PHOTON

(7 customer reviews)

$145.00

WEIGHT: 27 – 28 OZ | 765 – 793 GM
VOLUME: 2,150 CU IN | 35 L
MAX LOAD: 18 LBS | 8.2 KG
SHIPS FREE TO U.S. ADDRESSES.

The Photon is the little brother of the CDT, our most basic backpack. With nearly 35 liters of available space, 10 liters smaller than the CDT, it is suitable for dayhikes and any distance backcountry forays.

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The Photon is the little brother of the CDT, our most basic backpack. With nearly 35 liters of available space, 15 liters smaller than the CDT, it is suitable for dayhikes and any distance backcountry forays. This is the medium size of our three frameless packs. It is ideal for travel or lightweight hiking.

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 Photon is no exception. At these loads, the contoured shoulder straps and hip-belt result in a comfortable carry.

The Photon comes standard with a roll top closure, though you can request a “Cinch Top” closure if you feel that better suits your needs. Stretch mesh front and side pockets, along with two hipbelt pockets help to keep you organized on the trail.

Original Green, Black, Red, Orange, Blue Blaze, Grey, Teal, and Purple packs are sewn with our new ULA 400 Robic Fabric, the toughest stuff ounce for ounce we’ve ever seen. The Multicam Camo pack is sewn with 500 Cordura Fabric. The Cordura is not quite as tear resistant and a little heavier than the Robic, adding an extra 2 OZ to the total pack weight. Now Available in Xpac! Read the “Customization” section below to learn more.

Bottom Line? The Photon is a comfortable, durable, highly functional ruck.

COVID-19 NOTE: Photon packs are made to order and may take 1-2 weeks for shipment.

STANDARD FEATURES

Removable features are in bold.

  • Internal Pad Holster
  • Contoured Padded Hipbelt
  • Contoured Shoulder Straps
  • Hipbelt Pockets
  • Roll Top Extension Collar
  • Cordura Bottom Panel
  • Ice Axe/Pole Retention Loops
  • Side/ Top Compression Straps

  • ULA 400 Robic
  • Stretch Mesh Front & Side Pockets
  • Hydration Sleeve (1.4 oz)
  • Internal Stash Pocket (1.1 oz)
  • Water Bottle Holsters (0.8 oz)
  • Handloops (0.8 oz)
  • Foam Pad (1.2 oz)
  • Front Shock Cord (0.6 oz)

CUSTOMIZATION

You can customize the color and fabric of your ULA pack! Select “CUSTOM” under the “Pack Color” dropdown, and add your pack to the cart. Then go to our CUSTOMIZER page, select the level of customization you want and use our pack customizer to customize the look of your pack! NOTE: Custom charges are not refundable and returned custom packs will be assessed a $35 restocking fee.

Want your Photon sewn with Xpac Fabric?! Choose “CUSTOM” from the “Pack Color” dropdown above, then head on over to our CUSTOMIZER page. Once you select your level of customization, you will have the option to choose “STANDARD” OR “XPAC” fabric! And guess what?! Even the 2 Color Custom Xpac option will be fully Xpac!

OPTIONAL FEATURES

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.

PACK WEIGHT

TOTAL WEIGHT: 27 – 28 OZ | 765 – 793 GM
 
Listed weight is for a size medium torso with size medium hip belt. Our weights are as shipped including all the removable items. In the case of the Photon, removable items total about 6 OZ.

NOTE: MultiCam Camo packs are made with 500 Cordura Fabric Which adds about 2 OZ to the pack weight.

CAPACITY

REC’D MAX LOAD: 18 LBS OR LESS
REC’D BASE WEIGHT: 12 LBS OR LESS
 
“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.

PACK VOLUME

TOTAL VOLUME: 2,150 CU IN | 35 L

Breakdown (cu In):

Main Body: 1225
Front Mesh Pocket: 225
Left Side Pocket: 115
Right Side Pocket: 115
Extension Collar: 400
Left Hipbelt Pocket: 35
Right Hipbelt Pocket: 35

MATERIALS

ULA 400 ROBIC

With the exception of the MultiCam Camo Photon (See Below.) all Photon 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, Orange, Red, Blue Blaze, Teal, Grey, Purple

CORDURA 500

**The Multicam Camo pack is sewn with 500 Cordura Fabric. The Cordura is not quite as tear resistant and a little heavier than the Robic, adding an extra 2 OZ to the total pack weight.

Colors Available: MultiCam Camo

HIPBELT SIZING MADE SIMPLE

 
MEN & WOMEN

For the Photon, use your actual waist measurement to determine the hipbelt size you need.
 

MEASURING YOUR TORSO LENGTH

 
Torso measurement is the best guide we have for proper pack fit, but it isn’t foolproof. Generally we find that if you are between sizes on the torso it’s best to go with the smaller size, if you are between sizes on the hipbelt it’s best to go with the larger size.

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.
PACK SIZE TORSO LENGTH HIKER’S HEIGHT
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!

CHOOSING A SHOULDER STRAP STYLE

 
J STRAPS
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.
 
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.
 

ULA PACK FITTING VIDEO

   

Q: WHAT DOES RECOMMENDED BASE WEIGHT MEAN?

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.

Q: CAN A WATER BOTTLE FIT IN THE SIDE POCKETS? IF SO, CAN I REACH IT? HOW DO THEY CLOSE?

A: Each side pocket can accommodate a 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.

Q: HOW DO I USE MY SLEEPING PAD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PHOTON? WHAT PADS WORK THE BEST?

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.

7 reviews for PHOTON

  1. Harry (verified owner)

    We have 2 Photons in the family for all-day day hikes. Used them for 2 years. Absolutely love them. Balances the load between hips and shoulders like no other ultra light pack. Added a shoulder pocket for more organization. Can comfortably carry a prudent amount of gear and supplies for when we put rugged miles between my old body and the car. And then a bit more for recreational activities like photography, water color, and just sitting and taking it all in. Thanks ULA.

  2. Dan Boehm (verified owner)

    I ordered the Photon to use as a day pack for hiking.

    The custom order process was very fun, Chris was extremely helpful and shipping was amazingly fast.

    The pack looks great, fits like a glove and is made.very well.

    I carry the essential basics with two liters of water. The pack fits great and carries beautifully. It stays put during technical rock scrambles and difficult trail sections.

    I used this pack when completing the Lake Placid 9’er hiking challenge
    In the Adirondacks. It performed better than I could have expected.

    After 100+ miles the pack still looks brand new.

    Thanks for such a fun buying experience and amazing backpack.

  3. Michael R (verified owner)

    Already purchased an Ohm 2.0 and wanted a smaller day pack. The Photon fits just as nicely and has the same features but in a smaller volume. The stretch mesh pockets on the side are even better for holding water bottles as they are taller than the pockets on the Ohm. The foam frame sheet does provide support and allows the waist belt to hold some of the weight. I usually carry 12 lbs. total and it is perfect!

  4. Rog Wilmers (verified owner)

    Just received my custom Photon. CDT pockets and a one inch webbing belt make this the perfect small pack. I like it so much I see a CDT with the simple belt and roll-top closure in my near future. Thanks Chris for taking custom orders. I couldn’t be happier!

  5. Julia Young (verified owner)

    I ordered a pack on March 13, 2019 and express that I needed the package by Friday I was amazed that when I went to check the mail this morning, the package was there. top-notch customer service top-notch quality packs

  6. S Hill (verified owner)

    Walked the Camino de Santiago for 500 miles. Great everyday pack for everything I needed and was still able to take as a “carry on bag” on airplane. Would definitely recommend.

  7. K Bizzle (verified owner)

    This pack replaced an Osprey hydration pack that was beyond uncomfortable. This pack is my Jam. I take it on day hikes. I have been using it for over a year and it is still going strong. Holds everything I need it to for a family of five and still has plenty of space for more. Would definitely recommend.

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