CART STATUS: Awaiting Adventure Gear.
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.
Pant Waist Size + 2".
CURVY HIPS: Smallest part of your waist + 5".
STRAIGHT HIPS: Smallest part of your waist + 3".
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 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 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.
MADE IN THE U.S.A.
FREE U.S. DELIVERY
TUNE-UPS & REPAIRS*
Lets’ face it, every mother has a favorite child – ours is the Circuit. Weighing in at just over two pounds, we don’t think there’s a pack out there that can compare to the load carrying capabilities, comfort, and durability of the Circuit pack. If you have your total pack weight down around 30 pounds and want to feel the freedom of traveling light, this is the pack for you. The Circuit has been the most popular pack on the Pacific Crest Trail for the past 3 years according to the Halfway Anywhere annual survey of PCT thru hikers.
The Circuit pack utilizes a 1.2 oz carbon fiber and Delrin suspension hoop in conjunction with a dense internal foam frame and a single aluminum stay to give you excellent back panel support, maximum load control, weight transfer, and pack rigidity without limiting your range of movement.
AT A GLANCE
CIRCUIT [WEIGHT BY SIZE | OZ]
* X-PAC CIRCUIT WEIGHTS WILL VARY +/- A FEW OUNCES DEPENDING ON FABRIC SELECTED.
VOLUME: 4,200 CU IN | 68 L
MAX LOAD: 35 LBS | 16 KG
Winner of The Trek 2022 Best Gear Award. The most popluar pack on the Pacific Crest Trail for three years according to the Halfway Anywhere Annual Survey of PCT Thru Hikers.
- Internal Suspension Hoop
- Padded Backpanel
- Contoured Shoulder Straps
- Front Shock Cord
- Front Mesh Pocket
- Dual Hipbelt Pockets
- Hydration Port
- Removable & Height Adjustable Pass-through Hipbelt
- 400 Robic Adjustable Side Pockets
- Rolltop Closure
- Side/Top Compression Straps
- Ice Axe/Pole Retention Loops
- Sternum Strap
- ULA 400 Robic Bottom Panel
REC. MAX LOAD: SUB 35 LBS
TOTAL VOLUME: 4,200 CU IN | 68 L
BREAKDOWN (CU IN):
- Main Body: 2,400
- Front Mesh Pocket: 400
- Left Side Pocket: 400
- Right Side Pocket: 400
- Extension Collar: 500
- Left Hipbelt Pocket: 100
- Right Hipbelt Pocket: 100
Q: WHAT IS A SUSPENSION HOOP?
A: The suspension hoop used in the Circuit is our minimal solution to transferring load between shoulder and hip. If you imagine an upside ‘U’ you get a sense of how the hoop is positioned and how it functions. The upper arch of the ‘U’ ties into the shoulder straps, while each leg of the ‘U’ ties into the hipbelt. These points of contact allow for a range of suspension flexibility while being rigid enough to support loads up to 35 lbs. In addition, because the suspension is located on the periphery of the pack body, and the back-panel is stiffened slightly with dual density foam, the result is a pack that can handle the load but does not dictate your body’s movements — but rather responds to how you move. Personally, when the loads are kept below 35 lbs, we find this pack to be the most comfortable in the ULA line-up.
Q: CAN A BEAR CANISTER FIT IN THE CIRCUIT?
A: Every bear canister on the market will fit into the Circuit vertically. Smaller bear canisters may fit in the Circuit 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: If you are using an inflatable pad, we recommended storing it in the interior of the pack to avoid punctures. A foam pad can easily be secured beneath the top compression strap that goes over the top of the pack or beneath the front shock cord compression. Although not necessary for optimum performance, positioning your sleeping pad into the interior of the Circuit (against the back-panel) is also a good solution.
Alternately, you can build your own pack and add Bottom Straps, or a top Y-strap to carry your pad externally.
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.
Q: HOW DOES THE TOP OF THE PACK STAY CLOSED?
A: The top of the pack 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.
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.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…
83 reviews for Circuit
NEVER STOP EXPLORING.
MORE FROM THE ULA PACK LINE
ULTRALIGHT PACKS FOR EVERY ADVENTURE
Connie DePaepe (verified owner) –
I discovered the ULA Circuit backpack while hiking the PCT in 2022.
I struggled with 2 other packs prior to finding the ULA Circuit.
Thank you Ladies who I met in the Hostel in Lone Pine who encouraged me to try on their ULA Circuit packs. Every lady in that hostel that overnight had a ULA pack, except for me.
I called ULA and in 24 hours my new ULA Circuit arrived.
I am a tiny sized person who has to carry the same gear as all hikers on the trail.
ULA helped me design the right pack for my body type, weight etc.
ULA even followed up with me after my purchase to help address any concerns.
My ULA Circuit easily carries up to 35 lbs, fits a bear can inside the pack, and allows for great weight distribution, fully loaded.
The easily, removable, comfortable hip belt is a huge plus because I tend to loose 20 pounds while on trail so having the right hip belt, and being able to swap it out, is essential. And it needs to be comfortable (ULA Circuit hip belt is extremely comfortable), not a cheesy, flimsy crappy belt like the one provided on my first very, very expensive non ULA pack.
Fit, comfort, quality, customer service are all exceptional.
Almost one year later, I still love my ULA Circuit backpack.
Thank you Peter, who helped me. I almost quit my PCT hike because of my previous packs, but, continued on because of you, your guidance, expertise, and amazing product.
I love my ULA Circuit.
One year later, still full of gratitude.
I cannot say thank you, enough.
Nick Moyer (verified owner) –
The pack fits like a hug. I absolutely love it. The best part of my experience with ULA was how responsive they were when I had issues. They fixed the problem immediately It’s obvious the owners really care about their relationships with customers. I am really happy I chose a Circuit
Phil Lori (verified owner) –
My wife and I are in our sixties. We just started section hiking last year. After a ton of research we selected the ULA Circuit … best decision we made! We have completed over 15 section hikes, 50 days and 700km on the Bibbulmun trail in Southwestern Australia through all types of weather (except snow!). The ULA Circuit has been amazing! Super comfortable, excellent space, the right number of easy-to-access pockets … everything about it is awesome! Thank you to customer support for staying on the phone for almost 30 minutes and patiently answering our questions during our research process, it was super helpful. We highly recommend the ULA Circuit.
Caitlin (verified owner) –
This pack is a dream. Rides like a hug. Carried it for my full PCT thru and couldn’t have been happier. Amazing customer service during the shopping process too, the advice on sizing and strap shape was spot on. The BV450 bear can also does fit inside it with the flat side to your spine, which is a way more comfortable way to carry it than with the round side to your spine or having it strapped on top. Love, love, love this pack. Light but still handles weight up to 35 pounds better than any other of the leading UL packs on the market, many of which are just built badly, break down and hurt you. Most of the time I was around 25 lbs with food and water – couple liters in the side pockets. Dream carry.
Trevor Ashe –
This pack does it all
I’ve carried this pack for over 500 miles of backpacking and thru hiking, initially using it on the 272 mile Vermont Long Trail in 2021. I’ve used it in the wet Cascades of Washington, the dry and arid Sawtooths in southern Idaho, and as my travel bag when we explored Peru. This pack has done everything I have needed it to do, and I look forward to finishing out the triple tiara hikes with it as soon as I can!
The interior has enough room for all my larger items plus food bag, and there is ample storage in the side pockets and stretchy front mesh for all the items that I need throughout the day. I’ve loaded the front mesh with as much as I can, and I haven’t noticed any wear or signs that it is about to rip. The straps (I opted for J straps) are extremely comfortable and there are plenty of adjustment straps to dial the fit in.
The only modification I’ve made is to the adjustment straps on the hip belt. These tend to slip throughout the day, so I’ve taped them where I like them and haven’t had any issues since.
Marc Mauger –
I have an older version (2015?) that has held up very well after thousands of miles (JMT, CDT, PNT, & weekend trips). Super comfortable at loads <= 35lbs. One of the stabilizer straps (above the shoulder) needs to be retightened every few hours, and the mesh is starting to get large holes in it – but honestly suprised it's in such good shape after all the x-country abuse i've put it through!
Looking forward to buying a new one if/when this one gets too worn out!
Liz N –
Favorite piece of gear on the PCT.
Serena (verified owner) –
After 6 weeks of 7hr/day hiking, hauling gear and rocks, I can say this pack holds up. I love the adjustability. Never had a problem with the hip straps despite radio/field pack/etc on my belt. My chest holster fit right between the pack straps. In the end, the middle top buckle broke at the end (don’t be carrying shovels with just the one strap, guys), a few small holes in the front fabric pocket, and there was some medium-grade fraying at the side-bottom of the pack where my emergency almond butter or something rested within rubbed on the terrain through the fabric. I can’t wait to use it much more. Even some 30% deet spray leaked in the front pocket, and there hasn’t been as issue there yet (so far). I’m hoping it’ll hold up to a gentle wash, though… it does kinda stink at this point.
Issues: Vaguely water resistant but still gets soaking wet in any actual rain esp going through brush. Definitely requires a pack cover. Usually is only a bit damp the next day.
Straps are uncomfortable at the mid to higher end of weight I noticed, but it is a lightweight pack so honestly you get what you ask for and it’s not that much of an issue anyway if that isn’t important to you. But I did feel it, if not get used to it.
The loops on the shoulder straps I might want to put a bear spray or radio on are just a bit too high up/close to the face for me to have put anything there but small things.
The three snaps to close the thing are kind cool, I like how they can be closed different ways, and are more easily repaired than a tightening loop, but they are kind of annoying if you have to keep opening/closing them multiple times a day like I had to for work.
All the lengths of straps that let me adjust the thing, get in the way and are annoying to maneuver around at the end of the day. Need to be taped up. They got stuck in the helicopter basket frequently, but that’s a specific issue I guess.
And the side pockets for water bottles/etc…. maybe I’m just a small person, but I could never get stuff out/PUT STUFF BACK while I was wearing the backpack. MAJOR ISSUE. I don’t want to have to take off my pack to get a sip of my water bottle, or my compass, or rock hammer! But I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out eventually. It’s not like it’s a problem exclusive to this pack anyway. And it’s better than stuff falling out all the time.
I would recommend.
I love this pack! I have had two other backpacking packs (other brands) before this and both bruised my hips and collarbone. Not this pack! I’ve had it for several years now and have been on quite a few backpacking trips with it. I’ve also found it stands up well against sandstone abrasion and fits in the overhead bins as a carry-on. I love how I can put most of my day’s snacks in one hipbelt pocket and essentials in the other (sunscreen, sunglasses, chapstic, etc) and I’m good to go for miles!
I rave about this pack to anyone who asks 🙂
Donald Stephens –
Great pack. I got my gear weight down and my old pack was overkill. Customer service is excellent and I was able to get my fit dialed. I’m barrel chested, with a reeeally long inseam and short torso. I didn’t get a lighter pack because it wouldn’t accommodate my freak dimensions, decreased comfort with heavier carry’s, and fragility with bushwhacking. I have a Catalyst and a Photon too. Simple, comfortable, and durable. Plus made in the USA. Cons are nitpicking. I wish the attachment loops were shock cord. The back panel can get tiny bits of debris in the mesh when really bushwhacking. I rarely feel it, some more of an OCD issue in my case.
Sarah Gibson (verified owner) –
I can’t say enough good things about this awesome company and this awesome pack! Peter was extremely helpful answering all my questions and helping me exchange hipbelt sizes. I’ve loaded the Circuit down and it carries weight very well. If you are looking for a great lightweight pack, I’d recommend the Circuit.
JMT Certified 2021.
Bought this last year to replace packs over the years that I used to complete PCT section hikes. One an Osprey NOBO Mt. Hood to Canada the other a North Face SOB O Whitney Portal/Crabtree to Mexico. (Started PCT SOBO in a bad winter year in 1974 and bailed WA and restarted Cascade Locks to Tuolumne with a Frostline frame pack. Yes, I’m an older backpacker with many trips globally to boot.
Anyway decided to close 222 miles from Yosemite to Mt Whitney and the Portal with the ULA Circuit SOBO in 2021. All I can say is I don’t mind the 5 extra ounces over a lighter weight competitor of yours. The pack easily took in the bear canister and fit my tent and gear and was the most comfortable fit for the trip. I would say one thing I wish you were around when I first started backpacking and mountaineering in New England. Kudos for making a great affordable backpack.
I love my Circuit! I purchased my Circuit approx. 2.5 years ago and it has been a game changer. With my typical base weight being between 14-15 lbs, it is absolutely perfect. Loads are always comfortable and the adjustability on the straps is great. I am also a huge fan of the water bottle loops on the shoulder straps. Sometimes the overall pack is almost a bit too large in terms of volume capacity, but the great roll top closure makes that irrelevant as I love the flexibility the roll top provides- I still have plenty of space if I’m carrying a bear can but can roll it down as far as needed if I have less bulk on any particular trip. 10/10 highly recommend!
Joe Annese –
I picked up a Circuit pack in Xpac VX25 Hot Lime, to carry my deep Winter gear here in NY. The material is awesome and rugged while the Hot Lime color is pretty sick, especially in winter, the color pops out nicely. My full out winter load with food, water, avalanche shovel and my MSR Lightning Accent snow shoes strapped to the back is right around 31 – 32 lbs and I had no discomfort at all while hiking up the mountains. I did remove the aluminum stray and the internal hoop suspension as I prefer my packs to be less rigid and more like a rucksack to carry. It also makes it easier to stuff the empty, limp pack inside my bivy with me at night. I usually do not use hip belts but carrying 30 + lbs and trudging through snow while hiking, I found the hip belts to be a nice luxury to have. The Circuit will definitely be my new winter pack for years to come when I need to carry that extra weight and gear. Being able to customize your own pack is also a sweet bonus that makes ULA packs that more enticing. Made here in the USA!! Enough said!
Will Wickert (verified owner) –
Love love love this pack! So simple yet so versatile with its design. It may not be considered ultralight anymore these days but it’s a been proven over the years by others to being a great balance between still being lightweight but also ultra-tough. It compresses well but also expands with plenty of space for week long hauls where more food is needed or when it’s time to pack in a bear canister or when it’s winter and more insulation and layers are needed, or take some extra luxuries for a more relaxed and leisure trip and so on and so forth. I’m not a long distance through hiker but I’ve had this pack out for a week along a high route in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains and several other weekend adventure trips all throughout Utah, both mountains and desert, rain and sun. I also love how I can remove all the frame components to be able to experiment with going frameless as the rest of my system and gear continues to evolve and become more simplified for trips it might make sense to do so.
Theresa (verified owner) –
I love my Circuit pack! It’s comfortable! I carried close to 30 lbs in it, (I’m working at upgrading up my old-school gear!) and it was still comfortable for me for multi-day hikes here in Vermont. It was a big change for me to go to a roll-top pack, which I did to save weight. I’m used to a pack with lots of pockets. It wasn’t as challenging as I thought it might be to adjust my packing style. I did add an internal stash pocket and found this useful for keeping my hiker wallet items secure and easy to access.
Customer service was outstanding. Peter was very patient and helped me sort out sizing and the right pack for me. I’m a 5’4″ woman and turned out I needed a medium pack to fit my torso length, which surprised me.
The pack is high quality, well-made, and the fabric is durable, while still being light. I tried a lot of different packs on, and I’m glad I went with the ULA Circuit!
Jessi Porch –
I got my Circuit in 2012 in preparation for an AT thru hike. I used the pack on the whole trail and in the ensuing years in many more hiking adventures, including lots of trips in the Adirondack High Peaks (with a bear canister). I keep coming back to it over and over again. I just used it this past weekend in Harriman State Park on a wet December overnight.
This pack is totally bomber. The water bottle pockets have gotten a few holes in it and after well over 3000 miles and 10 years of use the pack body almost has one hole in it where the suspension loop meets the hang loop on the top of the pack. Again, this is an extremely durable pack. Yes, it’s heavier than some other options, but for most of the trips I take I don’t mind the extra weight. I would say it carries well up to around 30 pounds or so (I know it says 35 but that’s not super ideal in my experience. In the 20-25 pound range it carries like a dream.
This pack is less than half the weight of my previous pack, and with a moderate load of around 30 pounds it’s the most comfortable pack I have ever owned (out of at least 5 different packs). I’m 5’6”, male and the medium was an excellent fit. I got the S straps because they lie flatter on my chest, they don’t cut into my shoulders and chest Iike the straps of some other packs. I used this for a 9 day high sierra trip, about 50% of which was off trail crossing slabs and talus. Full weight including food, water, bear canister was around 32 pounds. The pack felt extremely secure and snug even when clambering over boulders etc. I like the fact that the pack fits tightly against the back, unlike the current fashion for an air gap between the back and the pack; I feel that having the pack closer to my body means greater stability when crossing rough terrain. The fabric is surprisingly burly and stood up to being dragged over granite etc. I’m not wild about the roll top closure, but it seems pretty standard among lightweight packs. I don’t know why this pack seems so much more comfortable than other packs I’ve used; all I can say is that it it is! There are lighter packs around, but comfort is ultra-important over a multi-day trip and for me, this pack delivers. Good pre-sale advice and help by phone, which was also important to me.
Hollington Lee (verified owner) –
My wife and I love our Circuits. The waist belt is SO comfortable and the hip pockets are huge.
The X-large shoulder pocket is the perfect addition. We also opted for the top Y-strap which allows for a more secure carry of a bear can. One of the best things is that even though this pack is rated at 68l capacity, it shrinks down really well — in fact, we both use them as daypacks! Amazing packs!
Andrew Chapman (verified owner) –
Amazing Pack, Amazing Customer Service
This company in general, and this model pack in particular are true gems. The Circuit is really such a great product, epscially when one’s top priorities are carrying comfort and weight. In my mind it really strikes that perfect balance of being light on the scale and comfy on the body. The custom options when going with XPAC really elevate it to a top shelf pack (nothing against the stock version which is a STEAL in my book).
I initally conceived of it as a “heavy carry” / longer trip/more gear intensive/winter load hauler. However in applicaiton I found it to be incredibly versatile and nimble. In fact, it’s kind of a “quiver killer.” On two trips, where the load fit in a smaller ~40L pack , I still took the Circuit because it was far more comfortable. I’ve persoanly carried 17-27lbs with it and found it to be equally adept at both ends of the spectrum. My wife also got a circuit at the same time. On our first trip out it was an ongoing corus of “THIS PACK IS SO COMFORTABLE!” back and forth Annoying perhaps, but it was genuine.
As for the customer service, it could not be better. I really just can’t say enough good things aobut the exeprince of working with Peter and Chris. Living in Utah it was awesome to get visit the workspace and see where the magic happens. The patience, and care that went into fielding all my quesitons and making a few tweaks is highly appreciated. Thier quick turn around time and attentiveness are a true model for any business, but a real stand out in the cottage pack industry.
Needless to say this will not be my last pack from ULA equipment!
Greg Lysien (verified owner) –
Bought my Circuit in August 2021. I’ve only done a few short hikes with it to date but so far I absolutely love it. It’s comfortable, fits well, and swallows all my gear with ease. Hoping to do some serious miles with it once the covid restrictions ease. Need to agree with the other comments here – the ULA customer service is second to none. The speed and ease of communication plus their willingness to go the extra mile makes all the difference.
Paul Beiser (verified owner) –
Jim Schulz’s review below has many of the same elements as my review, although I bought my Circuit on-line, and Peter worked with me on the sizing (his suggestions were SPOT ON!). First pack was a Kelty external frame in the ’70s. I remember it being so comfortable – but of course I think any pack would have been comfortable in my 20’s! :-). I’ve been through them all – TNF, LowePro, Gregory, Dana, Osprey, etc. As I got older, I kept looking to save weight on my pack, but I did not like a lot of the ultra lite packs – looked like they were all built for youngsters with good backs!. Finally sprung for the Circuit, in particular for the aluminum stay, load lifters, the adjustable harness, the feature set, the long history of the pack, and finally the incredible reviews. This pack has to be one of my all time favorites – I’m just back from a 6 day trip in the Wind Rivers, the pack’s maiden voyage. The side pockets are the first ever ones that I can easily get a SmartWater bottle in and out of, the hip belt pockets have lots of room, and it’s very easy to adjust the pack. I stashed the maps, rain gear, first aid, TP and more in the outer mesh pocket for easy access. And I stashed water slippers (for crossing the rivers), my Katadyn BeFree water filter, and another water bottle in the other side pocket. Am very glad Peter suggested I get the S Straps – very comfortable for me. I like the way you can close the rolltop either via side straps, or via the 2 buckles on the rolltop. I just ordered another internal stash pocket (I don’t use the hydration bladder) to place a few more items conveniently. Highly recommended!
Jim Schulz (verified owner) –
I started backpacking the mountains of Montana in 1967 at the age of twelve. Since then, I have hike from Maine to Death Valley and everywhere in between. Over the years my chosen backpacks have changed as new gear and technology improved. I have seriously put to the test CampTrails, JanSport, Kletterwerks, Dana Design, Gregory, Osprey, Arcteryx, and Granite Gear. For the past three years, I have been wanting to try out a ULA Circuit or Catalyst. In July, I was passing through Logan, UT and stopped in at the ULA factory. They were extremely accommodating and fitted me with a teal colored Circuit. Two weeks later, I was testing it out in the Beartooth Wilderness as I hiked the 60 switchbacks over Sundance Pass. Most recently, I used it on a 40 mile Anaconda Pintlar Wilderness section of the CDT. In my 54 years of backpacking, the ULA hip belt is, hands down, the most comfortable and easily adjustable of all I have used. The Circuit’s large outer mesh sleeve was perfect for stashing my tent and rain jacket. The side pockets allowed easy access of my water bottles. The shoulder straps fit my frame better than any other setup. Kudos to the hardworking folks at ULA: the designers, the sewers, the packers, and the marketers. Your product is top of the line. Next on my list is a trek in the Bears Ears this September. Stay tuned.
D. Roman Yacykewych (verified owner) –
This review is long overdue. I thru-hiked the PCT in 2010 with a frameless Go-Lite, at times 45 on my back, watching with terrible envy the mysterious green and yellow packs flying by me. I stared at those packs-ULA Catalysts and Circuits- for 2650 miles. Since then I’ve had a Catalyst, a Photon, and recently it took me a year to decide on another Catalyst, or downsizing to a Circuit, making the necessary Lighterpack revisions to account for the reduced volume. One year it took. I went with a Circuit. This is my full endorsement of everything ULA, from the largest of packs to the smallest of accessories, right to the customer service. Peter will help you choose the right pack, and make sure it’s sized right, and if it’s not quite right, he’ll make it so. It’s best that you get your torso measured at REI- you want to get that right, but don’t buy the pack they want to sell you, just head over to the ULA website and get a Circuit. It is so well built, sturdy, and built to last with so many little tweaks that will make it truly your own. And the Original Green, ten years later, YUM YUM.
Stew L –
I purchased a Circuit for a hike of the Oregon section of the PCT, just completed. My Circuit was great.
The fit and comfort were never an issue, and I can come up with nothing of substance to complain about. I’m an old-school backpacker dipping his toes into ultralight, and I just couldn’t bear the lighter cloth-tubes-with-straps backpacks – I wanted a bit more structure and support. The Circuit is a great compromise between ultralight and too-beefy. Loaded properly with just 2 or 3 days of food, the Circuit disappeared from my thinking most of the time, staying out of my way and doing its job.
The pouches on the hip belt are great, large enough for all of a day’s snacks on one side, small camera on the other. The rear mesh pouch gave me access to all the random items – toilet bag, water filtering bag, long sleeve layer, hat, etc. The pack’s design is minimalist but not restrictive.
A month of continuous wear on the pack and I don’t think a stitch is out of place yet, although it does need a cleaning. I’m super pleased with this pack so far, and hope to get many more miles out of it.
I bought my Circuit as a hiking pack/crag bag a year ago and could not be happier with it. I’m a 5’3″ woman, and really appreciate that ULA takes different bodies into account. I love that the Circuit is short and wide. It never comes up behind my head (my Osprey was always in my way while scrambling). It also makes it very easy to pack and I can just throw all my climbing gear without tetrising everything around.
I also love that the Circuit sits flush against my back. I feel far more stable while scrambling an the weight sits very comfortably. I would also say that the 16kg limit is absolutely spot on. You can carry more than this, but 16kg is exactly the point where the weight transfers uncomfortably to your shoulders. I usually carry 12-13kg all up and barely feel that weight with the Circuit.
In terms of fit, I’m a 5’3″ women with a stocky/curvy build, 27″ waist, 40″ hips. I got the small back length, small hipbelt, and S-straps as per the size guide. The hipbelt fits perfectly (the dual webbing is simple but effective). The back length is juuuuust short enough but I’d cut an inch or two if I could. The S-straps (while way better than J-straps) are a bit broad for me and can pinch/chafe under my arms. It’s no big issue, but I would have preferred narrower straps.
Overall, I love my Circuit and have never seen a better female-friendly pack for hiking or climbing. My only points to note are that if you are very petite, you might have fit issues; and that maybe the front mesh could be a little stretchier. Minor points aside, the Circuit is a Goldilocks pack and I’d happily recommend it.
Josephine (verified owner) –
I upgraded to the ULA Circuit from a very heavy, 1980’s backpack. I adore this pack. I have a very small waist and was able to customize the pack to fit my waist and torso length. Despite it’s lightness, the hip belt and shoulder straps are extremely comfortable. In fact, this pack is more comfortable than my old one, which was adorned with extra padding everywhere! I have taken it on short and long trips across the state of Montana. The dual water bottle pockets are great for carrying 2L of H20 that are easily accessible. This is a “no-frills” design in general-which is exactly what I was looking for. There are not a lot of extra pockets or pieces. The extra pieces or pockets that it does include can easily be removed for a lighter, more streamlined pack. I like this pack so much that I will roll down the top tightly and use it for day-hiking as well. I plan on taking this backpack on the John Muir Trail this August and I have full confidence in it. I will always purchase from ULA equipment from now on. Very impressed with their products and customer service.
Becky (verified owner) –
I bought the Circuit for my first hike on the Appalachian trail. It performed well and I am so pleased with it. Customer service is top-notch! I had some fitting questions, Peter had me send pictures of with the pack on and gave recommendations on adjustments. Turns out, I needed a small hip belt instead of the medium that I originally ordered. I was concerned because I was heading the the trail in less than a week and was not sure I could get the replacement hip belt in time. Peter assured me that he could get it to me in time, which he did. Saved the day! Thank Peter and all the folks at ULA for making my perfect pack!
Jerry Enger (verified owner) –
Bought this pack last spring and used it last summer. It saved 8 pounds in the pack alone for me, fit better than any pack I’ve ever had, and I was not sore at my destination nor when I came down the mountain a few days later. I’ve never been able to say that before. A life-changing backpack. The capacity was less, but that was actually good. That meant I packed lighter which was even better!
Caleb V. (verified owner) –
The Circuit is the perfect pack for me. The fit, quality, features, and look is excellent (multicam). I took a chance ordering the S-straps but it paid off, they are extremely comfortable. The customer service is fantastic as well.
Lynn Edmiston (verified owner) –
I love my ULA circuit pack, it’s comfortable and really sturdy! I have backpacked over 3,000 miles with this pack and it’s still holding up. I plan on thru hiking the PCT this year and will be using my ULA!
Sean Flanagan (verified owner) –
While planning a trip to Isle Royale I decided to find ways to cut weight. This pack was 1/2 the weight of my older pack but I was apprehensive about buying online. After reading reviews about customer service I decided to go for it and ordered one. I received a call from ULA and discussed options and sizing. My pack arrived in plenty of time for my trip. I weighed in at the seaplane dock at right around 40 pounds with food. Add another 5 pounds of water and I set out of Windigo with 45 lbs for an 11 mile hike with a pack I have never worn before. (stupid right?) I could not have been happier with this pack. It wore comfortably and balanced well even at the limits of the recommended capacity. 7 day trip and never got sore spots which I normally did with my heavier more padded pack. I originally bought this for shorter warmer trips, and it is now my go to pack.
Jim Hendrix (verified owner) –
All I can say is that I love my Circuit. When I am completely loaded up with 15 Kg, the hip belt carries almost the entire load. It is so comfprtable and I can walk effortlessly for hours while wearing it. After watching and reading all the reviews I could and also having contact with Peter, I am 100% satisified with my pack. The only small note is that I have trouble getting to my water in the side pockets, but that is mainly my range of mobility and not any fault in the design of the circuit. I just may have to do some more srtetching!! Great job to the crew at ÜLA!
Alexandra Modica –
After purchasing backpacks from Osprey, Granite Gear, and REI I finally found MY backpack! I packed my Circuit, strapped it on, and never looked back. I especially love the loops for a water bottle on the front of my shoulder straps. The only thing I would improve is the capacity of the mesh pocket; once the backpack is filled and compressed I often struggle to fit other items in the mesh pocket. Give it a bit more fabric and you’d knock it out of the park with the Circuit.
This pack is as amazing as advertised. I was skeptical of an ultralight pack being as comfortable as my super padded heavier ones. I’ve tried 4 other packs from major brands and the Circuit beats them hands down. I just hiked 25 miles over a weekend with about 28 lbs and no pain, no sore shoulders, no hip chafing, no boob chafing. I wore a tank top the entire time. With all my other packs, there’s always some evidence of the weight carried but not this time. I don’t know what magic went it making this design, but the accolades are well deserved.
Douglas Brockmeyer (verified owner) –
Wore this pack right out of the box for the Southern Sierra High Route. Perfect pack for the demands that trip has to offer. Stable and comfortable. One additional feature is that if you need to carry a second ULA pack on top of this one, like I did, it is simple to figure out a good buckling system that gives you a stable load. Awesome pack, I just wish the internal storage pockets were a little more user friendly to accommodate internal organization.
Samantha Lee –
I love my circuit. The hip belt pockets are at the perfect location. The side pockets are big enough to hold lots of gear. The outside mesh is great for storing my lunch and rain coat. I went with the ability to carry a slightly heavier load due to carry dog food. I always say picking a pack is like picking a best friend and my circuit is an amazing friend! Highly recommend.
As a long time backpacker I entered the world of ULA in 2015 when I wanted a more lightweight pack for the PCT. I absolutely LOVE my circuit and have been nothing but impressed with it’s durability, function, and look. Having done an entire thru-hike and multiple section hikes the pack is still trucking. I have had to replace a couple buckles here and there and sent it in once for some stitching repair but have felt like that has been totally manageable and expected with the wear and tear I have put on this pack. I have always been impressed with the customer service of ULA and the quality of their repairs. Chris and company has always gone above and beyond which is appreciated. If you want a quality product that completely is worth the price tag you will not be disappointed with the circuit. Love all the new customization options they now have as well! I almost want to order a new pack just to be able to design it w/ all the new colors!
Wayne (verified owner) –
After a couple of trips, I can finally rate this pack as excellent. My previous pack was a Deuter, which was a great, bomb-proof pack, but it weighed almost 5lbs. The Circuit checked most of the boxes for me- comfortable, lightweight, and rugged. There are lighter packs out there, but they are fragile and/or cost twice as much as the Circuit.
Prior to my purchase and after my purchase, I had some sizing questions and issues, and the owner was great. Quick replies to multiple emails, helping me out with all of my questions and making sure the pack fit properly. Another great thing about the company, is all the bags are sewn in the U.S. It’s a small thing, but it’s nice knowing your purchase was made by workers in the U.S. getting a fair wage and not at an overseas factory where labor laws and fair wages don’t exist.
The only downside to the bag, and this is true for most bags not named Deuter, Gregory, REI and Osprey, is that I couldn’t try the bag on prior to purchase. I was a little apprehensive about buying a pack this way, but once again the customer service was top-notch and made all the difference.
BJ Ryder –
Been section hiking the Vt Long Trail for years with some big clunky pack with a million pockets and zippers that jam… no more! This thing is a dream on day 1 – it hugs your body and I barely feel it with 25lbs and a bear can full of food on top. I am an REI member, but THIS IS A MUST – there’s truly no other pack like this one. From material selection to loading design, its flawless. I wish you made a golf bag that carried like this!
Rik Fritz (verified owner) –
Just did a section hike of the AZT with my new Circuit and I am very pleased with the comfort and design of it. I have owned many packs over the years from the bigger name companies but always felt that they had too many features (weight) and didn’t quite fit me right. In my quest to lighten my load, I considered some of the more exotic materials but durability is a high priority for me. The Circuit strikes a perfect balance between being
lightweight and durable and is so comfortable that it feels like an extension of my body. I love it! I’ll be ordering another one for my wife soon. Thanks to Chris and the team at ULA for all your efforts to provide such a great line up of packs, See you on the trail!
Cynthia Brown (verified owner) –
I love my new backpack, the Circuit! It was such a big upgrade, I originally had a really heavy and cheaply made backpack that really hurt my back when I was on the trail. I got to test it out recently on a trail that is 3.5 miles +2000′ elevation, it handled nice uphill. The Circuit has many great features. It just fits really well, and sits perfect on my back. The straps and adjusters are right where they need to be. Easy to adjust and get all buckled in. The other reason I bought this pack was because it has a simple design , not a lot to it, it’s just what you need in the woods. Can’t wait to hit the trail again with this pack ! =D
Steven Aaron (verified owner) –
I was having a really hard time deciding between sizes I am right on the line between medium and large. I called the number and was amazed Chris answered he helped me out sent out both sizes and went over photos to make sure I was getting the right fit. It’s amazing when you actually get great customer service, sometimes you forget it exists. Thanks!
I bought my Circuit in 2017, for my thru of Te Araroa in NZ, and 3000+km later it’s still going strong! I’m a five foot tall woman with an unusually short torso and a slight scoliosis, and the kids’s size harness with S-straps fits perfectly and gives me a great carry. I’ve used my Circuit for stretches of up to 10 days – you can really cram a lot in without affecting comfort.
I’ve been really impressed with the durability of this pack, as well. I do quite a bit of off-track in Australia that involves some scrub bashing and butt sliding and the fabric has proved highly resistant to abrasion and the hardwear all remains intact despite the pack being scraped, dragged and dropped!
It was a gamble to order this pack online from the USA without a chance to try it on, but I’ve never second-guessed once it arrived. Bomb pack – it’s a favourite on all the hiker surveys for good reason. Thanks Chris, for making such fantastic gear!
Daniel Matthews –
This is an amazing pack, I have used it in many different circumstances and it has held up and performed every time. As a 16 year old, I often have a hard time with the sizing, but that was not the case here. It was excellent on couple hundred mile trips as well as in the snow and on shorter trips. The customer service was flawless and I have nothing bad to say about the pack. Thank you ULA!!!
Troy H. (verified owner) –
Took my new Circuit out for a weekend test. It carried my 25 lbs well. The hipbelt pockets were big enough for my snacks, sunscreen, purell, etc. This is the first roll-down top pack I’ve owned. It worked well in an all-day rain. I protected the contents in a dry bag and let the pack get wet. It didn’t soak up or hold water. The shoulder straps and hipbelt were comfortable. I really liked the water bottle bungees on the shoulder strap. I was also able to access my smartwater bottles in the side pockets without taking the pack off. I have a 21.5 in back and 36 in pants size and the large pack with large hipbelt was a good fit. I carried the pack for 26 miles and didn’t notice it. That’s the highest praise I can give a pack for comfort – I didn’t notice it on my back. Thanks.
Rusty Bethke (verified owner) –
I just received my custom color, X-Pac fabric Circuit, and I am amazed with this pack. You never know how a custom pack will turn out but the quality and fit and finish of this Circuit is second to none. After loading it up and doing a quick 2hr hike the first thing that jumps out at me is the comfort and movement of the hip belt. At 6’0″ 190lbs, athletic build the large pack with S straps fit me perfect. Thank you ULA for making such a great product.
patrick (verified owner) –
I came from a standard gregory baltoro backpack to a hyperlite mountain gear ultra light and then I found ULA. I can’t believe how comfortable the Circuit is and the fit is like in the middle of a HMG and the gregory I had. It’s amazingly comfortable and the quality of the pack is unmatched. I would not hesitate to pull the trigger on this pack, it’s worth every single penny
Amazing, lightweight, durable pack.
I help coordinate and lead annual high school group week long backpacking trips and the Ohm is my go-to pack.
Keep in mind that this is for carrying a relatively lightweight gear set up (I’d say max. 28 lbs to be comfortable) but I have easily carried all of my gear (I hike in the Pacific west/wet Coast where we have to be prepared for 30c sunny weather to rain/sleet/hail/snow and -4) plus the school group 1st Aid Kits, emergency lightweight tarps, etc. and it all fits comfortably in my pack.
Honestly, the only two drawbacks to this pack is that the the top strap isn’t a Y strap (would be more stable for carrying a wet tent or bear can on top) – but not such and issue that it can warrant taking away a star from the review – but even more importantly…. I bought it a couple months before the awesome optional custom colours came available (doh!). Looks like I may need to buy a second ULA Ohm pack in the future.
Bought this pack in 2016 and have hiked over 5000 miles with it on the AT, Colorado Trail, PCT and various other trips. It has carried 35-40 lbs loads comfortably. Awesome pack. Still intact!
Nathan (verified owner) –
I am very happy with my ULA Circuit. The multiple options in hip-belt size and shoulder strap design means its easy to find the right size for you and my pack fits snug and comfortable. I’ve used it on day hikes in Arizona/Utah canyons with no signs of it being scrapped and scuffed by rocks. I’ve hiked 90+ miles in the Cascades with it carrying unto 28lbs with out it being uncomfortable. The hip belt pockets are awesome!! And huge, every time I think I’ve filled them but decide to put another bar or misc item in them it fits no issues. I have yet to fill one completely. The side water bottle pockets can be accessed while the pack is worn and I’ve had two 1-liter platypus bottles in one pocket and two 32oz gatorades in the other (one upside down) and the elastic cinch band works great to keep items in. The back mesh pocket easily fit my rainfly, waterproof jacket, hat, and a pair of empty water bottles on my Cascades hike. I wasn’t sure if I would like not having a top lid with storage but found that with some thoughtful packing of items inside, keeping items I’ll access while hiking in the top of the pack or in one of the other noted external pockets it was easy to adjust to it. I haven’t tried fitting a bear canister inside but the inside is spacious and fit all my gear for an 8-day hike. Another thing I was concerned with this pack is the back panel and it’s lack of ventilation compared to other packs. Yes it sits right on your back, which makes it easier to carry your load in my opinion, and does result in a sweat spot on your back, but I didn’t find it uncomfortable or excessive compared to other packs I’ve used. Overall I am really happy with this pack, would recommend it to anyone and look forward to buying ULA packs in the future.
Monique (verified owner) –
I wanted to love this pack. I think the support is amazing but I wish the fit was customizable for a smaller person. The small isn’t small enough for short torsos or for petite women. I’m an XS in clothes and I wish this bag came in XS too. Just a couple inches shorter in length of the pack OR making the straps adjustable to a shorter length and putting the straps closer together on the bag (or making them thinner) would have been the difference for me keeping this bag. Bummer. But it was excellent for keeping the weight on my hips and off my shoulders. I think I will find a used bag and sew up some more functional shoulder straps. FWIW, I’m 5’2″ 115lbs, torso length 15″ as measured by a backpacking pro.
lichtenbergmark369 (verified owner) –
My wife and I are currently Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. This pack is amazing and never lets me down. It is very durable and while I see other packs on trail that look beat up, my circuit looks almost brand new. It handles and distributes weight very well and I have had it loaded up to around 40 lbs. I can not say enough good things about this pack and the quality of ULA. Right now we are 800 miles in and we are upgrading my wife’s pack to an ohm. I will leave another review about this pack when we finish, but I’m sure it will be more of the same. If you are looking for a pack that can handle most anything you throw at it for long section hike or a thru-hike, then this is the pack for you.
Kevin Noel –
I have had this backpack for over 8 years and it has stud up to a lot of backpacking and car camping. I’ve tried several different packs before and returned all of them. This is the only one I stuck with over the years. It’s about time for me to get a new one too.
Matt B (verified owner) –
This is one of the best thru-hiking backpacks out there! It can comfortably carry an ultralight load as it can a conventional load. I have over 350 miles on this pack and it is just amazing. I’m very impressed with how much stuff can fit in the stretchy pocket as well as how the pack can expand or contract depending on your food situation. Highly recommended! Beautiful job!
After having taking my Circuit on a few backpacking trips this spring, I am completely in love with it! It is so lightweight and fits absolutely perfectly. No breaking in required, at least for me. Everything is adjustable, and it has perfectly sized/placed pockets. I honestly wouldn’t change anything about it. Completely durable as well– I’ve thrown it around quite a bit throughout traveling, but it has held up perfectly. Chris, the owner was also incredibly helpful with ordering!
I carried the original ULA P1 over 10,000 miles. Great pack. I made a few mods along the way and they are similar to features now in the ULA line. With proper tender loving care these lightweight packs are plenty rugged. I finally need to replace the P1 and will be ordering a Circuit.
Derek (verified owner) –
Bought two of these, one for my wife and one for myself. Customer service was awesome on getting us set up with a good fit for both of us. My wife had struggled to find a good fitting pack prior to trying ULA so I was super excited for her to finally find a pack that fit well. We did our first trip with 25 pound pack (her) and 27 pound pack (me) and both agreed that the packs were very comfortable with the weight. At a water fill up I bumped up to 35 pounds for a couple of miles for a dry camp night. The pack still wore well at this weight but I was feeling it some as it was the end of the day and uphill to the site. The large side pockets are great (had a 1.3 L pot in one and water in the other). The mesh pocket in the back has a ton of room where I had my ULA rain kilt, rain coat, toilet kit, sit pad and camp shoes with room for more. We both went with the S straps and are pleased with them. All in all my wife and I are both excited about how the packs performed and look forward to many more great trips with them!
Kelsey M –
Fantastic pack. I’ve had it 7 years, used heavily on multiple hiking/camping trips, as well as international trips (checked as baggage). No issues, no complaints.. It’s lightweight, comfortable, perfect size for all my gear, and the design is well thought out. I like how this pack fits – close to my body, very compact, comfortable, and stable feeling. My favorite pack hands down.
Nolan Jordan –
This pack is amazing! Took it on a one week trip in Georgia and has no issues whatsoever. The customer service is the best. Only thing I would change is that the horizontal strap on the side was a little lower to strap a taller water bottle on the side, but I’ll bring a water bladder next time. Everything else is fantastic!.
Chris McMaster (verified owner) –
Nolan, there is a cinch cord with a barrel lock on the top of the pockets to secure bottles, etc/ Chris
Chris Dillman (verified owner) –
Really dig the Circuit. Have only backpacked once, but that once was over the Pacific Crest Trail from 4/26/18 to 9/17/18.. I started with a GG Mariposa (which was slightly lighter), however it was torn to shreds after it fell from the back of a pickup during a hitch. My wife sent me my Circuit in Chester, CA and it was perfect. Shame on me for not starting with it. A few thoughts; 1) Hip belt and zipper pockets: Top notch. The clasp on my Mariposa had broken within the first 600 miles. The clasp on the Circuit was much more robust, and survived the abuse of Northern CA, Oregon, and Washington. Additionally, the pockets were easily accessible and the belt itself was very comfortable. 2) Elastic pocket on the back: Perfecto for my tent, ground sheet, TP, & trash bag. 3) Top straps to close: Flawless. 4) Chris’ help in selecting the proper size: Spot on. He picked up my call on my first try, suggested I send him a picture, and in short order, I was back in the game.
I did remove the metal internal frame that ran down the spine. It didn’t seem to add any value, and added a bit of weight. Will likely purchase a smaller ULA for my shorter day hikes.
Chris McMaster, thank you for your support, and for making a super duper pack!!
William Brenner (verified owner) –
I have only carried this pack for around 35o km, a very rough estimate could be lots more or slightly less. Regardless it was exactly what I was looking for in a pack, it is very comfortable for carrying 30 lbs or less, when not gaining or loosing elevation I really like the thumb straps, The big stretchy pocket is amazing, I can store lots of essentials and snacks in the hipbelt pockets, and the most important for me, it is very easy to usethat waterbottle pockets while wearing the pack. The Cordura nylon is very durable which is important to me, I am rough on gear, and is water resistant for a long time but does wet out. The features, weight and price led me to this pack and I am very glad it was so, I couldn’t recommend it more!
alan ybarra –
I’ve been using this pack since they first put on the market. It’s been all over the World in all types of conditions and it’s still going strong. I’ve been a Backpacker since about 1980 and had all kinds of packs Gregory osprey Terra Nova and others but this one is my all-time favorite pack for many reasons. The huge side pockets are great it can hold any size canteen or if you’re going with your wife or girlfriend you can even throw a bottle of wine in there very easily. Is very versatile, gerbil, light, and comfortable. I use my pack on a weekly basis and put about anywhere from 20 to 60 miles a weekend on my pack and I have no complaints with this one. I have since given away or sold all my other backpacks with the exception of my original golite Jam pack. And that’s because they are no longer in business and I keep it for sentimental reasons. I have a lot of memories with that backpack as well as my circuit. I would highly recommend it
It’s probably unfair to knock off a star, but I am not currently owning a circuit pack; therefore, I can’t give it five stars. I had to return the pack, I assume during the delivery or maybe on the return, was received/returned with a broken frame that I didn’t realize while trying it out. The pack seemed to meet all my expectations when I first took a look at it (it’s a beaut.), but when a pack doesn’t feel right, it just doesn’t feel right and you can’t keep it (The broken frame, I’m sure, was a factor). I loved the color (green), organization, it seemed durable, the hand holders, and the simplicity. And as far as far customer service goes, it was great with a couple of quirks (full disclosure; I was extremely anxious about ordering a pack on-line (a little old school), and I was probably a bit of a pain) but all my concerns before purchasing and issues involving the return were worked out and I was satisfied, and if I try again, I would not hesitate to trust these guys. I wanted a pack for my future retirement thru-hikes, so I might wait until that time comes before trying again. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for me like it did everyone else, but that’s life-happy hiking.
I bought the Circuit about 18 months ago and wanted to use it several times before writing a review. I could not be happier! I was coming from a more traditional (i.e., 4+ lbs heavier!) pack and spent significant time researching “ultralight” packs before deciding on the Circuit. I’ve used it twice on long sections on the JMT, most recently with my wife when I loaded-up the Circuit with more than usual (2+ person tent, fullsize bearcan, etc.) and it took the load easily. I love the adjustability and find I can always get the hipbelt to snug appropriately and take the load; its then easy to adjust the shoulder straps and lifters to get a comfortable fit every time. I like that the pack can cinch down and fit comfortably, no energy-sapping wiggle or wobble. The hip pockets are easily accessed, and the shoulder strap water bottle holders are super convenient. I’ve used this pack on numerous overnights as a scout leader and it has really held-up. The mesh pocket is fantastic, amazing how much stuff can get crammed in there. Could not be happier with my purchase!
scott imus –
i have used many different kinds of packs in the last 50 years working and hiking in the outdoors. There have been day packs, work packs, ski packs, overnight packs, and long trip packs. Since I purchased a ULA Circuit, none of the other packs gets used. The Circuit works for everything. It is 68 liters and 41 ounces. It can handle 35 pounds or so. It weighs less than some of my day packs. It is more comfortable than the big packs. If you are in the outdoors a lot, do yourself a favor and buy a ULA pack.
Susan Abbott –
I love my Circuit pack! I walked the 550 mile Camino de Santiago with it, and it performed perfectly. I had tried many packs before my trip, and this one was by far the most comfortable. The weight sits on my hips, not my shoulders, so it’s never tiring. In fact, wearing it feels like a hug. I carried from 14-20 lbs in it, and found all the outside pockets perfect for organizing my gear. The big waist belt pockets are especially useful, as is the ability to carry water bottles on the front of the pack. I only saw one other person on my trek with a Circuit, and we agreed that our packs were the best kept equipment secret on the Camino. Thank you for designing and making this great product.
I used this pack on my PCT thru hike with a ~12 lb base weight. Everything fit with room to spare including a bear can. 2600 miles later this pack still looks new. The pack was comfortable with loads up to ~30 lbs and water bottles were easy to retrieve from the side pockets. Hipbelt pockets are big enough to fit a phone (Galaxy 8+). I would recommend this pack for any backpacking trip. I’m 6′, 150 lbs and used a medium torso with a small belt.
firefighteremt65 (verified owner) –
This backpack is beautiful as it is functional. The customer service is top notch I love this pack so much!
Michael Smith –
Purchased a ULA Circuit last fall. I’ve used it on three different 3 day/2 night trips and one 7 day/6night trip. It is a great pack. Well made, comfortable, very adjustable, and you can remove features you don’t plan to use (bladder sleeve, key/wallet pouch, hand loops, etc). The side pockets are large with adjustable compression, and the hipbelt pockets are awsome… great capacity and easy to open and close. Thanks for a great lightweight pack that is made to last!
Tim C (verified owner) –
Excellent pack. Waited to review until I had used a couple times, including at Isle Royale National Park. Rides extremely well, especially with 20-25 pounds total weight – moves with the body and keeps they weight close in so you’re very stable. Excellent assistance with fit and service from the ULA crew (required a send back to correct the size which was handled perfectly.
Chris (verified owner) –
Just wanted to give a huge shout out to the wonderful people over at ULA Equipment. They did an outstanding job on the Circuit Pack. I ordered it needing it in a hurry for a backpacking trip in the Arkansas Mountains and they rushed it too me just in time for my trip. The Circuit pack has a ton of room enough for my 4 day trip. Thank You guys so much and thanks you Chris over there. Great Company and Outstanding Customer Service.
Cris Lewis –
What a fantastic pack! I packed 20 lbs into a 4-day trip into Henry Coe State Park, which has lots of elevation change. The pack is super comfortable, even during multiple ventures off trail and in steep off-trail moves. It felt like an extension of my body rather than a heavy, bulky packs. Very well made and designed. At 5’5, 120, the s fit very well. Also, the best part: no hip bruising or pain even after 4 days, which I always experienced on my old pack after 1 day! Can’t wait to take it out on longer trips. I too wish I could strap something to the bottom, but there is overall plenty of storage. Also great customer service from the Down Works store in Santa Cruz where I bought it. Thanks for a great pack!
Caitlin “LL” Olson –
I took the ULA Circuit on my PCT hike, and I was thoroughly satisfied. My gear fit nicely (heavy on first few days in the Sierra though), I LOVED how big the hipbelt pockets were, and the water bottle holders on the front straps are a lifesaver for an inflexible person like myself. This is a great pack. Do yourself and get a ULA Circuit.
I’ll also note that one of the ice axe/pole loop plastic parts shattered when I dropped my pack, and the ULA team quickly sent me a replacement part after I emailed their support. A+ customer service.
James (verified owner) –
I recently purchased a couple ULA Circuit backpacks for my teenage boys (black, and woodland camo). I knew I needed something that’s durable and lightweight. After receiving the packs, we loaded them up with 20lb of gear. Thankfully the packs fit great, look good, and the material and construction feel like they’ll last for many years. The only negatives I could find would be nitpicks, such as wanting a smaller logo, or the pack not being able to stand on it’s own. What is a negative aspect to one person could be a positive to another. It’s great that many extra items can be removed (with the exception of the hip belt pockets). It’s amazing how long the Circuit has been around, largely unchanged.
James (verified owner) –
I have a rather long torso (21.5), almost 5.11 in height, and weigh about 180 lb. had some trouble figuring out which size to go for. long story short, went with the medium at first, but had to replace with a large at the end. but it was all worth the hassle. i picked this pack specially to carry not only light load, but also able to handle 35+/-
lb loads in case when i need it. couldn’t be happier! great pack and great customer service! will buy again! thank you chris!
Patricia Gatewood-Adams –
I love my Circuit! As a tall and large woman, finding a pack that fits well and feels right is a particular challenge. The dual adjusting options on the hip belt made this the perfect pack for my odd size frame. The bonus…I can just get a new belt when I need a smaller size! I opted for the s-curve shoulder straps as well, which made it even better for me. The pack is a wonderfully simple design with the perfect number of bells and whistles to keep water handy, keep everything secure, and keep the packing sitting just right. I upgraded from a cheap starter pack to the Circuit, and I’m so glad I did! I hardly felt like I was wearing a pack, and was the envy of my hiking group. (They’re buying Circuits before our summer hike 🙂 ) Thanks ULA!
Erin Miller –
I love my Circuit – it is comfortable, durable and light-weight. The customer service alone worth 5 stars!
Jennifer Rolfe-Maloney –
After researching new packs for weeks and wanting something lighter than my current set up that will lay me on a Thru Hike without compromising the integrity of the pack or the comfort of my body, I decided to take the majority of people’s advice and tryt the Circuit. I was apprehensive at first buying online without trying it on and feeling it out firsthand, especially since the only pack I had ever found to fit properly was my Osprey Aura, everything else has been to large in the shoulders & Getting this today & loading up every ounce of gear I own felt so light and natural and actually fit well inside my Circuit. The fully adjustable straps, and load maximizes a perfect fit, especially for a taller/petite woman that was important. I also had asked for gear straps to be sewn in the bottom to allow me to maximize internal space, and the customer service I received was beyond exceptional. I will highly recommend to anyone that this pack stands a cut above the rest.
Unrivaled durability and comfort
My ULA Circuit is an amazing piece of gear. It’s performed in freezing rain and snow along the spine of the Great Smoky Mountains, hundreds of miles along the Appalachian Trail, deep within Grand Canyon, and has allowed me to comfortably carry 4-6L of H20 when needed. Once while hiking the Appalachian Trail, I stopped to rest and put my pack on top of a large boulder. Little did I know there was a GIANT yellow jacket nest under it! A minute later I was running down the trail trying to escape a swarm bigger than any I had ever seen before. The pack was covered with bees. I grabbed a dead limb about 12ft long and managed to fish the pack off the rock and drag it about 30ft down the trail mesh side down. Not a scratch and the pack still looks new a few hundred miles later. I would not want to experience this with a Dyneema Cuben Fiber pack, and you never know what the trail is going to throw at you. Bombproof!
Josh Bradshaw –
Ultralight yet bombproof
This year on the PCT (2017) is a very difficult one because of the extreme snow conditions. Leaving Kennedy Meadows I had to carry crampons, an ice axe, a bear can, warm winter layers, and eleven days of food. I was able to fit all of this into my circuit, and carrying it was actually fairly comfortable.
Two days into my Sierra snow trek I set my pack down and to my horror it slid off a cliff. The pack took a fall that would kill a person, and it cracked my bear cannister. The pack itself and all of the other gear inside it was unscathed, it survived the drop without even a single stitch tearing, and the stays were intact and unbent.
I was humiliated to make such a dumb mistake, but the durability of my ULA pack was the reason I was able to carry on eight more days instead of having to bail.
Daniel Phillips –
Comfort and convienience
I couldn’t be happier with my new Circuit.The pack was very comfortable and adjustable right out of the box. The layout is perfect. The Circuit is well thought out. My initial impression during the first miles was that it didn’t require a break in. It fits great and feels much lighter than my old pack even when loaded with my usual 28 lbs. I was most impressed with the hip belt design. I can snug the upper of the four belt sections to angle the belt which keeps it on my hips. My old pack kept putting my upper glutes to sleep because it kept sliding down my waist. The belt pockets are fantastic. Easy to access and big! I really like the large pack pockets with the adjustable shock cord draw openings. Nothing falls out. The expanding pouch on the front will allow a ton of gear even after the main pack is as tight as a tick.
Mark Jose –
The fit is great and it carries a ton of stuff. Only a couple of critiques. Would like a larger waist buckle, a way to strap stuff to the bottom, and I don’t love the way the load lifters attatch to just fabric and nothing structurally.