On my neverending quest for the perfect backpack I put Thule’s 45l, female-specific AllTrail, £145, through its paces.
Product description: “A versatile, all-around pack built to withstand any season and countless activities. It’s the one pack that does it all. From its integrated rain cover and dedicated hydration sleeve, to the pack’s breathable shoulder straps, hipbelt padding and back panel, the Thule AllTrail has it all.”
Hiking: You might know Thule best as the makers of rugged roof racks and luggage, and I can definitely see similar design elements injected into their new foray into outdoor-ready rucksacks. The 45 litre AllTrail (there’s a 35 litre version available too for £120) is all sleek, minimalist looks, tough, weather-ready materials and down-to-business efficiency. That said, I was surprised by how comfortable the rather rigid-looking AllTrail was once on – the padded shoulder straps are comfortable and flexible and the hip and waist belts sit well, perhaps because this is a female-specific design. I really like the myriad useful pockets, including the easy to access side pockets. The hip belt allows you to attached accessories such as camera bags to it if you also buy a VersaClick accessory mount, although I’d have preferred this to be included considering the £145 price tag.
The AllTrail is clearly designed with both day hikers and wild campers in mind, with handy extras such as hiking pole loops, a front pocket for quickly stashing layers, a side zip for accessing contents and an inner divider for separating gear. If you’re heading out on a lightweight weekend camping trip this would be the perfect companion.
Everyday use: The AllTrail’s smart looks lend it to cycling to work and the removable rain cover is quick to pop on and effective in bad weather. It’s a good size for travelling, although there’s no laptop sleeve. I also took it climbing, as the 45 litre size will just about fit a rope and my climbing gear.
Verdict: AllTrail is versatile by name and nature. The 45 litre size is perfect for weekend adventures, or day trips if you’re carrying sporting equipment. For simple day hikes, the smaller 35 litre rucksack is a lighter choice. If you find the plain black colourway a little on the boring side, pick the handsome wine-red colourway instead.