ULA Conduit

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    Robin McKay


    Locale: Wanaka NZ

    I already own and have used ULAs P1 but wanted something that dropped from the +50 litre to around +30 litre size – very few light weight pack slotted into this area. Brian has done a superb job with this design. I love it!! NZ is a tough tramping (hiking) country but this pack is fabulous for lightweight work up to 5 days If you want a well made pack that weighs about half a kg and comfortable carries about 10/11 kgs, you can't go past ULA Conduit.

    BPL Member


    Locale: PNW

    This is indeed a great little pack. On a past trip, one of my accompanying backpackers made a comment about how it looked like a oversized daypack…that made me smile. Don’t let that generalization deter you though, with a total carrying capacity of 3500 cu. in. (2100 in the main compartment), I can easily get a week or more out of this pack.

    Great UL pack that weighs under 2lbs. With the extra options I ordered, it came in at 22.5 oz. I really like the very large mesh pockets that cover the entire pack, the hipbelt pockets, wide shoulder straps, and sleeping pad sleeve (to add some rigidity). Impecible attention to detail and very high quality craftsmanship.

    My only addition would be to add some sort of compression strap towards the bottom of the pack to keep things nice and tight.

    Overall, three cheers for Brian and crew @ ULA. If I ever need another (or larger) pack, it’ll definately be from them.

    sean sangree


    I think I may be the first one to complete an AT thru-huike with the ULA Conduit. I was impressed with this pack, and I’m normally pretty picky. After 2,175 miles, the pack is practically none the worse for wear. I haven’t found anybody with a Mariposa or other similar pack who can say the same. Thanks Brian!

    Jace A. Mellinger


    The ULA Conduit delivers on all it claims, just one thing you need to remember, use a closed cell foam pad. I first tried it with my prolite. It allows the pack to fold at the center of your back. I have since changed to the GG nitelite and it works perfectly. The outside mesh pockets allow easy access to all necessary items like windshirt, poncho, h2o. I think Brian has produced the most functional hip belt pockets ever. I do agree with BPL that the top closure strap should be reversed but this is minor. I also would not bother with the hydration sleeve. A Platy in the side pocket works great and makes packing alot easier. Over-all the best pack I have had.

    Stephen Boyd


    Locale: Minnesowtah

    This is my initial review. We leave Saturday for a week in Death Valley National Park and Las Vegas Area to do some day-hiking, photo taking and relaxing. When we return I will offer an update with any changes to my initial impressions.

    Upon ripping…and tearing open the box I immediately put in my Prolite 3 short, my 2L platy (full) and the majority of my dayhiking gear (much of which was already packed for our trip as I intend to use the pack as a carry on for our at hand needs)….oh well!

    My initial review is as follows…..WOW….what a fantastic piece of equipment. A great deal of care and pride obviously went into this pack. I absolutely cannot find a single thing to complain about….and I am a picky (and impatient…as Brian can surely attest) sun of a gun.

    With the majority of my day-hiking stuff loaded (backup clothing, emergency bivy, tarp, food/snacks, 10 essentials, gps, etc) and the 2L platy the pack comes in at around 16#. There is stuff missing but it gets me close.

    Initial impression is that the pack is incredibly comfortable. Oh so much more than I expected out of a frameless pack. I will obviously have some tweeking and adjusting to do once I get out on the trail but so far I am very, very impressed. High quality product, great value and extremely functional.

    More to follow when I return from my trip!


    Russell Swanson


    Locale: Midatlantic

    A lot of superlatives have been already said in the above reviews and I don't have a lot to add, other comments about the pad sleeve. It was clearly designed to accept self inflating 3/4 length pads. Foam pads are somewhat difficult to fit in the sleeve without some modification to either the sleeve or the pad itself. Necessity being the mother of invention, I have discovered a work around for both the Thermarest Z Lite 3/4 and the Gossamer Gear Nightlight torso pad.

    The Z Lite doesn't fit in the sleeve at all without cutting some of the sections off. It's just too bulky. I placed the pad against the packbag's backpanel and it stayed in place, with no shifting of the pad at all. The Z Lite provided excellent support and load transfer.

    The Nightlight torso pad will fit in the sleeve, albeit very tightly. I found it fairly easy to slip the pad into the sleeve by folding the pad as normal, then rolling it in a tight semi-circle before inserting it in the sleeve. The fit is still tight but its certainly a field-workable solution for inserting the pad. The Nightlight provided less support than the Z Lite (since the material of the GG pad isn't as dense as the Thermarest) but still more support than a self-inflating pad.

    Other than making the pad sleeve more adaptable (Velcro to attach the sleeve to the packbag?) I really can't think of much that could improve this impressive backpack. Hats off to ULA.

    Update, 05/08: Having used the Conduit almost exclusively for all of 2007, I decided to sell the 07 model and upgrade to the 08. Brian has angled the shoulder strap attachment points at the top of the packbag to allow the straps to wrap more effectively around the wearer's shoulders. While I never had an issue with the previous straps, this does seem to produce an even better fit and carry. He's also changed the internal pad sleeve to a new, simpler twin strap system to hold a sleeping pad in place. This is a big upgrade in my book. The new pad holder straps work better with closed cell foam pads and make it much easier to secure thicker pads in place. My scale shows the new pack to be an ounce lighter than my previous pack- possibly due to the new pad holder?

    After using the '07 Conduit for maybe about 500 miles carrying between 10-30+ lb. loads, I couldn't be more pleased. The pack showed almost no signs of wear (and I don't really baby my gear), even when I put it to the test with loads over 30 lbs. As a gearhead, I'm always tempted to buy something new but I just can't seem to find a reason to buy a different pack. The Conduit is everything I need a pack to be.

    Chris Bogart


    After dumping the 5500 ci monster of yesteryear for this 20 oz. filly for an early spring trip to the Catskills all I can say is: what a pleasure. Carries like a dream thanks to a great hipbelt and the mesh backpanel is extemely practical and versatile. The Dyneema fabric also seems tougher than lightweight silnylon. Provided you can get your pad into the sleeve which is really tight, the weight transfer, at least to 20 lbs. is excellent. Recommended.

    John Haley


    Locale: New York/Vermont Border

    Finally got the chance to load this one up and head out for a few days. I began a bit under 20 lbs, but had the chance to camel up at one point and get up to about 28 for awhile. The Conduit handled it all very well.

    I used the NightLight Torso combined with a SitLight pad for the suspension and backpad and it worked very well. The two pads placed in a slippery silicon sack was a breeze to fit into the pad pocket.

    At times I wished that my hips were a bit more pronounced so that even more of the weight could be carried there, but using my shoulders for about a third of the carrying wasn't bad at all.

    Features on this pack were well thought out and functional. Quality was exemplary. This pack did exactly what I'd hoped, and I can't ask more than that.

    Just returned from almost a month on the Long Trail using the Conduit. It seemed to perform better as each mile passed and the features worked flawlessly.

    Andrew King


    Locale: Arizona

    It's all the features I need and then some. I used a sitlight pad for frame support on a weekend trip, and with a full pack weight of around 17 lb incl consumables, this pack carried very nicely for ~21 miles of fairly rugged hiking. This pack is built to last; without a doubt among the most rugged pieces of lightweight gear I own. The front pocket is huge, I had no issues putting my tarp and rain gear inside with room to spare. I can't wait to get out on the trail again with this little beauty. I would not hesitate to take this out for a 5 day trip.

    Daniel Baettig
    BPL Member


    I used the ULA Conduit this summer on a 5 day trekking adventure on the Kungsleden in Sweden. The quality of the material is superb and the volume of the pack is just right for a week long trekking tour. Carrying the ULA Conduit with 18 pounds was very comfortable (I ordered size M/L and my torso length is 19 in (48 cm))!

    Mike Feldman


    Locale: SE USA

    The Conduit replaced a Granite Gear Virga as my weekend to weeklong pack without resupply. Got it new from Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neels Gap on AT in GA couple weeks ago( ULA closed) just in time for weekend BP trip on nearby AT from Hogpen Gap to Tray Mountain. With camel up on water( GA drought), pack w/gear, food, water at 17-18 pounds. Used 2 panels of GG nighlite foam pad in sleeve, was perfect. A 12 mile day with 17-18 pounds was very pleasant. Pack is very comfortable and look forward next month to weekend trip w/excellent water sources, to using the Conduit with about 12 pound load. The mesh side and front pockets are excellent, as were the two belt pockets. Excellent features, comfort, top notch craftmanship.

    Kevin Sawchuk
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    Convenient, durable, love the waist belt pockets (I won't buy a pack without them). Very comfortable and stretchable to a week. My only complaint is that when packed with a bear canister the main mesh pocket on the back is unusable. It should have a bit more give/stretch and it would get a "5".

    Jeff Boone
    BPL Member


    I have the '08 model. My first frameless pack, and my favorite one ever. Most I've carried is 17 pounds, and it was amazingly comfortable. The universal pad holster works great!

    John Brochu


    Locale: New Hampshire

    Used this pack on 5 or 6 overnight trips ranging from one night to 7 nights and a base weight ranging from 8 to 12 pounds.

    The pack is outstanding. It carried well up to 28 pounds. The hip belt pockets, side pockets, and back pockets are all useful and help keep things organized when on the move.

    It's a little too heavy to be considered for SUL use, but for UL from 7 to 15 pounds base weight it's perfect.

    Customer service is also excellent from ULA in general, as I had several questions before ordering which were all answered in a prompt manner.

    Adam Frizzell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mid-Atlantic

    I've got an '09 Conduit and have had the opportunity to get it out this fall/winter. The conduit is sized large enough to carry all my winter weather gear (10.25# base weight) and food/water for 2-3 days. The way the pack fits is exemplary (I'm 6'1" with a 21.5" torso and the M/L fits perfectly). I ordered my Conduit with the hip belt pockets but I just don't use hip belt pockets all that much. They are positioned pretty far back, so it takes some twisting to get back there to open them. The zips on the hip belt pockets are also on the top, so I had issues with snow fall and freezing the zippers shut.
    The only thing I'd like to see changed, IMO, is that the side mesh pockets have a very steep cut to them. It's hard to get a good bit of gear in there and cinch them up. I was worried that stuff may fall out during the hike. That being said, nothing did, so maybe my worries were for not.
    My '09 Conduit in Size M/L weighs 20.1 oz. including right and left hipbelt pockets. All in all, a great pack. The price is also hard to beat!

    R K


    Locale: South West US

    It’s a good pack if you’re going reasonably light. It has all the features you’d want as a backpacker (good sized main compartment, back pocket for drying/keeping stuff accessible, side pockets that can be easily reached while hiking, etc.) and nothing gimmicky or useless. It’s tough where it needs to be and carries really well. ULA put a lot of thought into this pack and it shows.

    It’s not for some but I like the hip-belt on the 2009 better than the 2008 version. It’s narrower which gives good ventilation but still seems to carry well when needed. The belt seems to chafe less around the stomach area. Tightening it up is easier too, since you can pull forward rather than to the sides like most packs. The pockets would be better if they were sewn in like the 2008 but it hasn’t really been much of an issue and I suppose it increases versatility if you don’t need them.

    It’ll fit any size of bear can, the larger versions needing to be placed vertically. I typically use a bare-boxer and put it at the bottom.

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