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[pct-l] ULA Catalyst Pack

In my head, the reason for getting something like the Catalyst is to carry larger loads, either because a hiker is still slimming down their gear, or they have to haul a long ways between resupply points, or they have to routinely haul alot of water, or they are carrying climbing gear, etc. etc.  With this in mind, going with the dual stay frame sheet is, I think, essential: If you want an ultralight pack, go for one of the other models.  The Catalyst should be, I think, seen as a compromise between weight hauling ability and overall weight.

For my own use, I'll still be using the Catalyst quite a bit, but in the right spots. For example, a week long, no-resupply trip in the Grand Canyon in a month or so.  Or, in the spring when I can climb without having to take too much cold winter gear.  If I was going to hike the PCT again, I would probably start with the Catalyst and haul it through the Sierra, probably shipping it home around South Lake Tahoe for more ultralight option. If I had to have only one pack, I'd probably just use the Catalyst.

I hiked in 2003, by the way, with a 19 oz. ULA Zenith pack (no longer made).  While nice as long as I didn't have to haul a ton of water or more than 3-4 days of food, it was a real pig on some longer resupply runs or when loaded down with 2 gallons of water.


Christopher Willett
Pierce College
9401 Farwest Drive SW.
Lakewood, WA. 98498-1999

> ----------
> From: 	pct-l-bounces@mailman.backcountry.net on behalf of Pea Hicks
> Sent: 	Sunday, February 19, 2006 11:25 AM
> To: 	PCT-L list
> Subject: 	Re: [pct-l] ULA Catalyst Pack
> Chris Willett wrote:
> > I wrote up a review of a prototype catalyst that I tested out last
> > summer.  You can see it on whiteblaze:
> > 
> > http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=11282
> > 
> > To make a long story short: Dual frame sheet=two stays (flat rods),
> > embedded in a hard plastic like substance (the sheet), that sits on
> > the back part of the pack.  There is a soft padding sheet so that you
> > have some more comfort.  Tied in with a new hipbelt design, it makes
> > for a very comfy pack indeed.
> > 
> > Suge
> i just ordered a catalyst, but without the dual frame sheet... in your 
> opinion, is this a must-have in terms of the extra weight and $$ 
> trade-off? i suppose i still have time to add it to my order...
> cheers-
> girlscout
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