ULA Ohm 2.0 – Review
The ULA Ohm 2.0 is a high-quality, ultralight backpack, and it is sold at one of the better price points in its category. This ultralight backpack is one of the most durable I use, and it will provide you with years of comfortable, lightweight backpacking.
If you are making the transition to ultralight backpacking, you should seriously consider the ULA Ohm 2.0 as your next backpack.
ULA is the first ultralight backpack I purchased years ago. I’ve used the Circuit, Catalyst, CDT, and now the Ohm 2.0 and have yet to use a ULA pack that I did not like.
There have been many new brands over the years, but ULA’s consistency, comfort, and quality have kept me returning to their backpacks for my long-distance hikes.
Table of contents
- ULA Ohm 2.0 – Review
- ULA Ohm 2.0 Review – Quick Specifications
- Backpack Requirements
- ULA Ohm 2.0 Competitors
- Ohm 2.0 Review – First Glance
- Ohm 2.0 Review – Fit
- ULA Ohm 2.0 Review – Storage
- Ohm 2.0 Review – Materials
- ULA Ohm 2.0 – Add-Ons
- ULA Ohm 2.0 – Final Thoughts
- More Great ULA Gear
- Related Links
ULA Ohm 2.0 Review – Quick Specifications
- Weight: 36 ounces (Medium)
- Pack with add-ons: 38 ounces
- Volume: 63L
- Fit: Medium Backpack and Medium Belt
- Add-Ons: Roll-top Closure, Shoulder Pouch
- Material: 400 Robic Nylon,
Below are my requirements when purchasing a backpack.
- Light Weight – To combat fatigue and injury on long hikes, I try to keep my backpack’s weight around 2 pounds or less.
- Durability – A durable backpack is important. My pack has been run over, fallen down mountains, stepped on by horses, and is often used as a seat.
- Size – The backpacks I use are 55L-65L. I sleep cold, so I carry a warmer sleeping bag or quilt. I also cook, so I carry fuel and a stove.
- Water Resistant – I use a compactor bag and not a pack cover. I like water-resistant fabrics and taped seams in my backpacks.
- Mesh Pouch – A large mesh pocket on the rear of my backpack is a “must-have.” I use it for my tarp/tent and put wet items in it to dry.
- Frame – I don’t need a frame pack in the summer, but I do use one for three-season hiking, where my pack weight is 20-25 pounds.
- Water Bottle Pockets – I need water bottle pockets since I don’t use hydration sleeves, and I want to put the bottles in and out of the pockets without taking off my pack.
ULA Ohm 2.0 Competitors
|ULA Ohm 2.0||36 oz||63L||225||400 Robic Nylon||Carb||30 lbs.||Cinch|
|Gossamer Gear Mariposa||31 oz||60L||270||200 Robic Nylon||Alum.||35 lbs||Over Top|
|Hyperlite Junction 3400||32 oz||55L||345||Dyneema (DCF)||None||40 lbs||Roll Top|
|Zpack Arc Haul||23 oz||62L||299||4.85 Gridstop||Carb||40 lbs||Roll Top|
|Osprey Lumina 60||31 oz||60L||270||30 Cordura Nylon||Alum||25 lbs||Fix Top|
|Granite Gear Crown2 60||34 oz||60 L||200||210 Nylon||Poly||35 lbs||Roll Top|
|Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus||18 oz||58L||235||DX 210 Ripstop||No||25 lbs||Roll Top|
Ohm 2.0 Review – First Glance
Out of the box, the ULA Ohm 2.0 is ready to pack and go. The backpack is well-made with quality construction which is evident as you handle the pack.
I didn’t need some of the standard components: hand loops, hydration sleeve, internal stash pocket, and water bottle holsters. All of these were easy to remove from the backpack.
Ohm 2.0 Review – Fit
The ULA Ohm 2.0 frame consists of a “U” shaped carbon hoop. The hoop is inside the backpack and runs under a nylon sheath at the top of the pack, with the ends resting in two small nylon pouches at the backpack’s bottom. I like this frame system because it flexes as I hike and climb, making the backpack a comfortable fit. The hoop is relatively easy to remove if you want a frameless pack.
There have been some complaints about the carbon hoop’s durability, but I have not had any problems. My original Ohm has about 1,100 miles on it, and this new Ohm has 200 miles of use.
The Ohm 2.0 has a 1/4 inch thick piece of open-cell foam in the back, in addition to the carbon hoop. The foam is secured by two elastic loops and is easy to remove. This small foam pad is comfortable as long as I keep the pack weight at 25 lbs. or less.
If you would like more insulation or cushion, you can use a foam sleeping pad folded up, or roll the pad up in the pack and place your gear inside the rolled pad. You can also deflate your inflatable pad and fold it up for additional back cushioning.
Shoulder Straps & Hipbelt
You can get either J or S-shaped straps with the backpack. I use the S-shaped straps and find they fit my body shape, mainly if, like me, your shoulders are squared and a little more narrow.
I have used many backpacks over the years, and as a female, I have often found the straighter J-shaped straps uncomfortable. ULA backpacks are the most comfortable I have used. They fit across my chest well and have just the right amount of padding. There is no other backpack more comfortable, which is why I return to it time and again on long hikes.
The Ohm’s shoulder straps‘ load lifters are robust and allow you to adjust the pack easily. Unlike some competitor’s load lifter straps, these are full-size straps and buckles and easily handle heavier weights.
The Ohm has a well-padded hip belt with two straps on each side. Having two straps allows you to adjust your hip-belt for a more precise fit, but with the padding in the Ohm hip-belt, I find them unnecessary. Still, if you want to dial in your hip belt, you have this capability with the Ohm. The hip belt attaches via straps and velcro and is very easy to adjust.
Additional Pack Straps
The sternum strap is a full-size strap that you can slide up and down the shoulder straps as needed. Above and below the sternum strap, there are water bottle holders, both of which I have removed. There is also a fixed plastic attachment clip at the top of each strap, along with two fixed points on the shoulder straps to attach additional gear or storage components.
The Ohm uses compression lines that zig-zag up the sides of the backpack and are adjustable. You can use these to reduce the pack’s size and make it more secure if you have less gear. I like these types of compression straps better than mesh because I can use a single strap at different heights to hold things like hiking poles, umbrellas, tall water bottles, tent poles, etc.
Additional straps on the pack include hand loops, which I removed since I use trekking poles. There are also tension straps on the back of the pack (top and bottom) for your trekking poles and ice-ax.
Finally, a top strap goes up and over the top of the pack, allowing you to compress the strap further. It would be nice if the top strap were longer so I could use it to attach my bear canister, but it is still long enough to secure a large load that extends into the pack sleeve.
ULA Ohm 2.0 Review – Storage
The storage for the ULA Ohm is 3,960 CU IN/63L, and breaks down as follows in cubic inches.
- Main Body: 2,100
- Front Mesh Pocket: 500
- Left Side Pocket: 400
- Right Side Pocket: 400
- Extension Collar: 500
- Left Hipbelt Pocket: 100
- Right Hipbelt Pocket: 100
The main storage compartment of the ULA Ohm 2.0 has plenty of room and the large extension collar allows you to add a generous amount of gear. There are two hydration ports, one on each side of the pack, and the hydration sleeve hangs from two clips inside the backpack. There is also a small zippered storage pouch that clips inside the main compartment on the front.
The large exterior mesh pocket on the Ohm 2.0 is made from a dense mesh material and is tighter than other similar mesh pockets I have on other backpacks. This is good if you are traveling off-trail, and there is the risk of snagging the mesh, but it does provide less capacity and air-flow if you want to dry your gear.
The water bottle pockets are large and adjustable, which is nice to have if you want to lock down anything in these pockets when going off-trail or scrambling.
Hip-belt pockets are also large and can carry multiple snacks, a camera, GPS unit, etc. Keep in mind that they are not water-proof, so you will still need to be careful if carrying electronics when it is raining.
Ohm 2.0 Review – Materials
The ULA Ohm 2.0 is made with 400 Robic fabric, which is the toughest fabric I have used to date. The fabric is abrasion and water-resistant and is arguably stronger than most Dyneema fabrics. I have not used any other non-DCF backpacks that use fabric this robust.
Seems are not sealed on the Ohm as they are in some other ultralight backpacks, but this is not an issue for me since I use compactor bags in all of my packs, even my Dyneema backpacks.
ULA Ohm 2.0 – Add-Ons
There are two components I added to my Ohm 2.0. I added roll-top straps and a shoulder pouch.
As I mentioned earlier, the roll-top allows me to compress the load, offering more flexibility for different load sizes. On the Ohm, the roll-top straps either clip together or to attachments on the pack’s side, which I prefer. This also works better for compression if using the Ohm as a frameless backpack.
The second component is the shoulder pouch, which attaches to the Ohm’s shoulder straps. The pouches come in Robic and X-Pac fabrics, and they are padded, which is nice if carrying sunglasses. The X-Pac fabric is waterproof, and this is one of the better shoulder pouches I’ve used. I can keep my camera and GPS unit in the pouch if it starts raining. The pouch would be perfect if there were a mesh sleeve on the front of it for my GPS unit.
ULA Ohm 2.0 – Final Thoughts
The ULA Ohm 2.0 is a quality-made backpack built to last and handle harsher conditions than many of its ultralight competitors. I have used all of the backpacks listed in the Competitor Section of this article, and the Ohm is the pack I find the most comfortable. The Ohm 2.0 is the backpack I typically find myself reaching for when heading out for a three-season, multi-day trip.
- Comfort: Very comfortable with a frame that flexes with movement.
- Durability: Quality construction and tough backpack materials make this one of the more durable ultralight backpacks available.
- Components: Plenty of details (hydration sleeve, a storage pouch, adjustable pockets, compression straps, etc., make this a versatile pack.
- Value: Extra components, high-quality construction, and competitive pricing make this backpack an excellent value.
- Versatility – The Ohm 2.0 is a versatile pack that allows you to adjust for load size and frame vs. frameless.
- Top Strap: Longer top strap for my bear canister.
- Exterior Mesh Pocket: Less dense mesh and a slightly larger pocket for wet gear.
- Shoulder Pouch: Mesh sleeve on the outside of the shoulder pouch, but this is nice to have.
- Seam Taping – The Robic material is water-resistant, but it would be nice to have the backpack’s interior seams taped.
- Frame: There has been feedback on the carbon frame’s durability, but this has not been an issue on my two packs.
- Velcro Tab – A small piece of velcro on the roll-top will keep the roll tighter when rolling the fabric. This is one for my wish list!
The Ohm 2.0 is not waterproof, but it is more water resistant than some competitors. I use a compactor bag in all my backpacks, even if the manufacturer states they are water resistant.
Yes, the pack has a curved carbon hoop. This hoop flexes with your movement and is one of the features that makes this pack so comfortable.
More Great ULA Gear
I have used both the Catalyst and the Circuit. I use the Catalyst for winter backpacking on long hikes. It is definitely a workhorse with good capacity for heavy gear.
The Circuit is a great long-distance backpack if I carry heavy water loads or need to carry enough food to get me through those rare 7-10 day stretches comfortably.
You get a lot of capacity and durability at a very lightweight with both backpacks.
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