Thule Upslope Backpack in Use Back-Country Skiing.

Carrying skis when Back-Country Skiing with a Thule Upslope

I’m the Type of Man Who is Always on the Roam.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: a young man in a hat didn’t say much.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we’d acquired a Thule Upslope 25l backpack for our back-country skiing activities. After record breaking snowfall in our part of Austria and the magnificent job of the piste-teams to make the mountains safe, those off-piste activities can now begin.

Close fitting Thule Upslope, ideal for Back-Country Skiing

We ventured out with shovel, probe, extra clothes, food, drink, camera and other essential back-country skiing kit packed. Here’s our Thule Upslope Review update:

  • It’s still a lovely colour. The dark, midnight blue colour of the rucksack contrasts very well with the snow and with trees. This, coupled with the fluorescent green of the back panel and tabs make the wearer unmissable as they ride through trees.
  • It still looks and feels tough. Most people throw a back-country backpack around without much thought. We’ve still not had it very long, but I’m impressed by how it is handling.
  • We can confirm that the features have been well thought through. Everything we want is there and in a good place for making the pack convenient in use.
  • The compressed shape is amazing. Even when we pack it with all the essentials for a back-country skiing trip the straps on the Thule Upslope means the pack pulls in close to your back and not likely to snag on low hanging branches.
  • The straps are ideal for back-country skiing as they are all attached. Other backpacks we’ve had come with a handful of loose straps and buckles to attach the likes of a helmet, skis or boards to the bag. All the straps and buckles on the Thule Upslope are permanently connect to the bag. This means that you cannot drop them and lose them in the snow.
  • The buckles are a bit small for gloved hands. If you are wearing thick gloves or mittens, your dexterity for opening and closing the buckles and zips of any backpack is severely compromised. I usually wear a thin pair of glove liners so I can regain dexterity without having to have bare hands.
  • It is a bit heavier than most day-sacks. In use, you don’t notice the extra weight, so not a problem when back-country skiing.
  • Inside pocket not required. In the previous initial review, we suggested that a small zipped internal pocket with a clip would be useful for wallet, phone and keys. We’ve changed our mind. When back-country skiing these things stay in our jacket, so we don’t need the extra pocket in the pack.

Thule Upslope Back-country skiing in the Trees

So, there you have it. We’ve still got a lot of back-country skiing to do this season. As we continue to really put this pack through its paces, we’ll come back and update this review if anything changes.

pop trivia: ‘Paul Young’ had a hit with this ‘Marvin Gaye’ song in 1983. The lyric is from ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’. The track featured on Paul’s album, ‘No Parlez’.

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