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TED FR ULA CDT Pack

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  • Edward
    For your editing pleasure: See http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/ FIELD REPORT FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS I have used
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 2, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      For your editing pleasure:

      See

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/

      FIELD REPORT

      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
      I have used the ULA CDT pack on two overnight trips over the Field Test period. It would have been more, but the pack was damaged on the second trip and I am presently awaiting its return from ULA. The first trip was a simple on-trail overnighter on a local peak. The second was in large part a rigorous solo bushwhack off-trail, with an on-trail return. All pack use was in the Catskill Mountains of New York, to elevations of about 4000 ft (1220 m), on mountainous terrain. Daytime temperatures were at maximum 75 F (24 C) or more, and nighttime temperatures fell to a minimum of 45 F (7 C), with (on the first trip), strong, gusty winds. The weather on both trips was fine and dry, as has been much of our late summer.

      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
      How the CDT loads

      As noted in the Initial Report, this pack is intended to carry a maximum weight of 25 pounds (11 kg). In addition, the ULA website suggests a recommended base weight (i.e. weight of pack and equipment before food and water) of 12 pounds or less (5 kg). On the first trip, my base weight was below the recommended minimum, as I was carrying a tarp shelter, which helped keep the weight low, but as I was making a dry camp I carried about a gallon of water in two 2 Platypuses. With food, that raised my starting weight to about 22 lb (10 kg).

      On the second trip I used a more substantial shelter, a two-person Tarptent whose weight is around 3 lb (1.4 kg). This gave me a higher base weight, just a little over the recommended minimum, in part because I packed rather hastily and carelessly. I was carrying less water than the first trip (less than I could ideally have used, as it turned out, as I failed to find a spring that was supposed to be the vicinity of my campsite). My starting weight was around 20 lb (9 kg). Neither load could be called ultra-light, but my intention was to carry a load close to that for which the pack was designed. In general, on short trips, I don't go for the bare minimum.

      On both overnights, I used a full length Z-Rest to give the pack structure; it is designed to be used with a sleeping pad. I folded this to create a back panel. On the second trip I placed my shelter poles diagonally within the folded pad for added firmness and facilitate weight transfer. The Z-Rest, placed in the pack, is held in place at the top under the diagonal elastics built into the CDT, and was secured in position by the bulk of my sleeping bag placed in the base of the pack. This was a lightweight bag rated to 23 F, -5 C, weight 25 oz (0.7 kg), housed loosely compressed in a lightweight silnylon drybag. I could have gone for a significanly lighter bag with a rating of 35 F (2 C), but on the first trip I expected strong nighttime winds (and was not disappointed), which, in a tarp shelter, can make for cool sleeping. I felt the bag was the right choice on both trips. More to the point, this demonstrated that despite the CDT's limits of recommended minimum weight, perfectly adequate comfort can be achieved, for a three season trip at least. I would have been fine down to a far lower temperature than I experienced.

      In both cases, I carried my shelter in one of the side pockets. Here's the setup for my first trip:

      That's my tarp and its folded pole in the left mesh pocket, one of my two water containers; a lightweight inflatable torso pad and a few other odds and end in the right mesh pocket; and a silnylon poncho to serve as a groundsheet and rain wear (together a windshirt and other odds and ends) in the rear mesh. Munchies and a GPS unit are in the two small pockets on the waistbelt. Everything was cinched in carefully with the pack straps (though I wouldn't recommend carrying water in this fashion for an off-trail hike).

      Inside the pack is more water, the rest of my gear (including a lightweight jacket for nighttime wear), and my food. I even had gloves and a hat packed in there, just in case (total overkill, but I've needed them in summer before now). The bottom line is that fully loaded, with a spare night of food and loads of water, the pack easily carries all one could reasonably require.

      How it carries

      I put my headlamp in the supplied mesh wallet for easy access, along with my ID and some cash for the trip home, as I expected to set up camp after dark (and did so on both trips). The wallet (which is at the top of the pack, below the collar) is a very nice addition to the feature set. It is easily detachable. I didn't use the hydration sleeve on either trip, but I will at least once for the long-term report (I am not a big fan of hydration tubes, as a general rule). At the trailhead I loosened all the straps, put the back on, and cinched in the waistbelt and adjusted everything just so, then hit the trail. No fuss, no muss, all very straighforward—I especially like the way that the waist adjusts. I was interested to find (and noted that this was consistently the case) that I generally didn't really need the sternum strap. Now, I have slightly narrow shoulders, and find this strap almost essential with many packs, so this was a pleasing discovery. The only time I really felt it necessary to have it fastened was during a brief third-class climb during the second trip, as I wanted the pack to hug my back without any slop while I climbed steeply a couple of hundred feet on some narrow and rather exposed ledge systems.

      The pack's waiststrap seems very well designed, spreading the load to the hips well, and even fully laden it is remarkably comfortable to carry the CDT at the recommended maximum load or less. As my levels of food and water declined, I sensed that the true "sweet spot" was around fifteen to eighteen pounds (7 to 8 kg), but this pack certainly isn't at all uncomfortable fully laden. It is constructed without load-lifter straps, but on a pack intended for these weights I certainly didn't feel their absence. It's snug, in a good way, a good pack for precarious perches, handy for one who likes a little non-technical climbing on a hike. Perhaps because of this snugness, as it has no back panel it can feel a bit sweaty, but the same's true with most packs I use, panel or no. It's also light enough to carry briefly over one shoulder for ventilation.

      I did use the handloops on trail for a while. Though I knew ULA packs had them, I have no other pack with them, so they were a new feature to me. I have found that I like them, and that they do seem to slightly change the way the pack carries. It seemed to me that some load is taken by my hands when they are in use, and that they act slighly like load-lifters. The downside is that the loops can't easily be used with hiking poles, so those have to be strapped on using the retention loops, adding load to the pack.

      A minor disaster

      On my second trip, I began a long ridgeline ascent on my route. This is a bushwhack I've taken several times in the past, though not recently, and my recollection was that it was not too dense. The hard climb was at the beginning, ascending the summit iof the peak below which I had slept, and I was looking forward to hitting the trail and beginning the descent to the car. Unfortunately, my route then took me through some very dense spruce-fir growth, common at elevation in the Catskills. This is rough stuff on body and gear alike, and I found myself crawling under the close-packed trees to get through (and getting scratched up, as usual). Finally, I hit the trail, and unshouldered the pack to get some food and the remains of my water. It was then that I saw the spruce had taken its toll.


      A large hole had been opened in the rear mesh pocket. Fortunately, no gear had escaped, nor was any damaged. While I have had small snags to mesh pockets on packs when bushwhacking, this is the only time in many years of thrashing through the woods that I have had a major tear, other than to myself. The body of the pack was entirely unaffected, but the rather soft mesh of the pocket had suffered badly. I called ULA the following week, and arranged for a repair, and I have shipped the pack off. At present I eagerly await its return so that I may continue the test. The initial response from ULA was exemplary.

      SUMMARY

      Despite this misadventure, I am very taken with ULA's CDT pack. It carries well, and is perfect to my needs for three-season Catskill backpacking. The body of the pack is made of strong stuff (I have had Dyneema packs before), but the pockets are a bit more vulnerable. In future, I will need to exercise greater care.
    • Edward
      For your editing pleasure (revised version, partially rewritten): See http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/ FIELD REPORT FIELD
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 3, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        For your editing pleasure (revised version, partially rewritten):

        See

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/

        FIELD REPORT

        FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
        I have used the ULA CDT pack on two overnight trips over the Field Test period. It would have been more, but the pack was damaged on the second trip and I am presently awaiting its return from ULA. The first trip was a simple on-trail overnighter on a local peak. The second was in large part a rigorous solo bushwhack off-trail, with an on-trail return. All pack use was in the Catskill Mountains of New York, to elevations of about 4000 ft (1220 m), on mountainous terrain. Daytime temperatures were at maximum 75 F (24 C) or more, and nighttime temperatures fell to a minimum of 45 F (7 C), with (on the first trip), strong, gusty winds. The weather on both trips was fine and dry, as has been much of our late summer.

        PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
        How the CDT loads

        As noted in the Initial Report, this pack is intended to carry a maximum weight of 25 pounds (11 kg). In addition, the ULA website indicates a recommended base weight (i.e. the weight of pack and equipment before food and water is included) of 12 pounds or less (5 kg). On the first trip, my base weight was below the recommended minimum, as I was carrying a tarp shelter, which helped keep the weight low, but as I was making a dry camp I carried about a gallon of water in two 2 L Platypuses. With food, that raised my starting weight to about 22 lb (10 kg). I used a standard canister stove, not an alcohol stove,

        On the second trip I chose a more substantial shelter, a two-person Tarptent Double Rainbow whose weight is around 3 lb (1.4 kg). This gave me a higher base weight, just a little over the recommended minimum. I could probably have shaved off an extra pound by leaving out a few oddments, but chose not to do so. I was carrying less water than the first trip (less than I could ideally have used, as it turned out, as I failed to find a spring that was supposed to be the vicinity of my campsite), so my starting weight was still a moderate 20 lb (9 kg). Neither load could be called ultra-light, but my intention was to carry a load close to that for which the pack was designed. In general, on short trips, I don't go for the bare minimum.

        On both of these overnights, I used a full length Z-Rest; the pack is designed to be used with a sleeping pad to give it structure. I folded this to create a back panel. On the second trip I placed my shelter poles diagonally within the folded pad for added firmness and to facilitate weight transfer. The Z-Rest, placed in the pack, is held in place at the top under the diagonal elastics built into the CDT, and I secured it in position with the bulk of my sleeping bag placed in the base of the pack. This was a lightweight bag (Valandre Mirage) rated to 23 F, -5 C, weight 25 oz (0.7 kg), housed loosely compressed in a lightweight silnylon drybag. I could have gone for a significanly lighter bag with a rating of 35 F (2 C), but on the first trip I expected strong nighttime winds (and was not disappointed). In a tarp shelter, winds can make for cool sleeping. I felt the sleeping bag was the right choice on both trips. More to the point, it demonstrated that despite the CDT's limits of recommended minimum weight, perfectly adequate comfort can be achieved, for a three season trip at least, with the right choice of gear. I would have been comfortable at a significantly lower nighttime minimum temperature than I experienced.

        In both cases, I carried my shelter in one of the side pockets. Here's the setup for my first trip:

        That's my tarp and its folded pole in the left mesh pocket; one of my two water containers, a lightweight inflatable torso pad and a few other odds and end in the right mesh pocket; and a silnylon poncho to serve as a groundsheet and rain wear (together a windshirt and a lighweight jacket for evenings) in the rear mesh pocket. Munchies and a GPS unit are in the two small pockets on the waistbelt. Everything was cinched in carefully with the pack side straps (I wouldn't recommend carrying water in this fashion for an off-trail hike; though I didn't have problems, I felt it was held in place a little precariously).

        Inside the pack is more water, the rest of my gear, and my food. I even had gloves and a hat packed in there, just in case (total overkill, but I've needed them in summer before now). The bottom line is that fully loaded, with a spare night of food and loads of water, the pack easily carries all one could reasonably require.

        How the CDT carries

        I put my headlamp in the supplied mesh wallet for easy access, along with my ID and some cash for the trip home, as I expected to set up camp after dark (I did so on both trips). The wallet, which is at the top of the pack, below the collar, is a very nice addition to this pack's features. It is easily detachable. I didn't use the hydration sleeve on either trip, but I will at least once for the long-term report (I am not a big fan of hydration tubes, as a general rule). At the trailhead I loosened all the straps, put the pack on, and cinched in the waistbelt and adjusted everything just so, starting with the waistband and then the shoulder straps. I then hit the trail. No fuss, no muss, all very straighforward—I especially like the way that the waist adjusts, with the pull straps situated away from the main buckle. I was interested to find (and I noted that this was consistently the case) that I didn't really need the sternum strap. I have slightly narrow shoulders, and find this strap almost essential with many packs, so this was a pleasing discovery. The only time I really felt it essential to have it fastened was during a brief third-class climb during the second trip, as I wanted the pack to hug my back without any possible side-to-side slop while I climbed steeply a couple of hundred feet or so on some narrow and rather exposed ledge systems.

        The pack's waiststrap seems very well designed, spreading the load to the hips well, and even fully laden it is remarkably comfortable to carry the CDT at weights near the suggested maximum load or less. As my levels of food and water declined, I sensed that the true "sweet spot" was around fifteen to eighteen pounds (7 to 8 kg), but this pack certainly isn't at all uncomfortable fully laden. It is constructed without load-lifter straps, but on a pack intended for these weights I certainly didn't feel their absence. It's fairly snug, in a good way, a good pack for precarious perches, handy for one who likes a little non-technical climbing on a hike. Perhaps because of this snugness, as it has no back panel it can feel a bit sweaty, but the same's true with most packs I use, panel or no. It's also light enough to carry briefly over one shoulder for ventilation. I do feel that the torso length (medium/large) is just right for me.

        I did use the handloops on trail for a while. Though I knew ULA packs had them as an option, I have no other pack with them, so they were a new feature to me. I like them, and they do seem to slightly change the way the pack carries. It seems to me that some load is taken by my hands when they are in use, and that perhaps they act slightly like load-lifters. The downside is that the loops can't easily be used with hiking poles, so those have to be strapped on using the retention loops, adding load to the pack.

        A minor disaster

        On my second trip, I began a long ridgeline ascent to the highpoint of my route. This is a bushwhack I've taken several times in the past, though not recently, and my recollection was that it was not too dense. The hard climb (in terms of verticality, not elevation) was at the beginning of the day, when I ascended the summit of the peak below which I had slept, and I was looking forward to hitting the trail and beginning the descent to the car. Unfortunately, either I had forgotten them, or i was away from my usual line. My route took me through some very dense spruce-fir growth, common at higher elevations in the Catskills. This is rough stuff on body and gear alike, and I found myself crawling under the close-packed trees to get through (and getting scratched up, as usual). Finally, I hit the trail, and unshouldered the pack to get some food and the remains of my water. It was then that I saw the spruce had taken its toll.


        A large hole had been opened in the rear mesh pocket, probably by a protruding branch. The tear seemed to have run from the point of the initial puncture. Fortunately, no gear had escaped, nor was any damaged. While I have had small snags to mesh pockets on packs when bushwhacking, this is the only time in many years of thrashing through the woods that I have had a major tear to a pack; the damge is usually to myself or my clothing. The body of the pack was entirely unaffected, but the rather soft, stretchy mesh of the pocket had suffered badly. I called ULA the following week, and arranged for a repair, and I have shipped the pack off. At present I eagerly await its return so that I may continue the test. The initial response from ULA was exemplary.

        SUMMARY

        Despite this misadventure, I am very taken with ULA's CDT pack. It carries well, and is perfect to my needs for three-season backpacking, though perhaps not off-trail. The body of the pack is made of strong stuff (I have had Dyneema packs before), but the pockets are a bit more vulnerable. In future, I will need to exercise greater care.

        My thanks go to ULA and BacpackGearTest for this testing opportunity. This report was created in part with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
      • Edward
        I have just now received the repaired pack back from ULS, and I have changed the wording to accomodate my response For your editing pleasure (revised version,
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 5, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          I have just now received the repaired pack back from ULS, and I have changed the wording to accomodate my response

          For your editing pleasure (revised version, partially rewritten):

          http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/

          FIELD REPORT

          FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
          I have used the ULA CDT pack on two overnight trips over the Field Test period. It would have been more, but the pack was damaged on the second trip and I am presently awaiting its return from ULA. The first trip was a simple on-trail overnighter on a local peak. The second was in large part a rigorous solo bushwhack off-trail, with an on-trail return. All pack use was in the Catskill Mountains of New York, to elevations of about 4000 ft (1220 m), on mountainous terrain. Daytime temperatures were at maximum 75 F (24 C) or more, and nighttime temperatures fell to a minimum of 45 F (7 C), with (on the first trip), strong, gusty winds. The weather on both trips was fine and dry, as has been much of our late summer.

          PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
          How the CDT loads

          As noted in the Initial Report, this pack is intended to carry a maximum weight of 25 pounds (11 kg). In addition, the ULA website indicates a recommended base weight (i.e. the weight of pack and equipment before food and water is included) of 12 pounds or less (5 kg). On the first trip, my base weight was below the recommended minimum, as I was carrying a tarp shelter, which helped keep the weight low, but as I was making a dry camp I carried about a gallon of water in two 2 L Platypuses. With food, that raised my starting weight to about 22 lb (10 kg). I used a standard canister stove, not an alcohol stove,

          On the second trip I chose a more substantial shelter, a two-person Tarptent Double Rainbow whose weight is around 3 lb (1.4 kg). This gave me a higher base weight, just a little over the recommended minimum. I could probably have shaved off an extra pound by leaving out a few oddments, but chose not to do so. I was carrying less water than the first trip (less than I could ideally have used, as it turned out, as I failed to find a spring that was supposed to be the vicinity of my campsite), so my starting weight was still a moderate 20 lb (9 kg). Neither load could be called ultra-light, but my intention was to carry a load close to that for which the pack was designed. In general, on short trips, I don't go for the bare minimum.

          On both of these overnights, I used a full length Z-Rest; the pack is designed to be used with a sleeping pad to give it structure. I folded this to create a back panel. On the second trip I placed my shelter poles diagonally within the folded pad for added firmness and to facilitate weight transfer. The Z-Rest, placed in the pack, is held in place at the top under the diagonal elastics built into the CDT, and I secured it in position with the bulk of my sleeping bag placed in the base of the pack. This was a lightweight bag (Valandre Mirage) rated to 23 F, -5 C, weight 25 oz (0.7 kg), housed loosely compressed in a lightweight silnylon drybag. I could have gone for a significanly lighter bag with a rating of 35 F (2 C), but on the first trip I expected strong nighttime winds (and was not disappointed). In a tarp shelter, winds can make for cool sleeping. I felt the sleeping bag was the right choice on both trips. More to the point, it demonstrated that despite the CDT's limits of recommended minimum weight, perfectly adequate comfort can be achieved, for a three season trip at least, with the right choice of gear. I would have been comfortable at a significantly lower nighttime minimum temperature than I experienced.

          In both cases, I carried my shelter in one of the side pockets. Here's the setup for my first trip:

          Water bottle holster
          The full pack, ash-tree bolete in the foreground

          That's my tarp and its folded pole in the left mesh pocket; one of my two water containers, a lightweight inflatable torso pad and a few other odds and end in the right mesh pocket; and a silnylon poncho to serve as a groundsheet and rain wear (together a windshirt and a lighweight jacket for evenings) in the rear mesh pocket. Munchies and a GPS unit are in the two small pockets on the waistbelt. Everything was cinched in carefully with the pack side straps (I wouldn't recommend carrying water in this fashion for an off-trail hike; though I didn't have problems, I felt it was held in place a little precariously).

          Inside the pack is more water, the rest of my gear, and my food. I even had gloves and a hat packed in there, just in case (total overkill, but I've needed them in summer before now). The bottom line is that fully loaded, with a spare night of food and loads of water, the pack easily carries all one could reasonably require.

          How the CDT carries

          I put my headlamp in the supplied mesh wallet for easy access, along with my ID and some cash for the trip home, as I expected to set up camp after dark (I did so on both trips). The wallet, which is at the top of the pack, below the collar, is a very nice addition to this pack's features. It is easily detachable. I didn't use the hydration sleeve on either trip, but I will at least once for the long-term report (I am not a big fan of hydration tubes, as a general rule). At the trailhead I loosened all the straps, put the pack on, and cinched in the waistbelt and adjusted everything just so, starting with the waistband and then the shoulder straps. I then hit the trail. No fuss, no muss, all very straighforward—I especially like the way that the waist adjusts, with the pull straps situated away from the main buckle. I was interested to find (and I noted that this was consistently the case) that I didn't really need the sternum strap. I have slightly narrow shoulders, and find this strap almost essential with many packs, so this was a pleasing discovery. The only time I really felt it essential to have it fastened was during a brief third-class climb during the second trip, as I wanted the pack to hug my back without any possible side-to-side slop while I climbed steeply a couple of hundred feet or so on some narrow and rather exposed ledge systems.

          The pack's waiststrap seems very well designed, spreading the load to the hips well, and even fully laden it is remarkably comfortable to carry the CDT at weights near the suggested maximum load or less. As my levels of food and water declined, I sensed that the true "sweet spot" was around fifteen to eighteen pounds (7 to 8 kg), but this pack certainly isn't at all uncomfortable fully laden. It is constructed without load-lifter straps, but on a pack intended for these weights I certainly didn't feel their absence. It's fairly snug, in a good way, a good pack for precarious perches, handy for one who likes a little non-technical climbing on a hike. Perhaps because of this snugness, as it has no back panel it can feel a bit sweaty, but the same's true with most packs I use, panel or no. It's also light enough to carry briefly over one shoulder for ventilation. I do feel that the torso length (medium/large) is just right for me.

          I did use the handloops on trail for a while. Though I knew ULA packs had them as an option, I have no other pack with them, so they were a new feature to me. I like them, and they do seem to slightly change the way the pack carries. It seems to me that some load is taken by my hands when they are in use, and that perhaps they act slightly like load-lifters. The downside is that the loops can't easily be used with hiking poles, so those have to be strapped on using the retention loops, adding load to the pack.

          A minor disaster

          On my second trip, I began a long ridgeline ascent to the highpoint of my route. This is a bushwhack I've taken several times in the past, though not recently, and my recollection was that it was not too dense. The hard climb (in terms of verticality, not elevation) was at the beginning of the day, when I ascended the summit of the peak below which I had slept, and I was looking forward to hitting the trail and beginning the descent to the car. Unfortunately, either I had forgotten them, or i was away from my usual line. My route took me through some very dense spruce-fir growth, common at higher elevations in the Catskills. This is rough stuff on body and gear alike, and I found myself crawling under the close-packed trees to get through (and getting scratched up, as usual). Finally, I hit the trail, and unshouldered the pack to get some food and the remains of my water. It was then that I saw the spruce had taken its toll.

          Hole in pack
          The tear

          A large hole had been opened in the rear mesh pocket, probably by a protruding branch. The tear seemed to have run from the point of the initial puncture. Fortunately, no gear had escaped, nor was any damaged. While I have had small snags to mesh pockets on packs when bushwhacking, this is the only time in many years of thrashing through the woods that I have had a major tear to a pack; the damge is usually to myself or my clothing. The body of the pack was entirely unaffected, but the rather soft, stretchy mesh of the pocket had suffered badly.

          I called ULA the following week, arranged for a repair, and shipped the pack off. The response from ULA was exemplary. I have just received the pack back (about two weeks later) flawlessly repaired. Initially I thought it had been entirely replaced, but a careful examination (a spruce needle tucked away in some waistband padding) indicates that this is one and the same. The craftsmanship of the repair seems impeccable. I am very impressed, both by the turnaround time and the quality of the work.

          SUMMARY

          Despite this misadventure, I am very taken with ULA's CDT pack. It carries well, and is perfect to my needs for three-season backpacking, though perhaps not off-trail. The body of the pack is made of strong stuff (I have had Dyneema packs before), but the pockets are a bit more vulnerable. In future, I will need to exercise greater care.

          My thanks go to ULA and BacpackGearTest for this testing opportunity. This report was created in part with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
        • Mark McLauchlin
          Hi Ed, Few for you then you are good to go, shame about that damage to the pack. EDIT: and nighttime temperatures ... please leave. EDIT: have gone for a
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 7, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Ed,



            Few for you then you are good to go, shame about that damage to the pack.



            EDIT: and nighttime temperatures

            >>and night time temperatures.

            >>there are a few places where you have done this, if it is a US thing then
            please leave.



            EDIT: have gone for a significanly lighter

            >>have gone for a significantly lighter



            EDIT: ,all very straighforward

            >>all very straightforward





            EDIT: the damge is
            >>the damage is







            From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Edward
            Sent: Wednesday, 6 October 2010 7:08 AM
            To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [backpackgeartesters] REPOST II: TED FR ULA CDT PACK





            I have just now received the repaired pack back from ULS, and I have changed
            the wording to accomodate my response

            For your editing pleasure (revised version, partially rewritten):

            http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/

            FIELD REPORT

            FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
            I have used the ULA CDT pack on two overnight trips over the Field Test
            period. It would have been more, but the pack was damaged on the second trip
            and I am presently awaiting its return from ULA. The first trip was a simple
            on-trail overnighter on a local peak. The second was in large part a
            rigorous solo bushwhack off-trail, with an on-trail return. All pack use was
            in the Catskill Mountains of New York, to elevations of about 4000 ft (1220
            m), on mountainous terrain. Daytime temperatures were at maximum 75 F (24 C)
            or more, and nighttime temperatures fell to a minimum of 45 F (7 C), with
            (on the first trip), strong, gusty winds. The weather on both trips was fine
            and dry, as has been much of our late summer.

            PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
            How the CDT loads

            As noted in the Initial Report, this pack is intended to carry a maximum
            weight of 25 pounds (11 kg). In addition, the ULA website indicates a
            recommended base weight (i.e. the weight of pack and equipment before food
            and water is included) of 12 pounds or less (5 kg). On the first trip, my
            base weight was below the recommended minimum, as I was carrying a tarp
            shelter, which helped keep the weight low, but as I was making a dry camp I
            carried about a gallon of water in two 2 L Platypuses. With food, that
            raised my starting weight to about 22 lb (10 kg). I used a standard canister
            stove, not an alcohol stove,

            On the second trip I chose a more substantial shelter, a two-person Tarptent
            Double Rainbow whose weight is around 3 lb (1.4 kg). This gave me a higher
            base weight, just a little over the recommended minimum. I could probably
            have shaved off an extra pound by leaving out a few oddments, but chose not
            to do so. I was carrying less water than the first trip (less than I could
            ideally have used, as it turned out, as I failed to find a spring that was
            supposed to be the vicinity of my campsite), so my starting weight was still
            a moderate 20 lb (9 kg). Neither load could be called ultra-light, but my
            intention was to carry a load close to that for which the pack was designed.
            In general, on short trips, I don't go for the bare minimum.

            On both of these overnights, I used a full length Z-Rest; the pack is
            designed to be used with a sleeping pad to give it structure. I folded this
            to create a back panel. On the second trip I placed my shelter poles
            diagonally within the folded pad for added firmness and to facilitate weight
            transfer. The Z-Rest, placed in the pack, is held in place at the top under
            the diagonal elastics built into the CDT, and I secured it in position with
            the bulk of my sleeping bag placed in the base of the pack. This was a
            lightweight bag (Valandre Mirage) rated to 23 F, -5 C, weight 25 oz (0.7
            kg), housed loosely compressed in a lightweight silnylon drybag. I could
            have gone for a significanly lighter bag with a rating of 35 F (2 C), but on
            the first trip I expected strong nighttime winds (and was not disappointed).
            In a tarp shelter, winds can make for cool sleeping. I felt the sleeping bag
            was the right choice on both trips. More to the point, it demonstrated that
            despite the CDT's limits of recommended minimum weight, perfectly adequate
            comfort can be achieved, for a three season trip at least, with the right
            choice of gear. I would have been comfortable at a significantly lower
            nighttime minimum temperature than I experienced.

            In both cases, I carried my shelter in one of the side pockets. Here's the
            setup for my first trip:

            Water bottle holster
            The full pack, ash-tree bolete in the foreground

            That's my tarp and its folded pole in the left mesh pocket; one of my two
            water containers, a lightweight inflatable torso pad and a few other odds
            and end in the right mesh pocket; and a silnylon poncho to serve as a
            groundsheet and rain wear (together a windshirt and a lighweight jacket for
            evenings) in the rear mesh pocket. Munchies and a GPS unit are in the two
            small pockets on the waistbelt. Everything was cinched in carefully with the
            pack side straps (I wouldn't recommend carrying water in this fashion for an
            off-trail hike; though I didn't have problems, I felt it was held in place a
            little precariously).

            Inside the pack is more water, the rest of my gear, and my food. I even had
            gloves and a hat packed in there, just in case (total overkill, but I've
            needed them in summer before now). The bottom line is that fully loaded,
            with a spare night of food and loads of water, the pack easily carries all
            one could reasonably require.

            How the CDT carries

            I put my headlamp in the supplied mesh wallet for easy access, along with my
            ID and some cash for the trip home, as I expected to set up camp after dark
            (I did so on both trips). The wallet, which is at the top of the pack, below
            the collar, is a very nice addition to this pack's features. It is easily
            detachable. I didn't use the hydration sleeve on either trip, but I will at
            least once for the long-term report (I am not a big fan of hydration tubes,
            as a general rule). At the trailhead I loosened all the straps, put the pack
            on, and cinched in the waistbelt and adjusted everything just so, starting
            with the waistband and then the shoulder straps. I then hit the trail. No
            fuss, no muss, all very straighforward-I especially like the way that the
            waist adjusts, with the pull straps situated away from the main buckle. I
            was interested to find (and I noted that this was consistently the case)
            that I didn't really need the sternum strap. I have slightly narrow
            shoulders, and find this strap almost essential with many packs, so this was
            a pleasing discovery. The only time I really felt it essential to have it
            fastened was during a brief third-class climb during the second trip, as I
            wanted the pack to hug my back without any possible side-to-side slop while
            I climbed steeply a couple of hundred feet or so on some narrow and rather
            exposed ledge systems.

            The pack's waiststrap seems very well designed, spreading the load to the
            hips well, and even fully laden it is remarkably comfortable to carry the
            CDT at weights near the suggested maximum load or less. As my levels of food
            and water declined, I sensed that the true "sweet spot" was around fifteen
            to eighteen pounds (7 to 8 kg), but this pack certainly isn't at all
            uncomfortable fully laden. It is constructed without load-lifter straps, but
            on a pack intended for these weights I certainly didn't feel their absence.
            It's fairly snug, in a good way, a good pack for precarious perches, handy
            for one who likes a little non-technical climbing on a hike. Perhaps because
            of this snugness, as it has no back panel it can feel a bit sweaty, but the
            same's true with most packs I use, panel or no. It's also light enough to
            carry briefly over one shoulder for ventilation. I do feel that the torso
            length (medium/large) is just right for me.

            I did use the handloops on trail for a while. Though I knew ULA packs had
            them as an option, I have no other pack with them, so they were a new
            feature to me. I like them, and they do seem to slightly change the way the
            pack carries. It seems to me that some load is taken by my hands when they
            are in use, and that perhaps they act slightly like load-lifters. The
            downside is that the loops can't easily be used with hiking poles, so those
            have to be strapped on using the retention loops, adding load to the pack.

            A minor disaster

            On my second trip, I began a long ridgeline ascent to the highpoint of my
            route. This is a bushwhack I've taken several times in the past, though not
            recently, and my recollection was that it was not too dense. The hard climb
            (in terms of verticality, not elevation) was at the beginning of the day,
            when I ascended the summit of the peak below which I had slept, and I was
            looking forward to hitting the trail and beginning the descent to the car.
            Unfortunately, either I had forgotten them, or i was away from my usual
            line. My route took me through some very dense spruce-fir growth, common at
            higher elevations in the Catskills. This is rough stuff on body and gear
            alike, and I found myself crawling under the close-packed trees to get
            through (and getting scratched up, as usual). Finally, I hit the trail, and
            unshouldered the pack to get some food and the remains of my water. It was
            then that I saw the spruce had taken its toll.

            Hole in pack
            The tear

            A large hole had been opened in the rear mesh pocket, probably by a
            protruding branch. The tear seemed to have run from the point of the initial
            puncture. Fortunately, no gear had escaped, nor was any damaged. While I
            have had small snags to mesh pockets on packs when bushwhacking, this is the
            only time in many years of thrashing through the woods that I have had a
            major tear to a pack; the damge is usually to myself or my clothing. The
            body of the pack was entirely unaffected, but the rather soft, stretchy mesh
            of the pocket had suffered badly.

            I called ULA the following week, arranged for a repair, and shipped the pack
            off. The response from ULA was exemplary. I have just received the pack back
            (about two weeks later) flawlessly repaired. Initially I thought it had been
            entirely replaced, but a careful examination (a spruce needle tucked away in
            some waistband padding) indicates that this is one and the same. The
            craftsmanship of the repair seems impeccable. I am very impressed, both by
            the turnaround time and the quality of the work.

            SUMMARY

            Despite this misadventure, I am very taken with ULA's CDT pack. It carries
            well, and is perfect to my needs for three-season backpacking, though
            perhaps not off-trail. The body of the pack is made of strong stuff (I have
            had Dyneema packs before), but the pockets are a bit more vulnerable. In
            future, I will need to exercise greater care.

            My thanks go to ULA and BacpackGearTest for this testing opportunity. This
            report was created in part with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer
            Version 1.5 Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Edward
            Thanks for the edits. Nighttime is acceptable within the US (see various dictionaries), but I usually write night-time, which is OK for both US & UK.
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 9, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Thanks for the edits. Nighttime is acceptable within the US (see various dictionaries), but I usually write night-time, which is OK for both US & UK.

              --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Mark McLauchlin" <mark@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Ed,
              >
              >
              >
              > Few for you then you are good to go, shame about that damage to the pack.
              >
              >
              >
              > EDIT: and nighttime temperatures
              >
              > >>and night time temperatures.
              >
              > >>there are a few places where you have done this, if it is a US thing then
              > please leave.
              >
              >
              >
              > EDIT: have gone for a significanly lighter
              >
              > >>have gone for a significantly lighter
              >
              >
              >
              > EDIT: ,all very straighforward
              >
              > >>all very straightforward
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > EDIT: the damge is
              > >>the damage is
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Edward
              > Sent: Wednesday, 6 October 2010 7:08 AM
              > To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [backpackgeartesters] REPOST II: TED FR ULA CDT PACK
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > I have just now received the repaired pack back from ULS, and I have changed
              > the wording to accomodate my response
              >
              > For your editing pleasure (revised version, partially rewritten):
              >
              > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/TED-ULA%20CDT%20FR/
              >
              > FIELD REPORT
              >
              > FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
              > I have used the ULA CDT pack on two overnight trips over the Field Test
              > period. It would have been more, but the pack was damaged on the second trip
              > and I am presently awaiting its return from ULA. The first trip was a simple
              > on-trail overnighter on a local peak. The second was in large part a
              > rigorous solo bushwhack off-trail, with an on-trail return. All pack use was
              > in the Catskill Mountains of New York, to elevations of about 4000 ft (1220
              > m), on mountainous terrain. Daytime temperatures were at maximum 75 F (24 C)
              > or more, and nighttime temperatures fell to a minimum of 45 F (7 C), with
              > (on the first trip), strong, gusty winds. The weather on both trips was fine
              > and dry, as has been much of our late summer.
              >
              > PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
              > How the CDT loads
              >
              > As noted in the Initial Report, this pack is intended to carry a maximum
              > weight of 25 pounds (11 kg). In addition, the ULA website indicates a
              > recommended base weight (i.e. the weight of pack and equipment before food
              > and water is included) of 12 pounds or less (5 kg). On the first trip, my
              > base weight was below the recommended minimum, as I was carrying a tarp
              > shelter, which helped keep the weight low, but as I was making a dry camp I
              > carried about a gallon of water in two 2 L Platypuses. With food, that
              > raised my starting weight to about 22 lb (10 kg). I used a standard canister
              > stove, not an alcohol stove,
              >
              > On the second trip I chose a more substantial shelter, a two-person Tarptent
              > Double Rainbow whose weight is around 3 lb (1.4 kg). This gave me a higher
              > base weight, just a little over the recommended minimum. I could probably
              > have shaved off an extra pound by leaving out a few oddments, but chose not
              > to do so. I was carrying less water than the first trip (less than I could
              > ideally have used, as it turned out, as I failed to find a spring that was
              > supposed to be the vicinity of my campsite), so my starting weight was still
              > a moderate 20 lb (9 kg). Neither load could be called ultra-light, but my
              > intention was to carry a load close to that for which the pack was designed.
              > In general, on short trips, I don't go for the bare minimum.
              >
              > On both of these overnights, I used a full length Z-Rest; the pack is
              > designed to be used with a sleeping pad to give it structure. I folded this
              > to create a back panel. On the second trip I placed my shelter poles
              > diagonally within the folded pad for added firmness and to facilitate weight
              > transfer. The Z-Rest, placed in the pack, is held in place at the top under
              > the diagonal elastics built into the CDT, and I secured it in position with
              > the bulk of my sleeping bag placed in the base of the pack. This was a
              > lightweight bag (Valandre Mirage) rated to 23 F, -5 C, weight 25 oz (0.7
              > kg), housed loosely compressed in a lightweight silnylon drybag. I could
              > have gone for a significanly lighter bag with a rating of 35 F (2 C), but on
              > the first trip I expected strong nighttime winds (and was not disappointed).
              > In a tarp shelter, winds can make for cool sleeping. I felt the sleeping bag
              > was the right choice on both trips. More to the point, it demonstrated that
              > despite the CDT's limits of recommended minimum weight, perfectly adequate
              > comfort can be achieved, for a three season trip at least, with the right
              > choice of gear. I would have been comfortable at a significantly lower
              > nighttime minimum temperature than I experienced.
              >
              > In both cases, I carried my shelter in one of the side pockets. Here's the
              > setup for my first trip:
              >
              > Water bottle holster
              > The full pack, ash-tree bolete in the foreground
              >
              > That's my tarp and its folded pole in the left mesh pocket; one of my two
              > water containers, a lightweight inflatable torso pad and a few other odds
              > and end in the right mesh pocket; and a silnylon poncho to serve as a
              > groundsheet and rain wear (together a windshirt and a lighweight jacket for
              > evenings) in the rear mesh pocket. Munchies and a GPS unit are in the two
              > small pockets on the waistbelt. Everything was cinched in carefully with the
              > pack side straps (I wouldn't recommend carrying water in this fashion for an
              > off-trail hike; though I didn't have problems, I felt it was held in place a
              > little precariously).
              >
              > Inside the pack is more water, the rest of my gear, and my food. I even had
              > gloves and a hat packed in there, just in case (total overkill, but I've
              > needed them in summer before now). The bottom line is that fully loaded,
              > with a spare night of food and loads of water, the pack easily carries all
              > one could reasonably require.
              >
              > How the CDT carries
              >
              > I put my headlamp in the supplied mesh wallet for easy access, along with my
              > ID and some cash for the trip home, as I expected to set up camp after dark
              > (I did so on both trips). The wallet, which is at the top of the pack, below
              > the collar, is a very nice addition to this pack's features. It is easily
              > detachable. I didn't use the hydration sleeve on either trip, but I will at
              > least once for the long-term report (I am not a big fan of hydration tubes,
              > as a general rule). At the trailhead I loosened all the straps, put the pack
              > on, and cinched in the waistbelt and adjusted everything just so, starting
              > with the waistband and then the shoulder straps. I then hit the trail. No
              > fuss, no muss, all very straighforward-I especially like the way that the
              > waist adjusts, with the pull straps situated away from the main buckle. I
              > was interested to find (and I noted that this was consistently the case)
              > that I didn't really need the sternum strap. I have slightly narrow
              > shoulders, and find this strap almost essential with many packs, so this was
              > a pleasing discovery. The only time I really felt it essential to have it
              > fastened was during a brief third-class climb during the second trip, as I
              > wanted the pack to hug my back without any possible side-to-side slop while
              > I climbed steeply a couple of hundred feet or so on some narrow and rather
              > exposed ledge systems.
              >
              > The pack's waiststrap seems very well designed, spreading the load to the
              > hips well, and even fully laden it is remarkably comfortable to carry the
              > CDT at weights near the suggested maximum load or less. As my levels of food
              > and water declined, I sensed that the true "sweet spot" was around fifteen
              > to eighteen pounds (7 to 8 kg), but this pack certainly isn't at all
              > uncomfortable fully laden. It is constructed without load-lifter straps, but
              > on a pack intended for these weights I certainly didn't feel their absence.
              > It's fairly snug, in a good way, a good pack for precarious perches, handy
              > for one who likes a little non-technical climbing on a hike. Perhaps because
              > of this snugness, as it has no back panel it can feel a bit sweaty, but the
              > same's true with most packs I use, panel or no. It's also light enough to
              > carry briefly over one shoulder for ventilation. I do feel that the torso
              > length (medium/large) is just right for me.
              >
              > I did use the handloops on trail for a while. Though I knew ULA packs had
              > them as an option, I have no other pack with them, so they were a new
              > feature to me. I like them, and they do seem to slightly change the way the
              > pack carries. It seems to me that some load is taken by my hands when they
              > are in use, and that perhaps they act slightly like load-lifters. The
              > downside is that the loops can't easily be used with hiking poles, so those
              > have to be strapped on using the retention loops, adding load to the pack.
              >
              > A minor disaster
              >
              > On my second trip, I began a long ridgeline ascent to the highpoint of my
              > route. This is a bushwhack I've taken several times in the past, though not
              > recently, and my recollection was that it was not too dense. The hard climb
              > (in terms of verticality, not elevation) was at the beginning of the day,
              > when I ascended the summit of the peak below which I had slept, and I was
              > looking forward to hitting the trail and beginning the descent to the car.
              > Unfortunately, either I had forgotten them, or i was away from my usual
              > line. My route took me through some very dense spruce-fir growth, common at
              > higher elevations in the Catskills. This is rough stuff on body and gear
              > alike, and I found myself crawling under the close-packed trees to get
              > through (and getting scratched up, as usual). Finally, I hit the trail, and
              > unshouldered the pack to get some food and the remains of my water. It was
              > then that I saw the spruce had taken its toll.
              >
              > Hole in pack
              > The tear
              >
              > A large hole had been opened in the rear mesh pocket, probably by a
              > protruding branch. The tear seemed to have run from the point of the initial
              > puncture. Fortunately, no gear had escaped, nor was any damaged. While I
              > have had small snags to mesh pockets on packs when bushwhacking, this is the
              > only time in many years of thrashing through the woods that I have had a
              > major tear to a pack; the damge is usually to myself or my clothing. The
              > body of the pack was entirely unaffected, but the rather soft, stretchy mesh
              > of the pocket had suffered badly.
              >
              > I called ULA the following week, arranged for a repair, and shipped the pack
              > off. The response from ULA was exemplary. I have just received the pack back
              > (about two weeks later) flawlessly repaired. Initially I thought it had been
              > entirely replaced, but a careful examination (a spruce needle tucked away in
              > some waistband padding) indicates that this is one and the same. The
              > craftsmanship of the repair seems impeccable. I am very impressed, both by
              > the turnaround time and the quality of the work.
              >
              > SUMMARY
              >
              > Despite this misadventure, I am very taken with ULA's CDT pack. It carries
              > well, and is perfect to my needs for three-season backpacking, though
              > perhaps not off-trail. The body of the pack is made of strong stuff (I have
              > had Dyneema packs before), but the pockets are a bit more vulnerable. In
              > future, I will need to exercise greater care.
              >
              > My thanks go to ULA and BacpackGearTest for this testing opportunity. This
              > report was created in part with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer
              > Version 1.5 Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
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