Thriller Ranch Coulee 40 Backpack Evaluation

Mystery Ranch Coulee 40 Backpack Review

The Thriller Ranch Coulee 40 is a splendidly versatile, snug, and bombproof backpack appropriate for prolonged day hikes or 1-2 night time backpacking journeys with a streamlined gear listing. For those who’re unfamiliar with Thriller Ranch’s backpacks, let me preface this assessment by saying that their backpacks are primarily designed for wilderness mountaineering and backpacking with a heavy emphasis on multi-sport extensibility, match, and sturdiness. It’s a really completely different aesthetic than what you’ll discover on minimalist packs designed for ultralight backpackers and thru-hikes who persist with well-manicured path methods. When you may definitely use a Coulee 40 for a thru-hike, Thriller Ranch’s packs are extra geared towards individuals who carry heavy hundreds off-trail like hunters, backcountry fishermen, rock climbers, and search and rescue groups. They’re actually revolutionary although and properly value cautious examination in the event you plan on leaving the crowds behind.

Specs at a look

Backpack Storage and Group

The Thriller Ranch Coulee 40 has a big principal compartment that’s accessible with a three-way zipper. The beauty of this entry technique is that unzipping all three zippers opens the principle compartment up extensive, so much like a duffle bag, so that you don’t have to drag all the things out of the backpack to search out one thing.

The Cooley has three front zippers that provide access to the main compartment
The Coolee 40 has three entrance zippers that present entry to the principle compartment

With a rolltop or a high lid pack, you usually should unload no less than half of it to search out one thing after which repack all the things yet again. That will get previous quick.

When unzipped, its very easy to find what you’re looking for.
When unzipped, it’s very straightforward to search out what you’re in search of with out having to unpack all the things.

You may also solely open the highest two horizontal zippers solely if you wish to use the Coulee as a high lid pack. Along with the three zipper entry, there’s a U-shaped sleeping bag hatch on the backside of the pack in the event you simply need to entry one thing from the underside of the backpack.

You can also just unzip the two top zippers and flip open the top.
You may also simply unzip the 2 high zippers and flip open the highest.

The highest lid is sewn to the body aspect of the pack above the shoulder straps. It has two zippered pockets, a big mesh-backed one which’s good for gloves or hats, and a smaller one that’s well-sized for a GPS unit.

I think the Cooley 40 has the highest volume hipbelt pockets I’ve ever seen on a backpack
I believe the Coolee 40 has the very best quantity hipbelt pockets I’ve ever seen on a backpack

The Coolee 40 has six extra pockets:

  • Two actually massive zippered pockets on the hip belt that may maintain all of the meals you may eat in someday and I imply all of it, not simply snacks.
  • Two stretchy aspect water bottle pockets
  • Two open entrance pockets, positioned on the 2 sides of the entrance zipper. The pair kind a form of spilt-shovel pocket, which could be fairly helpful for segregating dry gear on one aspect and moist on the opposite.
There are open pockets on both sides of the vertical zipper in what might be terms a split shovel configuration.
There are open pockets on either side of the vertical zipper in what may be termed a break up shovel configuration.

Whereas it’s not a pocket per se, the Coulee 40 has a bottom-zippered sleeping bag hatch that allows you to entry the principle compartment from the bottom of the pack as properly. There’s no inner shelf, non-compulsory or not, although to create a sleeping bag pocket and it truly is simply one other entry technique.

You can also access the main compartment from below
You may also entry the principle compartment from beneath.

Backpack Body and Suspension

The Coulee 40 has an adjustable torso size, which is a really helpful characteristic when you’ve got issues getting an excellent match. Thriller Ranch makes use of a light-weight model of the adjustment system on this pack to maintain the burden down, but it surely’s rock strong like on their a lot greater quantity packs.

The shoulder strap yoke is attached to the pack with velcro and can be raised or lowered to adjust torso length.
The shoulder strap yoke is hooked up to the pack with velcro and could be raised or lowered to regulate torso size.

You’ll be able to modify the torso size by shifting the shoulder strap yoke up (to elongate) or down (to shorten) utilizing a easy velcro adjustment system. Advantageous-tuning torso size turns into more and more vital the extra weight you carry since you need the burden to relaxation primarily in your hips and never your shoulder pads.

The shoulder straps are S-shaped and have daisy chains on front for pocket and gear attachment
The shoulder straps are S-shaped and have daisy chains on entrance for pocket and equipment attachment

The Coulee’s shoulder straps are S-shaped making them male and female-friendly, they usually have daisy chains sewn on the entrance so you may simply connect third social gathering pockets to them. Load-lifters are additionally supplied and connect with the pack above the body stays so you may modify the angle at which they sit in your hips.

The body consists of two steel rods which might be tightly fitted into sleeves inside the principle compartment. They don’t seem to be detachable however they’ve some spring to them that make the pack pretty full of life and responsive to hold. The underside of the stays slot into the lumbar pad which is sewn to the pack physique, offering excellent load switch to the hip cradle (iliac crest).

The hip belt wings are moderately padded with spacer mesh and their is a distinct, but unobtrusive lumbar pad.
The hip belt wings are reasonably padded with spacer mesh and their is a definite, however unobtrusive lumbar pad.

The wings of the hipbelt are literally NOT sewn into the lumbar pad they usually’re optionally detachable, for instance, if it is advisable put on a climbing harness. The hipbelt closes with a single beefy entrance buckle, which we notably like as a result of it doesn’t fill with snow and refuse to shut. The hipbelt is tightened with a pull-forward scherer-cinch, so you may get a good match when required.

Exterior Attachments and Compression

The Coulee 40 is kind of versatile on the subject of attaching cumbersome gear to its exterior, a trait shared by most Thriller Ranch backpacks.  It has two tiers of aspect compression straps made with precise webbing, which is our choice for off-trail journey. Each of the aspect compression straps open and shut with glove-friendly buckles to allow them to be used within the chilly and the straps are lengthy sufficient which you could safe snowshoes to the perimeters of the pack.

The side compression straps are good for securing long items to the side of the pack.
The aspect compression straps are good for securing lengthy objects to the aspect of the pack.

There are additionally webbing straps on the backside of the pack that can be utilized to connect a foam pad or tent physique to the pack base. These webbing straps are completely hooked up to the pack and are non-removable. They’re additionally simply lengthy sufficient to wrap round a NEMO Switchback foam pad so maintain that in thoughts in the event you use a thicker pad like a Therm-a-rest Zlite or a cumbersome tent physique.

The pad attachment straps can be used to carry a foam pad or tent body.
The pad attachment straps can be utilized to hold a foam pad or tent physique.

The pack additionally comes with a pair of ice axe loops with shaft holders, which may serve double responsibility for securing trekking poles when not in use.


The Thriller Ranch Coulee 40 Backpack is a “multi-mission” backpack that can be utilized year-round for day mountaineering and backpacking, each on-trail and off. Its three-way zipper system and robust exterior attachment options make it way more handy to make use of than a roll-top or a traditional top-lid backpack whereas its many giant pockets are ultimate to remain organized and maintain vital objects simply accessible.

The sleek profile of the Coulee 40 make sit a lively backpack to carry.
The modern profile of the Coulee 40 makes it a full of life backpack to hold.

The factor I like the most effective about this backpack is its slim profile, even when loaded with heavy gear. When you dial within the torso size to your liking, the burden rides near your hips and core so the pack feels prefer it’s a part of your torso and never a separate appendage. This makes the Coulee 40 an excellent companion for bushwhacking off the crushed path to a spring creek or scrambling up an avalanche slide to an elusive view. On-trail or off, the Thriller Ranch Coulee 40 Backpack is an revolutionary backpack that stands out from the pack.

Disclosure: Thriller Ranch donated a pack for assessment.

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