I finally received my backpack, pack cover and sleeping bag yesterday from ULA. The ladies at the postoffice know me by name now and curiously handed me the large but light box with my gear inside.
I carefully opened the box, without scissors this time (I almost put a hole in my tent) and took out the contents one by one. The sleeping bag is black despite the shiny silver version on the website, the pack cover blue, and my Catalyst the traditional green.
The backpack was packed flat at the bottom of the box and was so stiff I thought there had to be a piece of cardboard inside holding its shape. When I looked inside I realised the stiffness was actually two pieces of foam inside the back panel, which after searching a few forums discovered is in fact the frame.
There are two mental stays (rods) in the foam to strengthen the frame and that’s basically it. What I didn’t like was the squareness of it all. When I put the pack on I had this big wide flat bit above my head which seemed unnecessary.
In a very non Rozanne fashion I took scissors to my brand new pack and trimmed the sides of the foam. It’s a small change but to me it’s made all the difference.