2024 ULTRA Photon

(1 customer review)

$279.99

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

1. TORSO FIT

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

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

2. TORSO CHART

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

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

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

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

3. HIPBELT FIT

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

MEN

Pant Waist Size + 2".

WOMEN

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

KIDS

Smallest Part of waist + 2".

4. HIPBELT SIZE CHART

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

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

5. SHOULDER STRAPS

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

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

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

J STRAPS

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

S STRAPS

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

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

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MADE IN THE U.S.A.


FREE U.S. DELIVERY


LIFETIME WARRANTY*


TUNE-UPS & REPAIRS*

DESCRIPTION

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

Say hello to the ULTRA Photon the same Photon you know and love, only stronger and lighter than ever. Purposefully constructed of Ultra 400X in high abrasion areas (bottom, pockets, and back) and Ultra 200X in low abrasion areas (front, sides, and collar), we've selected a fabric matrix that maximizes durability while keeping the pack ultralight. At only 18.9 ounces without the hipbelt, it's light!

In our commitment to making quality, durable backpacks that last a lifetime, we've been hesitant to build packs out of many popular ultralight fabrics. Why Ultra? 15x stronger than steel by weight, twice as abrasion resistant as standard 420D nylon, and waterproof to 200 psi, we've finally found an ultralight fabric that matches our high standards. Front pocket is ULTRA StretchMesh for added abrasion resistance. Note that to maximize water resistance of the ULTRA Photon, these packs do not have bladder hose ports.

The ULTRA Photon is the little brother of the ULTRA CDT. With nearly 35 liters of available space, the Photon is our smallest frameless pack. It’s perfect for dayhikes, backcountry forays, and travel where you’ve got a tight kit.

As a frameless pack, the maximum comfort load for the Photon is sub 25 pounds. At these loads, the contoured shoulder straps and pass through hip-belt result in a comfortable carry. Stretch mesh front pocket, adjustable side pockets, and two hipbelt pockets help keep you organized on the trail. The Photon's hipbelt pockets are large enough to accommodate most modern smartphones. The Photon comes standard with a roll top. A removable (and replaceable) foam back panel adds padding a little rigidity to this frameless pack.

For those looking to lighten up, the ULTRA Photon can be purchased and worn without a hipbelt [-$30 and -8 oz]. The back panel and shock cord can also be removed for further weight savings.

MATERIAL: Challenge ULTRA™ X
COLOR(S): Grey

AT A GLANCE

WEIGHT: 18.9 OZ | 535.8 GM + Hipbelt [8 OZ | 227 GM]
VOLUME: 2,150 CU IN | 35 L
MAX LOAD: 25 LBS | 11.34 KG

The ULTRA Photon is the little brother of the CDT. With nearly 35 liters of available space, the Photon is our smallest frameless pack. It’s perfect for dayhikes, backcountry forays, and travel where you’ve got a tight kit and your base weight is sub-12-pounds.

 

FEATURES

  • NEW! Ice Axe/Trekking Pole Loops
  • NEW! Low Profile Loops for Removable External Straps
  • Standard Top Strap
  • ULTRA 400X + ULTRA 200X Fabric
  • ULTRA Hipbelt Pockets w/ YKK Waterproof Zippers
  • Adjustable ULTRA Side Pockets
  • UltraStretch™ Mesh Front Pocket
  • Internal Pad Holster
  • Pass Through Hipbelt
  • Sternum Strap
  • Side Compression Straps
  • Roll Top Extension Collar
  • Foam Pad (1.9 oz)
  • Adjustable/Bellowed Side Pockets
  • Removable & Height Adjustable Pass-through Hipbelt
  • NO Water Hose Port for Max Water Resistance
  • Contoured Shoulder Straps

CAPACITY

REC. MAX LOAD: SUB 25 LBS

PACK VOLUME

TOTAL VOLUME: 2,150 CU IN | 35 L

BREAKDOWN:

  • Main Body: 1,225 CI | 20 L
  • Front Mesh Pocket: 225 CI | 3.7 L
  • Left Side Pocket: 115 CI | 1.9 L
  • Right Side  Pocket: 115 CI | 1.9 L
  • Extension Collar: 400 CI | 6.6 L
  • Left Hipbelt Pocket: 60 CI | 1 L
  • Right Hipbelt Pocket: 60 CI | 1 L
ULA 2024 ULTRA Photon: Loaded with Gear

FAQ’S

Q: WHY ULTRA™?

A: ULTRA is 15x stronger than steel by weight, twice as abrasion resistant as standard 420D nylon, and waterproof to 200 psi. Ultra is the ultimate in ultralight fabric, with the strength to go the distance in the harshest environments.

ULTRA fabric lasts longer, absorbs 80% less moisture, and has better UV resistance and color retention than traditional laminated nylon.

ULTRA is the only durable, waterproof pack fabric made from 100% recycled polyester! Every yard contains over 20 plastic bottles and saves over one pound of carbon emissions compared to standard pack fabric.

Q: WHAT IS UltraStretch™ MESH?
A: UltraStretch™ Mesh is built for maximum abrasion and cut resistance. A technical fabric, UltraStretch™ Mesh is a 4-way stretch mesh woven with the highest quality fibers for performance and longevity.
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 Photon. 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.

Q: CAN ANYTHING BE REMOVED TO SHAVE MORE WEIGHT?

A: Absolutely. The foam back panel can be removed (1.9 oz), as well as the sternum strap (2.0 oz), the front shock cord (0.6 oz), the webbing can be trimmed to size, and the pack can be worn without a hipbelt (8.0 oz.)

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

A: Each side pocket can accommodate two 1-Liter ‘Big Slam’ style bottles. In general most people can reach back and retrieve a bottle or drink, and return the bottle to the pocket without removing the pack. The top of the side pockets are angled for easier access.

Q: CAN A BEAR CANISTER FIT IN THE PHOTON?

A: Yes. Smaller bear cans can fit in the pack vertically, while larger cans can be strapped to the top of the pack (externally.)

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: 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.

TECHNICAL FABRICS

ULTRA™ is the ultimate in ultralight pack fabric, with the strength to go the distance in the most demanding environments, and it’s waterproof to 200 psi.

ULTRA™ 200X

ULTRA 200X is constructed with a 200d face Ultra-PE blended with high-tenacity polyester, an Ultra-PE CrossPly, and a 0.75 mil film backing. Weight: 3.9oz/yd² Tear Strength: Warp: 103.1 lb / Fill 133.2 lb. Abrasion Resistance: 4,400 cycles.

ULTRA™ 400X

A high modulus pack fabric, ULTRA 400, is constructed of a 400d Ultra PE blended with hight-tenancy polyester, Ultra-PE Cross-Ply, and a 0.75 mil film backing. It is 20% lighter and four times as abrasion-resistant than other 400d U-PE fabrics. Weight: 5.25 oz/yd², 178 gsm. Tear Strength: Warp: 187.7 lb/ Fill 161.1 lb. Abrasion Resistance: 8,800 cycles.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…

1 review for 2024 ULTRA Photon

  1. Tim Brown (verified owner)

    The ULA Ultra Photon is perhaps the best ultralight day pack you’ll find anywhere. The simple yet brilliant and versatile roll top pack design and build quality is superb. The Photon performs flawlessly on the trail. The Photon’s volume adjusts to accommodate the gear needed for a wide range of conditions. The hipbelt works well to distribute whatever load you carry. I was fortunate to add a frame stay and load lifers to the pack which has proven to be an excellent option which I would recommend. Thank you ULA, for delivering perhaps the best ultralight and most versatile day pack out there.

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