Thule is best known for roof racks and baby strollers, but over the last several years, the Swedish company has earned a reputation for its high-quality, simple yet well-designed backpacks and duffel bags. Recently we got a sneak peek at a handful of new Thule packs launching in February, including an enduro mountain-biking hydration vest, an adventure travel duffel, and a hiking pack. Here’s a preview of products to get excited about.
Landmark Travel Duffel ($180 and up)
Thule’s take on the adventure duffel keeps the long-term traveler in mind. The Landmark duffels (available in 40, 60, and 70 liters, $180, $200, and $220, not yet online) feature padded hipbelts and contoured, adjustable backpack straps just like a typical backpacking bag’s. They’re comfortable for heavy loads yet tuck away when you want to check the bag at an airport. An included small daypack buckles onto the outside of the 60- and 70-liter versions, so you can clip your carry-on and personal item together to get out of the airport, ditch the duffel at your hostel, and then take the daypack for a whirl through downtown. The Landmark also has a hard-sided pocket for stashing electronics and other breakables, internal straps for keeping your clothes in place, and a hidden passport pocket (the daypack has one too) for peace of mind.
Rail 12 Pro ($200)
The Rail 12 Pro furthers Thule’s foray into the bike-bag market after last year’s launch of the cross-country-oriented Vital. Designed for enduro riding, the 12-liter Rail ramps it up a notch with exterior straps capable of carrying a full-face helmet and knee and elbow pads. Inside are the standard mesh organizational pockets as well as a lightweight, double-layer Koroyd back shield for serious protection. But thanks to its honeycomb construction, it doesn’t compromise on ventilation. The best part is Thule’s proprietary Retrakt water-bladder hose-return system, which uses a series of magnets to keep the hose secured to the shoulder strap but still easy to grab for on-the-bike hydration.
AllTrail 25L ($100)
Rounding out Thule’s AllTrail hiking-pack line, which already includes 45-liter ($180) and 35-liter ($160) packs, the new AllTrail 25-liter ($100) is simpler than its predecessors, trading in the long, bell-shaped top zipper for a classic buckled flip-top with a brain pocket. A cavernous front stretch-mesh pocket adds even more quick-access storage than the larger packs get. However, the 25-liter forgoes the adjustable torso, built-in pack cover, and padding on the hipbelt. It has what you need for a single day on the trail, without the heft and extra bells and whistles you might want for longer trips or heavier loads.