The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me)
Display Avatars Sort By:
jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 10:08:21 MST Print View

I began to say this on the 'smaller volume' ULA pack thread and realised it was a bit of a hijack, so I thought I'd start a new one.

In asking ULA to think about a 35L frameless pack, to me it sounds a bit like we're asking them to produce an MLD Burn for less money.

I think ULA's strengths lay in a different direction and that the 2009 range had already moved away from some of the best ULA features. "Throwing the baby out with the bath water".

For me, these were tremendous wrap around hipbelts - with proper sewn in pockets that don't flap around - and a proper roll top closure.

Other key ULA innovations were in the hooped frame found in the Circuit and reproduced in the OHM. This point, which moves away from purely frameless packs already well (and ever better) covered by MLD, puts ULA in the strong position of providing for those who want slightly more support with the capacity for a slightly greater weight, whilst still maintaining comfort, but still appealing to those of a light-weight philosophy.

I love the 2008 Conduit style hipbelt, sewn on pockets and roll-top closure and if that was transferred to the Ohm it would make for such a great pack. I don't see any advantage to strap on pockets, especially when they are now part of the package and not an option. (If I wanted to remove sewn-on pockets then scissors would work just as well)

If an OHM-style pack was available with a pre 2009 style Conduit belt, sewn on pockets and roll top closure I would definitely buy one and be prepared to pay the price. But at the moment I would more likely go try a GG Gorilla.

Anyone else?

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 10:21:40 MST Print View

Things change. I remember when Brian said he'd never use silny or that stretch mesh stuff (he may have been talking about the stretch mesh with the larger holes though).

When I was looking for a Conduit, I had to shop around for a used 2008, since the 2009 moved from the roll top, the sewn pockets, and the mesh pcoket with the larger mesh holes.

Judging by the new owners actions and comments, I will likely be looking elsewhere when my Catalyst finally bites the dust. That might take many many more years though.

Edited by TwoFortyJeff on 02/27/2010 10:22:16 MST.

Jarrod Handwerk
(PA_Hiker) - F

Locale: Orwigsburg PA
ULA on 02/27/2010 12:43:26 MST Print View

I don't know if anyon else that got a new pack from ULA in the last few months has had this problem but i just got a Conduit 2 weeks ago...and after looking over the pack...
i found out that one of the ice axe loops at the bottom was sewn into the pack..looks like quality control missed it
it's not a big deal to me since i don't use them anyway...but i had to cut it to free it
i hope that is not the norm for the New ULA...because if it is..i'm not sure i will get another ULA pack

over all i really like the pack,it fits my needs well
just hope this is not the norm for ULA

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 17:50:28 MST Print View

"If an OHM-style pack was available with a pre 2009 style Conduit belt, sewn on pockets and roll top closure I would definitely buy one and be prepared to pay the price."

"Anyone else?"

+ 1

I already have an Ohm and love it, but the features you mention are ones that have crossed my mind many times. I briefly considered taking it up with Brian just before he left, procrastinated, and then he was gone. Since then, the new owners don't seem too tuned in to user requests and I'm not one to waste my breath, soooo...

If they ever do go back and fix even the hip belt, I'll have 2 Ohms. That mod alone would take the Ohm to a whole new level.

Anybody at ULA watching this thread? Within reason, I'll bet you could name your own price if you made these mods. Even if they added 2 oz to the weight, you'd have a 1.5 pound pack that can haul upwards of 30 pounds comfortably and there'd definitely be a market for that. I'll bet you could turn a profit, too.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 17:52:09 MST Print View

"Other key ULA innovations were in the hooped frame found in the Circuit and reproduced in the OHM"

A minor point, but I think the MS Ghost got there first, or at least before ULA.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
ULA USP on 02/27/2010 18:50:27 MST Print View

'I already have an Ohm and love it, but the features you mention are ones that have crossed my mind many times. I briefly considered taking it up with Brian just before he left, procrastinated, and then he was gone.'

I did make the suggestions to Brian before he left, but it wasn't something he was prepared to consider at that time.

I do encourage the new owners to consider such a design. I think it would be a winner. Certainly much more so than a ULA panel loader!

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 18:55:39 MST Print View

"If an OHM-style pack was available with a pre 2009 style Conduit belt, sewn on pockets and roll top closure I would definitely buy one and be prepared to pay the price."

"Anyone else?"

+1 on the hipbelt. This is the one big flaw of an otherwise great pack and the reason I stopped using it and won't recommend it. The hipbelt on the ohm is basically useless in terms of load carrying.

Even at 2lbs the excellent pockets, compression, shoulder straps (love the adjustable attachment point for the load lifters) and durable fabric would make the ohm a choice pack if only it had a decent hipbelt.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 19:01:06 MST Print View

Another vote for my dislike of the Ohm's hipbelt. I haven't tried one, but just looking at it leads me to believe I wouldn't like it. If the Ohms had a better hipbelt design, I probably would own one now.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/27/2010 20:43:45 MST Print View

"Anyone else?"

I'm in.

"The hipbelt on the ohm is basically useless in terms of load carrying."

I think that depends on the individual's build plus, at the upper end of the Ohm's designed carrying capacity, their tolerance for discomfort. I used the Ohm extensively this last spring/summer/fall, on trail and off, with loads up to 30# and experienced only minor discomfort beginning at about 25# or so. Above 30#, on training hikes, it started to sag a bit and wasn't a heck of a lot of fun after about 4 miles. Below 25# it carried like a dream. For me it was a matter of finding the "sweet spot" on my hips and adjusting the load lifters to suit the terrain and load. I realize that this is the minority position, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/28/2010 01:37:51 MST Print View

+1 on the pre-2009 Conduit hipbelt. The pockets were solid and one of my favorite features of the pack. I would hate to have the removable ones. The beefyness of the belt gave me confidence that I could comfortably go between any resupply I needed to. The new belt looks flimsy by comparison. My perfect pack would be the 2008 conduit with the 2009 top closure and roomier side pockets.

Matt Foehrenbacher
(matt_f) - MLife
The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/28/2010 11:45:28 MST Print View

+1. I bought an ohm last summer and returned it solely because the belt wasn't adequate for me. A 2008 conduit style belt would make me buy again as otherwise i thought it was perfect for my needs.

matt

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/28/2010 12:49:24 MST Print View

Well I guess I'm in the minority on this one. I like the Ohm hipbelt. I was nervous reading all of the concerns about it but I got it anyway and love it. It is strong and unobtrusive. Plus it fits well under my carb storage system;)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
ULA on 02/28/2010 14:03:23 MST Print View

No Jeff - I am with you. For the weights I haul and for what is intended for the pack, the belt is just fine. If one wants to consistently haul 30 lbs, get the Circuit - it will likely be more comfortable. Adding a similar belt to the OHM would add weight....however.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/28/2010 14:23:32 MST.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/28/2010 14:21:12 MST Print View

The issue with the Ohm belt for me is that it is really uncomfortable even when the pack is empty. I personally find it uncomfortable before I've packed anything in it at all. Experiments have shown that packing it with 15 lbs doesn't improve it for me. I appreciate your experience may differ.

Edited by LuckyJim on 02/28/2010 14:27:59 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
ULA on 02/28/2010 14:22:36 MST Print View

Oops - wrong thread - I will edit my post.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
Re: The ULA Unique Selling Point (for me) on 02/28/2010 14:29:04 MST Print View

Thanks David,

I've edited mine too.

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
ULA on 02/28/2010 15:43:30 MST Print View

What brought me to ULA was the comfort, durability and reputation of the brand. Plus being able to personally talk to the owner of the company when placing a call. I feel quite the loyalty to ULA. I want it to produce quality products, while offering designs that I have an interest in purchasing.

I have no interest in a panel loader whatsoever.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
ULA on 02/28/2010 15:59:42 MST Print View

+1 On no interest in a panel loader. They sound more like a niche product than some of the others. Love my '08 Circuit. Now that I've dyed it:) Edit: The hipbelt gets hot.

Edited by kthompson on 05/18/2010 22:47:33 MDT.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
ULA on 02/28/2010 16:06:59 MST Print View

Robert,

Yes, I completely agree with all your points.

I did email ULA and got a very swift reply from new owner Chris, which I find very heartening and shows ULA are still very much a 'listening' company. I'm very impressed in that regard. You're right though, I wouldn't be a customer for a ULA panel loader either.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Ohm Hipbelt on 05/12/2010 19:53:07 MDT Print View

FYI, I talked to the new ULA owner (Chris) and I was able to order an Ohm with the pre 2009 style Conduit hipbelt (wider with non-removable pockets). Chris said that is being sewn up today. Future Ohms will have this wider hipbelt, so if you want the current version you need to order soon.