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  1. #1
    New Member JohnCoffee's Avatar
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    ULA Ohm vs Circuit vs GGGorilla vs MLD FS Exodus

    Hi all,

    Looking to purchase a new pack in an effort to continue to drop weight. So far I've narrowed it down to the ULA Ohm/Circuit, Gossamer Gear Gorilla and the Mountain Laurel Designs FS Exodus. I've had absolutely no experience with any of these packs, and apart from buying a few of them to determine which would suit me best, I thought I'd turn to the forums. and who knows maybe someone is looking to sell.

    My backpacking typically involves 1-5 day trips with a base load of 14-17lbs. Its variable based on what creature comforts I decide to bring. For instance I almost always bring a gransfors bruks small forest axe. (crazy right?) haha well I don't consider myself an ultra light kind of guy at all. Did that for a while and decided its just not for me. i have however lightened my load enough to allow for a few added comforts even if it is a substantial addition in weight with the axe. I could be a lot lighter without it. but I like it. Anyway I live in Ohio so most trips are either in Ohio or a drive out on the AT or down to the smokies.

    Im looking for a pack that will comfortably carry it all both volume and weight on suspension and still allow me a bit of wiggle room of I want to use it for longer treks. My total pack weight will range from 28(or less) to 31-ish lbs depending on length of trek. With a lot of these pack ratings suggesting a max load of no more than 30lbs I was curious if anyone has had enough experience with these packs to suggest how accurate that comfort rating is and any overall recommendations. I love the ULA packs, although I'm not terribly attracted to them aesthetically as much as I am MLD packs (pricey!) or the Gorilla.

    hopefully someone has some recommendations and maybe something to sell!

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    What is your torso and belt hip size???
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  3. #3
    New Member JohnCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazy river road View Post
    What is your torso and belt hip size???
    I'll have to check tonight on both. I'm 6'2", 225lbs, 36" waist. I'll post torso this evening. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Ok, so according to the ULA website site you are a large torso which means your torso size is most likely between a 21"-24" with a medium hip belt. Sorry my pack wont fit you. Hope you find what you are looking for.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  5. #5
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    I have a Circuit (and just used it last week for a trip!) and I like it. It's pretty comfortable, has lots of space (but not too much; part of the reason I got it was to force me to carry less), good hip belt pockets.

    However, I don't use it much for backpacking anymore. My trip last week was to a gaming convention, and I was essentially car camping. For actual backpacking, I've been converted to Aarn bodypacks. Super dynamic and comfortable, great on-the-trail utility (large front pockets replace hip belt pockets).

    Compared to the Circuit, the Mountain Magic (http://www.aarnusa.com/pack_mountainmagic.htm) is almost twice as heavy, clocking in at 3.4 lbs. But since you're not humping it, it makes your total pack weight feel and carry lighter. Part of that weight is also waterproofing via internal liners in all of the 3 sacks, which I suppose equates to a pack cover.

    I actually wrote a review last year on my experiences with it: http://doulostheos.com/gear/aarn-mountain-magic-55
    "This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world." - Thomas à Kempis

  6. #6
    Senior Member Str1der's Avatar
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    I have the size medium ULA Circuit, and I absolutely love it! I've carried 30 lb in it with no problems whatsoever and felt I had room to go higher (ULA reports a max of 35 lb). If you're not too concerned with shedding every gram possible, I might look at the Circuit over the Ohm for the extra space for luxeries + the more robust suspension.

    Sorry, no experience with the other packs.

    BTW, I'm a 40" waist and I could fit the medium ULA belt, but the large worked better. At 36", you would be fine with the medium.
    "The Road goes ever on and on,
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  7. #7

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    If you make it up to Mohican for the hang to on Jun 22 you could get a look at my Ohm and Luke should have his new Gorilla with him.

    David

  8. #8
    New Member JohnCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannerstone View Post
    If you make it up to Mohican for the hang to on Jun 22 you could get a look at my Ohm and Luke should have his new Gorilla with him.

    David
    That would be awesome! I'm most likely going to make it. Just have to move some last minute things around. Now if only I can wait that long to buy one of them... ha.

  9. #9
    Yoda's Avatar
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    The weight limits and base weights that the manufacturer's list are pretty spot on, one word of caution though in regards to the Ohm is packing it properly is more crucial to carry comfort due to the design of the pack (think frame-less style of packing and it will serve you very well)!

    The other three packs you listed outside of the Ohm are very similar, with minor differences like the MLD doesn't come with hip-belt pockets (they must be purchased separately)!

    I think for the carry weights you listed and base weight I would drop the Ohm in favor of one of the other three!

    All the packs are bomber and will serve you very well I think you just need to look at the feature set of the packs and find the ones you want/need!

    For instance the hip-belt pockets, or the width of the shoulder straps (like on the Gorilla), pocket design, top closure method, hip-belt design (width and how it tightens)! As well as other minor details.

    Also Ron at MLD will work with you on personal customization, as well as Chris at ULA, mind you Chris will only do this at a particular time of the year, I think September??? Gossamer Gear, you get what you get, with no

    Then you have time frame you need this pack???? Gossamer Gear stocks their packs, so if they list it for purchase, they have it in stock, again you get "No" ability to customize with them but they have it in stock not made to order like the others! ULA is second in the shipping department, can take up too a week or so (sometimes faster/sometimes slower depending on order load that Chris has, but you can email him and ask (or call he's a great guy to deal with))! Then there's MLD, Ron clearly state's the wait time's on his site (I think he's up to almost 6 week's now on pack's (possibly longer))!

    Good luck with your decision, let us know what you decide on!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

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  10. #10
    Burning at both ends Dblcorona's Avatar
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    With my experience with GG packs, I would say your weights are too heavy for it. The GG don't have load lifters and with too much weight will start to drag off the shoulders. Haven't seen the FS exodus. I would say it's between that one and the circuit.

    an axe....really?
    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
    we grow old because we stop hiking."

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