At our retail store, we sell more of these ULA packs than we do bigger name brands like Osprey or Gregory, and there's got to be a reason. Mainly, super-light pack weights but with plenty of room for even bulky winter gear if needed. The best hip belt pockets on the market, and that's no small thing - you'd be surprised what all will fit in those things. The Catalyst is a perfect weight and size for long hikes if you control your total gear, water and food load to the 30-35 pounds range. The manufacturer rates it with a higher load-bearing capacity, and it will certainly fit, but once a load gets north of 35 pounds will start to be felt on your shoulders.
The pack itself weighs under 3 pounds, with a rated volume of about 75 liters. The carrying capacity includes the various pockets but that is still all the room a lightweight enthusiast needs. One great feature of this pack is its width - enough to get a bear can in it sideways. If you can get away with a little less room and your pack weight can be kept under 30 pounds, we also sell ULA's Circuit backpack
You can customize the look and fit of your ULA Catalyst by using the drop-down boxes above. We only sell online the various models and color combinations we have on the shelf at our retail store, so we may not have every combination possible. Availability during COVID times has been limited. We try to keep our online store options up to date with the stock we have on the showroom floor, but you can always give us a call first to make sure we have exactly what you're looking for. Nothing is charged at time of your order, so we'll call and let you know if any availability or substitution options. We generally ship any in-stock packs the same day an order comes in by noon that day. Free shipping assumes via Fedex Ground to the Lower 48 only.
Expedited shipping is available if needed in a hurry.SELECT COLOR/TORSO SIZE:
The drop down box above reflects the combination that is currently in stock. At any point in time we might have a Green backpack in a Small torso, but not a Long torso, or a Red one in a Medium but not a Small, so the mix available in the drop-down box will vary from time to time as we restock. The torso ranges for this pack can be adjusted by a few inches within a size range by adjusting the hip belt up and down via its velcro attachment. We find in real world uses, the ULA packs run shorter than others, especially once loaded. For example, if you are typically on the upper limits of a Small on an Osprey, you're probably a Medium in a ULA pack. If you are thick from front to back. the shoulder straps have to go a ways before starting to come down on the chest, so you probably want the bigger size. Generally, you are better off with a pack too long than too short, so err on the upper side. Call us to discuss fitting.SELECT HIP BELT SIZE:
The hip belts are one of the best features of a ULA pack - they will confirm to just about any body shape and have great pockets as described above. The belts are easily interchanged between several ULA models. The factory specs on these are stated per below, with some real-world differences. I wear 30" waist pants, but use a Medium belt. If I lost any big weight on a long trip I'd need to shift down to a Small, but normally I'd find the Small too small to my liking. The advantage of a slightly larger hip belt than needed is the greater latching on to your hip bones, and the pockets are further around the belly for easier access. Use too large of a belt however and you can't get maximum tightness to carry the load on the hips instead of the shoulders.
Small - 30-34"
Medium - 34-38"
Large - 38-42"
X Large - 42-47"
You'll see strap style options on ULA's own site, but all the ones we carry have the unisex J-style straps.
If you're not quite ready to buy a pack just yet, we rent great backpacks
for a lot less money - check them out!