Wednesday 26 July 2017

Product Review - Thule Versant Men's Backpacking Pack Fjord 60 L

Versant Men's Backpacking Pack
Fjord 60 L

I have been using camping backpacks since the late 70’s back when I was involved with Scouts Canada. Over that last 4 years I have had 8 hiking packs. My all-time favorite is the Asolo Navigator 80, but this bag comes in a close second.

Like all Thule products that I have encountered this Backpack is made with exceptional craftsmanship. It is a very well-crafted bag even if some of the design features are not what I would expect. First the day pack that comes off from the main pack is the hood for the main pack. It comes off and becomes a sling pack for day hikes, or summit climbs. I am not a fan of sling bags so would be unlikely to use it. But it is there for those who wish. The other surprise was that the rain cover is stored in a pocket on the bottom front of the bag. It is clipped into the bag, and can be installed and stay clipped it. But it can also be removed completely for a little extra storage if desired. The ran hood uses an elastic edge to wrap around the top and sides, but two toggle style buttons to affix to the bottom front of the bag. The feature I would have really liked to see on this bag is a cover for the straps. My current main bag had a flap that hides in a pocket on the bottom that comes out and zips around all the straps sealing them in. This is a much better option for air travel than putting the backpack in a plastic bag at the airport. So if air travel is not a consideration this is a great pack, but if it is, be careful. I have seen more than a few destroyed packs on airport carousel where the straps got caught either in loading, flight or unloading.

Top comes off and becomes a sling pack for day hikes.
Waterproof roll top pocket on hip belt keeps electronics protected
Customizable hip belt with 3 interchangeable versa click pockets (3 different configurations)
3/4 rain cover combined with waterproof liner creates a fully waterproof bag
Hip belt and torso adjustability for perfect fit

I have loaded and unloaded the pack a few times now. I find it a little small for what I would use for a longer excursion; but too big for a weekend trip. At 60L it is a strange middle size in my opinion. I really like my 80L and 50L bags. I also had a friend test the bag, at over 6 feet in height he could not get the bag adjusted so it would sit well on him. So the bag will not be a good fit for taller guys. I am 5 foot 9 and it fits perfectly so below 6 foot the bag is a good option.

This pack also comes in two other colors:
Bing – Red
Mikado – Yello
Fjord – Blue (the one reviewed)

Overall a very well made bag but with a few concerns. I would recommend the brand, and as stated the craftsmanship is excellent. But depending on usage might not be ideal.

Reviews of other Thule Products:

Chariot Lite 1 Plus Cycle/Stroll
Versant Men's Backpacking Pack Fjord 60 L
Subterra 30 L Backpack Dark Shadow

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