Thule Guidepost 75
- Durable construction
- Good water resistance
- Very good pivot
- Most expensive in test set
- Tied for heaviest in set
- Narrow body compartment
The Thule Guidepost 75 ended the test near the bottom of the set. The biggest limitation of the Guidepost is its price tag, the biggest in the test set. The Guidepost is incredibly stable with heavy loads, with unmatched pivot action.
The Guidepost has a Quickfit system which allows the user to make adjustments to torso length along a central plastic frame in the field. The upper back padding and shoulder straps are smoothly joined to build an ergonomic harness. The waist strap is simple and straight, with good flexibility and contouring with the padding. The sternum strap has a wide adjustability range, and didn’t get pulled out of place during use.
There are two medium-sized zippered sleeves on the back of the pack and a large sleeve that extends the length of the bag. The body compartment is large and has an optional divider. The mouth of the body compartment is wide, and will easily fit a bear canister. The brain is removable and becomes a daypack. There are two buckled gear straps on the bottom.
The pivot on the Thule Guidepost 75 was the best in the test set. The waist belt is mounted on a limited-range circular action, which allows the user to keep their load centered. The construction of the pack tends towards the tall, but this feature turns that pitfall into a strength of greater storage.
One of the Guidepost’s biggest strengths is its durability. The zippers are wide gauge with large pulls. The exterior treatment of the bag adds water resistance and a good defense against abrasions. This toughness does come with a drag on the final trail weight of 5 lbs and 12 oz, tied for the heaviest pack in the set.
The Thule Guidepost 75 does have one interesting feature that none of the other packs in the set had: USB cord integration included and a Goal Zero battery pack in a place under the hood specifically labeled “Power Pocket”. Putting aside the debate on whether or not increasing technological integration makes our backcountry forays safer or more enjoyable, this feature will be appreciated by the social media conscious. There is one mesh hip pocket and another that is removable and interchangeable, allowing for different options such as a waterproof, roll-top pouch, a water bottle sleeve, or another pouch. There are also two gear loops on the back. There is no whistle.
How We Tested It
The packs in this test were used throughout the winter and spring of 2017, during day hikes and overnight backpacking trips from 1-4 nights, with mileage hovering around a dozen miles a day. Tests were conducted on Maryland’s Western Shore, in the Olympic Range of Washington State, the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, and in the central Sierra Nevada. This geographic diversity of conditions allowed for a look into each pack’s strengths and weakness. Each pack had at least 20 pounds in them, and some had as much as double that.
For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our Best Weekend Backpacking Tents of 2017 and Best One Person Backpacking Tents of 2017, along with our sleeping bag tests and stove tests, as well as other related hiking and camping gear tests.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Type of Backpack: Expedition Pack
- Volume (unverified): 75 L
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