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The feature-packed and ultralight Thule Stir 15L is just the right size backpack for light days on the trail, urban explorations, or daily commutes.

We’ve loved using the Thule Stir 15L for short day hikes to gorgeous vistas off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and urban adventures on the Atlanta Beltline near Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The feature-packed bag provides plenty of space for water bottles, snacks, and an extra layer in case the weather changes. And thoughtful design details like removable chest and hip belts and a latching top flap make this a versatile pack that’s equally great for a daily commute.

Thule Stir Backpack review: a lightweight, packable day pack that's perfect for trail adventures and urban commutes

Thule backpacks: our trail-tested Stir 15L review

The simple, clean design details of the Stir 15L make this a truly versatile bag that easily transitions from on-trail adventures to in-town commutes. The pack features a rugged, water-resistant exterior that sheds light rain and morning dew, and resists scrapes and scuffs along the way.

Our favorite ultralight hiking packs: our Thule Stir 15L backpack review

The Stir features two adjustable mesh shoulder straps and a mesh back panel that allows plenty of ventilation, perfect for our hot and humid weather in the South. The shoulder straps also feature a removable chest strap. The chest strap can be moved to one of four positions along the shoulder strap for a customized fit, or removed entirely if it’s not needed. And the hip belt can be tucked away behind the back panel, giving the Stir a streamlined, stylish look for in-town pursuits.

Our favorite lightweight hiking backpacks: the Thule Stir 15L, our trail-tested review

Four fabric loops on the front provide a spot to lash extra gear with a carabiner. We’ve found the loops to be handy for keeping a collapsible dog bowl and small water bottle within easy reach for our adventure pup, Jake. And a reflective loop towards the bottom of the bag is a great spot to clip a light for extra visibility on early morning or evening bike commutes.

Thule Stir 15L backpack review: this ultralight day pack features a draw string and latching top flap for protection from the elements

The Stir loads from a top opening and, like many other small daypacks, utilizes a cinch cord to close the opening. Unlike some other bags, the Stir features a latching top flap, which is one of our favorite features. After cinching the bag shut the flap folds over the top and latches to a series of loops on the back of the bag. It provides an extra layer of security when commuting in busy areas, and some additional protection from wet weather. Once the bag is cinched and the flap secured two handholds allow the pack to function as a tote bag as well.

Inside, the Stir features a 15-liter compartment with plenty of room for day hike gear, like a water bottle, snacks, an extra layer, and basic first aid essentials. And a hydration reservoir clip and tube exit port are also provided for hydration on the go: our Osprey Hydraulics 2.5L Reservoir fits snugly inside.

Thule Stir 15L Backpack Review: lightweight mesh straps offer comfort and ventilation for warm-weather hikes

The bag can also comfortably fit a 15″ MacBook Pro with space for a notebook, paper, and pens. A zippered, mesh pocket with a key hook is a great place to hold small items like keys, a phone, or earbuds.

Thule also offers two larger members of the Stir family, the Stir 20L and the Stir 35L (in men’s and women’s fits), featuring more interior room and a few more features.

Thule Stir 15L Backpack review wrap-up

The Thule Stir 15L backpack is a great pack for anything from light day hikes to a daily commute to work or school. The pack features enough space for hiking essentials and extra layers or a laptop and books. And thoughtful details like the latching top flap, removable chest strap and hip belt, and exterior lash points make the Stir a versatile pack for an active lifestyle.

So where can I find it?

While we received a sample backpack to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience. Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
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Rob Sollie

Rob Sollie fell in love with the outdoors while growing up in Montana near Glacier National Park. Since he moved to Atlanta in 2001, he’s made it a mission to find great outdoor adventures in Georgia and throughout the South. Rob’s favorite trails include the Conasauga River Trail in Georgia and the Deep Gap Trail at Mount Mitchell near Asheville.