Thule Subterra PowerShuttle is a small, lightweight, and powerful roof-mounted power generator that can be used to charge USB devices. It’s great for camping or emergencies where you need some extra juice on the go.
At Pack Hacker, we tell it like it is regarding gear—good, what’s terrible, what works, and what doesn’t. And we have mainly good things to say about the Thule Subterra PowerShuttle.
This bag features a built-in solid structure as well as an adequately organized arrangement inside for all of our daily electronic gadgets.
The Subterra PowerShuttle is the smallest of Thule’s Subterra Collection cases. There’s also a bigger version, the Subterra Powershuttle Plus, and a tiny version—but for the sake of this review, we’ll be concentrating on the Medium model.
Aesthetics & Materials
Externally, this bag is relatively straightforward, aiming for a cleaner, more minimalist appearance while yet providing a solid construction and thick cushioning to secure your belongings. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Black at the time of this review, so it won’t bring much color to your daily rotation if that’s what you’re looking for.
It will help you maintain that basic appearance that fits in most situations, so you may wear it to the office, work outdoors, or even remotely.
Thule distinguishes itself from the competition by embossing its wordmark in bold white letters on the front of the casing. If you prefer a more subtle approach, you may find this logo annoying, but we don’t mind since it indicates that this case is serious about business.
The Subterra PowerShuttle is made with a rigid 800D nylon material that is more than capable of safeguarding your electronic necessities. We’re pleased to report that this cloth has remained damage-free throughout our testing and has kept all of our stuff secure.
This material is not, however, fully waterproof. Your gear will be OK if it spills or gets wet, but you’ll want to keep it inside your bag while it’s not in use to keep it safe from moisture.
If you’re curious about the zippers, they’re from YKK, a company with which we’ve had a lot of good luck over the years, including this case. All of the zippers have performed well, and we particularly like the easy-to-grasp pull on the main zipper, which allows for even smoother zips.
Since we’re mainly storing our electronics here, we’d want to see some additional weather-resistant zippers, especially on the main entrance. Still, we haven’t had any problems with water coming inside, so it hasn’t been a significant problem.
Usage & Features
This case has a side handle rather than a top handle like the Plus version. It’s handier for when you want to carry this item on its purse-style or when it’s within your pack—you can reach in, grasp this handle, and it pops out. Although the handle isn’t very thick or cushioned, it’s comfortable in hand for holding, sliding, and carrying this item about.
There’s a tiny mesh pocket on the back of this case where you can store your phone while it’s not in use, so it’s always handy whether you need to make a quick call or send a text. Additionally, there is a wire passthrough through which you can feed a charger to charge your smartphone without having to remove it from the case.
However, since this mesh doesn’t provide much cushioning or weather protection for your phone, you may want to keep it inside the case or in your pocket. If that’s the case, you may also store different things here, such as a tiny notepad, personal care products like chapstick, or folded papers.
When you first open it up, you’ll find that the Subterra PowerShuttle offers plenty of room and organization for all of your electronic equipment. If you’re still searching for something larger, keep in mind that the Subterra Powershuttle Plus is also available.
Starting on one side, there’s a sleeve that’s perfect for keeping a power bank, particularly if you want to use the wire passthrough to charge your phone outside of the case.
You’ll also find a tiny mesh zipped pocket at the front of this sleeve, which is ideal for storing your smallest accessories—you don’t want them to get jumbled up and lost in the pouch. We’ve been keeping a pair of Apple AirPods inside, along with a few other gadgets and gizmos, and it’s been working out nicely. This side of the case also has some depth, allowing you to stack certain heavier objects on top of this pocket and sleeve, such as charging blocks and adaptors.
On the other side, you’ll find two pairs of elastic bands, which are ideal for tying up cables. To remain secure, they’ll need to be rather large, but for comparison, a normal Apple Lightning charger would suffice. Thule even makes use of the space left in the case’s binding by adding another band into which you can stow a pen when not in use.
Then, beneath all of these bands, there’s a second, bigger zipped pocket with greater depth than the first, making it a perfect place to store larger things. For our needs, we’ve just slipped in a bigger adapter to let us charge our computers while we’re working.
This case may be used with the Subterra 34L, a travel pack that we’ve had a lot of success with during our testing. If any of these videos piques your interest in Thule luggage, we also have video reviews of the Subterra Wheeled Duffel 55cm/22′′ and Subterra Duffel 45L from the same range.
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