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Looking for a New Backcountry Backpack? Try a Thule

Thule is best known for their versatile outdoor car racks, but now they’re breaking into the technical backpacking market. 

Thule is a company that made its name by expertly manufacturing car racks, boxes, and carriers specifically for outdoor sports gear like skis, bikes, kayaks, and more. Thule is no stranger to the outdoor lifestyle, as the company started in 1942 by making products for Swedish fishermen. Next came ski racks, roof racks, surf board racks, bike carriers, and more; Thule soon became the world’s biggest supplier and producer of outdoor car racks.

Their motto:

Bring your board.
Bring your bike.
Bring your skis.
Bring your love.
Bring your passion.
Bring your dreams.
Bring your life.

In 2010 Thule began making luggage and laptop bags. Deciding to provide transport carriers for all kinds of activities, the Versant and Guidepost backpacking packs were born. The same attention to detail and durability that goes into their car accessories can be seen in their packs.

At first glance, the Versant 70L has more features than most other backpacking packs on the market. As I began to explore the features, they just kept coming.


For instance, the top lid clips off to become a small day carrier for summit hikes or other smaller trips. Next are all the smaller accessories that Thule has integrated into the pack’s straps, like a removable water bottle sleeve, a zippered fanny-pack pocket, and waterproof pocket (complete with a roll-top entrance to keep electronics dry). Each of the removable accessories can be hooked onto the strap using a clip that looks very much like clips on their roof rack accessories.


Despite all the accessories, the Thule Versant is lightweight with its different nylon and Cordura fabrics. The pack is made for the elements with a raincover that also includes an internal liner. The outside pocket is made with a stretchy nylon to hold shoes or gear that you don’t want in the main pocket that zips out into half a duffel for easy access.


If you are looking for a smaller day pack, then the simple, but multiple featured, Thule Stir 35L is for you.

This pack is a condensed version of the Versant. Check it out.

The larger Versant 70L retails for $279.95, but it very well may be the last pack you buy for a while. The Thule Stir with 35L of space retails for $139.95, but you know you are paying for quality and multiple innovative features.

Thule has a reputable name in the outdoor space for good reason. They stand behind their products with their BringIt! guarantee that provides lifetime, two-, and five-year warrantees to any defects in materials or quality. There’s a reason they’ve been supplying the outdoor market since 1942.

If you are interested to see how the packs fare in the elements, I’ll be testing them on a Big Bend, Texas trek soon. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review.

All images via Thule

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Looking for a New Backcountry Backpack? Try a Thule