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Thule’s AllTrail Hydration Pack is a Swiss Army Knife of Backpacks [Review]

If a backpack and hydration pack had a baby…

Jeremy Proome

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There aren’t too many names as synonymous with adventure than that of Thule. The Swedish company has been delivering some stellar carry and storage items, and their latest range of backpacks, the AllTrail line, is one which everyone — from a casual traveller to an avid hiker — should consider given its flexibility and features.

The AllTrail Hydration Pack combines two of Thule’s best elements: the high-quality and durable build quality of their backpacks, with an innovative hydration system that veteran trail runners and adventure-seekers will no doubt appreciate.

First and foremost, you don’t need to be a die-hard adventurer to carry a Thule. The company loves that all types of users rock their products, and whether you’re out and about in town, on your bicycle, or taking on the famed Otter Trail, the AllTrail will do the job (hence the name).

Coming in 10, 15, 18, or 25L options (with the latter two falling under the AllTrail Daypack range), the pack itself features a sleek design that doesn’t have protruding or bulky compartments and areas. This very much is designed as a bag you can carry with ease, that won’t intrude on your walk or run, yet still houses more than enough space for anything you need.

Its canvas-like polyester DWR finish ensures it’s waterproof and durable, so you won’t be getting your contents wet or finding a hole or broken zip like you would on most run-of-the-mill packs. There is a convenient top pocket for essentials (like sunglasses, wallet, etc.) so you can grab and re-store the must-haves without pulling the whole bag open, and there are handy side-pockets too where you can store a water bottle, snacks, or tools you need to grab without fuss.

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There are also internal pouches inside the main and subsidiary areas, some of which feature their own zips, so you can store the most important contents there, know where they are, and have peace of mind they’re not jumping around the pack. This is ideal for items like passports and important documents. With regards to the 10L model, you can just slip a 13-inch laptop in, but given that it is the most common notebook size, the 10L should be OK for most commuters, otherwise, scale up to the larger option.

For comfort, the back panel that sits against you is made of a soft and squishy mesh, so you get plenty of ventilation and won’t have that sweaty-back moment when out and about. Furthermore, there is a waist strap for extra comfort or if your contents need to be better secured, but this is totally removable if you prefer too.

Of course, the big addition to this season’s AllTrail Hydration pack is the inclusion of Thule’s ReTrakt hydration system. The 10L pack has an internal and removable 2.5L drinking pack, and basically, the pack has magnetic strips along the drinking hose itself and on the shoulder strap of the back, so you can have a sip of water, and simply snap the hose to your strap, alleviating it from getting in the way, having to be tucked in somewhere, and, at the end of the day, protecting it.

It may seem like a small addition, but not having to fiddle with your drinking hose and have it get all tangled up when taking the pack on and off is a huge bonus, especially when you’re in a rush. Seeing other hikers or commuters struggle with more traditional ones (or aftermarket water packs added into backpacks) only highlights how nifty the system is.

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On top of the already innovative design, the AllTrail pack is also built with the environment in mind. Every bag in this collection is ‘bluedesign certified’, ensuring that all models were built sustainably in a resource-saving manner while protecting workers, consumers and the environment.

The collection is available in Pond Gray, Faded Khaki, and Black. They are priced accordingly and available on Thule’s website:

  • Thule Alltrail Hydration Pack 10L — R2,999
  • Thule Alltrail X Pack 15L — R2,499
  • Thule Alltrail Daypack 18L — R2,299
  • Thule Alltrail Daypack 25L — R3,799
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