Exploring The Thule Crossover Backpack 32L Review
Though the weekends are meant to be fun and relaxing, they can be very stressful. If you are adventurous like me, you’ll probably use your free time to explore the world, to travel, to move. And even though I love nature, I still love my technology.
So, I needed a backpack that will allow me to carry my smartphone and laptop safely, have enough room for snacks and drinks, but also the one that won’t slow me down or tear easily. After extensive researching and evaluation of various backpacks, the decision came down to one item : Thule Crossover Backpack.
Should You Buy A Crossover Backpack?
If you type “crossover backpack” in your browser, you end up with a bunch of links leading you to various Thule backpacks. So, the term crossover backpack is presumably a term invented by Thule. But what does it mean?
Well, crossover implies movement, going from one place to another. Consequently, a Thule crossover backpack enables you, or aids you as you are moving from one place to another. Usually, a standard backpack is something that slows you down, adds a lot of weight to your body and is generally uncomfortable.
But uniquely designed bags, such as crossover, laptop or camera backpacks, have a distinct purpose. They are more comfortable to wear, and more sophisticated (regarding design, weight distribution, and so forth). They are also more spacious, and most importantly, secure and stable.
Do you need it? Well, that’s hard to judge. Best Sports Backpacks of 2018 are intended for various groups of people. If you carry your bag to work (which isn’t a rare sight these days), and you bring it every day, you should consider investing in a quality backpack (not necessarily the Thule backpack, but any other special-designed backpack).
And I say invest for a reason; it is an investment. You invest in your health, ensure your laptop’s and other devices safety, you protect your other stuff (such as glasses, keys, documents, etc.), and you still have enough space to bring snacks and drinks.
Additionally, just as a bag helps you go through your workday, it can help you relax. It is a good weekend backpack, something you can bring with you when you go exploring, camping, travelling, and so forth.
On Thule Crossover 32l
If I had to pinpoint this backpack to just two words, those words would be technology and stability. Thule crossover 32l is a dream come true for all the techies of the world, people who somehow always ran out of space for their favorite gadgets.
This backpack uses technology for the technology. Its solid 32l storage is enough to store laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, smart glasses (of course, not everything has to be smart, but I couldn’t resist it). It is also good at protecting these items.
Even though electronic devices are very powerful in the digital world, they are very weak and fragile in the 3D physical world. A mild concussion can do a lot of damage to your devices (specifically to thin laptops and smartphones). But this backpack features things such as crush-free zone, also known as a Safe zone, a dedicated area for storing fragile devices.
It is also made of high-quality material, water repelling fabrics, and extra secure zippers. The shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort. In fact, almost all pockets are robust from the outside but soft on the inside, which ensures the safety of your things in the backpack.
- very affordable (when compared to other similar products on the market)
- reliable and comfortable
- perfect fit for gear-heads and tech lovers
- durable, made of quality material (water resistant fabrics)
- versatile can be used for different occasions
- perhaps too compartmentalized, which takes away from the promised 32 liter capacity
- shoulder straps could have been better padded
- the heavy hook for the outer pocket (the flap pocket) unhooks too easily
On Features And Benefits
Now that you have a general idea of what the Thule crossover means and what this product is for, it is time we dive deep into the specifics and explore advantages and disadvantages of this product.
Thule TCBP-417 Crossover 32 L Backpack, Black
- Tackle your work week or weekend adventures with this durable pack with dedicated electronics protection, roomy compartments and organization Rear organization compartment has an elevated laptop compartment for your 15 inch Macbook Pro Water-resistant fabrics and zippers combine to create a durable, go anywhere bag Crush-proof SafeZone compartment protects eyewear, portable electronics and other fragile gear EVA shoulder straps with mesh covering provide ventilation and breathability
- Padded, zippered compartment with dedicated storage for a 15″ MacBook Pro or PC, an iPad and a slip pocket for files
- Crushproof SafeZone compartment for sunglasses and fragile gear includes a dedicated phone pocket
- SafeZone compartment can be locked or removed altogether for extra space
- The Shove-it Pocket with compression straps provides additional external storage for a jacket or newspaper
Thule crossover backpack is 20.3 x 13 x 8.3 inches in dimension, weighing roughly 2.3 pounds (1 kg), which makes it very compact and lightweight. First, let’s get the elephant out of the room: even though it says 32 l, it doesn’t mean that you can fit 32 l worth of stuff in it.
Maybe you can pour 32 l of water in it (don’t try this at home!), but a lot of the room is taken away by the padding and compartments. But that’s cool because you need dedicated compartments. The product comes in black color and is made of dobby nylon (click here to learn more about the material).
The laptop pocket is 10.5 x 1.2 x 15 inches, big enough to store 15 inch Mac or PC. Right next to it is the tablet pocket, where you can keep tablet (apparently) or other similar appliances. You could also use it to store magazine or notebook if you don’t own a tablet. Across the laptop and tablet pockets is an additional pocket with no dedicated purpose.
I guess you could use it to keep your favorite magazine or newspapers perhaps. It is slim, which means that it won’t hold thick books or anything like that. That was the first compartment (laptop+tablet pockets, and the newspaper pocket). It is needless to say that the compartment is padded and can be zipped and unzipped with ease (but more on zippers when we discuss durability).
The second compartment is intended for storing various things. You have to mesh pouches, where you can store PC mouse, battery charger or other small objects. The rest of the compartment is up for grabs. Here, you can save things depending on what you need.
There’s enough room to store books, notebooks, or if you are tech guy like me, headset, laptop cover, maybe even some spare clothes. In any case, you can utilize this space according to your needs and preferences. Now, we pretty much covered all the big pockets.
On the top front side of this bag, you have the SafeZone pocket. It features a very protective shell, which you can take out if you want to make more space. However, this protective shell is ideal for keeping eyeglasses (it is even shaped like that. It will allow you quickly access or store your eyeglasses, and you don’t have to carry the glasses protective case with you.
Across this protective pocket is a small pouch for your smartphone. It is well padded and soft, which not only protects your phone but also protects the protective pocket (I hope the image below will clarify what I mean). Below this pocket is the front compartment. Once opened, you’ll see a lot of mini pockets, which reminded me of wallets and the way they are designed.
You have two mini pockets with zippers, where you can store cables, chargers and what not. There are also the opened pockets, a place for you to store pencils, documents, bus tickets or something along those lines. They are small, which makes it perfect for safekeeping and storing tiny things, so you’ll always know where to look for keys, charger or pencil.
There is also the outer pocket, the one we referred to as flap pocket. Though it is a neat idea, being able to hook and unhook the pocket and having it function as a quick-grab pocket, it unhooks too easily if you ask me. Alas, on the left side you have the pouch for your favorite drink.
As we already said, the Thule crossover backpack 32l is made of Dolby nylon. This fabric is water resistant and capable of withstanding your daily routine, whether you are a student or a working person.
The zippers are robust, with rubber padding on the top, which makes them very comfortable to use. Every pocket is sewed in nicely with the body, and the meshed pouches are durable and resistant to tearing.
The shoulder straps are perforated (pierced with numerous tiny holes), which brings breathability to the table. Straps are durable, there’s no denying it, but perhaps Thule sacrificed comfort for durability; I feel the shoulder straps should have been more padded than they are.
Comfort And Security
Thule crossover takes good care of your things, especially the SafeZone compartment. Other compartments are all padded, and most of them can be zipped and unzipped with ease. And if you add a water-resistant fabric in the whole picture, you get a well rounded and secure backpack. But what about comfort?
Well, I still feel the backpack is very comfortable, despite the lack of extra padding on the shoulder straps. But if you stack it with items and carry it for a couple of hours, you’ll start feeling a lot of pressure, the kind of pressure you feel as soon as you put a stuffed regular bag on your back.
The back side of the backpack is well padded so that you don’t experience any problems with your back. Most of the pressure will come down on your shoulders. The good news is the weight distribution. Since the heavy stuff in your bag (such as a laptop) won’t flap or shuffle as you move, the weight won’t shift from one side to the other, which is often a big problem with regular backpacks.
What Do Consumers Say?
Thule features 4.3 stars on Amazon. It is also an Amazon’s choice, due to positive reviews and comments regarding it. Most consumers praise the compartments, the SafeZone implementation, and the durability of the product.
On the other hand, they mostly complain about the lack of padding on the shoulder straps and the lack of promised 32 l space (which we already discussed). All in all, consumers do agree it is a high-quality laptop/crossover backpack, full of interesting features and benefits, with a couple of disadvantages.
But what if you don’t need this much space? Or, you want to buy less expensive and more compact bag? Here are a couple of alternatives to the 35l Thule.
Thule Accent Backpack 28L
Thule Accent Backpack 28L is less expensive than the 32l Crossover, but it also offers less space. It has one primary compartment, dedicated for safekeeping laptop, tablets, cables, and so forth.
Like the Crossover, it has the SafeZone compartment. But I do love the blue interior, which adds the more dynamic look to it. It is cool, perfect for rising tech stars and students. We do commend the Dual-Access, which enables you to access your laptop through side zipper (something that Crossover 32l lacks)
If you are interested in Thule Accent Backpack 28L, you can click here to explore its features or buy it.
- Less space
- Less dedicated compartments
- Looks cooler (at least to me)
- Same material, same durability
- Has a Dual Access, which is convenient
Thule Accent Backpack 28L, TACBP216
- Protect a 15.6″ PC or 15″ MacBook and 10″ tablet in dedicated pockets
- Safeguard a phone, sunglasses or other valuables in safe zone compartment with hidden pocket behind removable hard-shell cup
- Easily access laptop and tablet through top loading compartment or side zipper. Dimensions – 12.2 x 10.2 x 20.1 inches. Laptop compartment dimensions – 15.2 x 10.4 x 1.2 inches. Volume – 28 Litres
- Conveniently Pack and unload main compartment with wide, u-shaped opening
- Make travel Easy by attaching Bag to rolling luggage using the pass-through panel
Thule Crossover 25L Laptop backpack
Same design, less capacity? Well, yes and know. It is a Crossover backpack, so it brings similar features to the table (SafeZone compartment, can store 15-inch laptop, etc.)It has less space and is cheaper than the 32 l version. You do, however, have the option to purchase it in Cobalt color, which I like more than the black stock design.
It is more intended for students since it has less space in the main compartment. In short, it is intended for people who would want to buy a Crossover backpack, but feel that the 32l capacity is redundant. If you are interested in the 25l, click here .
- Very similar design, though less space
- Less expensive
- Available in Cobalt color
- Zippers are less durable
Thule Crossover 25L Laptop Backpack, Black
- Padded, integrated laptop compartment holds up to a 15 inch MacBook Pro
- 25 liter backpack
- Great backpack to hold all of your electronics and accessories
Thule Crossover 32L Backpack
Don’t worry; despite the name, this is a different bag. The one we reviewed in this article is known as the Thule TCBP-417 Crossover Backpack, which is a newer version of this alternative 32l backpack.This alternative 32l version fits 17-inch laptops, delivers the same durability and the same amount of space. The design is similar, but the SafeZone compartment is more prominent and plays a more significant role in the bag’s appearance (the compartment is bulged, which I don’t like, but most don’t mind).
The price is the same, but it is perfect for people who have a 17-inch laptop. If you are interested in this product, click here to explore it more.
- Fits 17-inch laptops
- Offers slightly different design
- Same price, same durability
- Slightly lighter
Thule Crossover 32L Backpack – Black
- Laptop compartment dimensions – 10.5 x 1.2 x 15 inches with volume of around 32 liters and also features dobby nylon material for construction and also has padded, zippered laptop compartment holds up to a 15 inch MacBook Pro /PC and a tablet
- Roomy main compartment for clothes, books and other bulky items
- Heat-molded, crush-proof compartment safeguards sunglasses, iPhone/iPod, and other fragile gear
- Bottom, zippered storage pocket for laptop’s power source or other small accessories
- Organization compartment keeps cords & other accessories & necessities at hand but out of the way.
If you are in need of a solid laptop/crossover backpack, Thule backpack is always a safe bet. The 32l backpack should give you enough room to store your favorite gadgets, and you’ll have extra space for magazines, notebooks, spare clothes and all that jazz.
This backpack is also more comfortable than the standard ones and cares more about your health. It is durable and stable, perfect for you and the things you carry with you; it isn’t perfect, but it may be perfect for you and your budget.