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Ohm vs. Circuit
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Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 15:45:42 MST Print View

I can't decide between them... Right now I have a go lite peak and it works well enough for most trips, but I want something for week long trips in the sierras. My base weight should be well under or around 10lbs for the sierras, but I also want something that I can throw snowshoes or cramp ons on the back without overloading it.
So far I like the wieght of the ohm, and like the profile more when it's loaded. Either way, once I get a chance I will go to the down works place in Santa Cruz and see if I can't try them on and buy there. But just wondering your opinions on the 2 packs... I would probably get the 2.0 version of the ohm if I got it.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 16:16:02 MST Print View

I have both the Ohm and Circuit. I would definitely recommend the Circuit for what you described. An Ohm is very uncomfortable for me with a bear canister in it, in contrast a can fits just fine vertically in the Circuit. Also, in an Ohm you will be about at it's carrying limit with a 10 lb base weight and 7 lbs of food. For me I use the Ohm on short (2-3 day) trips and the Circuit for anything longer or involving a bear can.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 16:34:14 MST Print View

"Also, in an Ohm you will be about at it's carrying limit with a 10 lb base weight and 7 lbs of food."

OK, I'll give an opposing view here based on my experience with the OHM 2.0 over the last 2 years. I use it regularly for trips up to 10 days with a base weight between 9.3 and 10.2# depending on a couple of variables, i.e. within OP's base weight range. My food weighs 19.3 oz/day X 9 days plus 5 oz for the last days's lunch which equals 11.1#. Call it 11 for simplicity. So, I have a carry weight of 21# plus a maximum of 3# of water going in over Shepherd Pass on a typical southern Sierra trip. This puts my weight up to 24#. So far, the OHM has performed admirably and saved me 10-12 oz over a Circuit. I have also used an Ursack in my OHM and did not find it to be any more uncomfortable than in a Circuit, which I used pre-OHM. All that said, I will be the first to admit that comfort varies greatly with individual body geometry and sensitivity, so there is no hard and fast answer here. What I would recommend is that OP order both packs, try them out with his intended load, and determine for himself which one best meets his requirements, both in carrying capacity and comfort. ULA is very good about accepting returns in situations like this, so there is no financial risk. FWIW, I am 5'7" and 137#. OP could take this into consideration as well, as most folks are quite a bit larger and the OHM may not fit them as well, especially when it comes to hip belt wrap.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Circuit on 01/30/2012 17:01:10 MST Print View

+1 on the circuit. Capable of carrying heavier loads and a better fit for a bear can when necessary in my opinion.

Mark Mendell
(mmendell)

Locale: Midwest
Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 17:39:23 MST Print View

I own both, and happily carry a 12lb base weight plus food for 6 -7 days. It does just fine for me as long as the weight is under 30 lbs.

Having said that, I've never carried a bear canister in it, and can certainly see how the Circuit might be better suited to one.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 18:04:23 MST Print View

You'll see both at Coe if you are still coming. I have an Ohm 1.0 that I will have along.

But with needing a canister at times I would get the Circuit. I am shopping for a pack for that reason, I am considering another Circuit.

Edited by kthompson on 01/30/2012 18:07:00 MST.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 18:31:08 MST Print View

Depends on what your end game is with your purchase. If you want to save a few ounces in the tried and true BPL way get the Ohm. If you want a true long lasting 4 season pack then get the Circuit. I have owned my Circuit for 4 years while many other packs have come and gone. Honestly I can't say enough good things about it.

Edited by Jkrew81 on 01/31/2012 07:23:34 MST.

Justin Mckinney
(sierrajud) - M

Locale: California
RE OHM VS CIRCUIT on 01/30/2012 18:55:24 MST Print View

I've had my Circuit for 2 years. Best pack I've ever had. Comfortable and fits a bear canister great!! My load for a 6 night trip is usually between 28- 34 lbs, the circuit handles it great!

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
pack on 01/30/2012 19:51:18 MST Print View

I have both. Both have their niches. The circuit is definitely more of a load hauler and is the better pack above 20 lbs, but the ohm has some better features, which you can get customized on a circuit if you ask. (drawstring closure, stretch mesh back pocket, side compression cord, etc.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Same dilema on 01/30/2012 20:12:13 MST Print View

I had the same dilema and ended up going with the circuit. My logic was the following

I use an inflatable pad so having the pack pad in the circuit is a plus. This may be redundant if you use a ccf pad
My goal for this pack is 7 days of food at 2lbs per day so 10 bw + 14 food plus 2 water is 26 which in my opinion may push past where i want to be weight wise with the OHM
ULA recomends it over the ohm for use with Bear Can
I still have bulky fleeces for insulation so the extra volume is useful now.
Longer term i plan on buying a small zpack zero for weekend trips
The hipbelt on the circuit was adjustable

So based on the above I decided i really liked the circuits feature set and the only drawback was the weight. But since this pack is meant to be my short term solution for short trips and my long term solution for long trips and winter trips it made sense to get the extra capacity.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/30/2012 22:09:19 MST Print View

Thank you for the advice! I will definitley get down to santa cruz to try them on for myself, but the advice was very helpful. The catalyst might be the better choice. I want something with a capable frame. However I might eventually get both for slightly longer or shorter trips.
I use a cut down thermarest z-lite, both the ohm and the catalyst have a back pad and frame right? I would be putting my foam pad on the outside?

Edited by justin_baker on 01/30/2012 23:47:08 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Ohm vs. Circuit on 01/31/2012 23:36:21 MST Print View

Do the circuit and ohm have back panels/pads along with their frames? Or will I need to put my z-lite inside the pack?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: back pad on 02/01/2012 00:25:26 MST Print View

The Circuit has a sewn-in foam back pad and I think a thin framesheet too. Neither are removable.

The Ohm comes with a 1/4" foam pad that is shaped to the back panel. It is easily removable and is held in place with 2 straps inside the pack that you can use to attach just about any sleeping pad inside.

William Johnson
(Steamboat_Willie)
Circuit Owner on 02/01/2012 02:04:51 MST Print View

I also chose the Circuit over an Ohm for my travels through so much of CA's mandatory bear canister areas. I prefer to store my canister inside my pack, rather than lashed to the outside. I also enjoy using my Circuit for winter trips.

I would've preferred the Ohm but my need to carry bear canisters made the Circuit more attractive to me.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
circuit on 02/01/2012 05:58:03 MST Print View

actually the circuits foam backpanel is 2 layers, a lower density, and a higher density. Together they weigh right at 2oz in med size, and they ARE removeable. Just undo the velcro where the belt is, remove belt, and keep the sides apart so they dont stick together, reach in and pull it out.

If you dont have the Al stay in the center of the back installed (this is what they protect your back from) you can remove them and use your own CCF pad as internal padding and save that wt.

The circuit can be stripped down to weigh little more than the Ohm too. Removing stays, foam backpanel, compression cord, holsters, leaves mine at 26 oz. ~8 oz of that is the removeable belt, so make a simple waist strap belt that velcros in too, and you can convert it to a ~20 oz frameless pack for very light loads. It can be customized to what you need to do for a particular trip.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/01/2012 06:06:11 MST.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Circuit on 02/01/2012 07:28:04 MST Print View

I don't have the OHM, just the circuit. I really like it. In my onpinion, it gives you greater flexability to hauling larger/bulkier loads. It is still light enough to take on overnighters or 2-3 day trips.

I haven't had any problems with it so far. The only thing that I would change if I could would be to swap out the roll top closure for a draw string closure like the Ohm.

Zack Scheurich
(permaherbavet) - F

Locale: WA State
drawstring v. rolltop on 02/01/2012 15:39:22 MST Print View

is the rolltop more waterproof. why does everyone like the drawstring better? just curious.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: drawstring v. rolltop on 02/01/2012 15:45:57 MST Print View

Don't count on your pack being waterproof and want to be able to get into it easily, go drawstring. You believe that your pack will be waterproof, like a submarine, get a roll top. Apart from that it's personal preference. I like a draw cord top.






v Good point too Travis

Edited by kthompson on 02/01/2012 19:55:38 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: drawstring v. rolltop on 02/01/2012 19:33:49 MST Print View

I find that if my pack is full to the brim, its easier to get a drawstring closed--at least partially. You can't do that if you have a roll top as easily.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: drawstring v. rolltop on 02/02/2012 11:09:21 MST Print View

"is the rolltop more waterproof. why does everyone like the drawstring better? just curious."


I had a rolltop pack - the SMD Starlite - that implemented the roll top like a kayaking drybag: roll the top, and clip the two ends together. Easy and fast.

My first Circuit implemented the roll top in a completely different way: roll the top, then clip each end individually to a strap on the side of the pack. There is no good way to do this without having the top unroll. It was a total PITA.

So when I ordered one of the custom color Circuits last fall, I asked for the drawstring closure of the Ohm, which is easy and fast to use.

If ULA were to redesign the roll top closure so the two ends of the top buckled together - just like every single drybag on the market - it would be a lot easier to use and no less waterproof.