Oct 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm #1281262
@traumaheadLocale: Cen Cal
Another take on having an air pad for the frame. http://www.ula-equipment.com/airx.aspOct 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm #1796240
This was posted somewhere else a month or two ago when the press release came out, but I forget where and it's good to know that its now on the ULA website for order.
It seems this pack is basically a Circuit but with the Klymit pad instead of the regular frame sheet.
The idea to use a sleeping pad as a frame is a clever one, although I wonder if it might be better to use an awesome sorta-inflatable pillow instead. An awesome pillow is a luxury most of us don't carry but would love to have. This sort of multi-use would be much appreciated by everyone. With a sleeping pad acting as a frame, you get a small pad (2/3 length) that's only good for the summer (it's R-1.0) so it's of no use if you like a more robust pad, and outside of summer you'll need to carry a separate CCF pad for underneath. They should sell an 'awesome pillow' version for those of us that have a different preferred sleeping pad.Oct 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm #1796241
@traumaheadLocale: Cen Cal
D'oh, must have missed the thread. Wouldn't it still be possible to use a full size pad? And that'd be one huuuge pillow.Oct 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm #1796256
I don't think the pillow would be that huge, because the pad is folded many times before it slides into the pack as the frame. MLD is using a custom Klymit pad as part of the frame in their new Exodus FS pack and I believe the dimensions of that are about 11" x 23". So that's just a smidge wider than a standard pad and a nice height for a pillow. In the AirX the pad area is likely a little bigger since the pack is bigger, but it's probably not bigger than 15" x 26" or so. That's getting a bit big for a pillow maybe, but not crazy.
I imagine you could use a full size pads, since you're folding up the pad anyways quite a few times to fit it in there. I'd email them and check first though. The downside of this is that you'd be buying the 2/3rds length pad which you'd then have to sell immediately. If the full size pad fits too, they should make it an option at the time of purchase.Oct 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm #1796257
@hosaphoneLocale: Boston-ish, MA
Dan, have you seen the MLD Exodus FS? As far as I can tell from the description, it does basically just what you describe: http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=185
In fact, the inflatable pillow/pad used in the Exodus FS is made by the same company that does the pad the ULA is designed for!
I'm skeptical… I have a G4 that is designed to use a pad for a frame and it doesn't work particularly well. Then again people seem to love every other ULA pack and I'm sure they've tested this thoroughly. I'm surprised they list the max load at 40 pounds, the same as the catalyst which has all sorts of frame goodness. Even the Exodus FS has a minimal CF frame to accompany the inflatable pad.
I dunno, I can't wait to see some reviews on it though.
Edit, I guess that's a yes, you have heard of it :-pOct 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm #1796263
Doesn't the AirX have the carbon/delrin loop too? Maybe it doesn't….I'm too lazy to go look at the website again. This would help explain the load rating.
The Exodus FS pad looks like a good size for a pillow, but I think a bit more innovation is required before this pad would really fall into the 'awesome pillow' category. It's nice and big, but it's just an inflatable and that never feels that great. You'd still need to pile ample clothes on top to make it nice. What I would like to see (just thinking as I type) is a pad/pillow that inflates with air to a high PSI for use as pack frame, but then it's also filled with soft foam for use uninflated as a pillow (ie. the foam would provide the head support, so you could leave the valve open during pillow usage).
There is a bit of a fundamental problem with the pack frame/pillow idea and that's the thickness. When used a packframe you want the pad fairly thin, so your load is carried as close to the back as possible, but when you're using it as a pillow you really want it thicker than 1.5" or so. Something like 3" thick of soft foam would be awesome. To really accomplish this you'd need to do something like dual compartments, which would likely get complicated, heavy and expensive pretty quick.Oct 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm #1796264
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I like it on paper and i photos. IF the semi-inflated pad gives it enough stiffness to transfer the weight to your hips better than any other frameless pack they may have a real winner.
Personally I'd make a 500 cu. in. Dyneema cloth lid for it that can be used as a fanny pack for day excursions away from a base camp. Waterproof zippers a few QR buckles and some 3/4" webbing would do it. Maybe even a zip-in CFC sit pad/stiffener against the back and to remove for sitting at camp.Oct 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm #1796269
Eric…that sounds like a lot of 'feature creep' to me. That's half a pound easy. Why not focus on making the pack lighter, and then it could be used away from 'base camp' as a day pack if you're into that sort of thing.Oct 29, 2011 at 7:41 am #1796328
We had a few people try the Klymit pad at camp on the Trinity trip. Nobody too excited about it. The pillow idea is an interesting twist though.Mar 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm #1966004
@mtraftonLocale: North Carolina
Im waiting to get mine. I ordered it with the Cuben Fiber. I loved the idea of having the sleeping pad as part of the frame. I usualy use a hammock and on the occasion that I'm in a hostal or a shelter on the AT it will be nice to have a pad. In the past I just hade a bad night. It weight should come in arround 28oz. Which I think is great for a pack with a frame.Mar 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm #1966024
Just checked the ULA website and the Catalyst and AirX have the same total 4600 Cu Inch! Did not see a cuben option.Mar 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm #1966027
Henry– you can ask for it as a custom order.Mar 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm #1966072
@greenwalkLocale: PA & Ireland
Check for another thread on custom cuben ULA packs too–with pics.
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