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Reader Reviews

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ULA Equipment

in 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)

Average Rating
4.85 / 5 (34 reviews)

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Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Greater Yellowstone
ULA Equipment Backpacks on 11/13/2006 22:29:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've known Brian Frankle for a few years. Recently, Brian made backpacks for us for the Arctic 1000 expedition. He was very attentive to our feedback, delivered on time, made adjustments as needed, and worked with us to develop backpacks that capitalized on his strengths as well as they served our needs. Brian's a good guy and offers integrity and honesty both in public and behind the scenes.

Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
ULA good equipment, we had a delivery concern on 11/17/2006 22:44:38 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

There is no question ULA makes good equipment. The Catalyst I purchased (and also that of a friend) is great pack, well constructed and easy to adjust, and they do a good job of helping making appropriate selections.

The only issue I had, as did a friend who also order a Catalyst earlier this year, was the delivery times and communications. Had we not called, we would not have found out that the promised ship date had slipped 2 weeks in my case, 3 in his. Not a major issue, but a concern if timing is important.

Edited by eaglemb on 11/25/2006 20:15:05 MST.

Zack Karas
( )

Lake Tahoe
ULA packs on 11/18/2006 16:46:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've been using ULA packs since 2003 (the original P2 and the most recent P1) and have been thoroughly impressed with both packs. Both packs are still going strong after each having been used for over 3000 miles and haven't been babied at all. My only beef is that both were about 4 ounces heavier than I thought they were going to be.Brian is a great guy who is upfront and knowledgeable, and the communication between us was always great. He tries to evolve the packs, which helps keep them fresh.

Cameron Cole
( Straegen )
Slow but accomadating on 11/25/2006 19:28:34 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

My experience isn't as positive. While ULA does accomadate customizations and requests, they are very slow to answer emails. I still have an outstanding issue with my Catalyst that hasn't been responded to after three months of emails. I knew this was an issue going in when the ship date for my pack slipped almost two months (making it a five month process) and I wasn't notified. Followed by paid for changes that were not included in the pack and the couple months to get that resolved. After a handful of conversations with the owner (I have sent maybe six so I haven't spamed the company), I feel like this is an honest company, but customer support has been poor for me.

Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
Great Help on 12/01/2006 13:40:10 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

In late July, days after Brian stopped taking orders before his break, I called him and asked if I could still order a Conduit. He told me no problem and shortly after my M/L Conduit arrived. Small problem though, it was too big and I was leaving in a week. I called him up and told him my issue. The same day he sent me a S/M Conduit and told me to send him the M/L pack back before I left. I had my new pack with a couple days to spare. Thanks Brian. Cant wait till you are back.

Richard Lyon
( richardglyon )

Bridger Mountains
ULA ordering process on 01/02/2007 15:12:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I like this company. I like Brian. I prefer dealing with small companies. I really like my new Catalyst. My only problems were service-related. After an order acknowledgment promising 1-2 weeks there were delays with production that pushed delivery out to 14 weeks. During this time I had sporadic email and phone conversations with Brian. I get the impression that he's pretty much a one-man show - if he's out emails aren't answered and phone calls aren't taken or returned. I'd prefer waiting to getting a pack with a defect and I have no question about Brian's honesty or integrity, but I would have appreciated periodic updates, even from emails. That said, Brian was very helpful in the ordering process and (when I could reach him) entirely forthcoming about the problems. So a one-point ding on customer service.
UPDATE July 2007: ULA's website now states prominently that the company will be closed for a few months beginning August 1 and that during the closure orders won't be processed and emails not returned. Now a customer knows what to expect. As with every technical suggestion or question I've put to Brian, he's acted on my criticism - so I'm raising my rating to a 5.

Edited by richardglyon on 07/18/2007 07:16:31 MDT.

Russell Swanson
( rswanson )

Excellent! on 02/14/2007 13:58:42 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Aside from Brian's phenomenal products (which are well documented), I recently had a great experience shopping with ULA. While researching a new pack purchase, Brian Frankle my emails to ULA Equipment promptly; within 24 hours. Later he took the time to speak with me over the phone, answering all my questions and providing good advice. As many of you know, he's also a frequent poster here and on other backpacking forums and I feel he really makes an effort to connect with the lightweight hiking community.

In the past his one knock has been long delivery times of some of his products but it really appears to me that Brian is making that a priority entering 2007. The pack I ordered (the Conduit) was in stock when I placed the order and it shipped the very next business day, complete with a confirmation email. Delivery was exactly as promised.

On top of all that, I never feel better about a purchase than when I know my money is going right back into a local community here in the USA. As such, I do what I can to support cottage industries and when you can find one as stellar as ULA Equipment it's especially gratifying. Thanks Brian!

Miles Barger
( milesbarger - M )

West Virginia
Communication problems - 4.5 on 02/18/2007 12:21:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This review is really a 4.5.

Brian has always thoughtfully and informatively responded to my emails. His products are absolutely top notch, and I have no doubt that he would stand firmly behind his lifetime guarantee if I were to ever have a problem. In addition, I get the sense that he's a great guy, and I love to be able to support a small business that makes wonderful products by hand.

The only reason I give ULA a 4.5 is that the communication and time between order and delivery for me were a little lacking. Emails were always responded to, but I wasn't kept up to date on my order unless I initiated the conversation. Also, I didn't receive the pack for a few months. I hear these issues have now been generally resolved, and I know that Brian runs ULA with a very limited staff, so take my experience with a grain of salt.

Stephen Boyd
( sim )

Working hard for my continued business! on 07/05/2007 20:58:34 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Here is my summary of my latest purchase from Brian at ULA-Equipment:

July 4th (yes...the national holiday) placed an order through the website for a M/L Relay pack. Website stated pack was in stock.

July 5th in the morning. Received an e-mail from Brian thanking for my continued business and letting me know that he had sold his last M/L Relay and would have to sew another to fulfill my order.

July 5th after work. Got home and went for a bike ride. After the ride I checked the e-mail. E-mail from UPS with a tracking number from ULA-Equipment and notification that my pack had shipped and I would receive it on July 11th.

That my fantastic customer service.


kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Mythical State of Jefferson
ULA can't have enough "5"s on 07/05/2007 21:30:22 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Brian is not only a great designer of packs, but a great sewer, too, when the seamstress brigades of Logan, UT are fully engaged. He also has entertained us over the last few years with on-line diaries of his epic-level trips----speaking of which, i think he's about to start another one as he's shutting down operations for 3 months.

I've had the pleasure of being the owner of 3 ULA packs over the last few years---all of them 1st rate. The latest, the Arctic (a collaboration with BPL) is brilliant.

Brian Frankle runs a business of integrity and quality. He deserves the custom of the UL community.

Oh, yes----the CS is quite good. Communications, excellent.

Edited by kdesign on 07/05/2007 21:47:49 MDT.

Shop Arctic products at GearBuyer
Miguel Arboleda
( butuki )

Kanto Plain, Japan
Beautiful Workmanship on 07/06/2007 00:32:17 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I just received my Arctic Pack yesterday, a pack that I wasn't going to buy at first because of the expense, but after reading other people's reviews and my just not having enough time to make my own harness pack that I've been designing, I decided to get it while it was still available.

As someone who designs and sews my own gear, I was very impressed by Brian's workmanship (not something I easily say). Beautiful detail, clean lines and seams, elegant in its implicity and functionality. It impressed me so much that I wa a bit wistful that I hadn't bought other packs from ULA.

Now I have to use the pack. I think it is going to do everything I was hoping it would.

Shop Arctic products at GearBuyer
Ken Helwig
( kennyhel77 )

Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Awesome! on 07/06/2007 16:58:12 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Been using ULA packs for years. Bought the P2, P1 and now the Conduit. All are excellent in their own way. Customer service is perfect and so is the gear. Great packs!!!

James Keener
( jjhiker )

San Francisco Bay Area
Great Packs on 03/31/2008 00:23:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Hi carried a P2 for 900 miles in 2004. Other than a rip from a butt-slide down Glen Pass, it is still in good shape. I just shipped it to my brother so that he can join me in Washington this year. ULA's packs are hiker's packs. I'll carry the Catalyst in the Sierra Nevada this year in order to accommodate extra big loads. Then switch back to a Mariposa Plus. I have consistently gotten good service from Brian.

Shop Mariposa products at GearBuyer
Basil Gravanis
( thebaz )
Fast, friendly, and constantly trying to improve. on 04/01/2008 23:41:57 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

All of my purchases from Brian have been very smooth and I have been simply floored with the quality of his gear. The first product I ordered was his AmigoPro water filter with which I quickly became enamored. I later bit on the PacerPoles and, sure enough, they were _the_ poles for me. Brian just seems to have good instincts in selecting and developing products. A rare trait, I'd wager. Anyway, I recently ordered both the Catalyst and Relay packs and both times Brian sent me an e-mail right away to confirm the status and lead times (which were thankfully short as my size was in stock). His cross country shipping (Utah->Georgia) was very snappy too. Both packs are impeccably constructed and very rugged in use. Using them just reminds you of how badly the mass market fails the "one-and-done" mentality... which is what I try for.



Shop Basil products at GearBuyer
Avakian Garbed
( Avakian )

A good experience... on 06/09/2008 12:51:15 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My pack was shipped within hours of placing the order. A lot of things must have changed at ULA headquarters after these older complaints...

Andrew Richardson
( arichardson6 )

North East
An amazing pack sent QUICK on 07/11/2008 23:26:19 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I ordered my pack from Brian on Wednesday and received it on Friday. I called him before ordering and he helped me size my hipbelt and then sent the pack right out.

The pack looks great and Brian has been very helpful and extremely prompt through all of this.

I highly recommend ULA to anyone considering a pack!

Dane Ward
( Tagless )

Wonderful product and service on 07/24/2008 20:11:50 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've purchased from this company on several occasions. It's all been great! The last time I purchased a day pack and later decided to buy one a second unit for my wife as well. Brian contacted me to let me know he would ship both together - saving me money. Both arrived within 2 days. I give ULA my highest recommendation!

James Ennis
( JimEnnis )

Great Products & Great Service on 07/30/2008 05:50:03 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have purchased three packs from Brian & ULA and have found both the products and customer service to be top notch all the way. My emails have been answered within 24 hours and products, if in stock, have been shipped often within the same day. I have referred others to Brian's products and they have always had nothing but great things to say about ULA and Brian.

Bruce Tolley
( btolley )

San Francisco Bay Area
Excellent Customer Service on 09/05/2008 22:39:40 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

After much comparative shopping, I bought a Relay Pack from ULA. It arrived only a few days after placing the order.

After four short trips, the haul loop ripped out. I wrote a short email to ULA (Brian)describing the problem and within 24 hours, I had a response. And once I responded to Brian's email, I had a new pack within 3 to 4 days with a prepaid UPS shipping form to return the damaged pack.

This is awesome customer service, Responsive, easy, quick turn around.

Stuart Allie
( stuart.allie )

Top-notch service on 02/22/2009 18:54:35 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The guys at ULA were very helpful and friendly when answering my questions about their products. When I placed an order the pack arrived in Australia a week later in perfect condition and exactly as specified.

Great service, friendly people, and great products. Can't do better than that!

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