This is a review of the Ula Circuit vs Osprey Exos, made for weekend-long excursions. They are both made for the minimalist who likes to travel light. We have compiled a list of design similarities and differences between them in order to provide you with a thorough review.
Below, you will find the main design features that we feel are important and are things to look for. We will let you know how these backpacks match up in terms of these important features.
Ula Circuit vs Osprey Exos
Comparing Ula Circuit vs Osprey Exos
How much gear can they hold?
Of the two types of backpacks, the Ula Circuit comes with more volume capacity. The largest Exos backpack, the Exos 58, has a capacity of up to 61 liters. But the Ula Circuit, which comes in only one size, can hold 68 liters of gear. Furthermore, the Ula’s front pocket holds a lot more gear than the Exos 58’s front stretch pocket. That being said, they are both made for the same purpose.
How the top is made
The Osprey Exos comes with a removable top lid. This top lid is a compartment on its own for extra storage. Once it is removed, you can place the Exos flap jacket over top of where the top lid was in order to provide more compression for the main compartment contents.
The Circuit has kind of a similar feature, only it does not have a tablet compartment. The top lid is actually a fabric roll up that can be used to provide plenty of compression for the main compartment. One of the great things about this roll-up feature is this you can have your gloves on and still be able to easily open and close the main compartment.
How the side pockets are made
Both backpacks have side stretch pockets where you can store water bottles and snacks. However, the Exos side pockets are much smaller than the circuit side pockets. With the circuit, you can hold up to two bottles in each side pocket. And each bottle can be a large one. But the Exos can only hold one slim water bottle. This is a common complaint when it comes to Osprey backpacks; their side pockets are too narrow.
Size of the hip belt pockets
Along the same lines as the side pockets, the Exos hip hop pockets are rather small compared to the Circuit. The Circuit’s hip belt pockets are very large and can hold a lot of items. This is another bonus to the Circuit over the Exos.
Room for a hydration pack?
Although many Osprey backpacks have a hydration sleeve tucked into the backpanel, the Exos does not have one. You would need to rely on the slim side pockets to hold your water bottles. On the other hand, the Circuit has a hydration sleeve where you can insert a hydration pack. This is one extra point for the Circuit. Not only is it hydration pack compatible, it also holds large water bottles.
External attachment points
The Circuit has more attachment points than the Exos. It has 4 yellow elastic loops on the shoulder straps so that you can secure small water bottles. Yet another way to hydrate yourself with the Circuit. It also has plenty of external attachment loops for other gear, such as ice packs and trekking poles.
The Exos also has attachment loops in the form of bungee cord tie-offs. For your ice axe, it comes with a special attachment loop just for that.
The side compression straps for both backpacks also can double as external attachment points. You can slide in your longer gear and insert it into the side pockets.
The Ula Circuit holds a volume of 68 liters, while the largest Exos model holds up to 61 liters. The Circuit also has a larger footprint. The Exos definitely has a slimmer profile. What makes it even slimmer is its small side pockets, which is not necessarily a plus. But it does allow for more movement.
Ula Circuit vs Osprey Exos: Price Differences
The Ula Circuit is considerably more expensive than the Exos. If you would like to see current price differences, see below:
- AirSpeed suspension keeps the weight in the pack off your back, enabling highly ventilated carrying comfort
- Dual access stretch mesh side pockets for storing water bottles and other gear
- Front stretch mesh pocket for quick storage of rain gear or extra layers
- Removable floating top lid with integrated FlapJacket protects packed gear when top lid is removed
- Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
Ula Circuit vs Osprey Exos: The Verdict
Although the Ula Circuit offers some cool features like larger side pockets and a roll top, the Exos allows for better movement. It has a slimmer profile so it takes up less room on your back. Osprey backpacks very durable and have a thick material. The Ula Circuit is two times more expensive than the Exos. Which you choose depends on what features you’re looking for and the price you are willing to pay.
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