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ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question
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Russell S

Locale: Bay Area
ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/03/2013 22:02:07 MST Print View

I will be picking up an Ohm 2.0. I plan to use this pack for both dayhikes and overnighters/weekenders (maybe up to a week, I'm thinking). Does anyone have pictures of an Ohm re-threaded to shrink the pack volume, as alluded to in the FAQ on ULA's site? Copied and pasted below:

"Q: What exactly is the Variable Compression System (VCS) and how does it work?

A: The bane of many SUL Packs is lack of adequate compression. They work great when they are stuffed full (and therefore relatively stable in terms of load control), but truly suffer when the total volume is not packed. The Variable Compression System allows the entire pack body to be compressed no matter the overall volume of gear you have. In addition, by simply re-threading the compression cordage, you can effectively reduce the packable volume by 2/3, while still retaining access to the side pockets for on-trail necessities. Just be sure to distribute your gear along the length of the interior of the Ohm 2.0 before reducing the total volume."

I'm going to play with it when I get it next weekend, but pics could save me some fiddle time. I'm guessing the cords from each side get threaded over to the other side?

While I'm at it, does anyone have pictures of an Ohm using a full-size Z-rest as the back pad, in place of the provided foam pad?

Thanks in advance for any help you folks can provide.

Edited to add for clarification: I would like to use this pack for low-volume and low-weight day hike loads as well. Either for actual day-hiking or for day-hikes or peak grabs from a base camp. My experience has been that the tighter I can secure the contents (through compression), the better the load carries and the less I notice it. For backpacking, I don't anticipate needing much compression as my sleeping quilt in combination with a puffy should fill the volume well.

Edited by HikingMano on 03/04/2013 17:12:36 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/04/2013 09:09:21 MST Print View


I'm not able to get you photographs that you need at the moment, but can later.

As far as compression with the Ohm, it works well to reduce pack volume, but I found it needed to be recinched every few hours due to small amounts of cord slip thag creeped in while hiking. This doesn't seem to be an issue other Ohm users have expressed, but I noticed it. Not a flaw in any way.

Yes, the cord runs through small eyelets "zig zagging" from one side to the other, terminating at the top of the pack with a cordlock. I modified my Ohm's cordlock and replaced it with a LineLoc 3 which allowed me to put really solid tension on the compression cord. I never had issue with the cord slipping after that change.

You will find that the tapered pack body of the Ohm "compresses" and distributes gear in a way that doesn't require much tension on the side compression cords. Its only with a partially filled pack is any real compression needed.

3/4 length Zlite pad folded in thirds makes a great insert replacement for the stock ULA pad. I may have some pics of mine with a pad inside. I can't comment on a full length Zlite folded up inside. My guess is it would take up quite a bit of usable pack volume due to the slim pack body shape.

Enjoy that pack, its a good one.

Russell S

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/04/2013 10:00:54 MST Print View

Hey Eugene,

Thanks, I'd appreciate any pics you could provide. No rush as I won't have it until this weekend.

Thanks for the LineLoc3 replacement tip, I'll have to check that out!

I'm actually thinking about the partially-filled pack situation. I want something larger than my Osprey Daylite for day-hikes (not to mention something that fits my long torso), and I want to use my backpacking pack when day hiking away from base camps. If I can reduce volume by 2/3 through re-threading the compression cords, that should work well to keep day hike low-volume and low-weight loads relatively tight. I know this quiver of one approach won't be ideal for any one task, but I think it's money well spent to cover a large range of use (short of Sierra canister trips, got a Circuit for that, which I suppose gives me a quiver of two :) )

Thanks for the info on the zlite fit; if you can find any pics, that'd be great. Ideally I'd like to use a full length, but perhaps it's time I try a 3/4 pad. I've just never wanted to depend on my pack to complete my ground insulation in case it was wet. I do think it's an unlikely event for me though, so perhaps it's worth a shot.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/04/2013 10:56:14 MST Print View

Just tie a simple slipknot where the cord comes out the top and it holds. Undo it... By slipping it :)

I really cant imagine compression much better than the ohm. You can pack how you want and bearhug that thang with the compression. It works around bulges and stuff.

Russell S

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/04/2013 11:09:43 MST Print View

True, a slipped half hitch should work too, without hardware replacement.

Jeff, have you ever re-threaded like mentioned in the ULA FAQ?

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ULA Ohm 2.0 - Variable Compression System question on 03/04/2013 11:29:42 MST Print View

No. I haven't seen what your talking about but i didn't change anything.

I only used it a few times then gave it to my dad. My wife ordered a large for me for xmas and it was too big. I was too excited to send it back and after i use things i don't return them unless something is wrong with it ( mfg issue or something) i wish i woulda sent it back for the correct size but i had a chub for it. (Always learning... Not doing that again)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Ohm Compression on 03/04/2013 16:15:50 MST Print View

The Ohm compresses extremely well in its stock cord configuration. I can't quite picture this alternate routing, but it's hard to imagine something better than how it's setup regularly. It compresses extremely small if desired.

Russell S

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Ohm Compression on 03/04/2013 16:23:51 MST Print View

Ok thanks, so it sounds as if I shouldn't need to mess with the stock config even with day pack loads. I thought perhaps you route the cords across the front of the pack, similar to Osprey's "straight jacket" compression. Or lacing a shoe.

Maybe I'll email Chris just for future reference, should even more compression beyond the stock config be desired. I'll post whatever I learn here.

Edited by HikingMano on 03/04/2013 16:24:50 MST.

compression on 03/04/2013 17:05:49 MST Print View

The only time I would need to compress my Ohm is if it was used as a daypack.
As long as there is an unstuffed quilt or sleeping bag in it, I have never needed to compress it, or any other pack of mine. Even on the last day of a trip, with no food, no compression needed.

But I carry very little gear to rattle around in there also.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/04/2013 17:06:39 MST.

Russell S

Locale: Bay Area
Re: compression on 03/04/2013 17:07:10 MST Print View

Yeah, that's exactly the situation I'm asking about.