Thule entered the hydration pack market in 2017 with their Vital series of backpacks. They added tougher versions with spine protection a year later, and now things have (mostly) shrunk to fit around your waist. The new Thule Rail hip packs bring the best feature of their packs to the segment, along with some clever pocket organization to make them a strong contender when they start shipping in June.
Here’s the run down on the three-pack lineup in their Remote Otter video submission, followed by photos and tech specs…
Shared features across all the packs include an easy-access zippered smartphone pocket on the outer face, small side pockets on the straps, and elastic Velcro belts with clip and strap to snug it down.
All three packs will be available in June, details below. If you’re into eMTB and need something bigger to store a spare battery, scroll on down to the bottom!
Thule Rail 4L Hip Pack
We’re starting with the largest (shown at top of post) of the three because it’s the only one to include their killer ReTrakt hose management system. The magnetic sleeve provides a long stretch of snap-into-place goodness, eliminating our biggest grip about waist packs with a water reservoir in them. Namely, the near impossibility of getting that hose back into place after taking a sip!
The Rail 4L (and the 2L below) use a ridged foam underneath the mesh back panel to maintain air channels and some air flow where it rests on your lower back. Retail is $/€99.95.
Thule Rail 2L hip pack
Prefer bottles to bladders? The 2L reduces the main compartment size by about the same amount as a full water reservoir would consume and adds two collapsible water bottle pockets.
It ships without bottles, just add your own. Retail is $/€59.95. Both the 2L and 4L have internal organization for all the usual gear you’d bring on a ride: tool, tube, tire levers, CO2, snacks, etc.
Thule Rail 0
If your ride is short or you have other places to store your water, the Rail 0 provides just enough storage (0.5L) for the essential repair items, snacks and your phone. They say it’s slim enough to fit under your jersey, but also works over top. Retail is $/€44.95.
Thule Rail 18L Hydration Pack w/ eMTB battery storage
The flip side of the hip packs is the new Rail 18L, which introduces some advanced features they’re hinting will make it to onto future Rail backpacks. Those include streamlined aesthetics, better compression, and lighter overall system weight thanks to less extraneous material.
This particular model uses their Koroyd back protection panel and adds an e-bike battery-specific sleeve inside. The battery sleeve is padded, and the oversized waist straps keep the pack securely positioned on your back so the extra weight doesn’t swing around.
There’s extra capacity for a jacket and all the essentials (and probably a lot more) inside, even with the included 2.5L reservoir filled to the brim. Retail is $/€229.95.