Here at Trail Lives, we absolutely love Cottage Gear Shops. Some of the best gear tested has come from these unlikely and relatively small companies, which are usually run by hikers like you and I. Founded in 2001 by a fellow thru hiker and located in Utah, Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) offers some amazing ultralight gear, especially backpacks. Today, many consider ULA as cottage shop royalty, as their packs hold a standard of excellence by many long distance hikers. Within ULA packs, testers and ULA alike, report the Circuit as the most used on trail. I will be taking my ULA Circuit with my on my PCT Thru Hike this April. Continue reading “GEAR REVIEW: Ultralight Adventure Equipment Circuit Backpack”
(DISCLAIMER: This was my first pack, so it holds a place in my heart!)
Osprey is a great backpack company. Its humble origins began in Colorado and since then Osprey has become one of the biggest backpack manufacturers in the country. The Aether is a robust and versatile bag that can haul heavy loads and works particularly well as a traveler’s backpack or a mountaineering pack.
1. Durable: The only thing I had to replace on this pack over the years is a hip belt buckle and it was my fault that it broke. This pack is quite rugged and can take a punch. I brought the Aether with me to Patagonia. In an unknown valley just south of Cerro San Lorenzo, I found myself bushwhacking through chest high calafate (think giant thorn bush!) while traversing a 60 degree slope. Between the large river gorge to my left and the spiky gauntlet surrounding me, the last thing I needed was a pack that couldn’t hang. The thick fabric shrugged off the inch long prickers with ease. The Aether is not invincible, however. Over the years, small holes have been torn into the mesh back pocket but they do not spread and the mesh is still functional.