Thule Hydration Packs – Review

Quality products fit for for purpose!

We had three products to test from Thule which varied in size, but all were top quality items. As hydration packs, they are great for most activities out an about, but Thule market them more at riding, which we will most definitely use them for. However, we wanted to get out and test them right away, so we took them away for Easter bank holiday, and for a journey up to the summit of the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdon! They are as versatile as a bag can be, but these really can be used for almost anything.

Thule offer a full range of products which vary in size, most come with the 2.5 litre capacity which we found perfect for such a climb. We were also able to pack some lunch in, and those snacks to keep us going along the way. One of our favourite design elements has to be the magnetic hose which when you let go, always retracts back to its resting position using strong magnets. Thule call this ‘ReTrakt’, and is a simple but really effective feature. We found ourselves using the two straps on the bottom to strap in our jumpers which we never used due to the warm day, but because of this, were easily accessible should we have needed them. These packs are also designed with weight in mind. We found that they were very light which is great, as what you don’t want is an already heavy pack that is only going to get heavier.

Above is the Thule Re-Trakt system. Working with strong magnets to always return the hose back to its resting position when you let go. By far one of the best features. Some hydration packs do use a similar system, but we have found the magnets are not nearly as strong as they need to be. With Thule’s system, you can be sure it will work as it should, time and time again.

Thule Rail 8L – Features

  • Stay hydrated without slowing down using the hands-free ReTrakt magnetic hose return system
  • User-friendly 2.5L HydraPak reservoir features a slide closure for easy cleaning and a locking bite valve to prevent leaks before and after your ride
  • Superior stability for aggressive downhill riding and jumping with a secure fit
  • Improve bike handling and reduce muscle strain with optimal weight distribution thanks to the low center of gravity
  • Quickly store and retrieve pads, helmet or chin bar with easy-access lash points
  • Easily access nutrition, clothing or tools without having to remove the pack thanks to lower-back jersey pockets
  • Keep tools, pumps, snacks and accessories organized in dedicated internal pockets
  • Stay visible with reflective details and a light attachment loop

Thule Vital 8L – Features

  • Stay hydrated without slowing down using the hands-free ReTrakt hose return system
  • Quickly access nutrition, clothing or tools while riding without having to stop or remove pack thanks to convenient jersey-style pockets
  • Improve bike handling and reduce muscle strain with optimal weight distribution thanks to the low center of gravity
  • Stay hydrated on short or long rides with 2.5L Hydrapak reservoir
  • Adjust pack size to carry various loads with expandable panel and up to 8L of cargo space
  • Maximize uphill and downhill performance with lightweight, ventilated materials
  • Protect a phone or sunglasses in the soft-lined, quick-access pocket
  • Secure keys or other small essentials in the interior zippered pocket
  • Stabilize and increase comfort on any terrain with sternum strap
  • Secure a tire pump and shock pump on designated interior loops

All of the packs from Thule look great and professional, whilst still being a very usable and practical product. They also offer a variety of colours to choose from. So if like me you like being bright, you can go for the blue. The other colours on offer are black, ‘Rooibos’ (orange) or ‘Covert’ (tan). We found these pack to be a great addition to our adventuring kit and will be using them for many more adventures in the future. Thule even give you a two year warranty that covers general wear and tear too. So you can have the reassurance your money is not wasted. At around the £100 mark, these packs are not cheap, but its safe to say you’ll be investing in a quality product that will last you a long while. I have always stood by the saying, that if you buy ****, you’ll buy twice. Not in this case as you can tell the products are made to last!

Check out the full range of products that Thule have to offer HERE

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