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Thule improves Chasm, one of our favorite gear bags & adds new colors

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The Thule Chasm duffel bag has been one of our favorite all-purpose gear bags over the years. It has survived the mud and freezing rains of cyclocross, the snow and slush of mountain biking through the winter, and has been hauled on a number of flights both as a carry-on and at the whim of ground crews as a checked bag. So now when we got an update from Thule that they had improved the bag, even on some of the little nits we had to pick in our long-term review, we wanted to know more…

Thule_Chasm-Small_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_teal Thule_Chasm-Medium_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_blue-black

From a first glance not too much has changed from the bag we love other than the colors. The new version drops the high contrast black base with light and bright tarpaulin top combos in favor of more unified colors. The new look includes a basic all black with some gray strap detailing, a two-tone teal with orange contrast details called Bluegrass, a two-tone red/orange combo called Roarange, and a simple black/navy blue that looks more similar to the current iterations called Poseidon.

Thule_Chasm-Small_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_black-backpack Thule_Chasm_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_black-backpack_new-dogbone-toggle

As to the improvements, the new bags get updated strap management, which includes a simplified snap closure to the duffel carrying strap instead of the slightly harder to align velcro, but more importantly a revised hook to secure the removable shoulder straps. This was really the only thing we weren’t 100% satisfied with on the current bag, as it had a tendency to detach at inopportune moments when loaded. A helpful reader shared a more secure way to use the current version in our original review’s comments, but that Thule redesigned the connection reaffirms that it was a bit lacking.

The new version of the hook uses an aluminum dogbone toggle attached to the end of each strap that you simply slide through the sewn-on webbing loops that go around the bag (with a couple different attachment points for individual adjustability.) It results in a much more secure (and actually more simple) interface that won’t be able to slip out once the straps are loaded.

Thule_Chasm-Medium_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_black_open Thule_Chasm-Medium_water-resistant-convertible-duffel-bag_black_end

Other than that, the rest of the bags’ features carry over. They still use a waterproof tarpaulin fabric throughout to keep your gear dry, and a padded and 1000D nylon base fabric to protect the bag against wear or puncture. The rubberized tarp fabric does get a slightly thinner coating that is still waterproof, but was changed to make the bags a bit less stiff so easier to load.

The Chasm will still be available in the small 40L, medium 70L (that we tested), large 90L, and extra-large 130L. The extra-small at just 27L does not carry over with this year’s update. Pricing is to remain the same, so ranging from 100-140€/$120-160 depending on size. The updated bags should be available through authorized retailers now.


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