water bungie bottle holders. They are available as add-on items going forward, and can easily be added from the cart, or from the Accessories.

The CDT is our lightest, most basic backpack. With just over 50 liters of available space, the CDT is the largest of three frameless packs we make and is suitable for thru-hikes, day hikes, travel, and any distance back-country forays. The CDT pack continues the tradition of being a reliable, lightweight, and durable backcountry companion. Stretch mesh front pocket, adjustable side pockets, and two hipbelt pockets help to keep you organized on the trail. NEW FOR 2021: The CDT now comes standard with a roll top.

The maximum comfortable load in this pack is approximately 18 pounds or less. No matter what anyone claims, no frameless pack is comfortable over this load and the CDT is no exception. At these loads, the contoured shoulder straps and redesigned hip-belt result in a comfortable carry.

Now Available in Xpac! Read the "Customization" section below to learn more.

Bottom Line? The CDT is a comfortable, durable, highly functional 'ruck sack' styled pack.


Removable features are in bold.

  • Internal Pad Holster
  • Contoured Padded Hipbelt
  • Contoured Shoulder Straps
  • Hipbelt Pockets
  • Front Mesh Pocket
  • 400 Robic Adjustable Side Pockets
  • Roll Top Extension Collar
  • Adjustable/Bellowed Side Pockets
  • 400d Robic Bottom Panel
  • Ice Axe/Pole Retention Loops
  • Side/ Top Suspension Straps
  • ULA 400 Robic
  • Foam Pad (1.9 oz)


You can customize the color and fabric of your ULA pack! Select "CUSTOM" under the "Pack Color" dropdown above and add your pack to the cart. Then go to our CUSTOMIZER page, select Xpac or Standard fabric, then customize the look of your pack! NOTE: Custom charges are not refundable and returned custom packs will be assessed a $35 restocking fee.


TRAIL NAME EMBROIDERY (+ $15.00): Now you can have your trail name, or your real name, embroidered on your backpack! Not only is it a nice personal touch, but it's a great way of identifying your pack no matter how or where you travel. Simply write your trail name, or your name, exactly as you want it to appear on your pack, in the text field above. Then, choose your thread color and font, and we'll personalize your pack for you. Packs that have trail names embroidered on them are still returnable, minus a $35.00 fee. The cost of the trail name is not refundable.



Listed weight is for a size medium torso with size medium hip belt. Our weights are as shipped including all the removable items.


“Base weight” refers to the total weight of all gear carried — including the weight of your ULA backpack. This weight also includes things like water bottles and food stuff sacks, but not the weight of water and food as this will vary during each trip. Knowing your base weight will help you determine which suspension system will best handle your load on the trail.



Breakdown (Cu In):

Main Body: 1,750
Front Mesh Pocket: 400
Left Side Mesh Pocket: 350
Right Side Mesh Pocket: 350
Extension Collar: 450
Left Hipbelt Pocket: 35
Right Hipbelt Pocket: 35



With the exception of the MultiCam Camo CDT (See Below.) all CDT packs are sewn with our new ULA 400 Robic fabric, the toughest stuff ounce for ounce we’ve ever seen.

Colors Available: Original Green, Black, Royal Blue, Teal, Purple


For men, use the waist size of your pants and add 2 inches. The “HIPBELT SIZE” option above includes numbered measurements. The number you calculated (waist size + 2) will determine the size you need. If you are on the outer edge of a size, order the next size up! Example: If you wear a size 36 pant, add 2 to get 38. Since 38 is the last number of the Medium Hipbelt and the first number of the Large Hipbelt, you would want to order a Large.

For most women, measure the smallest part of your waist and add 5 inches. If you are straighter through the hips, add 3 inches instead of 5. The “HIPBELT SIZE” option above includes numbered measurements. The number you calculated (waist size + 5) will determine the size you need. If you are on the outer edge of a size, order the next size up! Example: If your waist size is 26, add 5 to get 31. You would need a Small hipbelt.



Torso measurement is the best guide we have for proper pack fit, but it isn’t foolproof. If your torso measurement is between 2 sizes, order the smaller size. If you have questions, or your torso size doesn’t seem to make sense for your height, please email peter@ula-equipment.com and he can guide you along. If you are between sizes on the hipbelt it’s best to go with the larger size, it gives you more padding and puts the pockets in a better position.

To accurately measure your torso length for a correct pack fit, grab a buddy and follow the steps below…

  • Standing upright, tilt your chin to your chest.
  • Locate the largest lump on the back of your neck. It should be located close to the base of your neck.
  • From this large bone, measure (with the flexible tape) down the length and natural curvature of your spine to the top of your waist band, the top of which is resting on the top your hipbone. This measurement in inches is your torso length.
SMALL 15″ – 18″ UNDER 5’6″
MEDIUM 18″ – 21″ 5’6″ TO 6’0″
LARGE 21″ – 24″ 5’10” TO 6’4″
X-LARGE 24″ + OVER 6’4″

Have any questions or don’t quite fall in the normal range? Give us a call or send us an email!


The J straps are the traditional straps, and work best on most men with average builds. If you are very large in the upper body you might need XL shoulder straps, give us a call for that. Many men with athletic builds, i.e. strong, square shoulders will find the S straps work better. Swimmers, climbers, weight lifters,surfers, triathletes, XC skiers, etc usually prefer the S straps.
The S straps work best on almost all women and men with square shoulders and good posture. If you are a short torso, but with a larger upper body, give us a call, we may want to give you a slightly longer strap, there’s no charge for it, so don’t be shy, pick up the phone or send us an email.


A: “Base weight” refers to the total weight of all gear carried — including the weight of your ULA backpack. This weight also includes things like water bottles and food stuff sacks, but not the weight of water and food as this will vary during each trip. Knowing your base weight will help you determine which suspension system will best handle your load on the trail.


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 single-handedly with a cord lock and internal bungee to open and close.


A: Just about any lightweight pad (foam or inflatable) can be used for additional support and padding inside the Ohm 2.0. Three quarters and full length pads that can be folded (as opposed to rolled) work the best. If you are using an inflatable mattress, deflate, then fold it into 1/3’s or 1/5’s before inserting. We also supply a ¼ inch piece of open cell foam with the pack that works very well for those of you not carrying a sleeping pad.

22 reviews for CDT

  1. Sunsets (verified owner)

    I purchased the CDT specifically to try out on an Ice Age Trail thru for a possible PCT thru. I customized the CDT with a frame, load-lifters, and XPAC material. After receiving the pack I had a seamstress remove the quite-small pockets as I was going to be wearing a fanny pack and not only were the pockets redundant they were too small for my uses.

    My wife and I just completed the 1200 mile Ice Age Trail and the pack performed very well. With the frame stay i was able to load it up to about 25#’s before it became uncomfortable. Those extra pounds will be helpful for long water carries on the PCT.

    Overall I liked the pack a lot. This is my third ULA pack having used the Photon on the Camino and the Circuit on the Colorado Trail. The CDT is nowhere near as comfortable as the Circuit, which, while extremely comfortable, has way too much volume for my current kit. The only two small quibbles on the CDT is the aforementioned pockets and the non-removable hip-belt. I have a tendency to lose a lot of weight on long hikes and having to buy two packs because of a fixed belt – especially when the build incurs custom charges – is non-palatable.

    Overall this is a great pack for those with a lower base-weight, it is very durable, made well, and carries well on my large frame. It’s a winner for me.

  2. Cooper (verified owner)

    I bought my CDT two years ago and it’s immediately become my go-to for 95% of trips (i.e. anything four days or shorter). This pack is bombproof–after two years of hard use, my I have no issues with holes, fraying, or tears. Design-wise, the pack’s hipbelt pockets are great for small items like snacks or chapstick, but not quite large enough for a phone. The meshy pocket is huge and the material is amazing–super-stretchy but also very durable. I personally don’t use a hydration bladder (and like that the pocket is removable), but I do appreciate a small interior pocket to hold my wallet and car keys while I hike. I would highly recommend this pack to anyone (especially those looking to cut weight). For reference, my baseweight is typically between 10 and 12 pounds, depending on the weather, what gear I’m using, and whether or not I bring my camera.

    IMHO the CDT is an outstanding pack that everyone should try. There are cheaper options and there are lighter options that look better on a spreadsheet, but there aren’t many other packs that offer the weight savings, comfort, durability, quality, and affordability of the CDT all in one pack. It also goes without saying that ULA’s customer service is outstanding and will help you with any questions, issues, or concerns.

  3. Daniel Delgadillo (verified owner)

    Just received my pack for a short trip to Zion National Park. I never write reviews but hands down i loved the backpack and what I loved the most was the customer service. Not only where they friendly but top notch. I was worried that I would not receive my pack in time because I ordered it two week prior to the trip. I talked to staff and helped me get my pack on time. The pack worked perfectly for a three day trip. I was able to carry all my equipment in it and did not feel uncomfortable at all. Just be prepared for people to stop and ask you where you got you awesome pack from. Wish i could upload some pictures. Will definitely be doing more business will ULA equipment.

  4. Andrew (verified owner)

    Received my custom CDT.. Took it out for the last 3 days and covered 23 miles of the Uwharrie National Forest. Love it! Super comfortable. Now problems carrying the 18 pound total weight. Works well with my setup!!! My circuit is going to take break for awhile! Thank you again ULA!

  5. Evan McKendry (verified owner)

    I love this pack…I am at roughly a year and a half of trail work, chainsaw work, restoration work, and backpacking with the CDT. I was able to use it for 8 day hitches, as well as to using it day to day on the trail as a day pack. I beat on this thing and it takes it. I’ve probably had 30 lbs. in it carrying grip hoist gear. (not fun) The mesh pocket is the best… still in great condition. Being ultralight in the field makes hiking much easier, especially when carrying tools, gear, etc…

  6. Joel Diller (verified owner)

    I used this pack on my thru hike of the PCT. I used the front elastic straps for my water bottles. 👌🏻 I did switch out packs for the Sierra section cause I carried an instrument. 🎵 with that and other gear,(bear canister, ice axe, ext) It would of been too much. I do suggest getting your base weight down for this pack starting with your shelter and sleep system. This pack was everything I needed! Large side pockets have no problem holding my wet tent. Post hike I can tell you this pack holds up great! Even the mesh on the back! Looking to carry less and feel free? Get this pack!

  7. Rog Wilmers (verified owner)

    The CDT is my first ULA pack and it was everything I was looking for in a simple, streamlined pack. Absolute perfection. Just returned from a week in the Canyonlands and the CDT held everything I needed for a winter trip to the desert! Love the simplicity.

    ULA’s customer service is fantastic. I needed a slightly longer belt to accommodate winter layers and Chris had one in the mail and to me in a couple days! Thanks for a great pack!

  8. Seth (verified owner)

    I just did a winter overnight with this bag at 26 pounds total out the door. My poor catalyst might not get out as much as normal
    This winter! Very comfortable pack for all seasons if used properly.

  9. eric (verified owner)

    I just finished my first season with the CDT. This was my first frameless pack in a very long time. I believed my base weight to now be low enough to give one a try. This was exactly the type of pack I was looking to try out (something that can hold a lot of light “puffy” type gear for a summer trip while still being able to handle a winter day hike as well. ULA packs seem very durable for a light weight pack, and there’s a lot of thoughtful features (nice hip belt, hand holders, etc.) My only complaints are personal and not the pack’s issues. I still find a frame pack more comfortable with my typical all up summer weight of about 14-16 lbs. Also, I find the top of this pack rest farther back than I would like. Of course, being a frameless pack, there’s no load lifters to correct this, but again just a personal gripe. I love the look and feel of this pack. I love using the pad inside for a sit pad or a layer for my hammock. I prioritize durability and capacity more than most lightweight backpackers I know so this pack is right up my alley. I do think this pack is for a specific type of backpacker, but if you think this would work for you, it’s a great pack.

  10. john (verified owner)

    We purchased the pack to help reduce base weight due to back problems. We used the pack with varying base weights and contents on a 4 day trip in RMNP with a climb of about 3,000 ft.. The pack does “flow through the forest” when loaded correctly. At around 15lbs we didn’t even notice it.. The back panel easily held a lightweight tent and ground cloth. The side panels easily held water and filter (i removed hydration panel). The pack swallowed a bear canister (Garcia) both sideways and vertically but..big static loads (full or empty) defeat the pack. . With the unyielding volume (even limited to under 18lbs), the pack no longer flows through the forest, but hangs like a book bag. The same weight (food + bear canister) in a stuff sack was much more comfortable as it could be compressed into the pack. . This will be my “go to” pack for week long trips (I pack light) as it is comfortable and fits my hiking style well. I But I will likely use a framed pack if I need to carry a bear canister for more than a half day. I am very glad I purchased this pack as a lightweight frame-less pack capable of multi-day trips.

  11. TIMOTHY FINLEY (verified owner)

    I’m gonna keep this short. What an amazing pack! I wanted a simple, minimalist pack with the capabilities of doing long hikes or short hikes. Found it here with the CDT. And it feels indesctructable. Well thought out from top to bottom. Great works from ULA!

  12. Robert

    I own/have owned 3 different ULA backpacks: the Camino, the Circuit, and the CDT. I am 6′-6″ tall and these packs fit well in the L/XL sizing. I have used many packs since I started outdoor adventuring 43 years ago at the age of 10. With this said, the CDT is my all time favorite! I primarily use it for a ski touring day pack. It is light, strong and fits me well, so it is comfortable. I can carry everything in it in to survive in case I get stuck out overnight. It is a great weight saver to use a foldable z-lite sol as a frame sheet, for it gives the pack rigidity without a heavy, useless frame, and supplies an emergency sleep pad/frozen ground insulation. The specs are correct in that it is a comfortable pack, but don’t exceed 18 Lbs. I usually keep it around 14-16lbs. I can put the Z-lite, extra wool socks, fleece pants, a 800 fill down-tek 30 degree walking mummy bag, 800 down-tek vest, Esbit stove and 600 ml titanium pot, a titanium plate to use as a shovel and stove base, a SOL Escape Bivy, a space blanket and space blanket tube tent, hand warmers, flashlight, matches, Knife, Compass, fire starter, first aid, water bottles, balaclava, extra glasses, food( about 2,000 kcal), ski repair kit, kicker skins(when needed) and a few other emergency supplies–I think I conveyed how much this can carry, yet be lightweight, sturdy and comfortable. If one was to do research, they would find the design is an updated version of German and Swiss WWII era alpine rucks. I highly recommend this rucksack!

  13. Mike Ellis (verified owner)

    I don’t have a ton of miles on my CDT,but the ones I did have were very comfy. This is my second pack from ULA, and it’s even better! A lot of thought went into the design and I have plenty of room for all my stuff. I am adding on some pockets (also great quality) only because I plan to also use this for local search and rescue. I prefer to travel lighter vs. punish my back (and discs). I know I am carrying the weight, but with this pack there were no hot spots or sore areas at all. LOVE it.

  14. Milo Durfee (verified owner)

    I just complied a rigorous one day hike in the mountains of Utah with this pack. Before this trip I re-enforced the 1/4 inch foam pad by gluing a thin and light piece of card board material that was about 1/8 of an inch thick to the front side of the pad. This provided some great support and structure.. My hiking partner was really envious of this pack. He liked the fact that the pack is light before you put stuff into it. I told him if you start with a 3.5 to 4.5 pound pack you already have a heavy pack. That pound or two makes a pretty big difference in overall weight, especially for a 70 year old.. I had more that enough room for 120 ounces of water, two extra layers of clothes, and a lunch. I also had other supplies in the external stretch net pocket. This pack is ideal for one day excursions and could be used for a two hike trip by packing a tent, sleeping bag, and more food. This pack was so comfortable thatI forgot I was wearing it. This pack is well made and I feel it will last for many more trips. I highly recommend it.

  15. Iain Baker (verified owner)

    I am in love with this pack! I use a folding sleeping pad which works great as a back pad and stays neatly in place with the elastics included. With the sleeping pad in place, it transfers weight amazingly well and will stay upright if I take the shoulder straps off. For a frameless pack, that’s awesome. I’ve comfortably carried far more than the recommended weight this way, up to 26 pounds. I removed the included back-pad and water bottle holders to cut down on weight. The front stretch pouch works wonderfully as a pillow when stuffed with clothes. Love the roll top!

  16. James

    I own the original version the conduit. It is the best pack I have ever owned. It held up through a 7 day through hike of the wind rivers. A solo trip from glacier park to Wyoming through Montana. A month long safari in Africa and this has held up. I have had 30lbs in this pack it is not at all I deal but with 260 miles between supply drops in northern Montana sometimes you do what you have too. My friend has the same pack his stretch mesh ripped ula repaired if for free. Awesome awesome.

  17. Dan King (verified owner)

    I got my CDT in the mail the other day. Right away I packed it and went for a hike. Wow! Best pack I have ever owned hands down. Super comfortable and excellent craftsmanship. Thank you so much! See you on the trail.

  18. Scott

    I’ve had the pack for three years now and I love it. It is the most versatile pack I have. Right now I alternate between the CDT and a NF shadow 30+10. For the CDT I remove the back pad, the internal hydration sleeve, the inside pocket and the bottle cords. This gets the weight down to 20 oz. for the large torso model and I find those items unnecessary. If you pack correctly there’s no need for the back pad and the bottle holsters provide plenty of water storage. I’ve carried weights up to 25 lbs. without a problem. I find the pack to be very comfortable with S curve shoulder straps. I’m 185 lbs 6”2”. For those on the fence I’d say pull the trigger. It’s a great pack. It sometimes requires some creative packing, and you should be ultralight with your gear – 10-13 lbs before your water and food. I have the purple blaze and I think it looks great.

  19. George (verified owner)

    I used this pack to hike from Geneva, Switzerland thru France and then thru the Camino De Santiago in Northern Spain (approximately 1200 miles). It proved to really be the perfect size and weight. I used stuff bags to pack the cdt which was perfect for this frameless pack. Even after 1200 miles this pack is still holding up fine. No rips or tears apart from the upper sowing on the shoulder straps where my shoulders sit wearing out a bit (not the part attached to back of the pack but just below). The only issue I have with my pack is that the shoulder straps are not sewn to the exact same spot on both sides. As I don’t know which side would be “right” I can’t say which side was wrong. They are just not on the same spot (about an inch off) so I had to compensate through adjusting the tightening straps differently on each side. All in all I still loved this pack and would definately buy it again or recommend it to others. I got the roll top cover and the camo color. Really love the look of the pack as well. People were giving me compliments.

  20. Greg from BC

    I seldom write reviews, but I have to say I’m so impressed with my CDT, I felt the need to share my opinion. I’ve traveled to Sri Lanka, Africa, and Patagonia using this as my carry on and day pack on shorter hikes. I’m kind of a back pack hoarder , and this by far is my favorite. Still looks new after several years of heavy use. Build quality is awesome.

  21. Mark Weidinger

    Another top notch piece of gear by ULA!

    This is my second ULA pack (Catalyst is other) and I just received it 2 days ago. I got the CDT to replace my old Lowe Alpine Contour 40, mainly for use as a larger, day backcountry ski pack with extra room for bivy stuff and/or Ham radio gear. Another great pack from ULA, I love it, it carried great with about 16lbs today on a short ski trip and feels like I could easily load it up more if need be. More than enough room. So far the back pad that comes with it works fine, just pack your stuff with care. Plenty of front and side pocket space. I had them add the roll top and a bungee. Thanks again ULA!

  22. Anonymous Person

    Great Pack!

    Just received the pack in time for her maiden voyage in the woods of Michigan with my winter gear. Pack this thing right and it will wrap you in its loving embrace and float along the trail with you like it’s not even there. The craftsmanship on this beaut is top notch and seems amazingly durable for its weight. I swapped out the 1/4 inch back pad for a 1/2 inch piece of blue foam pad which gave it even more structure. Buy this glorious pack. Now.

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