ULA Equipment Circuit

6 reviews
5-star:   5
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0


Total Volume 3,800 cu in (60 liters)
Load Guide 25-35 lbs
Weight 36 oz

Where to Buy

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Very well-designed pack for lightweight backpacking.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $225


Very well-designed pack for lightweight backpacking.


  • Large hip and side pockets
  • Light weight (~2 lbs)
  • Customer service
  • Sizing options


  • Not much organization
  • Hydration bladder access and size limitation

I've used my Circuit on several 1-3 night trips as well as a 17-day thru hike on the John Muir Trail. Overall, I was very happy with the pack and it has held up well.  

My favorite features were large, well-placed hip and side pockets, as well as the large mesh front pocket. I rarely had to dig into the inside of the pack during the day, except to remove the bear canister. A note on bear canisters: I rented a Bearikade "Weekender" bear canister for the JMT, and was able to carry it inside the pack horizontally as long as I put it at the top.

I also like the versatility of this pack. It makes quite a nice day pack—it weighs about the same as my Osprey Manta 25 and the stay is removable for lighter loads. The hydration bladder holder and hand loops are also removable. One limitation is that the hydration bladder holder will only hold up to a 2 liter bladder. The holder is on the inside of the pack and not easily accessible when the pack is full.

This pack is a "rucksack" style with a roll top closure, so it loads best by stuffing things in loosely (vs. compressing everything in stuff sacks). The ULA website has a nice instructional packing video. Although this method works well and keeps the pack's weight low, it can be inconvenient and will not suit folks who like more organization.

I found the pack to be quite comfortable and stable when carrying 15-25 pound loads. The only problem I had was sore collar bones, but that might be more due to my bony shoulders than the pack itself. I'm 5'2"/102 lbs. with a short torso and the size Small pack with size Small hip belt fit me perfectly.  The folks at ULA were very helpful with any questions I had on pack selection and sizing.

I did meet one guy on the JMT who didn't like his Circuit, but he had it loaded down with 40+ pounds.  You really have to lighten your load BEFORE using this type of pack.

denis daly

The weight issue the other backpacker was haveing is because the Circuit is made for a max load od 30 pounds.They should have went with a lower load like you expressed or ULA's Cataylist.

1 year ago

I have had this pack for about a year now and I love…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: top loading
Number of Pockets: 2 side, one large cavity
Max. Load Carried: 35lbs
Height of Owner: 5'11''
Price Paid: about $150

I have had this pack for about a year now and I love it more every time I go out. I am a big guy, 5'11", 250lbs (sadly) and this pack fits great. It is very comfortable and when I have my ideal weight (25lbs or so) I rarely take it off once on the trail.

My favorite features are the large side pockets for easy access to water and the pockets built into the comfy belt. I tend to strap smaller items on the side as the interior is one large pocket and small things tend to get lost.

I have hiked in the rain and scraped against rocks and never had a problem. The multitude of adjustments help get the pack settled nicely.

Cons: Not much really. I have carried a lot of gear at 35lbs which likely is stressing the bag and me out, but it performed well. I like to stay under 30lbs with this pack.

I thought of going lighter but for a few ounces I like the padding and hip belt offered. I would get a larger ULA if I went out for more than 5 days.

Perhaps the best feature is that I am confident that if I should have a problem I can call then up and arrange a repair if needed, unlike other companies. Great customer service and craftsmanship.


I heard all sorts of great stories and all the podcasts…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: top loading
Size: medium pack-bag and medium hip-belt
Number of Pockets: main, plus large mesh front, and two mesh side
Max. Load Carried: 28 pounds
Height of Owner: 73 inches
Price Paid: $175, www.ula-equipment.com

I heard all sorts of great stories and all the podcasts about ULA packs and Brian Frankle. I even made the call and spoke to Brian about his packs and his engineering and design. Now I own one (actually two...the Conduit too) and want to reverberate the praise...it is warranted! This Circuit pack is outstanding! Blows away the Gregory Z55, which has now found its place on eBay.

The Circuit tips the scales squarely at 2 pounds it has an amazing hipbelt, shoulder straps, and load stabilizers. I just returned from a 3-night rough trail maiden voyage hike and scramble in WV with a total pack weight of 28 pounds (including food and water) and the pack performed flawlessly. I considered a Mariposa but this far and away is the best pack for the money. Super durable Dyneema ripstop, ultralight and ubercomfortable. This pack could easily do 40+ pounds without a hiccup.

If you are looking for a modern feature, durable, ultralight pack...look no further than ULA and the Circuit.


This pack has been a lifesaver. I'm a BIG gal and…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250 - $275


This pack has been a lifesaver. I'm a BIG gal and needing to lose weight for my health. ULA took my XXXXL measurements and without hesitation created for me the perfect pack that allows me to get out on the trail and still have total comfort.


  • Lightweight
  • Well-made


  • None

LOVE LOVE LOVE this perfect lightweight pack. Its flexibility has enabled me to carry all my gear in comfort for long distances.


Great pack. All equipment for a thru hike of the PCT…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $225


Great pack. All equipment for a thru hike of the PCT fits. Carries like its not on, does not rub. Mounts fast. Looks great.


  • Light weight
  • Fits lots of gear
  • Fits me perfectly


  • None

The best pack I've owned. Lightweight and comfortable.


Went with the added stay, great pack for carrying…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Top loader
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 35#
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $180

Went with the added stay, great pack for carrying extra water. So cool to call ULA and talk to the owner. And I had a fit question when I received the Circuit, and Casey called my cell to help me with load lifter adjustment. Think you get that from a Chinese pack? Amazingly well built too. Replacement for an Exos 46.