Review: Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack

Finding a rucksack that ticks all the boxes for daily commuting, can be difficult. First, it needs to be the correct size for the amount of kit that you take with you on a day-to-day basis. Second, it needs to be durable, as it's likely to take a fair bit of abuse on daily service. Then, there are other important features to consider, such as comfort, organisation and kit protection; all of which are important to hassle-free commuting.

In the past, I've reviewed the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Pannier, and the Pack 'n Pedal Trunk Bag. Both are commuting specific pieces of luggage, from the well-known Swedish brand; they both proved to be great quality and have great functionality. This year at Eurobike, I caught the first glimpse of the new Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack, and I was keen to test it out…



Everything in its place 

The first thing that struck me with the Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack, is that it has quite clearly been designed by someone that rides a bike, on a regular basis. 'A place for everything, and everything in its place', would be a good strap-line for this pack!

The main compartment on the rucksack is designed to hold your laptop, tablet and daily clothes. In consideration of this, it's fully waterproof; with a double closure system provided in the form of a water-resistant zipper, accompanied by a roll-down top. Inside the compartment, you get a removable padded laptop sleeve, which will hold a 15 inch laptop or 17 inch MacBook, and a tablet. The laptop sleeve buttons onto the back panel of the rucksack, which means it is 'suspended' at the top of the rucksack; with the weight distributed more evenly on your back, than if it sat at the bottom of the compartment. It's a neat design feature, which does make a noticeable difference when wearing the pack.

The next largest compartment, is the front organisation pocket. This pocket containing one zipped valuables security pocket and two mesh sleeve pockets, as well as a key clip. It is designed to keep everything organised and easily to hand, and it does a great job of housing your smaller essentials for your daily commute.

The final two places to stash gear include a sturdy zip pocket that is designed to house a U-lock, as well as one of Thule's common-place and very useful 'Safe Zone' pockets, which is a heat-moulded crush-proof pocket, ideal for phones, glasses and other valuables.

A pocket for all your daily essentials; so you know where everything is, and you know it's safe and secure.


Hideaway features

As well as the clever pocketing on the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack, there are also two neat 'hideaway' features that are worth shouting about.

The first is a foldaway rain cover, in a Hi-Vis Thule sky blue. This is very nice quality, and provides good protection from precipitation and road spray. It also has a little light clip, which is useful for a 'blinker'.

The second hideaway feature, is an innovative helmet storage solution. Essentially a mesh net, which stretches over your helmet, and then clips onto the reflective straps on either side of the bag. It is a simple but effective design, and works well as a means to stash your helmet away; avoiding the need to have it swinging precariously from a rucksack as you walk around the shops.

Lastly, neatly tucked on the side of the bag, is an elasticated mesh pocket. This is great for a water bottle or gloves, and sits nice and flush when not in use.


Comfortable. Style. Durability.

Filled up, with everything in its dedicated pocket, the Pack 'n Pedal is comfortable to wear on the bike. Fairly firm EVA foam provides good back padding, and the vented straps allow your shoulders to breath more than many designs. The weight distribution with the suspended laptop carrier also seems to work well, and I've used this heavily laden for many commutes, without encountering back trouble.

Overall, this is another great quality product from Thule, with great functionality. There is a real attention to detail: whether it's the sky blue lining to the main compartment, so things are easy to find; or it's the crush-proof Safe Zone, which keeps your phone safe and secure. As with most Thule products I've used, the smaller details have been considered. A great pack for everyday service.

View the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack at Thule.com (Link)
The crush-proof SafeZone

Ideal for a phone and glasses

Double waterproofing on the main compartment, with a zipper and roll-top closure

Inside, the laptop sleeve is suspended by poppers

The laptop sleeve also has a useful tablet pocket on the front

A light clip, and the concealed helmet cover compartment

The high quality rain cover, buttons on with a simple elastic strap

Comfortable foam back padding and an adjustable sternum strap, help to make this a very comfortable pack


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