Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Backpack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack
Thule produce some of the world's best travel bags and everyday backpacks (take a look a my past reviews of Thule products here). This July, the Swedish brand launched their new on-the-bike hydration pack range, and that got me excited; because I know how clever, intuitive and long-lived Thule bags are. The new Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Backpack has not disappointed...

I met the designer of the Thule bags range at Eurobike this summer, and he was just as I expected he would be — passionate, enthused, and with a real attention to detail. He explained how the design team enjoys "geeking out" on the Thule bags, and adding innovative and unique features, motivated by real world testing.

Innovation and uniqueness is certainly something I have seen in abundance with my past Thule bag reviews, and the same attributes shine through with the new hydration pack range.

The Thule Vital 8 is made to be an all-day mountain biking or bike-packing backpack. With 2.5 litres of fluid carrying capacity (in the included bladder), and 8 litres total cargo capacity, it should be capable of safely and securely carrying your days ride essentials.

The pack's harness features a padded waist strap, and a highly adjustable sternum strap, to create a locked-down feel. The lightweight foam back and strap padding are effective at cushioning, but also provide great breathability and perspiration management. Attention to detail is evident in features like the spare-strap tidy systems, and the open mesh design at the top of the shoulder straps to provide better ventilation.

On the outside of the Vital 8 Hydration Pack you get an expandable sleeve section, which is ideal for wet waterproofs. On the inside of this sleeve there is a useful zippered stash pocket for easy to grab items. Elsewhere on the outside of the backpack you will find multiple lashing points, and a light clip loop; all useful additions. Perhaps the highlight external feature for me though, is the elasticated waist-belt pockets; these overcome the recurring problem of how to utilise your jersey pockets when you have a waist-belt strapped over them; these pockets built into the bag's waist belt are ideal for snacks and easy-to-reach items.

Onto the internals...

There are two zippers on the top of the Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack; one is for the fleece-lined phone pocket (very useful), and the second for the main storage compartment.

The main compartment is well pocketed, with designated compartments for valuables, tools, spares, pumps (normal and shock pump), and keys. You can organise to your heart's content.

The Thule own-brand hydration bladder slots into a separate sleeve behind the storage area, and is suspended from the top of the pack to avoid it sinking to the bottom. It is a simple but well made bladder, and the hose utilises Thule's patented ReTrakt magnetic catchment system to hold it securely against the shoulder strap — super neat.

Out on the trails...

Out on the trails the Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack performs predictably well. It sits lower on your back than a lot of packs, and the wide padded hip belt helps to keep it stable on your hips. The quality of the bag is even more evident during use; everything from the zippers to the buckles has a quality feel to it; then additions like the innovative ReTrakt hose storage system are just plain clever.

This is quite easily the best hydration pack that I have used to date. It is comfortable, durable, and very well designed. Another winner from Thule.

>> Shop the Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack here <<

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

Review - Thule Vital 8 Hydration Pack Rucksack

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