November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Reader Reviews

Add your own review


in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (8 reviews)

Display Avatars Sort By:
Brendan Murphy
( mbmurphy777 )
ULA Ohm on 04/12/2009 15:15:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I received my Ohm from Brian last week. The manufacturing is high quality as expected. I have had the pack out with about 15 lbs of wt on some training walks. My feeling is that it could easily carry over 30lbs comfortably given the frame. The compression system works great. The hoop frame does a great job of weight transfer. There are plenty of ways to adjust the harness system which is quite comfortable. I ordered the hip belt pockets; these are very convenient. I also ordered the removable back pad... this is probably unnecessary (it is only for comfort).

This pack is similar in design to my prior pack, a Mountainsmith Ghost but is nearly a pound lighter, even with the extras.

The only improvements I can think of would be to utilize lighter wt fabrics which could save a few oz, but this would certainly reduce the ability to stand up to wear and tear and would probably be against Brian's philosophy.

I'm looking forward to trying it out at the end of the month.

Update: The Ohm has been great this season. Plenty of room for 5+ day trips. The hip belt has been fine for me. The only issue for me has been the heat buildup on the back (due to lack of ventilation); maybe I can modify the way I pack the Ohm to fix this. Everyone has been jealous of this pack!

Edited by mbmurphy777 on 08/10/2009 15:27:45 MDT.

Shop Mountainsmith products at GearBuyer
Michael Fogarty
( mfog1 )

Excellent workmanship on 05/14/2009 20:29:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

As with all of ULA's gear, their workmanship is excellent. Load transfer is good, and I could remove .9L plattys, from the side pockets, without needing to remove the pack.
I would have scored the Ohm a 5, but had issues with the hip-belt stabilizer straps, sliding down off the hip-belt and had the hip-belt adjuster buckles twist as well.
So, I did a mod, where I removed the yellow webbing, along with the hip-belt adjuster buckles from the hip-belt. I then went with 1-1/2" wide webbing for the hip-belt, along with a dual slider, contoured, buckle. I sewed the 3/4" stabilizer strap webbing flush to the top edge of the 1-1/2 hip-belt webbing. Then finished by sewing the 1-1/2" webbing, 1-1/2" back from the hip-belt ends. I also sewed loops into the stabilizer strap ends, for the attachment point of the hip-belt pockets. This mod solved both issues for me. I just hope, my hand sewing job, holds up over time.

Edited by mfog1 on 05/14/2009 20:35:00 MDT.

Ivan Bertrand
( ibertrand )
Brilliant innovative pack although hip transfer bit disapointing on 05/22/2009 03:28:01 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

ULA ohm is really a piece of elegant and brilliant design and innovation.

The combination of the hoop flexibility and the compression systems enables to have the weight as closer as possible to the back with a real transfer to the hip.

As an engineer my-self I find brilliant the complex combination of innovation that gets to such a result, great work indeed.

The main drawback the is comfort of the hip belt it-self, the paradox is that with better weight transfer then a larger part of the weight get to the hip and then you need more comfortable hip belt.
I tested it with 5 days autonomy (around 20 pounds), after two days of walking the hip was painful and I was un-belting it from time to time to release it, you get a better transfer but at the end you use your shoulder more. I think it is OK (it was my first spring hiking) but the idea to have a better hip transfer is to fully use it.
There is room for improvement on that part of the bag.

Lesson learned as well, I think the back foam pad is definitively not an option; with the suspension the pack really sticks to the back, it would be difficult to position a pad correctly to do the job because of the frame. I am using a short neoair and use the pack for my head and shoulders so the foam pad is just perfect.

Light weight thinking, I think that one of the upper Ice Axe Loop could be removed since there is only one low loop attachment.

Shop Ice products at GearBuyer
David Noll
( dpnoll )

Maroon Bells
ULA Ohm on 08/09/2009 16:00:11 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My wife and I just got back from a 5 day trip in the Maroon Bells where I used the Ohm for the 1st time on a trip. The workmanship is impeccable. Initially I was concerned with the hip belt but after using the Ohm for 5 days with a starting load of aprx 23# it was fine. I used a GG sit pad against my back and the load felt great. This will be my go to pack in the future.

Ryan Smith
( ViolentGreen )

Excellent Do-It-All pack on 09/10/2010 17:36:43 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've had an Ohm for about a year now and have taken it on a few trips. It's very comfortable provided that you keep it in the weight range it's designed for. When carrying 20-25 lbs it carries very well. The compression system and balance are terrific. Above the 25lb mark and I can start to feel the hip belt though. Not uncomfortable at +25lbs, but it is an annoyance(there is a new hip belt available as I type this). Love the load lifters as that is what ultimately swayed me to the Ohm over a comparable Gossamer Gear pack. Overall a great pack and definitely falls in line with ULA's great reputation.

Edited by ViolentGreen on 09/10/2010 17:39:03 MDT.

Mike M
( mtwarden )

Ohm- great pack on 10/13/2011 17:17:27 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

not sure why it's listed with the frameless packs, while not a robust frame- the carbon fiber/derlin frame is certainly a frame and definitely helps w/ the load capacity of this pack

anywho- this pack replaced a Osprey Exos 46- I had no complaints with the Exos, but if it was possible to lose a pound in pack weight w/o sacrificing carry then it was worth a try :) I can now say with confidence that the Ohm carries very nicely w/ loads up 25# (it might be higher, but that's as far as I've taken it)

the straps and hip belt are very comfortable, I love the front and side stretch pockets. the side pockets are the very first ones that I've actually been able to remove and replace 1 liter bottles on the move

the Ohm compresses nicely for smaller loads and the roll top adds some room for bigger loads. I do miss the top lid pocket from the Exos, but I'm learning to live w/o it

This is a great pack that bridges the gap between frameless packs and mainstream framed packs.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Osprey Exos 46 - Men's priced at: $124.95 - $179.99
Andrew F
( andrew.f )

San Francisco Bay Area
ULA Ohm on 11/15/2011 14:15:32 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Ohm is my go-to pack for trips that don't require a bear can. You can fit a Bearikade in it, but it's not very comfortable because it bulges into your back. I put a plastic frame sheet from one of my other packs in the pad holster and that helped a lot, but now that I have a Circuit, I just use that instead if I'm bringing a bear can. I find it comfortable to 20#. Up to 25# I'll suffer a bit until the food weight comes down. Above 25#, I bring my Circuit.

After trimming straps and velcro, my M-torso L-hipbelt Ohm weighs 20.8 oz - not bad for a framed pack!

Ben W
( bpwood )

NW Center for Volcano-Aided Flight
Go-to pack, minor durability qualms on 11/24/2011 19:54:36 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Purchased in early 2011.

The Ohm is now my default pack for just about everything, from three-season multi-day trips to simple day hikes.

I usually carry it frameless and use 6 sections of Z-rest as pad/frame. This makes the load lifter situation slightly awkward when the pack is not filled about the shoulder strap attachment, but overall, works beautifully, especially considering it was designed for use with the frame.

With the frame in, I find the pack to be perhaps ridiculously tall (can't wear a wide-brimmed hat without knocking it off on the frame all the time), but it does add some structure and load capacity.

The pocket situation is top notch. The back stretch mesh panel is great. The side (bottle) pockets are monstrous and stuff amazingly never falls out of them. And the hipbelt pockets are the bee's knees.

The cord compression system works well for compressing interior loads, but is less suited to attaching gear outside than traditional compression straps. (e.g., snowshoes, crampons, etc.)

The "bareback" back panel of just the straight-up fabric layer does not breathe well, but this is to be expected. Though my back gets pretty wet with sweat here, I find that it's not significantly different than with other packs. (Hey, my back will even sweat without a pack, given the chance.)

Over the course of a few brushy hikes with down-tree dodging this summer, I managed to put a 1.5-inch long diagonal gash in the side panel (black material, silnylon, I think). I have been lazy about dealing with it and it's still there, a dozen trips later, but it hasn't grown.
I wish these side panels were made of the heftier green dyneema material rather than the lighter black material.

I've attached an ice axe, helmet, and crampons a couple times. The ice axe loop feels slightly fragile, but holds up fine. The velcro tabs up top to secure the spike end of the axe are a very nice touch, but some stiching has ripped on one of them. Their placement, as high as they are is also somewhat awkward if the pack is not full above the attachment point. The axe pulls the attachment outward (it is straight after all) and puts extra stress on the attachment.

Overall, it's a great pack that I recommend, despite these few little things that could change to make it perfect... in theory!

Edited by bpwood on 02/10/2012 20:43:18 MST.

Add your own review