Review: Thule UpTake 4L Hydration Pack

The Thule UpTake 4L is an all mountain compact hydration pack for short to half day rides, adventures or racing.

Thule Uptake 4L hydration pack on an editorial shoot for bike network with Myles Kelsey and Gary Perkin for Bike Network.
Contoured shoulder straps with a single brace strap optimize comfort levels.


DETAILS

Weight.48kg
ColoursBlue, Black or Rooibos
Bladder Volume2,5L
Pack Volume4L
MaterialNylon
Dimensions43cm x 22cm x 15cm
Compartments5
More Thule


FEATURES

A lightweight bike-specific pack which features a meshed back panel to increase airflow and comfort. The shoulder straps are contoured for comfort, meshed for cooling and have a brace strap closing across the chest to secure the pack.

The 2.5L reservoir has a slide closure system which is simple to operate and does not leak. The rather wide mouth on the reservoir makes for easy cleaning and refilling. A really neat feature is the magnetic strip inside the hose which retracts and secures it after drinking – hands-free! The bite valve has a twist lock to seal it completely when not in use.

Thule Uptake 4L hydration pack on an editorial shoot for bike network with Myles Kelsey and Gary Perkin for Bike Network.
The pack has an external zippered pocket for quick and easy phone access.

Two easily accessible pockets on the left and right sides of the pack are ideal for storing gels, bars or a multi-tool. A zippered pocket on the exterior of the main compartment gives quick access to phones.

The 4L internal cargo space is roomy and a single large zippered compartment, meshed on one side is ideal for storing anything from small valuables, rider ID, nutrition and tools. The main cargo space has loops for pumps, a key holder and plenty of space for a wind shell, tubes, tyre levers, chain breakers and more. The pack has a small reflective strip and a loop to attach lights.



FROM THULE



ON THE MOUNTAIN

COMFORT & FIT: The Thule UpTake 4L hydration pack is larger than the Thule Vital hydration pack tested earlier in the year yet marginally more comfortable as it has no hip belt. The shoulder straps are kept in place by a bracing strap which runs over the chest. All three straps are adjustable and it doesn’t take long to find a comfortable fit which is not overly snug. I found the load distribution is over quite a wide area and the comfort levels are great. When hunched over on the bike the slight contour on the shoulder pads conforms to the shape of the body and creates a comfortable fit.

STORAGE: I like the simple, straightforward design and concept of carrying larger items in the main storage area and smaller items in the internal zippered pocket. It’s super easy to keep everything stowed away, well organized and easily accessible. The side pockets are easily accessible when riding. There is good waterproofing too – on one of the test rides it absolutely poured down – the rain was heavy enough to soak through Merino socks – but everything inside the pack stayed bone dry.

Thule Uptake 4L hydration pack on an editorial shoot for bike network with Myles Kelsey and Gary Perkin for Bike Network.
A magnet secures the hose to the shoulder strap.

HYDRATION SYSTEM: The system is flawless and staying hydrated on the fly has never been easier. The bite valve doesn’t leak and you can literally just spit it out after a few sips and the magnet retracts and fastens it back onto the shoulder strap.

TIPS: If you prefer technical riding then you may need something from the Thule Vital range which does have a belt/hip strap and locks the pack in place. Also, after use, try get into the habit of emptying the reservoir out, giving it a rinse and then store it in the fridge. This keeps the bacteria out.

Thule Uptake 4L hydration pack on an editorial shoot for bike network with Myles Kelsey and Gary Perkin for Bike Network.


VERDICT & BUYING ADVICE

If you are looking at doing some big days out on the bike then have a look at the Thule UpTake 12L or the Thule UpTake 8L which have the same 2.5L reservoir as the 4L tested here but have additional storage space and a hip belt. The hip belt is a personal preference and not everyone enjoys that locked-in feel when riding so kudos to Thule for offering packs with and without the hip belt. The Thule UpTake 4L is a light, stylish, do everything hydration pack which has great ventilation and superb comfort.

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin |



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