Review - Thule Stir 35 Backpack

thule stir 35 rucksack
The Thule Stir 35 Rucksack isn't specifically designed for 'Life In The Saddle'; unlike the other superb rucksacks in the Thule range, which I've reviewed here on the blog: including the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Rucksack and the Thule Paramount Rucksack. Rather, the Thule Stir 35 is designed for day hiking - a pursuit which I also love, and have been doing a lot more of recently; with my time in the Dolomites, and as I prepare for this October's Original Mountain Marathon!

I've been testing out the Thule Stir 35 Rucksack on a number of my trail runs, bike/run commutes, and on outdoor day trips. Much like the other bags in the Thule range that I have used, it has impressed me with its quality and well thought-out features…

The perfect fit

The most important thing with any rucksack, is how well it fits your torso. A poor fitting rucksack will not only be uncomfortable, but it could also be damaging to your posture and spine. The Thule Stir 35 is one of the best fitting daypack rucksacks that I've tried; with a truly personalised fit, thanks to its torso adjustment system and strapping.

The torso adjustment system allows for movement of the shoulder straps, by 10cm up and down the length of the pack; this is far more than any other system that I've seen on a pack this size - usually it is reserved for larger overnight packs. The system means you get a really good height adjustment of the pack, and you can position the load in the optimal place for comfort and safety.

The strapping is the second factor that contributes to the great fit of the Thule Stir Rucksack; with well padded shoulder straps, and well padded hip straps, as well as a stabilising sternum strap. Crucially, unlike many 35 litre packs, Thule haven't skimped on the thickness or quality of the hip straps - the straps that should take the majority of the weight, when the bag is on your back. Instead of making these lightweight, they have made them with a decent amount of padding; but made them removable, with a simple Velcro system - a genius way of providing the functionality and performance required of the hip straps on long hikes, but with the ability to remove the bulk, when you're using the pack for short errand runs.

thule stir 35 rucksack
The huge amount of adjustment in the back panel of the Thule Stir 35, makes it super comfortable  

thule stir 35 rucksack
The removable waist belt straps on the Stir 35 rucksack make it comfortable and practical, no matter how far you're trekking

Great pocketing

The second feature that I really like on the Thule Stir 35 rucksack, is the layout of kit storage and pocketing options. This is a positive attribute that I've noted in many reviews of Thule luggage to date, and something that really demonstrates the thorough product testing, development and detailed design process, which all the Swedish brand's products go through.

The Stir 35 pack has one main compartment, which can be accessed through the main draw-string closure top, or through a convenient side zipper. There's then a useful pocket on the front, for quick-access items; as well as stretch pockets on the shoulder strap and hip belt, which are ideal for a phone or wallet. The simple pocketing works well, and means everything is safely housed and easy to access; it also ties in very well with my next point…

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
The main compartment on the Thule Stir 35 is complemented by a convenient front "Stuff Pocket" for jackets etc.

Thule Stir 25 Rucksack
The main compartment can be accessed through the top of the pack, or through this side-zipper

On the shoulder strap and waist belt, there are stretchy pockets that are ideal for phones/wallets


Hiking can be wet, much like bike riding; so having a good waterproofing system on a bag is essential. Thule have adopted a unique approach to waterproofing the Stir 35 Rucksack - with their StormGuard system; which combines a partial rain cover, with a waterproof base.

The waterproof base is a superb idea; it means that if you put the bag down in a puddle, or on wet ground, it doesn't soak up moisture. The partial rain cover then attaches just above the waterproof base; where it pulls out from a small storage pocket. The cover is secured using toggles, and then pulls up to the top of the bag. The approach provides a far better waterproofing system than normal rain covers, as there is no potential for water ingress on the base of the bag, as well as less risk of the cover coming off. It is a belt and braces approach.
Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
The rain cover pulls out from a neat pocket, just above the waterproof base section

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
The cover attaches using simple toggles, to provide a secure fit

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
The combination of the rain cover and waterproof base, provides a belt-and-braces approach


Overall, this is another superb rucksack from Thule. The design, with its well thought out pocketing and waterproofing, demonstrates the real testing and refinement that Thule products go through. Then the strapping, makes the Stir rucksack super comfortable, and a far better fit than most mid-sized day packs. This is another reliable, durable and impressive piece of kit from Thule.

View the Thule range at (Link)

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
A simple, but highly effective design - The Thule Stir 35 Rucksack is impressive

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
I'm a big fan of the attention to detail - like these Velcro strap tidies on the side compression straps

Thule Stir 35 Rucksack
The Thule Stir 35 Rucksack is another great pack from the Swedish brand


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