Julie Schoenfeld is a freelance designer, digital marketing expert, and former professional climbing instructor. Julie has worked as the Director of Digital Development of Rock and Ice Magazine before recently switching to a freelance career, while spending her free time sampling the steep limestone of Rifle Canyon Mountain Park.
The Thule Guidepost 65L is a comfort-first backpack loaded with features including a summit-pack lid and an adjustable harness that can be fine-tuned to fit your torso. At 65L the Guidepost can easily fit everything for an ultra plush weekend adventure, or a well-planned weeklong trip, and the thickly padded hipbelt and shoulder straps will keep you comfortable under heavier loads. All these features do add up, and at 6lbs, this pack will appeal more to those with maximalist tendencies and comfort in mind.
The harness of this pack can be customized to fit almost any body. With 6 inches of adjustability, the torso length can be precisely tuned to match your height. Three shoulder strap width-settings accommodate shoulders from broad to narrow, and three hip belt sizes allow for a multitude of combinations.
All of these adjustments make this a great option for women who have difficulty finding a pack that fits their unique shape. The hipbelt ran a bit large for me, I was right on the cusp between size Small and Extra Small hipbelt by measurement, but the Extra Small was a better fit. The initial setup took some time to dial in my perfect fit, but once I found it I was rewarded with a custom feeling backpack that matched my body geometry.
The transhub suspension and single aluminum stay effectively transferred the load onto the hipbelt via a big pivoting joint and steel wires. The rocking motion of the hipbelt allowed my lower body to move naturally, improving my balance and reducing energy expenditure. The suspension felt plush, supportive, and kept the load squarely over my hips and close to my back, making for a very comfortable ride.
My favorite feature of the Guidepost 65L was the transformer lid that morphs into an summit-ready daypack. I loved using the day pack on out-and-back missions from base camp, it’s the perfect size for food, water, and some extra layers.
I also appreciated the large j-shaped zipper that provides easy access to the pack’s contents mid-trail. Two stretchy side pockets and two mesh hipbelt pockets kept all of the daily essentials within reach, and a large external hydration pocket accommodated a 3 liter bladder.
I love a girly color on the trail, and the Crown Jewel/Potion color combination did not let me down; even the quick release buckles are a pretty plum color. This pack swallowed all of my gear, and cinched down into a very tidy and clean looking package with everything in its place.
Overall the Guidepost 65L is a great option for someone looking for a full-featured backpack that can hold enough gear for a long weekend or week-long adventure. I enjoyed using this for trips where weight wasn’t a primary concern, such as backcountry fishing trips and basecamp itineraries. The extreme adjustability of the harness also makes this is also an excellent choice for women who have a difficult time finding a pack that fits well.
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